[Elfsea] Economics, Events, etc. (long)

Richard Threlkeld rjt at softwareinnovation.com
Thu Oct 10 10:28:07 PDT 2002

The issue to which I originally responded was the downturn in
attendance. It turns out, this is an issue, but not the major
issue. The major issue is the apparent "clutter" on the Kingdom
Calendar. It was brought to the front by 3 Kings. The Seneschal
for the group sponsoring 3 Kings waited until 18 months before
the event (for 2003) to reserve a date. That seemed reasonable,
but they were told there were no dates in the fall available.

Their Excellencies say Crown saw that and anticipated growth in
new Shires, Cantons, and even Baronies who would find a crowded
Calendar. They decided to see if they could uncrowd the Calendar
a bit. They have asked the various groups to consider dropping
events, combining events internally or with other groups, or
anything else to clear the Calendar. This only applies to
Kingdom Calendar events and dropping an event apparently means
dropping it from the Calendar.

If you reorganized the Calendar by region, I believe the clutter
would disappear. The clutter comes from looking at the whole
Kingdom at once. This only becomes a major problem for the
Central region. We are not allowed to conflict with the Western
region at all or with major events in any of the other regions
because out central position means people from other areas who
had to travel through us to get to another region would most
often prefer to attend our event than continue traveling. The
Western issue is they need Central region attendance at their
large events to make them successful. 3 Kings is in the Central

Timothy has pointed out that taking events off the Calendar does
not really help if the events still happen. Clutter on the Calendar
is not really the point. A Calendar slot represents advertisement
for your event and, hopefully, attendance. Most groups depend
on their main events for funds to operate so they want to schedule
their events where they are the most attractive alternative. But
if we have a major off-Calendar event in the Central region, it
will not appear on the Calendar to help people avoid it and it
will absorb most of the Central region population and many of
adjoining regions.

This is mainly a symptom of growth. We have lots of groups and
each wants and needs to put on events to earn money, to train
their potential autocrats, Chirurgeons, Marshals, and to
provide venues where their people can work together to build
a sense of community. No matter what we do now, continued
growth will cause these symptoms to reappear. If we have
enough people to support these, then more events just gives
us more options.

Timothy has suggested an apparently radical idea: let any
group put any event on the Calendar without regard to
existing events or locality (except protecting Crown Tourney
and Coronation). Let people compete for attendance in a
free market. Even small groups can successfully compete by
creating new or unique venues or by soliciting the Crown
to put a circle meeting at the venue.

There are still issues here, but as a free market advocate
I like the idea. Others have suggested a Principality which
would remove all the events from its group from the Kingdom
Calendar. The events would still happen. Those who have lived
through the forming and operation of a new Principality tell
me it causes people to play primarily in the Principality if
they live within it and primarily outside if they live outside.
So this might help. But it is difficult to see an area that
would be a great candidate for a Principality. I would hate
to see any region or combination of regions carved out of
Ansteorra or be in such an area.

Getting rid of minor events will not help the Calendar and
giving up Calendar events may increase financial risk
for the group (see my previous analysis).

My summary and $.02.

> Greetings Elfsea,
> Albeit I am no longer Ansteorran "proper", I do wish to wage in
> with some words of my own.
> I still have not seen the reason(s) for changing the number of
> events on the Kingdom Calendar (maybe I missed that message
> somewhere).
> If the problem is not enough dates for all the events, then I can
> understand the need to change how events are scheduled; how many
> each group can have; requesting greater cooperation between groups
> to host "regional" events, etc.
> If we are talking about the number of people who go to each event,
> I think there are other factors which cannot be controlled by our
> (I mean your) Glorious Majesties.  We will simply need to readjust
> the "breakeven" points to be a bit lower and have more cost-
> effective events until such time as the economy improves.  People
> will stay closer to home (or at home) while they feel a pinch in
> their pocketbooks.
> That's my 2000 lire (about equal to $.00002)
> Ciao,
> Alessandra
> (transplanted Ansteorran)
> ________________________________________________________________
> Sent via the EV1 webmail system at mail.ev1.net
> _______________________________________________
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> Elfsea at ansteorra.org
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