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Board Game Breakfast Segment #4: Save My Spot!
Plays Well With Others
Updated: Monday, Apr 7, 2014
Hello, Dice Tower viewers, and welcome to part four of this increasingly misnumbered two-part series on running a gaming group. Today’s topic: save my spot!

If I may be so bold, I’d like to offer my take on a question that was featured on episode #348 of the Dice Tower audio podcast. The question comes from listener Rob. Rob runs a gaming group, but when members fail to show up or are late, it can prevent his entire group from playing. So he asks: should you require people to RSVP, and how can you prevent late members from delaying the event?

I got excited when this question came up because and I’ve experienced this very same thing. Here’s something I’ve done to encourage RSVPing and punctuality.

First off, especially when your game group is starting out, I believe RSVPing is crucial, because:
One: It helps you pick games that will fit your expected number of players. If people don’t RSVP, it’s easy to end up with too many people for a small game, but not enough for a larger game.
Two: It helps show others that people are attending, which can help persuade new members to join. As they say, “success breeds success”.

I use to post my group’s events and track who signs up. A technique I’ve used to prevent latecomers from delaying our games is to include, in the meetup posting, the number of seats that are available in the primary game we’ll be playing, plus a waiting list. As people RSVP, I update the posting to add them to the appropriate list. That way, people can “lock in” their seat for the game, or see their position on their waitlist. When game day arrives, if someone who has reserved a seat is late, they forfeit it to the next person in line on the waitlist.

This system won’t necessarily prevent people from being late, because, let’s face it, life happens, but, it helps everyone know “the plan”. And knowing how no-shows will be handled will help everyone start on time, because they can focus on having fun.
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