Freshers' General Calendar(top)FULL STEAM AHEAD. Steak Night every Tuesday and an event every Friday or Saturday for the first month, with MNGs starting up as regular too!
Make sure an email and post goes out pretty much daily, hyping for the next upcoming thing (there's always something coming up). Get sharing across each platform so that you get coverage, 'hey like us on Twitter!' 'Join Discord' etc.
Obviously this doesn't have to be adhered to in anyway whatsoever, make the freshers hyped and make it your own! Just ensure you give lots of different opportunities for freshers' to discover the society, one 'fresher event' isn't enough, which is why we have a month of it!
In a sort-of in order list of what you'll want to be getting done over summer!
- Sponsorships - you've got a long ass time to find some people to give you free stuff, ask everyone!
- Event prep - booking rooms and nights out. (Console Night will be the worst part)
- Media - any videos, banners, photos that need editing.
- Stash - do a committee stash order over the summer, normally before the union goes home for summer (Julyish).
- Summer LAN! Hype your oldies for the new term.
- Forum rollover and archiving.
- Printing - leaflets, business cards, goodie bags, anything else promotional.
- Get social media 'freshened' up, new pictures and descriptions. Pin a Fresher post containing general info, events and committee.
- Buy in decorations and freebies - balloons, helium, string, glitter, sweets, any banners or gaming posters.
- Get a list of everything to be PAT tested, and know which committee are in lboro for the sessions. You'll be there for the entire 10-12 window waiting so take a few of you for added company.
- Make sure in the PAT testing list you take as many tablets/laptops/phablets as possible, with chargers, you'll need them for sign ups.
- Get your fresher's month of events up nice and early on Facebook, try not to overcrowd it with ALL the MNGs and Steak Nights however.
- Risk assessment, normally 3 or 2 weeks before the bazaar, and any other event that may need a new assessment. The earlier you get it in the better.
- Reach out to LSU for coverage, stuff like the Student Life blog, possibility of the Lboro Uni Snapchat, a LSU TV feature etc.
- Get your sign-up form made, normally on Google forms (Name) (Email) is fine but add anything else you can think of.
- If you're allowed things from external companies, have extra Amber Rooms vouchers and any freebies from sponsors (nail files, LoL wristbands etc.) to give out.
Activities Bazaar(top)Each society in the section is allocated a stall, comprised of a LAN exam desk, a chair or two, and a pull-up LSU banner. It's then your job to make it stand out from the crowd and draw new members in!
The next section is going to be general ramblings of stuff that has either gone well in the past, or has been an 'in hindsight' moment afterwards where we wished we'd done better.
Make sure as well as taking care of your stall you take care of yourselves! Water bottles, Strepsils, pain meds, tissues, Lemsip, whatever you think you might need take it!
Making an Impact
Thing to remember: you want to make a lasting memory! Lots of freshers will hear the same spiel over and over again from every society and sign up for loads of stuff, but you want them to remember LSUCS when they get home.
- Have your promo stuff ready and in high demand. 500 leaflets will not be enough!
- If expenses allow, goodie bags were an amazing way to get LSUCS branding literally all over the bazaar. Throw in a business card containing dates, and some Haribo and you're set.
- You want a mix of more information-based leaflets and general events timeline stuff to hand out, give a general business card whilst roaming and have them come to the stall to get more info and some free sweets!
- Your detailed leaflet should contain the next month of events with a small description, an overview of the society 'Hey we like games and are nerds etc.' and some social media links. This is where the majority of your printing budget will go, which is why you hoard them on the stall.
- Committee stash
- In the past we've had specially printed stash with 'COMMITTEE' in all caps on the back, regardless of if you print new stuff, make sure you're all looking the part. LSUVGS stash and properly presented, easy to identify!
- If funds aren't permitting, wear anything that makes you stand out! Bright orange Primarni t-shirts with custom tie-dye, just so long as you all look a part of the team.
- You've only got an exam table, make it look special! Balloons, game posters, ribbons, bunting, whatever you've got use it.
- Keep in mind the space you have to use, and if you're doing anything exciting check with the Soc EO first (i.e. flying a janky ass banner above your stall, or have a power guzzling PC that needs loads of plugs.)
- We always have the issue of having too much stash around the stall, so have a wander! If you've got bags, or just cards and sweets, hand them out to those interested in video games. Let them know they can get more information and have a go at a demo if they visit the stall. Plus if you wander outside you get get pizza.
- It's tonnes easier having a chat and a bit of banter with people outside, and you'll like the change of scenery.
- You all need to be enthusiastic, you're in a hot, sweaty and loud room, but want to portray that you are really enthused by LSUCS. If you're happy they'll know.
- Linked in with that, have a clear 'spiel'. Interested in VR and consoles? Great, come to console night it's free. Interested in everything? Make sure they make it to introductions so they can meet potential friends and get to know committee.
- Opposite of that, understand when someone is happy with signing up and grabbing a leaflet and leaving. It's hot, sweaty and loud and not everyone wants to have a chat because of that.
- You do want to engage with everyone who takes the slightest interest, have some banter with the Fifa bros and maybe they'll remember you come console night, even if they don't sign up. If you're not currently talking to someone, find someone!
- Take a break
- you've gotta maintain high levels of hype and be social for an entire day, go in pairs to get some food and a sit down. If you feel guilty leaving your post, take some flyers with you.
In the last couple of years, VR has become a staple at LSUVGS' stall. The society now luckily owns a HTC Vive, but in the past hired an Oculus Rift for use over the bazaar period.
- Have a game prepped!
- VR can cause motion sickness so make sure to test the games on a wide array of people (hello committee) before the bazaar to gage whether it may cause dizziness.
- Have a PG friendly games with nothing phobia inducing.
- Try to avoid games where you need to move around a lot, or make violent punching motions. Someone will get punched if you don't, and it'll probably be committee!
- Practice setting and configuring the game using only one base station, ideally you want the user to face the base station so as not to punch the general public or your monitor.
- More practice, make sure you're familiar with fitting the headset onto another person without hurting them, and have a practice at guiding someone in use, as some may be a bit overwhelmed.
- Make sure you're familiar with how to quickly configure base stations in the event of desyncing, or if there are users with a big variance in height. You might want to practice guiding another person through this process.
- People want to feel reassured when using VR, as it's sort of a trust exercise. They can't see or hear much and you're trying to get them to enter a game, so have a little talk about general use and safety of the device ready for anyone apprehensive. Make sure they know the game won't scare them!
- Have wet wipes or replaceable pads nearby for the headset, no one wants red eye.
- You can't occupy too much space with the VR, as the bazaar is quite cramped. Moving the table sideways might help, but you may also want some committee around to act as a barrier.
- If you can, get a taped out area for the VR. This was a thing a few years ago but has recently been replaced in favour of one large performance area.
Incase of no VR
- Party games!
- 4 player co op, get people playing together.
- Highscore based competition
- In the past the committee collected high scores and email addresses, for a small giveaway. Or if you broke the last highest score you won a freebie (LSUVGS mug, a stress toy etc.)
JCs Introductions(top)This is where you turn over the most interest, people actually get to have a conversation without music blaring and are in a more familiar pub setting.
- Committee in stash again
- Bring Strepsils
- Don't forget the pull-up banner
- Name-tags and pens, and lots of them!
- Laptops and pads for sign ups in case they didn't get chance at the bazaar
- If you have some NUEL or game posters see if JCs will let you create 'game corners'
- Greet EVERYONE who walks through the door, get to know them a bit, but move them onto a corner where you think they'll fit in
- Once it's calmed down, circulate and make sure everyone's okay. Interject where necessary to answer questions and start conversation, if anyone looks lonely make them not be.
- pls drink fluids you'll be speaking a lot
First Steak Nights(top)The first few are the most important as it's where people may settle into groups before LAN, in my own experience it's where we made our group Whatsapp that lasted the entire year. It may just be a pub social, but it can really be where people find 'home'
- Bring the pull up banner and name labels, have a camera there too for some general shots of socials.
- Have a few committee meet freshers in JCs, make sure said committee are earlier than the allocated meeting time (freshers be keen)
- We talk about it every year but it's hard to fix, but having all the oldies sit on the 'nice' tables and the freshers being spread around is a little sad to see. So see if you can suade older members to leave their normal spots for just a week so the freshers can all be together.
- Have your Amber Room vouchers at the ready, but don't give everyone 3 at once. Next week they'll forget them so save any you have leftover.
- Committee should see the first few steaks as less of a 'sit down pub meal', and more of a 'roam around and talk to everyone opportunity'. It sucks to not be able to chill for the entire event, but once you've done a round and said hi and adopted anyone looking lonely you're good to eat and can feel proud you did some good socials.
Inclusive is the only word I can think of here: free game, capable of running on anything, within a genre anyone can enjoy (nothing horribly spoop)
- Facebook event and Steam event!
- Make sure to turn up early (freshers be keen)
- Engage with anyone who joins the Discord, make it a friendly atmosphere 'New dude, what's your name/course/favourite game?'
- Be prepared! If something can go wrong this is the MNG it will. Have a plan B in place, have a server practice before, planning is key!
Our first big 'proper' event! Two bus trips into Leicester and pre bought tickets, it's all proper
- Two buses: one early for food, one just for Laser Quest. Make sure both are accompanied by at least one member of committee, who knows the bus stop and where to go in Leicester.
- Make sure said buses are advertised a tonne, there's options involved so it can cause confusion. Meet people outside McDonald's to minimise people getting lost.
- Same as above, make sure people know how much the ticket is and to bring cash, and ID!
- Take a register, there's only 30 slots and the worse thing would be for someone to turn up not realising they need to pay. It's also useful for headcount reasons so you don't lose anyone.
- Once again socialise, you should be recognising faces by now and starting to know people better!
Console Night(top)Is always even more hectic than LAN, booking the place can be a pain and something always goes missing.
- Make a map plan and stick to it, have it available at set up so everyone knows the plan.
- Have a pickup plan with addresses and phone numbers, if you forgot what number Bob lives at and he has all the TVs your screwed.
- Have a committee plan, not everyone will be able to be in the bar early, and you need people designated to driving around, going storage, setting up, fetching batteries.. just plan for everything
- Buy lots of batteries. Lots.
- Get the storage key super early. Someone else always has it and it's 10/10 fun trying to track it down
- If you can get free drinks and food then great! If not bring along some remaining Haribo or freebies.
- Try to run a wider array of games than maybe normal, Fifa and an FPS go down well with some.
Fresher LAN Prep(top)This only deviates slightly to the norm, so it should be brief as you already know the rest!
- No one knows the LAN rules. This is bad. People will bring 5 monitors, a mini-fridge and fire. Get the LAN event up early and start pushing little memos to it, 'Did you know we have a LAN van?' 'Our LANs can only accommodate 2 sockets each' etc. etc.
- Likewise if you keep being asked the same questions, have a little FAQ in the LAN event
- Print the LAN rules out on handouts. Print the timetable out. The LAN website is a foreign entity to freshers, as they've probably only just gotten to grips with the forums.
- Your tuck shop order is going to be silly huge, either find $$ or bargain with the union for paying directly.
- Be prepared to set up IJK (under the balcony) and maybe even a D block room.
- Dominoes and Angies have short memories, remind them we exist and that it's gonna be bigger than normal.
- Have a more in-depth setup presentation than would normally be needed, stress the names we give things and the importance of fibre not breaking. Hype trunking!
- Your LAN van driver is gonna be super tired, it's the busiest LAN for a driver! Have something to make them feel appreciated.
- Have sticky labels with the LAN van helper, people should label their stuff before it goes in the van.
- Have a committee PC setup on (preferably) A1 before welcome desk opens. People will turn up without accounts or tickets or phone data, and will get in the way. Send them to committee member A1 to sort them out an account.
- Go HAM on games. Get people involved together, run party games, gather board game groups, make the quiz extra shiny.
- And once again socialise. Check in on everyone, this is probably the last event you'll need to do this, as afterwards everyone is settled in :3