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WNY's largest LAN Party Returns January 10-11-12, 2020

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Winter 2019 Initial Thoughts

January 14, 2019

From AJ-

Normally I wait to post anything after an event. I like to give the survey about a week to get as many responses in and go over it with the team, and post our thoughts. I'll still do that, but, I wanted to give my thoughts to the first 40 or so responses (AWESOME so far guys keep it up) and highlight some of the early suggestions, comments, praises, and concerns.

Music

You guys are all over the place on this one. Some of you are saying it's great! Some are upset at the volume, the content, how we're managing it, etc. And this is fine this is all great! We're listening though, and want to make sure everyone has a great experience. For the last couple of events we've asked guilds to submit a playlist on spotify and then playing that for a bit. This more than likely caused some overlap and replaying of songs like "baby shark" or whatever else. I get that, I hear baby shark enough in my house once at a LAN is plenty. We've used things like plug.dj in the past and even took a crack at something similar ourselves, but this ultimately resulted in brigading of songs and a half dozen so people or more monopolizing and gaming the system to put on raunchy or annoying songs. 

So I feel some sort of compromise is in order here. We'll definitely be highlighting this heading into our summer event, and we'll let you know what we come up with.

Praise

I'm getting a lot of love in these results, and it's awesome. We read and go over every survey result, so this is always nice to hear. I really appreciate it. The truth of the matter is this is a team effort, and we are able to do these events because we have great people contributing in ways that mean something to them.

Tournaments

This is always a hot button topic for us. We used to have 1 or 2 people doing tournaments, then a team, now we have individuals running 1 tournament each so people don't get burned out. Tournaments are the MOST stressful thing anyone of us does during event days. It requires a lot planning, organization, and precision to get these things running well and fairly. This is why we've always taken a casual stance on tournaments. They're meant to be fun and really nothing more than a chance for some bragging rights. That's why we give trophies. We simply do not have the means (right now) for prize based tournaments, or buy-in cash winning tournaments. Is it something we'd consider? Absolutely. But with that highlights a need for a person or people who know how to do things professionally. Do we have that resource on our team? Probably not, but maybe that's where we can look for someone to help join us. If this is something you have experience with, hit us up in discord or wait a bit for our "Looking for volunteers" announcement in the next week or so.

Also, a lot of people don't like that we don't do double elim for our tournaments. I totally get that, but bottom line right now is that double elim can add 1-3 hours of additional time per tournament. That means getting rid of other tournaments, as we only have so much time to work with. When we get to 400+ people in the building and we can run big tournaments alongside each other this is a possibility. We tried doing that an event or two ago, and what we saw was decreased participation across the board as people had to decide if they wanted to do tournament A or B.

Along with that I've seen a number of people asking for us to do things digitally, doing signups on another site and managing brackets that way. That's a great idea, and we've done that in the past. The big problem with that is getting everyone on the same page, on the same platform. We don't want to have you to make another account somewhere and invite people and all of that, so I'm personally looking for an integrated solution with the lanfest website, so it's all under one roof. Maybe by summer we'll have something.

Announcements

I think we made some great steps here towards a better system for announcements. The discord bot was huge and a lot of people loved it. She was a bit hard to understand at times, so I'm going to try to clean that up and see if we can polish that off. Some great suggestions and feedback in the survey for that.

Network/Internet

This is more of a "nice to not see" situation. Usually, we get a lot of reports from people who had a bad network issue. Lag, downloads, etc, and I'm not seeing that. 1 or 2 isolated incidents so far, but usually 10-20% of people say SOMETHING, but are generally understanding of what we have to work with. We did get some newer switches, and a MUCH better internet connection, so I'm going to guess that's what's made the difference. If you had problems, much more likely that there was an issue with your network cable. So I do apologize.

Wrapping it up

Again, I want to thank everyone that came out to help us out. We'll have more thoughts and ideas moving forward. Expect to hear from us again as we get our pics and vids up.

Take care!

AJ

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