The North West Gaming Centre in Stockport seems to have acquired a chequered reputation but when I attended Toy Soldier last year, (as I have blogged earlier), I was pleasantly surprised. I may have mentioned that Darren, the owner/manager contacted me in response to my feedback and seemed to take my suggestions on board. I was delighted when he called me a couple of weeks ago and invited me to attend Decimation in March so that I ‘could see the improvements he has made’. I must say that I do feel he and his team are making an effort and I’m looking forward to attending Decimation and seeing for myself the changes he has made over the last six months.
This brings me to another point. Decimation seems to be a typical event. The venue is better than most but attendance seems to be quite low at around 40. I asked myself why this should be?
Issues that occurred to me were, transport links, publicity, reputation, table top terrain, organisation and so on. But I can’t help thinking that all of these are more than acceptable or at least improving greatly since the early days of the venue. I therefore have come to the conclusion that in order to attract more attendees each venue needs to attract advocates that ‘push’ their prefered venue to their friends and club members. If I was therefore going to offer any advice to Darren I would suggest he build strong relationships with the local big clubs, and key members. ‘Flame On’ used to be based in Manchester for example so recruiting their leading members would be a great start.
A second issue is the lack of updates on forums like TWF. As it happens I think that recruiting advocates would solve this problem as they would build excitement around an event and in turn their friends would add to the discussion and the forum presence would grow.
I am not suggesting that the NWGC is the best venue in the country. However it seems to me that Darren is making a concerted effort to offer the gaming community a wider choice of high quality venue. This surely is a benefit to tournament organisers and will ensure other venues ‘behave’ in the light of competition. Darren’s efforts to elicit feedback from gamers and then to do something about it is refreshing and I wish him all the best.
I can conclude that it takes a while to develop a positive reputation within the gaming community, and that it only takes a single poor event to wreck all the good work.
What does everyone think? Have you been to the NWGC, if not why not? If you have what were your thoughts? I know I had reservations last year that I voiced and they seem to have been addressed, but I could see the potential and will report back after Decimation in March.