Hosting Procedures

Hosts should arrive one hour before the boarding starts. Your schedule reflects this.

The most critical time for hosting is the 30 minute window surrounding the start of a time slot (e.g. 1:30pm to 2:30pm for the 2pm time slot).

Timeline

60 minutes before the time slot
  • Make sure you know your fellow hosts.
  • Some people like the book keeping and sorting.
  • Others like the customer interactions.
  • Figure out who will be filling the various roles.
  • Speak up about any limitations or concerns.
  • Determine who has the canonical time piece. People will ask. People want to know.
  • Set a timer for 10 minutes prior to the time slot. This will help to remember to offer and provide additional assistance.
10 minutes before the time slot.
  • Allow people to continue to read menus, but keep an eye out for "loitering" and ask them to step back.
  • Begin boarding anyone that needs additional assistance.
  • For the next five minutes hold the line!
  • Make sure to keep asking if everyone has a boarding pass.
  • Handle any pre-boarding passes. Please limit each game to one pre-boarding pass.

Make sure to not start boarding until it is the time slot start time. Be precise. And it is better to be a minute late than a minute early.

At the start of the time slot.
  • Make sure everyone has stepped back from the menus.
  • Call up the first boarding pass group.
  • As that group wraps up selection of games, call up the next group for boarding pass.
  • Repeat the previous step.
As the boarding process is winding down. 10 minutes or so?
  • Make sure that the seated tables have a GM.
  • Make sure the GMs have what they need.
  • Make sure to address anyone milling around.
  • You may need to scramble to find space for other players.
20 minutes after the time slot starts
  • Put on a smile.
  • Things should have calmed down.
  • Do your chores, see below.
  • Support the customers.
  • Get a drink of water.

Seating Procedure

Before the Slot

Hosts organize boarding passes in groups, using only as many as we have capacity to cover for that shift (twelve GMs? 60 passes)

We can easily hand out more boarding passes if we still have space, but it’s harder to squeeze in pass-holders when there are no seats left.

Hosts hand out boarding passes in groups (give out all As, then Bs, etc.) so that friends can play together; random sequencing of letter groups matters less than handing them out in groups, because people will want to be able to play together.

Slot Start Time

At slot start time, give the remaining boarding passes to the Greeter who will be out among the attendees answering questions and helping people.

Slot Start Time

The other hosts will randomly sort the stack of lettered signs (Z, D, L, etc.) that correspond to the boarding passes. Any letter groups that weren’t included in the original passes should be removed.

Host Caller will begin calling up people by groups, holding the sign up high. As groups make their selections, the lettered sign is attached to the easel so players know what’s been called already.

Groups could potentially be called up together (“seating B and E”) if having 12 at a time is more efficient.

The Handler hosts will work with the players to make their choices, taking boarding passes and directing them to the appropriate table.

Late arriving Pass holders with a letter that’s already been called can come up and choose a game (instead of having missed their chance).

Hosting Roles

Greeter
Responsible for the "first impression" of Games on Demand. This involves:
  • Being in front of the hosting tables.
  • Handing out boarding passes.
  • Being attentive to the overall flow and appearances at Games on Demand (e.g. are things inviting?)
  • Dispersing lines and swarms. (The seating procedure is there to minimize the need for these.)
  • Ensuring that people boarding are given personal space; No pushing, shoving, and crowding out.
  • Inviting those on the fringes. (Some people will be anxious.)
  • Having a good ear.
Caller
Responsible for communicating what boarding passes are now boarding. This involves:
  • Selecting, at random, the boarding pass order.
  • Calling out what boarding pass group is now boarding.
  • Making sure the "Now Boarding" sign is updated.
  • Being attentive to the overall flow at the host tables.
  • Having a big voice.
Handler
Responsible for helping patrons choose their game. This involves:
  • Being behind the hosting table.
  • Collect boarding passes from patrons.
  • Marking down player selections on menus.
  • Setting aside games that are full.
  • Handling multiple people talking at you at once.
  • Inform the players which table they will be at.
  • Having a patient soul.
Host Boss
A bonus role, you should have another one as well. Responsible for handling the tricky situations. If someone were to ask "Who's in charge here?" that would be the Host Boss. This involves:
  • Dealing with upset players.
  • Asking a player to leave.
  • Providing backup to conflict .
  • Capable of Acting Under Fire.

Hosting Chores

These are the things that need to get done to make sure Games on Demand keeps running.

These are tasks that require being organized and accurate. You won't need to interact with a lot of people.

  • Keep the host tables clear of clutter. Menus and the necessary documents for sorting menus belong on the table. Other things do not.
  • Collect tickets
  • Assign GMs to tables using the yet to be produced map of the room. Some GMs will have a preference on where they are seated.
  • Tables for games with declared mature content should be further away from tables for all ages.
  • Turn in collected tickets.
  • Find out about available overflow space. Record that information in the Host Bible.
  • Walk through the gaming area. Keep it tidy.
  • Keep the signage visible and legible.
  • Put away unused menus, alphabetize by first name.
  • Pull menus for upcoming time slot. If the GM is scheduled for 4 hours, assume they are running their 4 hour games.
  • Ensure that table numbers are visible.

Collecting Tickets

It is important that we have as accurate ticket information as possible. It helps us plan for and justify the space that we get next year.

  • Grab the tally sheet for the given timeslot.
  • Walk through the gaming area and collect the tickets from the players at each table.
  • Make sure you get a ticket and not one of those crazy receipts that look like a ticket.
  • Verify the GM and game match up on your sheet.
  • Record number of players, the GM, game played, number of tickets, how many time slots, etc.
  • Bring the information back and reconcile. No worries if you are off in your totals.

Host FAQ

What should I do if a GM isn’t there?
Before you seat anyone at the table, let them know their GM is not yet there. It is key to set expectations. Perhaps they would want to choose another game?
Someone had a great suggestion for how to improve the whole hosting process. Should I do it?

As a matter of policy and procedure we will not be changing any patron facing interaction of Games on Demand. That means:

  • No changes to how boarding passes are handed out.
  • When we begin boarding people.

This is important because once our patron engages with Games on Demand, we don't want to change things on them. It leads to confusion and customer support distraction.

It is key to set expectations. Perhaps they would want to choose another game?
Where do I find out about overflow space?
  • The GM HQ staff will help you find an overflow location.
  • Our sibling organizations (IGDN and First Exposure) may have space.
It looks like everyone is here. Can I start boarding early?
No. Expectations have been set. Don't start boarding early.
Are there any perks for volunteering?
Aside from the warm fuzzy of altruism there are a few perks:
  • For every 8 hours (rounded up) of volunteering, you get one pre-boarding pass.
  • If you volunteer 16 hours or more, you can get your badge fees reimbursed.
A group of volunteers wants to grab a free table and play. Two questions:
  1. Is it okay to grab a table?
  2. Do we have to pay tickets?
  1. Yes, but pull aside a host and clear it with them.
  2. No. But you must each share with each other a Games on Demand war story. And be ready to bail if space is needed.
I'm an off-schedule volunteer. Me and my three non-volunteer friends want to grab a free table and play. Two questions:
  1. Is it okay to grab a table?
  2. Do we have to pay tickets?
  1. Yes, but pull aside a host and clear it with them.
  2. Everyone, except for the facilitator, must pay tickets.
Do we have access to a printer?
Yes. The hotel business suite may be able to help.