Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Meetup: Two Months In

As of this week, it's been two months since my weekly game night changed formats. Instead of free, it now costs five dollars to attend.

This money doesn't go straight into the store's pockets, however - Brian initially spent a small amount to start a meetup group (Meetup is free for end-users, but the organizers have to pay a small annual fee).

Additionally, each week, one or more gift certificates are being given out - the more people who attend, the more gift certificates are distributed.

So consider this the two-month status update:

We've grown. Not by leaps and bounds, not by the thousands and thousands that some Meetup groups have demonstrated. But we're a bit bigger than we were before.

We've lost a few old members who are opposed to paying for a space to play games - I don't blame them, and I understand their objection. But Brian (for all his generosity to us over the last few years) is running a business. It's also less expensive than a movie, at about $1 per hour (assuming ou get there at five and leave at eleven, when we shut down for the night).

We lost a few who are unemployed or otherwise can't afford to attend. There are coupons about to help these people out, but there is a drawback - if you use a coupon, you're not eligible for the weekly drawing. I can occasionally cover one or more of these people, but not often, unfortunately.

So we've grown and the crowd has changed slightly.

A different crowd means that we have different games out, too. The $5 cover charge has reduced the number of children present - and the ones who are present are more serious about playing games. Or I'm getting better with them. Or some combination thereof.

Meetup has definitely increased our visibility, and long-term, I expect more growth. I also hope to lure back some of the people we've lost.

Time will tell how much growth we'll experience.

I'd like to see more, of course. But then, I like having more opponents to choose from.

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