We've outgrown our Meetup site. Meetup is really designed for one particular group and their various activities. We've managed to shoehorn in every store event into our Meetup site, with the disadvantage that every member is notified automatically of every event. This usually means people leave the group after a short time. We've held steady at around 100 members, a feat in itself, but growth stopped a while ago.
The alternative will be our own forum with calendar. It should be up within the next several days. We'll link it off our website, but it will also be available by going to forum.blackdiamondgames.com.
We're using the leading software package in the industry called vBulletin. This is something I've installed for past employers and it's robust, secure and one of the top three standard forum packages (people argue endlessly which is best). What sold me on it was the calendar features, which should work much better than the Meetup calendar. As a forum user, you can set up reminders to just the events you want, instead of getting pelted with reminders for every event. If you're really geeky, you can learn more about the features on Theadminzone. The one thing vBulletin lacks is event sign-up. This will need to be done through another method, possibly manually.
With the store open 50% more hours and the game space 500% larger, events should be plentiful. We'll have primary events, which get priority for table space. Then we'll often have secondary events at the same time, which have priority over open play (tertiary events). You're welcome to play any time the store is open, provided space is available.
With the addition of the new forum and scheduling, we'll be bringing on an event manager. This person will coordinate and schedule events for the store. We'll announce their secret identity once the forum is up. If you come to events now, you probably already know them.
Possibly the most important aspect of running the new digs, and cheers to you for sorting it out so quickly. We're so overwhelmed with advice and options on which form to use, we *still* haven't gotten anything up. And I'm terribly, terribly embarrassed about it. :)ReplyDelete
Can't wait to see how it comes along.
Luckily I've got an old friend of mine setting up the forum, otherwise I couldn't sit down at this point and do the meticulous work to make it happen. My brain is too overloaded.ReplyDelete
The nice thing about vBulletin is the tech support you get when you purchase it. We're already using it.
Oh, and you shouldn't be embarrassed. I used to stop by your store every once in a while and pick up your printed calendars so I could steal ideas. Good stuff!