Thursday, June 2, 2016

Stress Test

Our Game Center construction is moving along. We're expecting completion this month, most likely towards the end. Behind the scenes, this project was called The House That Magic Built, since it was originally fueled by Magic money, for Magic events. Since we started this project over two years ago, Magic has waned a bit in popularity as well as cash flow, so we're not really sure how much Magic space we need nowadays, and Magic definitely hasn't been paying for construction of late. In fact, it's more accurately, The House That Board Games Built.

The best parts of one of my favorite shows, Bar Rescue, is when they do a make over and then have a stress test. They pretty much invite the neighborhood inside and push the business processes to the break point. Sometimes they do fine. Sometimes they apologize and send everyone home and people lose their jobs. The important thing is they learn a lot about how to improve. We're doing a stress test for our next Magic pre-release.

Our stress test will be for only one run of our Eldritch Moon pre-release, July 16th at 11am. Normally our pre releases are $30, but this one event will be $15 and includes lunch (probably pizza, maybe sandwiches, oh god how do I feet 120+ people?). The goal is to hit capacity, around 120 people, and carefully watch what's going on. We'll be filming it as well, so we can watch it later like a disgraced football team.

The new Game Center will be entirely up to code with restrooms, air conditioning, and fire marshall approved attendance capacity. It's got mixed retail-assembly use approval. I'm not expecting a Bar Rescue fiasco, and we would never clear the room unless it was for safety reasons, but I am wondering how we'll do with judging, staffing, fixtures, and procedures.

This is also a test to see if we can hit that 120 capacity through great effort. Are there 120 people who want to play Magic? Can they be enticed to come to an event that's at cost, with a free lunch? We not only give up $1,800 in income on a guaranteed event to make this happen, we buy them lunch. We're also doing an advertising blitz to get the word out. I consider this an advertising expense for the new space.

If we don't hit capacity, it will say a lot about how we divide up events going forward and if we actually host those big regional Magic events we talk about.

I signed up with Eventbrite today so we can do online ticket sales. You can buy your $15 ticket here. Eventbrite takes $1.84 for every ticket sold,  in case you were wondering how that worked. Eventbrite hooks into Facebook, which allowed us to create an event and advertise it. Hopefully this is a model we can use further in the future, albeit with events that actually don't lose money. I prefer Eventbrite to other solutions because they have an app both for hosting the event and for your ticket. Smartphones are the Internet for many people nowadays.

Now we see if what they see is true: If you build it, they will come.

Lower restrooms and framing for the rear staircase and storage

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