6 Awesome Event Ideas for Your LAN Center

Posted on: Dec 07, 2017 By admin in Tips,

Tournaments are great events to host at your gaming center. But sometimes you’ve exhausted your competitive resources or just want to host a fun event that casual gamers can enjoy. So what are other exciting ways to get people to hang out at your cafe or center? We’ve got six ideas below, ranging from low-effort shindigs to extravagant gaming bonanzas, all of which will help you increase your visibility in your local community.

Lock-Ins

You may be familiar with the term if you’ve ever seen a trilogy at a movie theater, but you can steal the idea for your own gaming purposes.

Charge a flat fee and people can hang out in the event space all night to play games, eat food, and watch movies. You can set up different rooms as different stations with consoles, computers, and even board games. See if you can get a local restaurant on board to sponsor food, or buy a bunch of pizzas and sodas if you want to keep the budget small. You can even permit BYOB if you are targeting adult patrons. (If you are inviting kids, be sure to require parental supervision to avoid learning legalese.)

Here are some other fun lock-in ideas:

  • Scavenger hunt
  • Nerf gun war
  • Lip dub video (Use it later as a promo on your Youtube!)
  • Rock Band or Karaoke

FreeCons

Why travel to a convention when you can throw your very own? Admittedly, hosting a con will take a lot of planning on your end, but could very much be worth it if you’re looking to get more local press.

Here are some ideas for a free con:

  • Panels – Invite locals who are trying to bolster their Internet presence to talk about topics that inspire them.
  • Live commentary – Corral local comedians to do their very own RiffTrax on viral videos.
  • Maid cafe – See if there is a local anime club that could put on a maid or butler cafe.
  • Cosplay contest – Host a contest that encourages people to dress up.
  • Live local music – Invite local bands and DJs to show off their talents at your Con.

If all of this sounds like too much work, see if there is another organization that’s planning an event you can sponsor. In return for your sponsorship, see if you can get your logo present on promotional materials as well as set up your own table at the event. You may be surprised at how affordable it can be to involve yourself in a local church or school fair.

Speed Gaming

Speed gaming, like speed dating, gives people a short amount of time to compete with others in round robin fashion. While it borders on a tournament, this is a type of event that can focus more on the social aspect of gaming than the competitive factor.

Additionally, you can invite people to live tweet the event for an extra social element, and award the best live tweet stream as an incentive.

Stuck for ideas? Try Pokemon battles or a quick match of Hearthstone to get patrons in the competitive spirit.

Hackathon

If you’re located in a college town, consider hosting a hackathon (or video game making marathon). This can be an excellent way to show off your facilities while promoting local talent.

A hackathon is also a great way to get educational sponsors on board, and can appeal to hackers of different ages. If the event is going to be large you may want to create different age brackets. Even if you can’t get big sponsors, you can always offer a generous gaming package at your facility as a prize, or even host a private party for the winner.

If this idea appeals to you, check out TechRepublic’s top six tips for planning a hackathon.

Film Screenings

Film screenings are probably the easiest events you can throw. They involve no score-keeping or equipment management, and are a whole lot of fun. Play cult classics that people like to shout at, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show or The Room. Or if you want to keep everything game-themed, have screenings of movies like Super Mario Bros or Mortal Kombat–both are absolutely hilarious, and you can even do some fun video game contests that tie into the films.

If you do plan a film screening, consider the following to spruce up the affair:

  • Props
  • Cue cards
  • Picture station (Don’t forget to post these pictures to your social media accounts!)
  • Games and Trivia
  • Refreshments (You can always have it potluck style if you don’t want to put in extra effort.)

Throwing events are a great way to show your commitment to the local community, but they don’t always have to be competitive. What events have you thrown in the past? Would you try any of the above?

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