The launch of StreetPass UK has sparked a big interest in StreetPass Communities. Plenty of people are interested in attending events, but others have expressed an interest in creating new groups specifically for their area.
By clicking on the tab/link/widget/badger to get to this page I’m going to assume that you are one of those that wants to know how to set up their own group and events. That’s great! With that in mind, I’m here to dispense some advice to help you get you started.
Setting up your group
Have you got what it takes?
Didn’t want to start off on a serious note but it’s probably one of the most important factors of running a group or events. StreetPass groups/events can often attract large numbers of people and it is your responsibility to keep everyone happy. It seems silly to say but the ability to feel confident talking to loads of people at once, likely people you’d never met before that day, is pretty important. It is also your responsibility to keep your group active with a positive attitude toward StreetPassing, and you need to harbour an intent to run events/meet-ups fairly regularly. Even if it’s just a ‘we’re all meeting for coffee, bring Mario Kart’, you need to want to do these things. Failure to remain active could see people lose interest, and could even see someone else creating another group for your area.
Check the Map!
Our website already has a nice map of the UK where you can find out if there is a group in your area. This could save you from going through lots of hard work when someone has already got there first. If there is a group in your area which has become inactive, it may be worth trying to contact them or starting again, yourself. We recommend contacting the group first, always; maybe they will be kind enough to pass all group accounts over to you if they wish to give up managing their group.
StreetPass UK will not be responsible for any clashes of multiple groups in the same area. We will not say, ‘no you can’t have a group there because there’s already one in your area’. StreetPass UK is run by the fans, for the fans. Should there be an issue between same area groups it is up to you to come to an agreement.
What’s your Area?
So now you’ve seen there is no group in your area and you need a name. First of all I would think about the area in which you want to hold your events. For example StreetPass Manchester hosts their events in Manchester, StreetPass SouthWest covers a larger area and moves events around the South West of England. You have to ask yourself if you want to stay in one town/city/county, or move around a particular area. You also have to ask yourself if there is a genuine need for it in your area. As the owner of StreetPass SouthWest, I thought it would get larger interest and numbers if I were to move the group around. City groups like StreetPass Manchester and London have no problem attracting the masses, as they are big places.
However that’s not to say you’re not allowed to make a group if you have five friends with a 3DS and live in a sleepy little village in Somerset. StreetPass UK welcomes all groups of all shapes and sizes, and you’ll attract people within travelling distance as well as those local to you. For example, people regularly travel to Manchester from Leeds, and vica versa.
It’s in the Name
When you know the area you wish to cover, it’s time to think of a name. We recommend using StreetPass in the title. For example, StreetPass SouthWest, StreetPass Manchester, StreetPass Newcastle, StreetPass Brighton. Don’t call it Rainbow Bunnies Shropshire, you’re not going to attract a 3DS crowd like that.
Now you’ve picked your name it’s time to start getting the word out. Social media is a huge help in promoting StreetPass groups and events. Facebook groups and Twitter accounts are very important. Some groups also have a tumblr page, but tumblr is harder to share. That said, there’s no such thing as over-exposure – being on loads of different social media platforms will help more people find you.
But how do you gain attention? Re-tweets and shares are your friends! Don’t just expect people to do these things, either. When writing a Tweet, ask people to RT it, and make sure to RT it on your own personal accounts while you’re at it. Tweet at key Nintendo feeds (ONM, Nintendo Feed, Nintendo Everything, MooMooTown etc.) and make sure the StreetPass UK community knows about you by tweeting directly at the group accounts and asking for an RT.
As for Facebook, use the share function to put links to the group on your own page, and ask others to do the same. It’s also a good idea to ask in other groups, particularly those ‘nearby’ to you (again, the Liverpool and Manchester situation rears its head) if you can advertise your group to their members. Then share again, just for good measure.
The other thing about these social networks? Frequency. Don’t make one comment and then get concerned at a lack of traction. Make posts regularly, but not just advertising comments. Make serious posts, ask questions, throw up pictures, do as much as you can to make yourself seem active and brilliant and you will gain support.
Oh and obviously we can put you on our StreetPass UK map once you’re all set up.
Contact @MooMooTown (Twitter)
This man will get you set up, and help you find people. Trust us. Invaluable.
Your first event
It’s almost time to host your first event! Events can be pretty daunting to organise at first. Here are some things to keep in mind when putting one together.
It’s important that your event is easy to get to. Easy, central locations with a lot of public transport links are a place to start. No-one will come to your event if they cant get to it easily! Outside locations can be good, and require less planning, but due to the uncertainty of the British weather they are not recommended. Or if you do plan to be outside, it might be worth having a Plan B! It’s also woth noting that the glare of the sun on the 3DS screen, even on the brightest setting, does make it a mite tricky for you to see unless there’s shade.
We highly recommend you find an indoor venue for your events. It’s advised you try and book a venue where possible, especially if you’re expecting a high number of people to turn up. If it’s a place that serves food and drink, be respectful and buy something as you are in their space. Finding appropriate venues can be a very time consuming task but when you have found one suitable they may be willing to have you back in the future (as long as you’re nice).
Date and time
Almost as important as the venue is the time and day you choose for your event. Saturday and Sunday afternoons will probably get you a bigger turn out then first thing on a Monday morning, for example. Try to give people as much notice as possible before your event – Don’t expect loads of people to show up if you only give a days notice!
What do you plan to do at the event
People will get pretty bored if the only thing to do is StreetPass, and this can also lead to people remaining in private bubbles, seeing to their console and then leaving. Organise some fun things to do like Kid Icarus multiplayer, Pokémon battles, or a Mario Kart 7 tournament. It’s often a good idea to arrange events around the launch of a big 3DS game. Events will help build your community, and encourage interaction.
When you have your venue, day, time, and idea, it’s time to promote! Facebook event pages are very popular for this, and can give you a good indication of how many people you are expecting to show up. Asking your local video game retailer if they could spread the word/let you display a poster in their store could also help. StreetPass UK’s Facebook will also help promote your event. We also have a section in the forum where you can post the details of your shindig, too.
As with the social media, though, don’t shut up about the event. Get excited! Remind people about it, get people to share/RT it, remind everyone it’s happening on a regular basis and ensure that you stay excited. The more you talk about it, the more people will see it, the more people will come. It’s a positive cycle, you’ve just got to get the wheel turning!
So it’s the day of the event, did all that planning pay off? Try and make a list of things you need to remember to do before and after the event. At my events I put together a list of competitions I want to run and a general timeframe of when they should be completed. This may sound boring but you would be surprised how time flies when you are having fun.
Be sure to talk to everyone (or as many people as possible) and make them feel welcome. Meeting new people can be scary but it can be a great opportunity to make new friends. If people feel left out of your event they might not feel comfortable returning in the future. If people are already asking when your next event is before the event is over, that’s a good sign!
Don’t be too disappointed if, with all the running of your event, you don’t get to go through and clear your StreetPass hits as often as you would like. It wouldn’t be wise to sit in a corner and ignore the people that took the time to come to your event if you’re not going to interact with them.
Not many people show up? Don’t worry about it! These things take time to grow. My first meet up had 15 people show up and the second one had around 30! You can always learn from things that didn’t go well at this meet up and improve on them for next time, but as long as you make the event brilliant for even two people, then those two people will likely spread the word and get more people to come to the next event.
So that’s the bulk of our advice. Hopefully you found it useful and it will help you in creating your own group. If you have any more questions about setting up a StreetPass Group or Event then feel free to get in touch via email at Mario@StreetPassUK.co.uk.