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Making Yours the Social (Media) Event of the Season

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2017-02-05 14:42

Republished from a blog post by Olivia Baker (Kate Crandall). Used by permission.

Making an event happen, I mean really happen, is not simple or intuitive. I’m not talking about being an event manager or event steward, here. I’m talking about event promotion. I’m talking about getting your event in front of people who wouldn’t see it without the power of the internet. Now, take away any possibility of an advertising budget. Now add in the additional hurdle of being a group of medievalists.

This is what we, in the SCA face on a daily basis. We have grand thoughts and ideas. We have things we think others will be excited about, but we don’t always understand how best to get the word out to others about them.

Please note, not everything in this post is pertinent to every event. Some event stewards and social media deputies may choose to only implement one or two of the suggestions. However, even one or two of them is better than doing no event promotion at all.

Let me start with a bit of background. Mundanely, I am a small business owner. I began 14 years ago with some cake pans and a website. I started reading and learning and learning and reading. I began to optimize my website for search engines. I eventually learned how to promote my business through various free media outlets. From 2015 – 2016 the gross sales for my business nearly tripled due to optimization and social media promotion. I also did event promotion for Wars of the Roses in 2016, hosted by the Barony of Concordia of the Snows in the East Kingdom. Our attendance was nearly 150% of the previous year’s attendance (there were several other factors including weather and a new site, but the event promotion was also involved) I would like to share some of the knowledge that is applicable to the SCA with any and all who may be interested in promoting their own events.

There’s some terminology I’ll be using throughout the blog. Below are some definitions to help get you through the basics. Please take note, these are basic definitions and are not necessarily a complete explaination of each item. If you would like additional information, there are many resources available on the internet.

  • Server – this is where the data for your website will be stored, making it accessible to internet users
  • Host – to store data on a server
  • Platform – program that allows you to develop your website
  • Domain – the specific address for a website (www.eventname.org)
  • Public Domain – copyright-free media

Throughout this post, I am making an assumption that your local group has the following:

  • Group (barony, shire, canton, etc) website
  • Group Facebook page
  • Group Twitter account
  • Group Google + account

If you do not have any of these, discuss with your local group the best way to implement them. Don’t forget to consult and follow the Society Social Media Policy as well as your Kingdom policy, if applicable, while doing so.

Now, let’s get into the actual event promotion. As an event steward (or social media deputy, if applicable), the first thing to do is to determine if your event should have a website. Ask yourself the following:

  • Is my event a niche event, such as an immersion event, or an event aimed at a very specific group of members?
  • Am I expecting at least 100 attendees?
  • Is my event a Kingdom- or Society-level event?

If you answer “yes” to at least one of these, you should consider creating an event website. If you decide to proceed with an event website, do you want your website to be an “official” website, where you can put all of the necessary information, that will be hosted on your Kingdom’s web server (this may not be applicable in all Kingdoms – contact your local or Kingdom webminister for more information)? Or would you prefer to have your site hosted on a private server?

If you would prefer an “official” website, contact your Kingdom Webminister to determine which programs are compatible with the web server. If this sounds like gibberish to you, that’s okay! Don’t be overwhelmed! Your webminister will help walk you through what you need to know.If you would prefer an “unofficial” website, there are multiple platforms that allow you to host your site without paying hosting charges. I highly recommend Google Sites, as there are many free templates, and it’s relatively simple to apply a specific domain to your website.

PICTURES!!! You want pictures! All of the pictures! If your event is a niche one-off event, find pictures applicable to your event. If you’re doing a viking event, find some public domain images of vikings and viking settings. If your event is a fighting event, work with a known photographer and get permission from them to use their photos on your website. The #1 rule to promoting your event is pictures. To reiterate, PICTURES!!!

Also, you want your website to be “mundane friendly.” If you use a lot of SCA terminology, have a New To the SCA? page that explains what the heck you’re talking about.

Once you’ve created your website, make sure your event announcement on the Kingdom list of events is updated with your website. Be sure to put your domain multiple places in your announcement. More often than not, people will skim the announcement looking for specific information. You want people to see your website and go there…and see pictures! (see what I did there?)

While we’re on the subject of Kingdom announcements, if your event is worthy of a webpage (see the 3 questions above), and you are located within a couple of hours of another Kingdom, get your event up on the other Kingdom’s event listing as well. Often, people are interested in traveling to events in other Kingdoms. Your event may be just the thing to get them there.

The next step is to create an event on your social media pages. Google + and Facebook both allow you to create events. Make sure to put a picture on the event page that will catch the eye. Also, make sure your event website is very easily found on the page. Next, invite all friends you think may be interested in attending. Share your events with your local group, surrounding groups, and your Kingdom group. Encourage others to invite their friends to the event as well. The more invitations that go out, the more people see your event. Additionally, be sure links to all of your social media sites are on your event website.

Now, for many events, particularly those hovering around the 100 person range, this is enough. However, if you’re really interested in getting attendance, the next steps are crucial.

At least once/week, create a post in the social media event pages sharing specific information. Are you having merchants? Highlight a merchant or two each week. Are you having court? Share the time court will be expected. Are you having dayboard? share a sneak peek of the dayboard menu (2-3 items are plenty). With each of these, make sure you include a photo and a link to the website. When you share your post with the Local and Kingdom groups, they are far more likely to be read if they have a picture, than if they do not.  If you do not have a Social Media Deputy in your local group, ask for a volunteer to handle these posts for you, as the task can become cumbersome when you’re handling organizing the entire event.

Timing for these posts is also important. Posting at 6am or midnight doesn’t do you much good. Very few people will see it. You want to post during peak times: 8am, 12:30pm, 5:30pm, 8pm. Think about the times you’re online the most: maybe before work, during your lunch break, after work, after dinner. These are the best times to post and get your post seen. Optimal time is from around noon – 6pm. These are the times you want the bulk of your posts to go out.

If you’re interested in getting a large amount of newcomers find out if your local community has a community calendar that will allow you to add events. Many newspapers and local publications will offer these free to the community. Get your website on there! If you do this, please make it VERY clear that we are unable to accept credit cards at this time (if applicable).

This is the next big thing: get social media support from your local group members! When you share the event post on your personal page, local group page, and kingdom page, the exposure is limited. However, when others share the post on their personal pages, they significantly increase the chances of your post being seen by others. The more your posts are seen, the more intrigued and excited people will get about your event.

The closer you get to your event, the more you want to post. If times change, post about it. If you’re going to have visiting royalty, post about it. If the weather looks like it’s going to be amazing, post about it. If it’s going to rain, post about it, reminding people to bring an extra pair of socks or two. Anything that may affect your potential attendees deserves a post.

If your event is a recurring event, be sure you have someone in charge of taking quality photos for next year’s event promotion. Also, if you are able, have someone in charge of on site social media updates (don’t forget the pictures!). Twitter is a particularly good platform for this. This may seem like a waste of time. I assure you it’s not. Many people who were unable to attend this year will see the fun people are having and will be more likely to attend the following year.

When I say, “Event promotion is not simple or intuitive,” I truly mean it. There is a lot of information and it is not the easiest to manage. However, once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier. I wish you the best of luck with your future events! If you have any additional questions on event promotion, I’m happy to share all of the knowledge I have in the area!

Bonus: Did you notice I used this blog post for event promotion? No? Look again!

 


Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: event planning

What's New With Vikings! and more medieval news

Medievalists.net - Thu, 2017-02-02 21:18
We are back with doing roundups of the medieval news! Let's start with a few recent pieces for fans of all things Norse...


[View the story "What's New With Vikings! and more medieval news" on Storify]

And our image of the week is this zodiac sign of Aquarius in a 13/14th century manuscript

Image from e-codices / Flickr
Categories: History, SCA news sites

It is February, Here is Yet Another Bardic Reminder

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2017-02-01 11:48

Yet Another Bardic Reminder

It’s February 1st. You have only six days (until February 6th) to preregister with Mistress Alys Mackyntoich if you want to compete in the King’s and Queen’s Bardic Competition.

Because A&S and Bardic are being combined into the same event this year, it is essential that you pre-register to compete. If you show up on the day of the event, without having contacted me in advance, you will not be able to compete.

You pre-register by e-mailing me your name and a statement that you wish to complete, to alys.mackyntoich@gmail.com.


Filed under: Announcements, Events Tagged: announcements, bardic champions, events

Gulf Wars Gift Basket Request from Their Majesties

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-02-01 11:43

Greetings, Æthelmearc.

Their Royal Majesties, Marcus and Margerite, prepare for Gulf Wars March 11-17th, and I have the privilege of showcasing the skill and largess of our noble artisans as the gift coordinator. Ours is a special honor, the host Kingdom of Gleann Abhann. There are several projects underway to ensure Our King and Queen are beautifully represented, and I would like to welcome anyone interested in participating in these projects or who wishes to make a contribution of their choosing to contact me. As it is said, many hands make light work. For inspiration, King Caillin’s persona is Viking Era Irish, and Her Majesty Queen Danielle is French in the time of Charlemagne. While the focus is the gift exchange, there will be many other opportunities for Our Royalty to bring joy through gift giving. Tokens of inspiration, recognition, and gifts of admiration, all of which are typically surprise moments, are always appreciated. It’s a beautiful thing to be over-prepared.

I  am happy to provide ideas and guidance if you have questions, and support and encouragement if needed. Please remember to provide your name and contact information, either with the item or by sending an email or Facebook message to me. If your item is consumable, when possible list ingredients and expected expiration date if applicable. Documentation is always a welcome addition- this is an appreciative audience, but please don’t fret or let it deter your participation. Ideally, all largess for Gulf Wars that requires transport will be received by Sunday, March 5th, to ensure proper packing and shipping. I will be present at Gulf Wars to coordinate on site as well.

Yours in Service,
Countess Anna Leigh
(Kimberly Gamrod, 2304 Candace Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15216)
aeannaleigh@gmail.com

For inspiration, here are some gifts generously donated for the basket Her Majesty took to Birka. Click each image to enlarge it and scroll through them.


Categories: SCA news sites

Unofficial Notes from Birka Curia

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-01-31 15:49

Photograph courtesy of The Honorable Lord Hugh Tauerner

The Gazette is extremely grateful to Lord Andreiko Eferiev and Lady Tomyris of Stonemarche for taking notes and providing an account of the discussions and transactions during the Curia held at A Market Day at Birka, January 29, 2017.

Agenda Item 1. Curia Opening
The King introduced the meeting by stating that many of the changes proposed are the result of the conversations held with the order meetings at Pennsic.

Agenda Item 2. Old Business
There was no old business.

Agenda Item 3. New Business

Agenda Item 3.1 Events: Bid Deadlines (page 4)
Revision to VIII.A.1. to extend the bid period for certain Kingdom Events to 24 months before the event date.
One of the challenges we often face when holding very large events is that the number of sites able to hold ~400 people is a very limited field and we are competing with wedding planners for event venues at that point in time. HE Jeanne de Robin pointed out that Spring Crown 2016 was a bid 3 years in the making, with HdG giving advance notice of their intentions and request for support from the rest of Tir Mara before making the bid.
The goal of this change is to allow us to plan farther in advance than our current bid schedule does by allowing us to schedule events farther in advance.
IKA: The West Kingdom already runs most of their Kingdom-level events this way.
One of the challenges for the Royalty is that the uncertainty present in our bid schedule prevents them from committing to visit small local events due to the possibility that they may end up running against Kingdom Championships.
Spring Crown 2017 Autocrat Galefridus noted that some sites won’t let you bid more than 4 months in advance, so the opposite problem is also true.
This change does not require event bids be done so far in advance, so the goal is to increase our flexibility. It is hoped we do not need to legislate thoughtfulness.
If the site needs a response by X date, the sitting Crown and Heirs on X date will have to choose whether to accept the bid, even if they will not be on the Thrones on the actual event date.
Event Coordinator Deputy THL Mairghread Ghearr (of the Seneschal’s Office) pointed out that we will need to increase our support infrastructure for event bids to help with Kingdom-level follow-through for advance bids and to ensure local groups are continuing their own ramp-up. We would also need to modify our event bid forms to take into account the increased vagaries of advanced bids.
Future Discussion Topic: Do we wish to continue with the current relatively short time-frame scheduling for Kingdom-level events like Coronation and Crown Tournament?
PROPOSAL PASSED UNCHANGED. Agenda Item 3.2 Events: Champions’ Tourneys (pages 4-5)
Revisions to VIII.A.5. through A.11. to create a region-exclusion condition for bids for champions tourneys; to create greater flexibility in the tourney scheduling date ranges; and to create greater consistency in tourney bid and decision deadlines; also section reorganization.
King Brion asked us to increase flexibility in scheduling Championships by having the same deadline for all events in a given Reign and by allowing all Championships in a given Reign to be run any time during that Reign.
Event Bid Officer supported the increased flexibility in Championship timing and the one bid deadline.
HRH Ioannes informed us that the Summer Reign is substantively planned but that the Championships are lagging behind the Crown’s other obligations in setting hard dates. Local  groups have also had difficulty with their events being rendered no longer feasible due to a Championship being scheduled opposite their event.
Concern was raised that the region-exclusion provision may be too restrictive and make things too difficult to schedule events. It is also noted that often local groups are asked by the Crown to re-run a Championship for a second or third year because no bid was received.
Because K&Q A&S is always in the winter, some cooking ingredients are unavailable for use in the competition. There are other activities that sometimes are weather- or seasonally-dependent.
IKA: Atenveldt schedules ALL Kingdom events for the first weekend of the month, leaving the other 40 weeks of the year free to local groups.
IKA: Trimaris holds all Kingdom-level events at the same site.
Future Discussion Topic: Do we as a Kingdom wish to continue deciding our Champions through dedicated events or do we wish to empower the Crown to select their own Champions through their own means? Are these events becoming more of a problem than a pleasure?
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO EXCUSE EQUESTRIAN CHAMPS FROM THE REGION-EXCLUSION PROVISION DUE TO THE INCREASED CHALLENGES OF TRANSPORTING HORSES.
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO ALLOW THE CROWN TO GRANT VARIANCE TO THE REGION-EXCLUSION PROVISION IF NECESSARY.
THE AMENDED PROPOSAL PASSED. Agenda Item 3.3 Earl Marshal / Kingdom Marshal of Armored Combat (pages 2-3)
Revisions to several sections to create the Kingdom Marshal of Armored Combat as a new Lesser Office, and separating the duties of the KMAC from those of the Earl Marshal.
King Brion introduced the topic by discussing the history of the Marshalate and how all of the Combat Arts are under the Earl Marshal’s auspices but that the Earl Marshal retains the additional responsibility of being the chief Marshal of the Heavy List. This sort of change has already been made at the Society Level.
The Heavy List Marshal will be responsible for running Crown Tournament and will be empowered to raise concerns to the Crown through the Earl Marshal.
There was a bit of discussion about the role of the Warlord and whether they were responsible for Pennsic et al. combat in general or rattan combat in foreign wars in specific.
IKA: Aethelmearc’s current Earl Marshal is a combat archer who has done wonderful things for their Kingdom and her successor is a fencer.
Future Discussion Topic: How much of the Marshalate Structure should be specified in Kingdom Law vs. Marshalate Policy?
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO EMBRACE THE POWER OF “AND” AND THEN PASSED. Agenda Item 3.4 Official Email (page 6)Revision to X.J. to reflect the transition to EK-server hosting for all official email accounts. Mercedes introduced the topic by stating that we are updating the law to reflect current policy and her reticence of allowing someone to use a wildly inappropriate email address to speak to the public on behalf of the Society in an official capacity (yes, this has happened).
The Webministry pointed out that Kingdom Law should not mandate that we own the server, merely the method of communication.
A lawyer in the room pointed out that the use of “correspondence” had wider legal implications than was perhaps intended.
The applicability of this law change to events has numerous implications. One of these is what happens if the password is lost or needs resetting, potentially losing several weeks of vital event prep time. What remains unclear is which event volunteers will be required by Kingdom Policy to have official emails.
If you are receiving official email to your personal account, you need to forward it to your officer account. We have asked Society for clarification on what must be kept and they keep kicking it back to us. However, for internal discussion, it remains acceptable to compose from your personal email and cc your officer email. It is sometimes extremely difficult to force other people to contact you via your official email.
The existing system is cumbersome and its challenges make using it difficult. The Webministry is working on improving this process. Usefulness of the system does grow with experience. Please continue to try to use it.
Royal guilds have no authority.
We have a webministry helpdesk. Please use it. They will be adding a “Help Me” button to the EK front page.
Discussion Topic: Email is old-school. We should think forward about how future communication tools will affect and be affected by Kingdom Policy and Law.
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO ALLOW THE WEBMINISTRY GREATER FLEXIBILITY.
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO REMOVE THE LANGUAGE CONCERNING AUTOCRATS AND THEIR DEPUTIES (which will be handled via Seneschal policy instead).
THE PROPOSAL WAS AMENDED TO ACCOMMODATE MODERN LAW.
THE PROPOSAL WAS PASSED AS AMENDED. Agenda Item 3.5 Awards: Silver Mantle (page 5)New section IX.C.7., establishing an armigerous order to include and provide recognition for martial activities other than rattan, rapier, and target archery. Agenda Item 3.6 Clerical Fixes (pages 2,3,5,6)
Revisions to various sections to add the Golden Mantle polling administrator, and to correct several typos and internal references.
Agenda Items 3.5 and 3.6 were discussed jointly.
King Brion introduced this topic by remind us of the history of our current award structure and the gap created by moving the Order of the Golden Mantle to the Orders of High Merit.
Prince Ionnes asked that we update our entries in the various lists of Awards and Orders of the Known World. Discussion was made of the various places where we store this information and how to improve them.
THE PROPOSALS PASSED. Agenda Item 3.7 Discussion of potential East Kingdom 50-Year celebratory event. The 50th anniversary of thefirst East Kingdom event is June 28, 2018. We’re looking at including everybody and having a great time. We have two bids and they are for different dates and locations. Agenda Item 4. Officer Reports Seneschal – The East Kingdom hasn’t blown up. We are looking at making a Canadian Affiliation like SCANZ. This has been several years in the works and is some time away from completion.
Brigantia – We had no emergencies.
Earl Marshal – Just stepped up and made some changes to Kingdom Law.
Exchequer – We are close to having a Canadian Bank account. We are also close to opening PayPal payments. Our PayPal policies were approved by the BoD at their last meeting. Currently looking for a Deputy who wishes to hold the Kingdom Office. We still have money.
Chronicler
MoAS – Champs is in 2 weeks. Term is up soon. The Crown is considering the new officer.
MoL – Officially retiring in a month. Mylisant is taking over then. Tir Maran residents can scan their authorization paperwork to reduce the losses incurred by the international postal system.
Signet –Natalia is taking over in 13 days. We got this.
Chatelaine – Our Chatelaines are doing an excellent job. We had a meeting here. We’re redesigning the Chatelaine webpage. We’ve identified a need for a Young Adult Liason: How do we keep our 12-17 year olds interested in the SCA?
Chancellor Minor – We have had a steady increase in local Chancellor Minors. We will be spending some time in the coming months reminding local groups of our policies. Seeking to fill Youth Clerk and Youth Combay Deputy offices. Term ends in September.
Rapier Marshal – We have ~530 Authorized Combatants and ~52 Authorized Cut and Thrust combatants. We will now be inspecting masks both while worn and while not worn to inspect for wear.
Webminister – There’s plenty of space for emails, come get your emails. We will be upgrading our email system to a Google backbone for improved usability and reliability. We are also working on an official document repository that can handle spreadsheets. Agenda Item 5. Curia Closure
Filed under: Law and Policy

Q&A on the new Earl Marshal Position

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-01-30 20:17

The Gazette asked Duke Christopher Rawlyns, Kingdom Seneschal, to answer a few questions about the new Earl Marshal changes.

photo by Master Thorpe

Please describe the overall structural changes that have been made to the Marshalate.
Prior to the change in the marshallate structure, the Earl Marshal had always been an experienced heavy weapons fighter, as the main job of the EM was to oversee rattan combat. Now we have added two positions. A Heavy Weapons Marshal has been added whose job will be to oversee rattan combat within the Kingdom. We have also added a Pennsic Marshal. This person will rotate through the marshallate structure at Pennsic over a three year period, with their last year in the job as Marshal in Charge of Pennsic.

What do you want this structural change to accomplish? What problem do you believe it solves, and/or what new opportunities does it offer?
This change will allow marshals of other disciplines to serve as Earl Marshal. A knowledge of rattan combat will be useful for sure, but, you will not need to be a senior rattan marshal to be the EM. This should allow for a broader pool of applicants for the EM job. It also allows the EM to be more of an administrator and have better oversight of all of the marshal disciplines as they will not have to concentrate that much effort on rattan combat. The addition of the Pennsic Marshal will allow that individual to focus solely on this rather time-consuming position.

Are there other Kingdoms who use this model? If so, do you have information on what their experience with it has been?
The Society Marshal’s office has been restructured in this manner and our neighbors in The Kingdom of Atlantia adopted this structure a few years ago. I have not heard of any difficulties as a result of this change.

How will this new structure interact with the Society Earl Marshal’s office differently from in the past?
Ultimately, the EM is responsible for the oversight of all martial activity in the Kingdom. This is no different than it has been in the past. Anyone participating in any martial endeavor should not notice any change in how they go about their chosen activities.


Categories: SCA news sites

Birka Bear Pit Tournament Results Published

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-01-30 16:43

Rapier Combat at A Market Day at Birka. Photo courtesy of Dutchess Caoilfhionn.

Results from both Armored and Rapier Tournaments at the 2017 Market Day at Birka have been posted to the Northern Army website.  Vivat to Douglas Henry  who placed first in the  Armored Combat bear pit, and to Robert of Anglespur who placed first in the  Rapier Combat Bear pit. Congratulations to everyone who competed!


Filed under: Events, Heavy List, Rapier Tagged: a market day at birka, Tour, Tournament Results

Pennsic Rapier Melee Tryouts Schedule Released

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-01-30 13:21
Don Eldrich Gaiman, Captain EK Champions Melee Team, has recently released the Pennsic melee champs tryout schedule for the first round. Below is his email. Eastern fencers interested in being considered for the team should fill out the sign-up form (listed below) and check out the team selection process that we published previously.

Greetings, Eastern fencers!

Based on the responses to the sign-up form (which is still available at http://tinyurl.com/ekrapier2017 ), I will be running the first round of tryouts for the Champions Melee Team at the following events through May. Southern Region Practice — Settmour Swamp February 5, 2017 Barony of Settmour Swamp Central Region Practice — Anglespur February 26, 2017 Barony of Anglespur Central Region Practice — Smoking Rocks March 4, 2017 Barony of Smoking Rocks Central Region Practice — Carolingia March 5, 2017 Barony of Carolingia Mudthaw March 25, 2017 Barony of Settmour Swamp Balfar’s Challenge April 22, 2017 Barony of Dragonship Haven Maybe May 13,2017 Barony of Iron Bog


Once again, my intent is to use these tryouts to identify the twenty or so finalists for the team. These finalists will be asked to participate at practices and events in the remaining time before Pennsic so that the team can train together, and so I may choose based on my observations which ten fencers will be asked to take the field for the Champions Melee battle in August.

I ask for everyone’s understanding, as this schedule is subject to being changed for many potential reasons (event changes and weather being the main fears). I will do my best to announce modifications as they happen, including possible additions to this list.

I encourage anyone interested in making or supporting the team to sign up at the link above if you haven’t, and to attend as many of the tryouts as you can comfortably attend.

Yours in Service to the East,
Don Eldrich Gaiman, Captain EK Champions Melee Team

P.S. I ask that you help disseminate this schedule by posting it to your local practices and local rapier community forums. Thanks!


Filed under: Events, Pennsic, Rapier