So you want to participate in Unpub, but there’s not an Unpub event near you? Not a problem, just hold your own Unpub Mini! Organizing and running an Unpub Mini is less complicated than the last boardgame you played, and the ‘how-to’ is easier than that game’s rulebook.
Just follow these 5 simple steps and you’ll be on your way to hosting a GREAT Unpub Mini yourself!
STEP ONE: Find People.
If you gather with friends to play games, that’s a good place to start. In more populated areas, it might be easy to find local gaming groups by going online, or going into your local game store and asking around. Also try church social groups, local libraries, boy and girl scout troops, and local schools and colleges. Find people interested in playing unpublished games. (if you need reasons to convince them, just look at What Unpub Can Do for You.) Once you have found enough people who might be interested, you can start to plan the actual event.
STEP TWO: Find Tables.
This step, of course, means find a place to hold the event. An Unpub Mini event usually takes up 5-8 tables, and typically has an attendance between 10 and 40 people, so keep that in mind when scouting locations. Keep in mind that any location might have regular weekly events that will take up some room.
Unpub prefers these events be held in a local game store, so should you be lucky enough to have one in your area, start there, and see if the owner is willing to host an event. It can be a great way for an owner to generate additional traffic into the store, and increase a customer base. A game store is, of course, the ideal situation because then you have built-in marketing and a pool of interested people. If you can’t find a store willing to host, think about other public places you can meet. Restaurants or bars might be willing to set aside an unbooked “event room” if they think they will bring in extra revenue from people eating and drinking. Church halls, schools, colleges, and places like fire halls and VFW posts may also offer large open spaces with tables available for free or low cost.
NOTE: Unpub’s goal is to keep Unpub Minis free to designers and players; however we recognize this is not always possible. If you can’t cover the fees, you might be able to get designers to chip in a few dollars to cover it. Since the goal of an Unpub Mini is to get as many people playing the games as possible, passing that cost on to players is a last resort (and remember Unpub is NOT a convention franchise. It is a community built on relationships, and this kind of behavior hurts the community.).
STEP THREE: Find When.
An Unpub Mini usually runs about 6-8 hours, typically starting around 11AM or noon. But this is flexible, and depending on the location hours (and host approval) designers may be welcome to set up early, or stay late. Weekends, especially Saturdays, are typical. There is no real rule on scheduling, but think about when you would want to attend.
STEP FOUR: Tell Us!
Do you have the previous 3 steps in place? Excellent! Now it’s time to gather the designers, you can do this easily by filling out the form on the bottom of this page. This will pass the information on to our Event Manager for review and for inclusion on the Unpub website, newsletters, and social media.
STEP FIVE: Tell Everyone Else!
The last step is to tell people about the event, and this is the hardest and second most important part. Enlist friends to spread the word about the event. Talk to the host and see if you can get fliers hung, or have the event added to the host’s website. Tweet about it, post it on Facebook, and share it on BoardGameGeek in the appropriate regional forum. Look into community calendars and local papers to see if they provide free (or low cost) posting of community events. Talk to local community leaders to spread the word. Basically, pull every string you can to get people in the door. Designers are usually happy to play each others’ games, but it will be much more productive to have table.