Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Blood

Posted by Deadpan Alley
One of our goals, as Scrabble aficionados, should be to get the word out about the club, find like-minded word nerds, and build our group numbers.

Last year, our membership at meetings dropped sharply. We lost more than half of our regular members. Though some of the losses could not be avoided, we felt diminished. We felt defeated. We seriously considered quitting altogether. Our thinking was that we had tapped the local market, and the very few of us who kept showing up were the only Scrabble lovers around.

Thankfully, we were proven wrong about that. Thankfully, we endured. We've seen amazing growth over the past few months. People who have recently gotten involved tell me that they didn't even know our club existed. This tells me that there are more of us out there, they just don't know about us.

How can we raise awareness? We have a website. We hold regular tournaments. An ad runs in the weekly Metro, under the 'Clubs' section. We're going to be involved in the upcoming Charcon convention.

Do you think a literacy fundraiser or something similar might get our club some exposure? Is there somewhere in town to meet besides Books-A-Million, wherein more folks might stumble upon us? What are your thoughts about starting School Scrabble in this area?

I'll wrap up with just two more questions. First, how did you hear about us? And secondly, what could we have done last year so that you would have learned about us sooner?


  1. Well, some shy lady stopped me in the courthouse one day and told me that I should come to it. I said "game on" and came. How I could have come earlier ... well, I suppose if I had responded to the email she had sent me a few months prior to that (which I honestly forgot about) maybe I would have a few more games on Lisa.

    As for how to get the word out ... well I'm telling about everyone I know about it (or they're telling me after seeing me in the paper during the tournament). I've had about 5 people tell me they may come or would come but they haven't yet.

    I think that school scrabble might be a good program to start but we might need more numbers first. I do think that having some special meetings at some other locales might help. When we play at BAM people often ask questions as we're playing or comment on our games or the words that we're playing and even in the midst of my titanic struggle with Brad this past weekend we both stopped and shared info with some ladies standing in line for coffee.

    Maybe if we met at the Towne Center Mall in the Starbucks or food court area a time or two we would get more exposure. Maybe if we had a meeting at the Clay Center some time (hint hint) or at the library where we might catch the attention of the type of people who would be interested in our club. I don't think that meeting at Quaker Steak and Lube during a NASCAR race would be particularly helpful, but maybe we would catch some closet NASCAR-watchin' person who would be walking by while at the mall. Just something to think about.

    We certainly need to increase our exposure. How about a club t-shirt? You'll have to be careful in how to design it. It would have to be grungy enough for Lisa but snooty enough for Raf with the word "awesome" in there somewhere for Brad. ;-)

  2. You flatter me needlessly, sir.

    More games, you say? Special meetings at other locales, you say? Let's do it. I've been known to occasionally get in a lunch game at Capitol Market with that shy lady you mentioned.

    Do we know anyone with connections at the Clay Center for "exhibition games"? Or the library?

    Those 5 people you mentioned - you've no idea how many "yeah, I might come" conversations I've had over the last three years. Growth is a process. You just have to stay with it and keep the faith.

    CharCon is going to be a good opportunity, and the Huntington fund raiser, if it ever gets going. As we go forward, more will present themselves - and if they don't, we'll make our own.

  3. I would love to direct a School Scrabble program at my son's school. It's a private, Catholic school, with a huge socioeconomic diversity...just the kind of place I think a game like that could thrive and really do some good.

    And what's this CharCon thing? Iwannaplay!! Iwannaplay!! Iwannaplay!! Iwannaplay!!

    And, as for literacy fundraisers, a HUGE yes on the idea and on my committment to it. I mean, heh, raising lieracy AND funds at the same time? It's a no-brainer with brains!

  4. Unfortunately, I can't get us into the Clay Center. Not many people know this but our government funding is ZERO. All of our money to operate (and pay our salaries!) comes from admission cost and money given by a few rich donors. That being what it is, there are no rooms rented out for free, even with my "connections." I think the very cheapest rental is still a couple hundred dollars a day.

    Sorry guys.

    Oh, and I found out about the club from a friend in Huntington actually. Not sure where he saw it though.


Public comments are no longer accepted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.