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 Post subject: Location, location, location.
Post #1 Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:02 pm 
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Where does your Go club meet?

I'm trying to think of venues to start a club. Does Starbucks welcome Go players (and are those tables as teeny to play Go on as they seem to me)? Do you meet in the local pub, and what about junior members? Does the local Akido club welcome Go fanatics? Do you meet secretly in the National Mall at midnight, giving the whispered call signs "Attach!" "Extend!"?

Where's been good for your clubs? Long established clubs? Beginning clubs? And where should I go and sit and read Go books until someone besides me attends a meeting?

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #2 Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:44 pm 
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Go Group Bispingen/Munster in the Luneburg Heath in Lower Saxony, Northern Germany

We meet privately every Friday, alternating between Bispingen, a village 60 km south of Hamburg, and Trauen, an even smaller village 23 km more to the Southeast. Usually we are 4–5 people, but we’ve also have been 8 and 9 players. All DDK, age 40+, but recently a 15-year old pupil has joined who had licked blood in the Go workshop that I instruct at the local school :-) First time we was about a year ago, so … happy anniversary to us :-D

Greetings, Tom

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Last edited by Bonobo on Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #3 Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:49 pm 
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Our local club meets at a comic shop. I can't really compare it to other venues, but there is a board game club that meets the same night. We've gotten a few people to learn Go that were loitering around waiting for a spot to open at a table. The theory being that people that frequent a games/comic shop will be more inclined to take time out of their day to learn a new game. As explained by our club founder. Your mileage may very of course :)

The manager would likely have no problem storing the club boards/stones in the back room, It's what we do
Edit:spelling


Last edited by Twitchy Go on Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #4 Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:46 pm 
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My Go club meets at a Go center.

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #5 Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:23 am 
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Our club is a University club, so our usual meeting place is at the cafeteria of the local University. The food serving is closed when we begin in the evening, so it is usually pretty quiet there and lots of space.

During the summer the University is closed though, so then we move to a bar not far from the University.


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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #6 Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:18 am 
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I've been lucky enough to have a great restaurant (Mercury Cafe) host us on 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays in Denver for around 6 years running now. It can be noisy sometimes and we have to shuffle a bit if the Sunday lunch crowd is big, but it is great for bystander traffic and I refer to the background noise as "resistance training" (Anyone can play well in a silent tournament room, but can you play well with a movie playing in the next room and jazz piano in your room? Take the challenge!).

About a year and a half ago we switched to the current schedule from every Sunday. We just were not seeing big enough turnout to justify me being there 9 out of 10 Sundays but the change didn't seem to hit attendance very much (thankfully).

Bruce "Noisemaker" Young

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #7 Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:10 am 
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Gallatin Valley Go Club - Bozeman, MT

This is the club I used to attend. It switched between the local university student union building (cafeteria), and the lunch room of a local Tech business (depending on whether school was in session). The university was nice for the exposure, and the tech business was nice for the quietness that it provided.

The club has since been moved to a local Gaming/Comic shop here in town. Hoping for similar exposure as Twitchy Go mentioned - but I can't say for sure. Because of scheduling conflicts I have not attended for over a year. With the location move the day has changed, too, so I'm looking forward to being able to attend periodically again!

I'm thinking this should be a good location, as it is more central, and the owners of the shop are really nice people - no discouragement from people gathering there to play!

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #8 Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:24 am 
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The go club I have been attending is an informal meeting of about 3-5 people every Sunday at 1pm and every Wednesday at 6pm at the Artisans Cafe in Phoenixville, Pa. The owner keeps one Go set in back and we bring additional sets.

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #9 Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:57 pm 
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Over many years I've played in several different types of locations:

* Dedicated building for go, available 24/7
* Room at a University campus, club also part of student activities
* Private home, changing week to week
* Room in a town community center
* Room in a church social area
* Tables in a coffee shop
* Tables in a pub or bar


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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #10 Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:58 pm 
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My go club meets on the interwebz. Seriously, though, thee three places in the usa where I have done clubs were in (in decending order of fun (I do loke coffee, afterall)):

* Coffee shop
* Someone's house
* Bookstore

Where I'm at now, nobody I know plays. I brought a go board to work, and it's at my desk. I played people one day, but after that, they lost interest since they didn't win.

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #11 Posted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:20 pm 
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Over many years I've played in several different types of locations:

* Dedicated building for go, available 24/7
* Room at a University campus, club also part of student activities
* Private home, changing week to week
* Room in a town community center
* Room in a church social area
* Tables in a coffee shop
* Tables in a pub or bar

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 Post subject: Great answers. Questions.
Post #12 Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:58 pm 
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Thanks for the great answers.

If anyone could help me out, the folks in comic/gaming stores, are these 90% teen Go clubs? I'm 40 and, though I am something of a gamer, and there is such a venue in town, it would feel a bit awkward to start a club up amongst a group that consisted entirely of teens.

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Quote:
Over many years I've played in several different types of locations:

* Dedicated building for go, available 24/7
* Room at a University campus, club also part of student activities
* Private home, changing week to week
* Room in a town community center
* Room in a church social area
* Tables in a coffee shop
* Tables in a pub or bar


You seem to have had the widest experience among people who answered. How do the venues compare, and which would you aim at setting up for a club that consisted of just you for the time being (ie: which one do you think would attract members best on a minuscule budget)?

Thanks again, everyone.:)

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #13 Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:52 pm 
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Yukontodd wrote:
Thanks for the great answers.

If anyone could help me out, the folks in comic/gaming stores, are these 90% teen Go clubs? I'm 40 and, though I am something of a gamer, and there is such a venue in town, it would feel a bit awkward to start a club up amongst a group that consisted entirely of teens.



I wouldn't worry about it. Go is a small enough demographic that they'll be happy to welcome another player...especially in the Yukon. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #14 Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:15 am 
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Hello, Yukon!

Relatively cheap long plastic folding tables (and chairs) can be found at Walmart. In terms of long-term budgetary considerations, a club at someone's home might be the best.

I knew of a chess club that held its meetings at a coffee shop after negotiating with the manager. They chose a weeknight with slow business (maybe it was 2 hours on Wednesdays) and asked the shop to block off three tables for the chess club. The club negotiated with the owner by saying that they would provide the shop with some business on a night when they usually don't have as much sales and create visual interest for the passersby. This requires a friendly shop owner and a good negotiator. As far as I know, every club member made a conscious effort to buy a drink from the shop during club activities. One might also sell the "board game cafe" idea as being a popular recent trend. Starbucks might not be a good target, but any shop that seems run by hipster types is a good target.

I was once part of a go club that met in the local public library. However, the library had a private room for the club so that the noise from our club would not bother the other patrons. This didn't cost us anything, but there were some negotiations involved. We sold it as an activity for kids and offered to teach any youngsters that showed up. I think one kid showed up. The rest of the time, it was just 3 or 4 adults.

I would prefer a home club if I were starting a club now. Maybe it will cost 200 dollars to purchase tables and chairs, but the flexibility of the venue is well worth it. If one is not lucky, it will likely cost much more than that to rent space.

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #15 Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:28 am 
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Bonobo wrote:
Usually we are 4–5 people, but we’ve also have been 8 and 9 players. All DDK, age 40+
This is one of the most awesome go-related things that I have heard. It's probably not as great the 60 year-old grandma (Tygem 1 dan) who learned the game from her late husband and crushes the younger members of her women-only go club with insanely violent fighting moves, but it's up there. Go has no age limit!
Confucius wrote:
The Master "Is it not pleasant to learn with a constant perseverance and application?

"Is it not delightful to have friends coming from distant quarters?

"Is he not a man of complete virtue, who feels no discomposure though men may take no note of him?"


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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #16 Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:26 am 
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lemmata wrote:
In terms of long-term budgetary considerations, a club at someone's home might be the best.


In terms of budget and convenience, sure.

In terms of recruiting new players, this is the absolute worst. ;)

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Post #17 Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:43 pm 
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pwaldron wrote:
Yukontodd wrote:
Thanks for the great answers.

If anyone could help me out, the folks in comic/gaming stores, are these 90% teen Go clubs? I'm 40 and, though I am something of a gamer, and there is such a venue in town, it would feel a bit awkward to start a club up amongst a group that consisted entirely of teens.



I wouldn't worry about it. Go is a small enough demographic that they'll be happy to welcome another player...especially in the Yukon. :)

I agree with pwaldron. Either way, though, I'd recommend stopping in and just seeing what it is like, and talk to the owners - you could even ask them some questions about the general demographic. You might be surprised by the answers!

At the one here in town, I think it tends more to a <40 crowd, but a lot of the people that go there, hang out and play games are probably mid 20's into their 30's. And I know there are a few older people that do go there as well. So check it out! ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #18 Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:04 pm 
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LocoRon wrote:
lemmata wrote:
In terms of long-term budgetary considerations, a club at someone's home might be the best.

In terms of budget and convenience, sure.

In terms of recruiting new players, this is the absolute worst. ;)
But why? Isn’t this just a matter of how it’s being propagated?

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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #19 Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:42 pm 
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Bonobo wrote:
LocoRon wrote:
lemmata wrote:
In terms of long-term budgetary considerations, a club at someone's home might be the best.

In terms of budget and convenience, sure.

In terms of recruiting new players, this is the absolute worst. ;)
But why? Isn’t this just a matter of how it’s being propagated?


Because it can be absolutely terrifying to just go in and insert yourself into an existing social structure.

If it's in a cafe, for example, a prospective player can use the excuse of buying a drink to casually survey the situation before diving in.


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 Post subject: Re: Location, location, location.
Post #20 Posted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 2:04 pm 
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LocoRon wrote:
lemmata wrote:
In terms of long-term budgetary considerations, a club at someone's home might be the best.
In terms of budget and convenience, sure.

In terms of recruiting new players, this is the absolute worst. ;)
I would agree with this sentiment. However, I would also argue that being the best in this dimension among the places mentioned is somewhat like being the tallest smurf.

It's certainly easier to get others to notice the game if you play in a public place, but the process of getting strangers to sit down and invest time in learning the rules and playing their first game is not all that easy. It's even more difficult to get them to sustain their interest. The yield rate will not be very high.

In the beginning, one-on-one recruiting of acquaintances and friends is probably the most effective strategy for building a solid core membership group. College clubs will be vastly different because college students live in a weird proto-society that differs somewhat from real life.

I don't have anything against playing in cafes though. They are wonderful places to play go. There's no reason for the shopkeeper to complain as long as you buy a drink. There are plenty of people who sit in cafes for hours with their laptop and one shot of espresso. Magnetic boards are recommended as the tables can be wobbly.


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