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The An Tir Handbook, 3rd Edition, May XXX111/1998

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Autocratting An Event

Hints and Tips

from Maitresse Anne-Marie d'Ailleurs

It's hard to come up with a short guide to autocratting an event. It's even harder to come up with one that will apply to every branch and autocrat. How we do it in Madrone would be very different than say, Lions Gate, and each type of event has very particular needs and requirements. The Barony of Wastekeep has a great publication on autocratting events and I recommend it highly. It is much bigger than what could be included here. That being said, here are some general tips:

Once your branch has decided they really want to do this event, and you've decided that you really want to be a good autocrat, think back to the last similar event you had a really good time at.

Find the autocrat of that event and pick their brains. Each branch has their own procedure, and each area has their own conventions. Basic sense, good planning and keeping costs down through simplicity and careful shopping will go a long way to ensuring success for your event.

Some of Anne-Marie's basic buzzwords:
  • Delegate Or Die. No one can do this all by themselves. If you do not have the support of your branch, the event will not work. Delegating also means that the people you ask to take care of archery, fighting, constabulary, etc. will have a vested interest in the success of your event and so will come, bring their friends, and so drive up the numbers at the gate.
  • K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple. Decide what must be at the event. This is usually just a road in, a road out, water, bathrooms and garbage disposal. Take care of these things yourself. Everyhting else is really gravy. SCA folks are pretty good at entertaining themselves.
  • It's the little costs that will break your event. Things like site tokens, letting people in for free, cute decorations and prizes, etc.
  • Budget low, plan high. Set your break-even point for the lowest number of people that you can imagine coming. Plan on biffies for the highest number you can imagine.
  • Be very picky about money. Make sure that everyone knows that if you didn't ok the expense beforehand, you probably won't reimburse them. Give no reimbursement without receipts. Make sure that the gate money is handled in a documented and secure fashion.

Reserving a Date on the Kingdom Calendar
"What's This Tier I and Tier II Stuff?"

In an effort to relieve congestion in The Crier and to prevent too many events in a small area, former Kingdom Seneschal Master Ragnar the Bold created the "Tier" system. Tier I events are events of general interest which you feel will draw attendance throughout the principality/region and/or kingdom. You must submit Crier copy for Teir I events. Tier II events are local events and will not have Crier copy (they are simply included on the Calendar page). All baronies and provinces must hold a minimum of three (3) Tier I events each year. Smaller branches must hold a minimum of one Tier I event each year.

Calendar dates (except Crown and Kingdom events) are on a first come, first served basis, but cannot be reserved more than one year in advance. They are reserved by submitting the Event Information Form and the Date Reservation Form to the Kingdom Calendar. A branch cannot host a Tier I event in the same conflict zone as a previously reserved Tier I event, and cannot host a Tier II event in the same conflict zone as a Tier I event which is already on the kingdom calndar without the written consent of the conflicting branch.

The Kingdom Seneschal(e) sets the conflict zones. If you do not like the conflict zones, your branch is always welcome to suggest other configurations. The coflict zones were created to coordinate the calendar to make sure that there were not too many events too close to each other and that events held by small branches would not be ruined by larger branches. Be generous about permitting other events in your conflict area to take place if you feel there is no conflict. If you know that your planned event will not be taking place after all, release the date immediately.

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