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Earthern

Starting a club in this sport?

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Good Afternoon Everyone,

 

So i'm getting into airsoft but the closest place to me which is Gunman Eversley only runs a normal event once a month so I had a thought.

 

I am aware that many sports have private clubs created by random individuals such as badminton, tennis, football, etc. It usually involves the organiser hiring a court, field, etc. for a evening and then getting the members attending to pay him back. I'm wondering if it would be possible to apply this same logic to airsoft?

 

I am currently asking the Eversley site if that's something they support, but if I were to set up a club like that to run every week or two on a weekday evening do you think that would be successful? Additionally, even if it were possible, do you think a club in such a sport would actually work in financial terms?

 

Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated. 

 

Thanks!

 

C.M

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It's hard enough to get mates to do stuff regularly. When you mention it everyone thinks it's a great idea and says they'll join in. Then when the date rolls around all of a sudden they've forgotten all about it or didn't realise it was today or had something else booked.... yada yada...

 

The only way to ensure it happens is to take a non-refundable deposit that at least guarantees the host gets paid and you don't end up paying for a everyone who doesn't show.

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@warlord @PT247 I totally agree with you guys that it would be a pain to get people to attend and all that stuff, it happens all the time.

 

My thoughts are that a strong community would need to be built up before events started rolling out anyway to ensure that enough members would turn up etc. I'm currently a member of a badminton club and the way they do it is using a website with events that members can apply towards which in turn sends a direct email to your registered address reminding you of it.

 

Keeping this idea in mind, I thought i'd create a website just to test this theory out. It might not work, but i figured lets just see what happens since it only took a few minutes to make.

 

If you get a chance, have a read of the homepage http://southernairsoft.clanwebsite.com/ and let me know of your thoughts specifically to my idea on how events would work. I guess the main selling point in getting members for this club would be that the more members you get, the cheaper the event admissions would become.

 

With regards to the whole non-refundable deposit idea, on one side I kinda agree, but i feel that not including such a thing is another selling point and desirable feature to a member, therefore it would probably end up coming down to trust that a member would turn up. However as mentioned before, if we waited until there were plenty of members registered to run an event, it will greatly increase the chances that members numbers would be ok.

 

That's just my two cents on the whole idea though tbh. Feel free to critise me on it. =)

 

Thanks

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I currently get 2 sundays off a month and can play at Dogtag on one and Battle Lakes on the other so I would not have any need to arrange private games. This forum occasionally runs a private game which is quite successful, they do them at The Mall normally. Far better I imagine to try and organise things on here than via a different website that no one currently knows about surely?

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16 minutes ago, PT247 said:

I currently get 2 sundays off a month and can play at Dogtag on one and Battle Lakes on the other so I would not have any need to arrange private games. This forum occasionally runs a private game which is quite successful, they do them at The Mall normally. Far better I imagine to try and organise things on here than via a different website that no one currently knows about surely?

 

I suppose the idea with a club would be to try and cater to the members involved so for us we would probably run a weekend one and a weekday evening one. I'm guessing with your circumstance you may be luckier geographically having available sites closer to you as well. I would suspect there are many people like you that wouldn't feel the need in private games in that sense, but for other people like me that don't have many sites at a decent distance it does feel like a much more beneficial solution. I only have one site in close proximity to me that seems to run a normal event once a month so that is the main reason why I was considering this.

 

I get where you're coming from with the use of this website idea and I'd agree that it would work out better using this in the short term. But I do think that having a private site for private club events all with its own dedicated members section and calendar would end up being much more effective in the long run. True that no one actually knows it exists yet, but if I supposedly posted the site onto different airsoft forums for interested parties to check out i'd imagine it would eventually grow and work it's way up the google search result list. Can also put out some ads for it in newspapers or something. That's how the badminton club got started.

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I get what you are saying, would suggest creating a Facebook group then in that instance as most folk use fb and it is easy to set up events etc and get the word out about the group! :-)

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I've also just noticed that the website you linked is a forum, am sure that goes against the AFUK rules posting that on here without admin/mod permission but maybe wrong?

As for feedback on the website, it states it is for southern airsofters but you have already said you only have one site you can use, so possibly best to reword that to show it is only really so you can get some folk to that one site on private game days (assuming they offer private gamedays?)

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Not got a huge problem with it being posted here, but the problem I've always found with site-specific forums is they rarely get traffic like Facebook does. You might be fighting a losing battle.

 

Just don't promote it outside of this thread please.

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@PT247 That's a good shout about the facebook idea tbh. Will definately implement that. Thanks!

 

It's true that there is one site close to me, but the reason I have it set as southern at the moment is because I need to confirm that said site would be happy with the regular private events plan. It says that they support private events so I don't see why not. But I didn't want to falsely advertise a site straight away incase their answer is otherwise. I'd be happy to go to slightly further sites as well though if we got enough members who wanted to do those areas.

 

@proffrink thanks very much for your understanding, I didn't realise I was promoting it as a forum. It's just a part of the site that came preadded to it but I don't really have any intentions in it getting used unless people were to ask for it. I promise I won't mention it outside of this thread again! Thanks

 

Thanks for all your help guys! I'll let you know how it turns out if the plan goes forward!

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The forum itself isn't a huge issue, but there's a grey area with commercial promotion on here and as it's tied to a site/company that can be an issue. We're no way near as strict as ZeroIn on linking to other retailers etc. though.

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2 minutes ago, proffrink said:

The forum itself isn't a huge issue, but there's a grey area with commercial promotion on here and as it's tied to a site/company that can be an issue. We're no way near as strict as ZeroIn on linking to other retailers etc. though.

Good thing I didn't use ZeroIn then! =D

 

In all serious though if this goes down well the full credit goes to this site. That is a promise! 

 

Question though, there's a team section on here. https://airsoft-forums.uk/index.php?/forum/47-teams/ Doesn't that feature team websites in those posts as well? That's what gave me the idea about it.

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as mentioned before the biggest issue is getting people to commit on a regular basis. as well as getting enough people to cover the costs of the site.

 

although i live close to eversley i've not played there as it's not my sort of field, which will be another issue for some people.

 

if you could get 2 - 3 sites then you could rotate and hopefully get more people attending

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@springs agreed man. Well there are two other pretty awesome looking over in Reading. An indoor mall and another outdoors woodlands. So yeah I think the plan is mix it up a bit. Get a tour of what the different places offer. If I may ask, what airsoft sites do you use?

 

Thanks

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3 hours ago, PT247 said:

I currently get 2 sundays off a month and can play at Dogtag on one and Battle Lakes on the other so I would not have any need to arrange private games. This forum occasionally runs a private game which is quite successful, they do them at The Mall normally. Far better I imagine to try and organise things on here than via a different website that no one currently knows about surely?

 

Currently working a Wednesday-Saturday night shift so it's either book a day off or go play extremely tired lol.

 

Been to two of the forum games at the mall arranged by Trig. Both times have been an absolute blast. I'm hoping I can get this upcoming promotion in September which will move me to a Tue-Friday shift which will enable me to be able to play more airsoft. But yeah I have trouble getting my friends to even come round when they say they will lol. Best way to do it would be as said earlier. Non refundable deposit. No event unless you get the minimum players booked.

 

Looking forward to if/when the next forum game happens :D

 

Def need to check out Holmbush sometime with you as well PT :)

 

-Sean

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2 hours ago, Earthern said:

@springs agreed man. Well there are two other pretty awesome looking over in Reading. An indoor mall and another outdoors woodlands. So yeah I think the plan is mix it up a bit. Get a tour of what the different places offer. If I may ask, what airsoft sites do you use?

 

Thanks

 

i end up going to different sites all over the place at the moment as i go with @warlord who's based further up north.

 

I've been to The Mall in reading multiple times

as you're close to eversley you might want to look at Ambush Adventures "The Billet" site in Aldershot

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Earthern: I must be close to you because Eversley is my closest site too and was a bit disappointed they only have games two days a month.

So I'd be interested in extra days but I doubt it would be a regular thing for me tho.

 

(See link below to put yourself on the map and see who's nearby)

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@EDcase & @Earthern - If you can get to eversley, then The Mall is only another 20 minutes up the A33.

 

And you've got The Billet which is about 25 minutes away from Eversley a bit further south. A30 > M3 > A331.

 

Then there's a new woodland site in Bucklebury (just east of Newbury) which is 35 minutes from Eversley. It's called Red Alert and only recently started airsoft days (it's a paintball site), I've not been yet, despite it being ten minutes from my house.

From Eversley, it's A33 north>M4 West>Come off at Jct.12>A4 Bath Road

 

Loads of sites around here, it's perhaps the only thing Reading is good for!

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@L3wisD Thanks man, yeah I didn't actually realise about the Aldershot one until someone mentioned it. That's basically the area I live in which is pretty cool. 

 

And thanks for the heads up about Red Alert, I'll definitely look it up!

 

I think another idea with the whole club thing as well is to get a roster of friends as well though. We can tour around the different sites but if we has a club it means we can meet up with the same people at different places more often which sounds like a pretty cool idea. 

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Don't forget that the club will need a cool name, membership badge, and a secret handshake  (just like the Beano) ;) 

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@Jedi_Master =0 oh god yeah thats a must!

 

@EDcase hey man, thanks for signing up! Just to let you know I changed the club name to something abit cooler so the link is now http://survivorforce.clanwebsite.com/

I think the plan is that we will move around sites such as aldershot, eversley, reading, and other nearby areas like that. Should be a pretty cool idea I reckon.

 

Anyone reading this who might be interested in the club. Check out the paragraph below. Thanks!

 

What is this site?
This site is an airsoft club for UK airsofters based around the southern areas of england. We use it to organise club events throughout the year and to relay news and communicate between our members. You may be wondering what the point of this is, membership of this club boasts a few bonuses that may appeal to you:

  • Make more friends - For starters, the idea of this club is to get a friendly group of players touring around the different nearby airsoft sites. It means that you get to see familiar faces at different sites more often and gain stronger relationships with other players.
  • Save money - Perhaps one of the strongest selling points of the club is the idea on saving money. Take a look at the events section point 5 further down. You will notice that as our member numbers grow the price of an event per head will be able to decrease. In addition to that, the club will be gaining little bits of extra income per event to spend on additional club items. Eventually the plan is that the club will be able to start buying it's own spare guns which can be loaned out to members on events for free thus cutting costs even further.
  • Feel part of a team - As this club grows, it may or may not turn into a professional team complete with our own badges, rosters, etc. Of course this is all optional features that anyone can take part in but it may prove to be a nice idea for those interested.
  • Generally speaking, this club can only work if we gain the members required. The plan is to register around 50 members on this site to show that there is enough interest. Once we have hit this milestone, we can start booking up events. Until then, you can still use this site as a means of a social club and have chats, meet up with members at official airsoft events etc.
  • Lastly, the most important quality we need in our members is trust. This is purely a trust club in the sense that if you sign up for an event, we trust you to turn up. We don't want to have forced deposits in place because that can deter people away, but if people don't turn up to an event the club will end up losing money.

 

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I was thinking of doing something like this myself, however I dont have enough friends interested to even start something along these lines.

 

Although, opening it up to the public I find it odd; imagine going over to a sunday league football team and having everyone sign up, only for 4 people to turn up on game day or forget about the site completely. 

 

I like the idea, as I said, I would do it, but I think i'll stick to getting to know enough people at game days first and then taking it from there once you know 15+ people, as they have friends that also play with them which then could take the player count to 30 or even more and atleast that way there is a bit more trust. Heck, I could sign upto your site tomorrow and never turn up, email or speak with anyone. I think you would be better off having a small group, and then letting people "join" when you know them a little bit more, as I certainly would not pass with any money knowing that I might not ever get it back/return on it because of other people. 

 

Suggestions: 

Make it free (for now). Don't charge more for people until you have atleast a small group of people turning up regularly, and then call it a club, which after that you can get club patches/charge an annual fee etc.

Go to different sites, and only tell your friends/members the actual price of the walk on fee/hire fee

Talk to people about the club at games, see if they are interested, tell them to like the facebook page - I agree facebook would be better than a clan website

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@Robert James I really like this idea. Thanks for sharing these suggestions. I think this is the best way to go.

 

I'm booked down for an Aldershot day this Sunday so I'm gonna make an effort to interact with as many people as possible and see who else likes the idea! :)

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2 minutes ago, Earthern said:

@Robert James I really like this idea. Thanks for sharing these suggestions. I think this is the best way to go.

 

I'm booked down for an Aldershot day this Sunday so I'm gonna make an effort to interact with as many people as possible and see who else likes the idea! :)

nice, just dont make it sound like a sales pitch. 

 

I had someone come to me at a game, and it sounded like he was trying to sell a group to me. "Do one" - I was there for fun, not work.

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