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Autocratting an event

Poster: Janet Toney/Terry Neill <71035.3227@CompuServe.COM>

"Misty Boyer" <scadianchick@hotmail.com> wrote:

>>>And just to make sure that I don't make a complete mess of it, does anyone
any pointers to give me?  They would be very appreciated. I never pass up free
advice, especially when it's good!<<<

Here is some of what I found helpful when I autocratted Emerald Joust and some
things I would do differently in the future:

1. Get *Someone Else* to handle the reservations.  Someone organized and with
easy access to either your Exchequer or the bank.  I did all the reservations at
EJ, and will *never* do that again!

2. Get *Someone Else* to be in charge of Troll.  This includes recruiting trolls
and being responsible for the reservation list and the money.  It could be the
same person that is handling reservations or someone different.

In fact, get *Someone Else* to be in charge of everything.  The Herald to do the
Heraldry, the Marshal to do the Marshalling, the MOL to do the Lists. Etc. ASK
them if they will do it.  Don't assume they know you may be expecting them to.

Turn the Feast/Kitchen/Clean-up/Hall Set Up over to the Cook to recruit bodies.
Or Work with your cook to make sure those jobs are covered.  Again, don't assume
the cook will handle all that.  Agree who will be in charge of what up front.

The job of an autocrat whilst on-site at an event is to put out brush fires.  An
autocrat should never be in charge of anything - s/he is merely in charge of
everything.  You will be so busy overseeing things and handling last minute
problems and quibbles, that you will not have time to do whatever it was you
said you'd handle. So make sure *Someone Else* is handling everything.  Some
*Someone Else's* can handle more than one job.

Be flexible.  I got a call very close to the event asking if the coursing demo
could be held.  A little flexibility and a call to John the Ranger added quite a
bit of ambiance to the event. [Or so I'm told. I was 'fighting fires' when the
hounds were coursed and missed it.  :( ]

The same flexibility got us the Viking faering boat and the horses.  And helped
me deal with the crisis when the truck that was supposed to bring the horses
broke down on the way to pick up the horse trailer. (ARGH!)  And the person who
was supposed to set up the hall ended NOT being eliminated early from the
tourney, as he thought he would be.  And my housemate dumped the Kingdom
Seneschal in the lake.  And there was a loose dog running around terrorizing the
geese - so where *is* the Goochland County Animal Shelter?  And Ranger John
donated 200 pounds of Venison *after* the feast menues had been set.  And my
brand new Viking Longtent leaked all over us on Friday Night.  And the new Crown
Prince was chosen *three weeks* before the event and who knew his phone number?
Her phone number?  Did they have e-mail?  Did they need a cabin?  Were they even

Emerald Joust is the biggest event in the Kingdom and EJ 1996 was the second
biggest event this kingdom has ever had (756 people).  Your event will (knock
wood) NOT be quite so hectic.

I love to autocrat.  I like coordinating things.  I autocratted my first event
at 14 and haven't stopped yet.  It's a matter of organization, not superhuman
ability.  (Organization and all those *Someone Elses*!)

The Barony of Caer Mear and the Kingdom really pitched in to make it a great
Emerald Joust and Kingdom Birthday Celebration.  Most of the credit for any
event goes to all those wonderful *Someone Elses*.

I've heard good things about Sacred Stone events, so it's obvious that the
*Someone Elses* in your neck of the kingdom are good pitcher-inners.

The best run event I ever autocratted was the June 1995 Camelot Faire Demo in
Caer Mear.  All I did during the day was sit in front of my tent and cardweave
and talk to the visitors.  Set-up, take-down and toilet paper were the only
things I had to do anything about.  Everyone else in the Barony did all the
things they said they would, no one got sick, no crisis fell out of the sky, and
there were no fires to fight all day.  True bliss!

But (shhhhhhh - don't tell anyone - it's an autocrat's secret) the *true*
measure of success is three-fold:

1. Everyone has fun (including you)
2. You don't lose money
3. You don't run out of toilet paper

Good Luck!  Have Fun!

	- Anarra Karlsdottir

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