[SCA-Dance] Not a Known World Dance Seminar?

David Learmonth david.a.learmonth at gmail.com
Tue Jun 23 09:19:52 EDT 2009

Hello SCA Dance!

Well, as you would guess, I have some opinions on the subject.  :)

Here are some random thoughts / details:

- Name Recognition - so yes, this may affect a bit for people who aren't
connected enough to the core community.  However, with good advertising on
our part, we could probably negate the effects for the most part.

- Advertising - The Main benefit otherwise is that we automatically get into
various newsletters and kingdom calendars.  Not that this wouldn't still be
possible otherwise to arrange.

- Event Conflicts - In theory, and this may vary from kingdom to kingdom,
the KW status of the event should help to avoid other local conflicting
events from drawing people away.  However, this hasn't really been the case
for most of the recent ones, for one reason or another.  (I believe that
ours, Texas, and Seattle, all had major event conflicts nearby)

- "posing" as a KW event -  Ok.  Basically, when we were having our issues,
we were certainly considering this same proposed route, basically saying to
everyone "what is in a name?".  However, we were informed additionally that
the society could come down hard on us if we basically were running another
event, but posing as a KW event.  Now, I'm not sure which official rules
would come into play, and what sort of penalties there would be.  Obviously
we already have some fairly large dance events in existance, that aren't
event kingdom level, let alone KW.

- multiple bids?  -  Ok, and one last thing just to mention is that I am so
pleased that these past few KWDSes have seen our dance group as being very
considerate with our internal approval process, and I hope that we can
continue this.  I do find that putting in a bid for this event is quite an
undertaking, so it is really nice that we can just do an internal "vetting"
beforehand, such that multiple groups aren't having to each put in a full
bid, and then have SCA Inc decide who gets it.  (or possibly, whichever
group beats the other to the punch).  I'm really hoping that we'll be able
to continue to approve our bids in this manner.

So honestly, I'm not sure what the best strategy is there.  I am very
tempted to just call it something else, and avoid some of the additional
bureaucratic levels that things have to be passed through, since they don't
seem to add much.  HOWEVER, I will admit that this was quite a learning
process for me, and that IF people still want to run a KW event, here are
just a few of my main tips / lessons / requirements:

- Ok, So we lost a lot of time by playing nice with other groups in the
kingdom, and because everyone in our kingdom seemed to know a different set
of our kingdom rules about conflicts.  In the end, it sounds like we could
have taken whichever date we required, and then other events would not have
been allowed to conflict.  I still advise playing nice, but what they didn't
understand was that we had to get our bid passed MUCH earlier than they
did.  So we should have just moved on it.  (hey, it is only a 1 time thing,
so they should be able to forgive someone taking their weekend once).

- So, in short:  Get this bid passed Early, no matter what.  I'd say, to
honestly avoid bureaucratic issues  (and delays), as best as possible, aim
to have the bid together 1.5 years ahead of time.  Try not to push it much
past that if possible, since you want to start advertising at Pennsic and
such the year before.

- Ok, my next point isn't as critical if you pass the bid early, but one of
our issues was we didn't start with a supporting local group.  Basically, we
knew we wanted the event somewhere near Toronto, but there are a lot of
groups around, and so I was trying to get a site worked out, before
finalizing which group would be running the event.  (I did ask a few up
front, just hadn't confirmed).  This also made passing events more of a
challenge a bit.  So If Possible, you may want to try to get a local group
or barony support early, even if the event site may move into neighbouring
regions.  (and even though as we all know, it is mainly the kingdom Dancers
who will be mainly running things).

And a few other possible tips:
- Show the local group some of the prices / numbers for previous KWDSes, AND
show them the Compendium.  Basically, they had difficulty understanding the
pricing of this event, not realizing that it is quite different from the
usual SCA events.  (I mean, it is great if you can make it cheaper, but it
just tends to be a pricey event, once you account for accommodations and
such).  But once I showed them why we needed $1000+ of photocopying (i.e.
100+ copies of a 200+ page book), they understood.

- try to take care of some stuff early  - well, again, we had some setbacks
and delays, so we kind of got swamped.  But there is a lot of info and such
you can work out and put up on the website that should be reasonably
independent of your event.  (various FAQ and travel questions and things).

- aim to put the time into good setup of everything  - to avoid issues
later, you'll want to make some things more efficient by having a good
pre-reg process, and methods of uploading / updating website class info (I
still have to do this myself today).  I think a good setup will help avoid
work later.  Of course we just didn't know all the issues we would have with
trying to get payments and such.  (for people in the US, you'll probably
want to try using the ACCEPS system for payments.  we didn't, but probably
would have had we realized earlier.  Oh, though I haven't tried it, so I
don't know all the details).

- get a good support group - this is critical to have enough people who can
handle aspects, especially as the date approaches.  It can be a lot of work,
even with a good team!

Anyway, there is probably more I could say.  But at the end of the day, if
we can aim to get the bid passed early enough, it should negate some of the
main issues.  (I found that there wasn't an exact timeline with bid
approvals, but our privy council doesn't meet too often, sometimes only a
couple times a year, so you really have to get everything in early for it to
have enough time to get through the whole process).

Perhaps we need to approve KWDSes a few events ahead of time?  Maybe we can
get the next 2 lined up at this point, so they can try to pass a bid 3 years
ahead of time?  Only problem is, that there is only so much you can predict
for, and even event sites won't necessarily book so far in advance
sometimes.  (as it was, we had a pretty rough year just with issues for our
support staff, that we couldn't have predicted for when we were approved to
run this event 2 years ago).

Yay Dancing!

On Mon, Jun 22, 2009 at 6:39 PM, Mary Railing <mrailing2 at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Given the difficulties encountered in getting this year's KWDS "approved"
> by
> the SCA, Inc., what would folks here think about the idea of simply
> deciding
> among ourselves to have a "Biennial Dance Symposium" or some such, without
> going for official "Known World" status? (Yes, there has been talk in
> Indiana
> of hosting such an event.)  The dance community in the SCA is cohesive
> enough
> that I think we could organize a dance symposium on that basis.  After all,
> the corporation doesn't actually provide any material support, just the
> benefit of name recognition.
> --Urraca
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