Open Trial Advanced Scheduling Now Available!

This year has been an exciting one for In-Store Programs, and we are most looking forward to the year to come! We have a lot of new and exciting things planned for 2014; keep an eye on your inbox on January 6th to find out about the new promotions available along with the opening of signups for the Spring Season. For a holiday surprise, we’ll let you in on one improvement early! You can now sign up for Open Trials on weekends no matter how far ahead the date is in the season. For more details, check out the Mailbag below!

If you have any suggestions or requests for things we can do to improve the In-Store Programs experience for you, please feel free to Email Us. Thank you for all you have done to make 2013 a great year for your local communities. See you in 2014!

The Nomad Way

A StarCityGames.com organizer that does an amazing job of publicizing itself is the Nomad Game Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I interviewed Dino Boni about some of the awesome things they’re doing at this store. Nomad opened in March 2012 and made it up to Advanced level in just a few months.

One of the most noticeable features in the shop is a 6×4 foot banner with the store’s logo and the Invitational Qualifier’s logo that features information about the next Invitational Qualifier. Using the high-resolution graphics provided in Organizer Tools and Photoshop, Dino had two vinyl banners printed from eSigns.com for only $40 each. Dino said, “They can take dry erase markers with ease and wipe clean with Simple Green. Perfect for repeat use!” Nomad Game Center uses one hanging from the ceiling and another under their exterior sign.

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Event Prizes

Players come out to events for a lot of reasons, but it’s no secret that the one biggest reasons is prizes. So if players want prizes, how do you build your tournaments to attract players without going bankrupt? The answer lies in figuring out the type of player you want to attract and tailoring your structure and prizes. Casual or competitive? Glory seeker or value seeker? Here are some questions to ask yourself and some ways to maximize your players and your profits!

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When can I sign up for an Open Trial?

We recently made changes to the timing for Open Trial scheduling due to organizer feedback. You can now sign up for an Open Trial for any date during the season just like you can for an Invitational Qualifier! Dates that are requested for weekdays will be automatically approved; dates that are requested for weekends will be approved six weeks before the event. As normal, the latest you can sign up is three weeks before a date.

You can schedule your Open Trials inside Organizer Tools. These changes to scheduling Open Trials are already in effect, so be sure to schedule yours today!

Premium Plus Swag Packs Now Available!

Have you heard the news? Premium Plus Swag Packs, our newest addition to our line of promotional items, have finally arrived! They contain all of the items you love from the Premium Swag Pack along with eight randomly assorted out-of-print Invitational Qualifier and Open Trial playmats from previous seasons. You can add one to your event for the low price of $70! That’s twelve playmats and more for less than three entry fees!

Premium Plus Swag Packs are now available for purchase for the remainder of the Fall 2013 season. Starting in 2014, Premium Plus Swag Packs will also award 80 Organizer Rewards Points with all Open Trial and Invitational Qualifier events. Take advantage of this amazing value today!

The Art of Running a Successful Store

If you’ve ever done some research online about obtaining original Magic artwork, you’ve probably already heard of StarCityGames.com Organizer and avid art lover Mark Aronowitz. When I interviewed Mark, he had recently returned from “hanging out” at Melissa Benson’s house. In addition to having impressive business relationships with several Magic artists, he has also run several successful StarCityGames.com Invitational Qualifiers.

When I asked about his store’s history with Magic: The Gathering, Mark told me that they started selling cards “two weeks before The Dark came out” and he was sorry to have missed out on buying Alpha through Legends at regular price. His relationship with Magic artists stretches back eight years, when he first started selling artists’ prints and books with original drawings added by artists.

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Putting Your Face on Facebook

While almost all StarCityGames.com Organizers have Facebook pages for their stores, not everyone takes full advantage of the amazing power it puts at your disposal. Here are a few simple tips for getting maximum value out of Facebook.

Make A Page – Don’t just create a new account for your store; make an actual page for it. You can do this by clicking on Create a Page at the very bottom of the screen and following the simple instructions. If your store has a Facebook page, we will link to it as the event location.

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How can I earn bonus Organizer Rewards Points?

Organizer Rewards Points are more valuable than ever! Not only can you use them to purchase free events, but they also unlock special benefits such as advance scheduling, priority approval, and more! Earning Organizer Rewards Points is so easy–simply run events! We’ve also added the ability to earn bonus Organizer Rewards Points by doing what you are already required to do for your events: pay and report your events on time!

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Winter 2014 Scheduling Open!

There are many exciting things coming your way in the Winter Season! Our newest program, StarCityGames.com Organizer Rewards, is our way of saying thank you for all of the effort organizers put into supporting their local Magic communities. Organizers will earn Organizer Rewards Points that unlock exclusive benefits when scheduling, free events, and more!

Also, all Winter Season events that include a Swag Pack or Premium Swag Pack will receive an exclusive Limited Edition Liz Nugent Creature Collection Penguin Pin! This high-quality detailed pin will only be available through our In-Store Programs Swag Pack and Premium Swag Pack purchases. Each Swag Pack will contain one pin, and Premium Swag Packs will contain two. These will only be included while supplies last, and our quantity is limited. Order yours today!

Success in the Southwest

This month’s Store Spotlight focuses on Black Gold, located in Littleton, Colorado. Owner Carl Van Laethem talked with us about running successful Invitational Qualifiers and keeping up with a busy store. He started his business in the mid-90’s, focusing solely on sports memorabilia. Around the time Mirrodin was released, Carl had so many requests for Magic cards that he decided to devote a section of his shop to the game. Carl noticed the drawing power of the game right away, and within six months his store reached Advanced status with the Wizard’s Play Network. As Magic began to take over his sales, he made the move to a new location across the street from his previous one to devote “all of my energy to Magic.” Carl prides himself in maintaining a safe, clean, and fun environment for all of his customers.

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