You have successfully advertised your event so that anyone in your region who would play is coming. This success has caused a crowd way larger than you expected to show up! It seems like a good problem to have, but delays and other unprofessional behavior can cause a seasoned player expecting a well-run tournament to leave with a bitter taste in the mouth. Do you know the maximum number your tournament hall can hold? Do you have extra tables and chairs to set up? Do you have instructions for overflow parking? Do you have an absolute maximum, and if so, have you advertised this? At the end of the day you want as many people to leave your event, win or lose, with nothing but positive things to say about your tournament and store. Preparation solves problems before they start.
So you have a crowd bigger than you ever thought possible at your store. Your normal Tournament Organizer has called in sick and your judge is a brand new L1 with little experience running WER. Do you have a backup plan? Is there anyone else who can run the systems and start the tournament? The Internet/power has gone down at your store. Do you have a plan to manually run the tournament? These are all questions that, if not answered until they come up, take valuable tournament time to figure out. Players expect someone will know how to run a Magic tournament and keep it running no matter what happens. Prepare yourself and your staff for these and other similar problems.
Make sure you secure a judge at least two weeks before the event, as having a certified L1 judge is the bare minimum for Invitational Qualifiers. You can always contact us if you are having trouble finding a judge and we will do our best to secure a judge for your event. If a judge ever cancels on you, please let us and your regional coordinator for judges know as soon as possible so we can attempt to find another judge for your event.
Stay tuned next month for my final article on Planning for Success!