Yeah, that seems to be the solution. I realized this last Friday at another one of our Laser Tag games this summer. I had previously speculated that the drop in attendance was because weather wasn't really cooperative this season but, upon enjoying upper 70s with a slight breeze and mostly sunny skies on June 26th for our 6th Game this season with a mere 7 players, I can only summarize that the key to having a big event is by offering food.
Yeah the big events each year are usually those with a cookout, but I was hoping there'd at least be SOME kind of interest in just the game itself. It's not really looking that way this season, which we are supposed to be celebrating our 10th Summer doing this. This season looks more like "we're really not interested unless there will be food." How do I know this? Well, after 6 weeks of games, here's the attendance turnout.
Week 1: Season Opener (Food) 38 players
Week 2: Mostly rained out, but we had 10 people show up
Week 3: Humid. 8 players showed up
Week 4: Humid again. 11 players showed up
Week 5: Humid, but cloudy. 12 players showed up.
Week 6: Beautiful weather. 7 players showed up.
Week 7 is our 10th Annual Independence Eve BLAST with about 20 players already signed up. The event is scheduled for this Friday. We'll have a pot luck cookout, like we did the first week.
This next event will mark the mid-point in the season. If it's going to take food to bribe people to come to these events anymore, there probably isn't going to be a Season 11. Being almost 30, having a home, a full-time job, and other interests now... it's no secret that I haven't had as much time devoted to all this before. Weekly games do take up whatever free Hobby time I have, but if I could be in my workshop getting something rolling instead of getting out there with 5-10 players every single week... well there's more productive things I could be doing with my time.
We'll see what the rest of the season holds. Weekly games are getting to be a weekly strain, so maybe it's time for a change?