If you love playing board games and are looking into joining a board game club or starting your own, then there are a few things you should know about board game clubs.
After realizing that I couldn’t always get my friends together for a board game night, I starting looking into either joining a board game group, or creating my own board game club. For those looking to do the same, I decided to put together a little guide based on my research to make it easier for you!
It’s important to note that the terms ‘club’ and ‘group’ can be used interchangeably when discussing a board game club or group. In some cases, ‘groups’ can have less amount of people involved compared to a ‘club.’
What is a Board Game Club or Board Gaming Group?
A board game club or board gaming group is a group of people who meet up regularly to play board games, usually in a public place. Being involved in a board game club is a great way to meet new people or get together with friends and enjoy a long session of board gaming.
Board game clubs can be found all over the world, and they offer a great way to meet new people and have some fun. There are many different types of board game clubs, and they all offer different opportunities for playing board games and interacting with people who have the same interests.
Some board game clubs offer tournaments, others offer social events, and still others offer the opportunity to learn new games. Whatever the board game club offers, it is sure to be a great way to spend time with friends, meet new people, and have some fun.
Benefits of Joining a Board Game Club
There are many benefits to joining a board game club. Some of the benefits include:
- Meeting new people
- Learning new games
- Improving your game skills
- Building relationships
- Becoming better problem-solvers
- Building teamwork skills
- Learning about board game history
- Becoming more knowledgeable about the industry
There are many board game clubs out there, so finding one that is right for you should not be too difficult. Joining a board game club can be a great way to meet new people, learn new games, improve your game skills, and have fun.
How to Join a Board Game Club
Now that you have gained some insight on what board game clubs are and the benefits of joining one, we can get into how to actually join a board game club yourself. Not interested in joining one and rather start one yourself? Skip ahead to our section on starting your own board game club.
Joining a board game club can be a great way to meet new people and expand your gaming repertoire. If you’re interested in joining a club, then you will need to know where to find one.
There are a few different things you can do to find a board game club near you.
Use Meetup.com to Find Board Game Groups
First you can use a site like meetup.com and go to their board game groups section. This will pull up a list of board game groups near your location, including large groups and new groups.
You can click into a specific group to find more details about it. Such as location, how many members, past/future events, and more. You can even message the group’s organizers to learn more information.
Once you are ready to join, you can hit the ‘join this group’ button and the site will prompt you to create an account.
Do a Google Search
Another technique for finding a board game club or group is doing a google search for ‘board game clubs near me.’ Go to google.com and simply type in ‘board game clubs near me’ or ‘board game clubs [town or state]’ and be sure to enter the town you live in or state of residency.
Depending where you are in the world, Google will usually display a map and list for places relevant to your search. You can click into each one to visit their website and learn more about their club or group.
Use BoardGameGeek.com or Other Forums
If meetup.com or searching on google did not work for you, then you can use a forum site like BoardGameGeek to find local gamers and board game groups. BoardGameGeek has regional forums full of local community members that post daily looking for others to play with or people to join their board game club.
For example, I went to the forums section on BoardGameGeek and searched for ‘board game clubs new york.’ This search brought up a list of threads of more information on different board game groups located in New York state.
You can even create an account and post your own thread asking if there are any board game groups/clubs in your area. Maybe someone will respond with some insight for you!
Ask Around at Local Game Stores
If none of the above still hasn’t worked for finding yourself a board gaming group to join, then I recommend asking around at your local game store if anyone knows of a club that would be a good fit for you.
Usually the workers are a part of a group themselves or they may even have a club at their gaming store! Sometimes just asking someone in the board gaming field can go a long way.
Once you have found a board game club or group you would like to join, here are a few tips to get started:
- Check the club’s website or Facebook page to see if there is an open membership
- Attend an introductory meeting to get a sense of the club’s culture and what games are typically played
- Register with the club and pay the membership fee (if there is one). This will allow the club to maintain a roster of members and organize game nights
- Attend as many game nights as possible to get a feel for the club’s atmosphere and the games that are being played
Take your time and find the right board game club or group that fits your play style and personality. We are sure that the perfect group is out there waiting for you to join!
Tips for Choosing the Right Board Game Club
Choosing the right board game club can be tricky, but with a little research you can find a group that’s right for you. Use methods like searching online or asking around your local gaming store to find a group that you may be interested in attending.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right club for you:
Consider Your Interests
The first step is to decide what kind of board games you’re interested in. Do you want to play strategy games, puzzle games, or card games? Once you know what type of game you’re interested in, determine what kind of group would be best for you.
For example, if you’re interested in strategy games, a club that focuses on strategy games may be a better fit for you. If you’re looking for a puzzle game club, a club that plays more puzzle-type games may be a better fit.
Ask questions before joining a club in order to get a feel for what type of games they usually play.
Consider Your Availability
Next, consider your availability. Are you available to play on weekdays or weekends? Are you able to commit to playing at least once a month? These are things you should consider before joining a club.
A board game club may only meet on weekdays or weekends. So keep this in mind when looking at the group’s schedule. Also, they may require members to attend at least one session per month, so this may also be something to think about if you are not ready for that commitment.
How to Start Your Own Board Game Club
If joining a pre existing club is something you don’t want to do and you rather start your own, then we will go over some steps on how to start your own board game club.
If you’re like most people, you love playing board games with your friends, but sometimes it can be hard to get a group together to play. That’s where creating your own board game club can come in handy.
Here are some tips on how to start your own board game club:
1. Begin with a Small Group of Players
You may be thinking ahead and wanting to have a group of 50+ players, however, it’s best to start small with a group of 6-10 players before things get out of control.
There are things you will need to plan before starting your group and finding the right players. Take your time and plan carefully if you want your board game club to be a success!
2. Brand Your Board Game Group
Let’s make this fun and choose a name for your board game group. You may even want to create a little logo too. Do I see board game club t-shirts in your future?
You can keep it simple by naming your group something like ‘Board Gamers of [Location]’ this way people know exactly what your group is about. If that’s too boring, then use an online name generator for ideas on naming your group.
Having a brand to your group will keep players intrigued and feel like they are a part of something real and exciting.
3. Create a Schedule
You will want to stay organized and create a schedule for your board game club so gamers know exactly when and where to show up. When thinking about a schedule, create a schedule that works for you and when you think most gamers with be available.
This can either be a set week day or a weekend day. Choosing the right day and time is important as you will need to take into consideration people’s work schedules and their availability.
Another thing to think about is how long you want to meet your board game group for. A good game night usually lasts around 3-4 hours, so keep this in mind when setting your schedule. You don’t want to start your game night too late, as people may have work the next day. A reasonable end time is usually around 10:00pm.
You also want to consider how often your game night group will meet. Will it be weekly or monthly? It’s common for board game groups to meet weekly. However, this is a big time commitment, so you may want to start with just meeting monthly.
4. Find a Venue
Next, you will need to do some research and find the perfect venue to host your board game club. Now that you have a schedule in mind, start contacting venues to see if they can accommodate your group.
A public place is the most ideal spot to host your group. Not sure about you, but I wouldn’t want strangers in my home. Therefore, meeting at a public place is the safest bet for you and your patrons.
Some of the best locations to host a game night include:
- Board Game Stores
- Board Game Cafes
- Bar or Restaurant (be careful with this one as this is not the most ideal, but see if they have a private room)
- Coffee Shops
- Community Centers
Other things to consider when choosing a place to host your board game group is accessibility, parking, if there is good lighting, making sure the place is quiet enough to hear each other talk, whether there are food or drinks available, and if there is a cover charge or fee to enter.
Once you have a place in mind, you should head over to the venue and talk to someone in person, or give them a call over the phone. When you talk to someone, explain to them what you want to do and your goals. Show them your schedule and see if they can reserve a spot for you based on when your group will be meeting.
Working closely with the venue is important as you want to be on good terms with them and make sure that they fully expect your goals for hosting your board game group. Noone likes surprises, so keeping the venue informed will be your best bet.
5. Create a Budget and Consider a Membership Fee
You may need to create a budget if you are purchasing board games for your club or if your venue requires a cover fee or space to rent. If you are fine using your own money for this, then you will want to plan this out and make sure you have enough to pay for games and the venue.
If you are tight on money, then you can consider a membership fee or a charge per session where each member will either pay a fee up front or per session. This money can go towards things like games or the venue.
If you do not want to charge your members, then consider having a donation box that members can use to donate for funds going towards the group. This way, it will be their own choice on whether or not they want to contribute to the group.
Be careful when introducing any member fees or charges, as this creates a whole new level to your board game group. You will have to track your finances, and also deal with people and their money. Meaning, someone may be unhappy with how you are using their money and whether they are getting good value in return from your group.
If you are really tight on money, then there are ways around not having any charges or fees at all. Find a venue that will let you host your group for free AND have members bring their own board games to play. This way, you won’t have to go out of your way to purchase games yourself.
6. Begin Spreading the Word & Create a Facebook Group
After putting in the hard work of branding your club, creating a schedule, finding a venue, etc., you will now want to begin spreading the word and becoming ‘legit.’ You can do this by creating a Facebook group that people can join in order to learn more about your board game club and know about upcoming events.
Facebook is also great for communicating with people who join your club, so having a platform like this ready to go before you begin recruiting players is a big plus.
7. Find Players or Have Them Come to You
You may have a slow start for people joining your group or even finding your facebook page. There are a few things you can do in order to advertise and recruit members to your group.
First, I suggest creating a nice looking poster using an online editor such as canva and then advertising it to find people. Be sure that your poster includes your schedule, where the group will be meeting, what types of games they will be playing, if the group is free, and any other things you think is important.
Once you have your poster all made up nice, now you can start advertising it. Here are some advertising tips:
- Post it on local boards (such as a community board at your local supermarket)
- Ask your local board game store if you can hang up your poster on their window
- Hang your poster in local libraries, book stores, or colleges
If physical posters aren’t your thing, then you can consider making an online post on either a forum or website about your board game group. You can either post on BoardGameGeek or Meetup.com about your board game group.
8. Decide on Games
If you will be purchasing games for the group or using ones you already own, then you need to decide on which ones you will play at each session.
Here are some tips when deciding on which games to play:
- Length of them game: have a variety of short games and long games to play throughout the night. People may show up at different times, so make sure you don’t just play one game that will last the whole night as then this will cause people to miss out on playing at all
- Complexity: We all know that there are different complexities of board games, some being more challenging than others. Get a feel for your group to see if they are more beginners or advanced players. Choose games that are easier to learn if they are more beginners, and bring more complex games for the more strategic and advanced player.s
If you have a member suggest that they want to bring their own game next time, then let them do it! This will show that you are interested and open to playing the types of games that your members enjoy. And it will also help save you from having to buy every board game out there.
Not sure what games to play? Check out our list for the best game night games.
9. Be a Great Leader and Game Night Host
The success of your board game club really boils down to how you run your game night and whether you know how to be a great game night host. Now that you have everything in place, it’s time to run your first session.
To make sure your first meetup is not a flop, take these things into consideration:
- Arrive early before your members start showing up in order to set up and make sure everything is in order
- Be friendly and welcoming! Keep an eye out for players arriving at your venue and make sure to welcome each one so that they feel comfortable
- Feel out whether your guests are new players or more advanced. Be sure to ask questions and see what your patrons are interested in before whipping out games to play
- Get good at teaching and easily explaining games. You may want to practice explaining games as this can be a really important aspect of your club. Don’t confuse your members or make them sit there for an hour while you try to explain your game
- Make sure everyone is nice and follows the rules. Don’t be afraid to kick someone out or give them a warning if they are being rude or inconsiderate to other players. You want to create a space where people can come to have fun and enjoy each other. Considering creating a rules guide that people will have to sign off on before joining.
10. Take Your Group to the Next Level
After a few sessions, you will start to get the hang of hosting your own board game club. You may be thinking about taking it to the next level. Here are some things you may want to consider:
- Implementing a membership fee if you haven’t done so already
- Creating a website for your board game club
- Add more sessions into your schedule or different sessions based on beginners or more advanced players
- Promote players to be a part of the board to help you for future club meetings (treasurer, vice president, etc.)
- Create social media accounts to spread the word about your group and grow your members
- Work with local board game stores for discounts on board games or referrals
There is so much you can do with your board game club once you get it started. Watch it grow and become the biggest board game group in your area. You got this!
How to Join or Create a Board Game Club Conclusion
We hope you have gained some more insight on how to join a board game club or create your own board game group. No matter what you decide to do, we love that you are interested in interacting with like minded individuals and are willing to spread the love of board gaming.
Check out our blog for more helpful tips and board game suggestions!