After years of running hunts, I finally hit on a method of organizing for the SL12BIG HUNT this year that left me feeling calm throughout, with no hint of a panic attack. I was inspired to share my suggestions. This works for me, but I know lots of other fabulous organizers who do it differently. I would not be surprised if we all approach the task with different priorities and solutions. I hope they will take a moment to make further suggestions or comments. We all benefit from the hunts being well run and fun.
Rosamoo’s Step-By-Step to Organizing a Hunt
Develop a Theme
This can be as broad as a color (red) to as specific as a game or a holiday (Dr. Who or Dr. Seuss.) This can attract both merchants and hunters if it is interesting or intriguing.
Create a Poster/Graphic
This will be the most important identifier of your hunt. Some suggested elements are a strong image that is not overly confusing or busy, name and dates clearly accessible, and a square shape (512×512).
Determine a Hunt Object
Bright colors and sculpty or mesh objects can make the entire hunt easier for hunters to find. Dark colors or an image on a flat prim cam make it much more difficult.
Set Start & End Dates
Most hunts start on the 1st of the month or the 15th and run 2 weeks or a full month. If your are planning a shorter event, consider starting on a Friday and finishing on a Sunday or Monday. Unusual start dates can sometimes draw more attention as the first several days of a hunt generally are the busiest.
Update Web Site
Very few organizers function without a web site. It is used for applications, hints, SLURLs, and pictures of hunt gifts. It is important to keep it up-to-date. Leaving old information can make it seem that the hunt is not active.
These can be as simple as asking for a name, store name, LM/SLURL or it can be complex and include rules and gift ideas.
Submit Hunt to HUNT SL
Don’t forget to get the information about your hunt to hunters and merchants who are looking for hunts to be part of.
Send Notices to Groups
Your group or other hunt groups are a very effective method of letting merchants know that your hunt is seeking participants.
Contacting the Merchants
Staying in touch with your hunt merchants is vital. Many will be in more than one hunt and, if all you use is the initials for your hunt, they can be confused and make mistakes. Be sure to use the full name of your hunt to label the boxes or folders you send out. While you don’t want to bother everyone too often, be sure to send out reminders about important deadlines.
Welcome to the Hunt Kit
The things that you will need to send out include an introductory NC, a hunt poster, a texture of the hunt poster (512×512), a time line, the hunt object and directions for how it should be set, a hint giver or a poster with a hint giver, a hunt pathway that reflects the theme of your hunt, blogger information, merchant moving/dropping out information NC. This may not be a complete list.
Be sure to keep all the applications and other communications well organized in your inventory. This will help you to make fewer mistakes, though things seldom go off without a hitch.
If you insist on a group for the vendors, be flexible. Group slots are precious and can easily be filled up with hunt groups. You might want to go over the list of participants at some point to be sure they are all in the group.
Distribute Welcome Kits
Send one to all your vendors.
Set Hunt Order
Create a document that shows the stores in order along with the contact person.
Solicit Hints & Pix
Collect hints & pictures from everyone.
Walk Through Entire Hunt
In order to have a fully functioning hunt that gets hunters all the way to the very last store (which will encourage vendors to want to be in your hunts again) you must do a complete and thorough walk through of all the stores. It is so easy for a merchant to accidentally miss doing something small that will impede the hunters. This may also mean going back again halfway through the event to check it all again.
Update Web Site
If you have an old date on your web site or if it lacks current information about your hunt, it will appear that you have abandoned the hunt. Many organizers offer a page of hints & linked SLURLs making it easy for hunters finish their hunts. Linking the SLURLs is just a click or two for you, but failing to do so can make it quite hard for the hunters. Finding the hunt object can be a challenge but finding the store should be a piece of cake.
Find bloggers who highlight the kinds of things that will be found in your hunt. Don’t seek out fashion bloggers for a furniture or texture hunt. You can have a central location for them to get the items or you can ask your vendors to send them items directly.
Send Start Notices to Groups
Let the hunters know about your hunt! Your HUNT SL listing will automatically post it in the current hunts list, but don’t forget to notify groups.
Double Check HUNT SL Listing for Accuracy
Before the hunt’s start date, be sure to double check the HUNT SL listing for accuracy. Did you remember to forward any changes of start location, hunt object, number of participants?
Return to “Problem Children”
Did you find problems on your walk through? Be sure to go back to them before the hunt starts to make sure everything got fixed. If not, make a note and be sure hunters can get around the store and finish the hunt.
Send a Thank You to All Merchants and Bloggers
Not everyone does this, but it is a nice way to finish your event and encourages future participation.
Relax for 5 Minutes
This is self-explanatory.
Start Planning Your Next Hunt
Now that you have survived, time to get ready to jump back in. What is your idea for a new hunt?