Recently, I have been seeing a lot of concern from people not finding any Fireside Gatherings within a decent distance from their homes. With the new Warlock hero coming out exclusively for established Fireside Gathering Taverns, people are scrambling to find a place that is hosting a Fireside Gathering in order to obtain the new hero. Well I thought, if people are struggling to find places, why not host a gathering yourself? This short guide will hopefully give those of you looking for Fireside Gatherings near you some inspiration to possibly host your own!
Hosting your own Fireside Gathering can be fun, and you don’t need to own the venue in order to host an event! Here is a quick overview of things you will need to do in order to host your Fireside Gathering. I recommend you do these tasks in this order to ensure that you are fully ready for the event. I will go more into detail about each of these points throughout the article:
- Plan activities to do at the event
- Find a venue to host the event
- Make sure you have all the supplies you need for the event
- Create the event on the Hearthstone Website
- Advertise the event
Become an Established Tavern
In order to receive the new Warlock hero at your Fireside Gathering, the venue must be an established Tavern. In order to become an established Tavern, you must have already hosted a Fireside Gathering at a venue and had at least three different people in attendance. Once you have done that, the next time you sign up for a Fireside Gathering at that venue, you will be prompted to establish that venue as a tavern.
As an established tavern, you can also receive support packages from Blizzard that include all kinds of neat items such as figurines, keychains, and other neat Hearthstone goodies that you can give out as prizes for your event. (I have this awesome Huffer doll I got from a Fireside Gathering that is sitting on my desk at work!)
Now that you have a goal to shoot for, the rest of this article will be about what you need to do in order to prepare for hosting your first Fireside Gathering!
Plan Activities to Do
Before you even consider where you are going to host your event, you need to consider what you will do at the event. Most Fireside Gatherings are as simple as just having a tournament. That is a pretty safe bet, but your gathering doesn’t need to be limited to just a tournament. Just because it is a Hearthstone related event does not mean that you need to limit the event to playing Hearthstone. You can plan other tournaments such as a Magic: The Gathering tournament or maybe even a Super Smash Brothers tournament!
What you want to do at the event could also determine the type of audience you want at the event and could also be determined by what the venue allows. Here are some ideas of different activities you can have at the event:
- Hearthstone Tournament (Man, I bet you weren’t expecting this idea). You can also add special rules to the tournament, such as “No Legendaries allowed” or “Only cards from Knights of the Frozen Throne”. If you have a tournament with special rules, I recommend you still have a regular tournament with no special rules for players that don’t have a large card collection.
- Other video game/card game tournaments such as Magic: The Gathering or Super Smash Brothers
- Hearthstone related arts and crafts (Some venues such as libraries might require your event to be “educational”)
- Food and drinks (Gamers need snacks)
- Costume contest
There are tons of ideas of activities to do at your Fireside Gathering, but make sure to figure out what you want to do at the event BEFORE you search for a venue. What you want to do will determine the type of venue you will need, so plan ahead!
Finding a Venue to Host Your Event
Your Fireside Gathering can be hosted anywhere as long as the venue has an internet connection (and preferably somewhere that can hold a large volume of people at once). Whether you host the event at your house or at your local library, it is important that the owner of the building knows about the event and approves of it. Some businesses will be okay with you hosting an event there, depending on how many people are coming, as long as you give them the plan for your event including when it will be hosted and what activities you will be doing. This is why it is important to plan your activities ahead of time, most venues will require that you have a plan for your event before you even ask them. Finding a venue shouldn’t be too difficult unless your house is 30 miles from the next living person.
When you are looking for a venue, you need to make sure it has certain features that will make it a suitable place to host a Fireside Gathering. Here are a few examples of features that you need in order to host a successful event:
- It has WiFi. This is the most important thing; you literally cannot host the gathering without an internet connection.
- It is has plenty of easily accessible power outlets. What’s the point of having WiFi if your computer can’t turn on?
- It is open to the general public. A Fireside Gathering shouldn’t be an “exclusive” event, everyone should be able to come. Places like military bases or exclusive rich kid golf clubs aren’t places that most people can access easily.
There are tons of places you could host a Fireside Gathering. Depending on what you plan to do at the Fireside Gathering, here are some ideas of places you can host the event:
- Your local Library. Many libraries have an activity room for hosting events. Libraries also typically have free WiFi and may provide other supplies such as tables and chairs and maybe even a kitchen for preparing snacks. This is the perfect place for a medium sized gathering of about 15-20 people (depending on the size of your library).
- Your local McDonald’s. If you live in America, then you probably have about 3 of these places within 5 miles of your house. McDonald’s always has free WiFi, but the downside is that they have very limited space, and the WiFi is typically not the most stable. Still, it’s a great place to host a small gathering of less than 10 people, and if you get hungry, they have tons of food!
- Your local recreation center. Recreational centers typically have space for parties and gatherings. Your rec center may or may not have WiFi, but if it does, then it is a great place for hosting a Fireside. Depending on the size of your Rec Center, you can probably host a gathering of around 20-25 people. You should look into whether your rec center requires a paid membership or not because this could limit who can come to your gathering.
- A local bar/sports bar. This is a perfect place for anyone 21 and older that wants the option to drink during the event, and bars love having a large group of people come to their venue for an event if it is an off night like a Tuesday or Wednesday. Bars are not good venues for weekends because they are typically packed and may not allow you to host an event on a weekend, but weekday nights can often be very slow for bars. Bars have tons of tables and seats for hosting your event at a bar will not only give you a great venue, but I am sure the bar would appreciate you bringing them some business!
- Your local Walmart. This one sounds a little weird, but I have seen gaming events being hosted at my local Walmart before. Walmart’s typically have ample amount of space for events if they move a few things around. Walmart’s are all across the world, so it shouldn’t be too far from your house. Depending on how much space they give you, you could host over 30 people at the event. Plus, if you’re hosting in store, it’s likely that they will also help advertise the event in store!
A Fireside Gathering can be hosted just about anywhere! If you can’t think of a good traditional place to host the event, try thinking outside the box! Just make sure that where ever you go, the owner of the venue knows that you want to host an event there.
Make a Supply List
Once you have a venue picked out, figure out what you still need to host the event. Depending on how simple or complex your event is will determine what you will need for the event.
- Does the venue have enough tables and seats for the event?
- Is the event bring your own computer or does the venue provide computers?
- If you are hosting other activities, does the venue provide anything you will need for those activities? (Such as TVs)
- Should you buy Pepsi or Coke? (I say Coke)
Making a list of things you will need is pretty important to make sure that you are prepared for the event. If you aren’t prepared, a fun night could turn into a confusing mess!
Create the event
Once you have everything planned out, sign up your event on the Hearthstone Website. This is the information you will need to fill out on the event application, so make sure to have all this information planned out before signing up:
- Name of the event (I’m a fan of “Free Snacks and Drinks”, that’ll get them swarming to your event)
- Time/date of the event
- Venue name and address. If you don’t know the address off the top of your head, ask the owner of the venue.
- List of activities for the event.
- What type of players should come to the event. If you’re only looking for skilled or amateur players, make sure to mention that!
Once you’ve registered the event on the site, you are officially hosting a Hearthstone Fireside Gathering!
Advertise your event
After the event is created, make sure to advertise the event! Blizzard will advertise the event on their list of Hearthstone Fireside Gatherings, but still make sure to advertise it locally so people in your area know about it!
There are tons of places that you can advertise:
- Hang flyers up in local stores
- Hang flyers around your school campus
- Hang flyers around your neighborhood
- Hang a flyer on your ex’s front door just to let them know you’re actually doing things with your life. Stick one on their car too, really make sure they get the point.
If people don’t know about your event, then people won’t come. Mentioning free snacks and drinks in your advertisements is a great way to attract people to your event. However you choose to advertise the event, make sure that you do!
That’s all it takes to host a Fireside Gathering! Anyone can do it as long as you are 18 or older! If you cannot find a Fireside Gathering near you, hosting your own is definitely an option. After reading this article, if you decide to host your own Fireside Gathering, be sure to let me know by tagging me @TacoRoccoGame or Hearthstone Top Decks @HSTopDecks on Twitter and feel free to tell us about your event in the official Hearthstone Top Decks Discord! That’s all for now guys, thanks for reading!