I have been leader of the Board Gaming Club here at Radford since I founded it two years ago. In those two years, I have run our table at both the fall and winter club fairs. However, this year’s winter club fair seemed less successful.
In the years I have been involved, I have noticed winter club fair has never drawn nearly as much attention as the fall club fair . This could be because of a variety of factors (lack of interest, less club involvement, less advertising) but this year, location played a huge part in the poor turn-out.
Last year, the winter club fair was hosted in the Bonnie. This year, it was hosted in the new Fitness Center. Although this new venue created more space for more club involvement, there were still a fair amount of empty tables there. More clubs could have participated, but for whatever reason, they didn’t..
Despite this, the location caused more issues than last year in the Bonnie. It was in a basketball court within the lower level of the Fitness Center, which caused two major problems.
First, there was so much echo in the room that it quickly became very loud. The usual noisy chatter of club fair became a roar for the next two hours. I found myself having to yell to talk to anyone interested in the club, making communication difficult.
Unlike the Bonnie, which serves as a hot spot for students seeking food or entertainment, our location in the Fitness Center was less popular. In the past, a lot of interest in winter club fair was generated due to students stumbling upon us unknowingly, and staying once they saw all the interesting booths. This also allowed for many students with varying interests to find clubs that suited them. Unfortunately the bottom floor of the Fitness Center was out of the way, and mostly attracted the students who happened to be working out downstairs.
Winter club fair is never as visited as fall club fair, but this year clubs suffered. Board Gaming Club has never been as popular as other clubs, but we get more members every semester. Last winter club fair, the BGC got 31 new names on our email list. This year, we got 11. That is almost one-third the amount as we received last year.
Regardless, winter club fair serves as an opportunity for clubs to branch out to students who may share their interests. It’s an encouragement for students to be involved here at Radford, and a reminder that our school makes great efforts to support what we are interested in.
At the end of club fair, all the tables were given a survey on what we liked or didn’t like about this year’s club fair. I filled mine out, as did the other tables. Only time will tell if we end up in the same location for winter club fair 2016.