Manic Mondays: Hosting Successful Board Gaming Events (Part 1)

By Amy Toman

It’s no secret that Gospel & Gaming hosts online events and board gaming events such as Nerd in the New Year. What you might not know is that before Nerd in the New Year there were gaming days at the Tomans. These events were pretty Legendary! It would be all day and sometimes a full weekend of nothing but board games.

One gift that God has blessed me with is hosting. I love having people in our home as much as possible. When we just had Alethea, Jacob and I hosted many Gospel & Gaming board gaming events at our house. We were blessed to have the available space to host up to 30 people at a time in our home for as much as 12 hours a day; it was a great pleasure to have individuals in our home for hours and days on end.

Hosting gamers is not hard work; It takes some preparing to have gamers at your home, but it’s not difficult.  We are hosting our first board game day in our new house with 2 kids in a few weeks. As I said before, I love hosting people, but the thought of having 20 people for 12 hours a day requires a bit more planning with 2 little kids then it did when we just had Alethea.  This will be a 2-part series within Manic Mondays, starting with some basics to hosting gamers, and then some specific game and food ideas.


Tips for Hosting Gaming Events:

*A Clean but Lived-in House is very important. You want your house to feel like a home, but not a sterile environment nor somewhere so messy that people have nowhere to walk or sit. Having a clean house is one of the first things that pop into my mind whenever I think about having people over. My definition of clean has changed over the years and now I define it as a clean but lived-in house; this means that my house is clean to the point that there’s not food on the floor, dust bunnies, or a sink full of dishes. With 2 young kids, I know that there will still be toys around and an occasional mess, but for the most part everything is picked up or contained to the toy area upstairs.

*Gaming Spots are needed. The amount of gaming spots or areas is dependent on the amount of people you have invited and space that you have. We have had many different arrangements of gaming spots in the past. In our current home, we have our large circular kitchen table (that we add an extender to) which is used for games with lots of people. The basement office has a large rectangular table that fits games with many pieces and players, as well as a small foldable table that is good for games with 2-4 players and don’t require a ton of pieces. If needed, we also have a coffee table that can be used for games. In our previous house, we would play social deduction games that included 8-15 people, in which case we would just sit on couches and the floor. No matter where you live, you can find a board gaming spot.

*Kids or no Kids? Will this be an adult-only event or will there be kids there as well? In our case, we always have our kids and usually kids of friends as well. Our current home allows us to have an entire play area on our 2nd floor that is away from the tiny board game pieces. This is where I usually spend my time, upstairs with the kids so the parents can enjoy gaming. I also make sure to have a few smaller toys downstairs, and a Pack ‘n Play for children who prefer to be near their parents.

*If you can reach it, you can eat it. Now this isn’t a necessity but it is something different that has made our house feel more comfortable for gamers. The policy in our home is if you can reach it, you can eat it. This means that gamers are free to eat whatever food or drinks they can find in the cabinets, fridge etc. I will state that it’s not very often we have gamers take us up on his offer as we do provide plenty of food, which leads me to the last and MOST IMPORTANT tip:

*Provide Food. If you take anything away from this post, take away the need to PROVIDE FOOD! For every board gaming event we host, I make sure that we have more than enough food; most of the time, I make twice as much food than is actually needed. This is for 2 reasons: the first is so we have enough if there are unexpected gamers, and second is so there is food to eat later in the night. I always make something substantial for dinner that is eaten before game play begins. I also have snacks and drinks available throughout the night to keep everyone full and happy.

I hope you enjoyed my 5 Tips for Hosting Board Gaming Events in your home. Stay tuned for the next post with tips on games to play and food to make.