Sunday, April 29, 2018

Winging It--Crash Space Coordination

Bardic Bedlam is here, in the Barony of the Lonely Tower. It's a bardic sharing event named after the book series with a similar name

This year I had a different job for it. My friend Lady Zafara Baabur asked me to be the crash-space coordinator, a new-to-me task. So I did my usual and winged it.

Common On Site Sleeper
If you're curious to know, "crash-space" in the SCA is a place to stay overnight in the home of an event's local member. It saves you money and from uncomfortably sleeping on site. It's also a way you can make friends with distant members. 

Crash-space by SCA tradition is only space on one's floor, with a roof and shared bathroom to use. It is a spot for visitors to lay their sleeping bag, pillow, and travel pack. Food is not included and "rent" is not asked.

Matching willing hosts offering space for out of town visitors with possible guests takes planning. Having never done this before, I began by posting a request for hosts on Lonely Tower's private Facebook site. I received one reply. 

Next time I will do it differently. Before the event flier is posted I will individually seek out hosts. A bit of arm twisting may be used. 

I'll also make a host contact "spreadsheet" with their visitor preferences. Keeping all the smokers, non-smokers, pets, children, and allergies in my head mixes them up. And there's also the information on each host to know, their pets, children, smoking and gender preferences. I'll note the number of guests each host will accept and their contact information, both phone and online.

As I did for Bardic Bedlam, a week before the event you match the guests with their appropriate host according to each one's preferences. You give each the other's name and contact information. The host and guest(s) can work out further details such as the day and time they'll arrive. I wait until the week before the event because guests' plans change or even cancel. It makes matching simpler, hopefully only doing it once. 

Two days before the event you'll also check in with guests and co-hosts, again. Two of my prospective guests backed out as did a group on my co-host's list. I offered to even out assignments with my co-host, but she was happy as things were. I resent my contact information and confirmed their "ballpark" arrival time. Knowing their earliest expected arrival time meant I could help with event set-up too.

I've heard more coordination may come later. Sometimes at the event visitors who don't plan ahead may seek me out for a place to stay the night, especially since Bardic Bedlam runs later than most events.

Crashing with local members offers hosts a chance to display their hospitality. A cleanish home, some food before their guests depart and friendly conversation. 

Not every host offers the same hospitality. Because of my house's bathroom arrangement, I separate people by gender. And offer more than floor space such as towels, blankets, pillows, various types of beds and comfy couches. I also provide donuts and beverages for breakfast, mostly as an excuse to have some for me. I know others cook a whole meal. 

When I'm a visitor I try to be a good guest. I ask ahead what they expect of me and let them know if I'll be running late. I avoid annoying anyone's allergies, routines, or lights-out time. I keep my stuff neat and out of the way. I stay out of their personal things and refrigerator. I offer to help with tasks that need doing and try to make less work for them. After all, they also have event tasks to do. I thank the host and show appreciation for their generous hospitality.

It turned out crash-space coordinating wasn't bedlam. It was easy because there were only two hosts and limited visitors to pair with them. Winging it worked and I learned what to do when you have more. In the end, my dogs and I enjoyed our new out of town friends. 

Related External Website:
SCA Bardic Arts Resource Page