This will be the sixth instalment of our popular sea-side gaming weekend, and whilst it's great that we're so popular, there's also been a downside - not everyone who wants to come can fit!
I've been having a long hard think about the best way forward.
As some of you know, the original idea for Eastbourne was much simpler - a few LoB'ers had simply thought it'd be fun to get about 6-8 together to rent a cottage out in the woods somewhere for a fun weekend away. And that's what the first Eastbourne was like - fifteen of us went away for a fun weekend with friends. But the event has grown, and whilst it's great making it available to more and more people, I want to preserve some of the elements of the event being a gathering of good friends, some of whom we'd really miss if they weren't there. At the same time, I want the opportunity for long-time members of the group, who maybe haven't had the chance yet to come, to visit as well. To also keep the event from getting too large and impersonal, we're going to keep the numbers of attendees similar to previous events. I know we could probably fill a bigger hotel somewhere else, and maybe one or two of you might want to organise a bigger Essen-sized event at some point, but for the Eastbourne event, I'd like to keep it roughly the same size as it is.
Therefore, we're going to be switching to a model similar to that used by The Gathering of Friends gaming convention in the USA, and the event will be by invitation only, so that those who have really become a part of the Eastbourne family won't lose their place at the convention simply because they didn't RSVP fast enough when the event went live on Meetup.
So here's how we're going to allocate the invitations:
If you've been to at least two Eastbourne's in the past, we think of you as part of the Eastbourne family, and want you to continue to be able to take part, so you'll be getting an invitation from me in the next day or two. You'll have two weeks to make up your mind and decide if you want to take up your place or not.
After those initial invitations have been sent out, I'll then publicly open things up to everyone who's just been once. If everyone wants to come from the first tranche, there won't be enough spaces for everyone in this second group, so to be fair, ties will be broken by those who have been to the most London on Board Meetups, as we want to reward those who've been the biggest part of the group so far. Then, if all the places still havn't been allocated, we'll open it up to people who've never been to an Eastbourne, and again, we'll be giving those slots to those who've been to the most LoB meetups in case of ties.
I hope you'll see this arrangement as being slightly fairer than just giving slots to whoever is fastest to RSVP, and if you're not able to be included this time around, that you can look forward to the time when you'll be a LoB old-timer, and we'll be able to welcome you with open arms as well.