May 8, 2018

How to Pitch The In-Store Experience

It's the most important thing you offer, and the hardest thing to sell. Here's when and how to show it off.

May 8, 2018

How to Pitch The In-Store Experience

It's the most important thing you offer, and the hardest thing to sell. Here's when and how to show it off.

To an engaged fan, organized play is the center of the Magic universe. If they want the good stuff, they need their LGS. If they want to play the set early (Prerelease). If they want to test themselves against the community's best (Store Championship). If they want to make the Pro Tour (PPTQs).

Trouble is, new players don't want any of that. If you're brand new to Magic, none of it recognizable, let alone desirable. And yet it's crucial to usher new people into some form of organized play—the number one predictor of a player's lifetime value is whether or not they do OP.

So, in a way, the most important thing an LGS offers is the toughest thing for them to sell—the in-store experience.

Except at Open House.

Take a look at one of your event listings and try to find a single thing that appeals to a new player.

Prerelease, for example. It's an easy sell for engaged players. You can sell it as a chance to play the new set early. Or you can sell it with generous prize boosters. Or as the biggest, most anticipated Magic event of the season, where whole communities converge.

But to a new player, a prize booster is no different than a Welcome Deck. The new set is no different than the last one. The biggest event of the season can also be the most intimidating.

And think about how you'll allocate your resources. You've only got so much staff, so much space, so many payroll hours. So at an event where the selling points appeal mostly to engaged players, how much of that space and those hours will you devote to new players?

Probably not a lot. And yet, that will determine whether they have a good experience. And whether they have a good experience will determine whether they come back, make a purchase, and so on.

Open House solves both of these problems.

Open House gives stores a chance to give new faces their best possible pitch.

It introduces them to the game with an in-store experience meant specifically for them.

That introduction starts with your advertising. For most events, you'll focus on what draws engaged players—format, prize structure, promos. But Open House lets you spotlight what matters to new players: a chance to learn the game at their own pace and play against their peers.

And at the event itself, you can make good on that promise. You can devote your resources to their experience. You can commit your space and your staff entirely to fielding questions, pairing players with similarly-skilled newcomers, and running demos with the Welcome Decks and flip book.

In short, you can show them what makes you essential, what makes having "my LGS" an indispensable part of being a Magic player.

The in-store experience is the part you can control—the part where you can guarantee consistency.

You can't control the Standard meta, or what cards get reprinted, or the outcomes in Magic's narrative. But you have near-perfect authorship of the in-store experience. And at Open House, you can tailor it for new players, and new players only.

Sign up now and get Welcome Decks, a learn-to-play guide, and other acquisition tools to help make your pitch.

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