Monday, April 14, 2008

Club Etiquette: The Host

Many of you saw before where I posted a general summary of the various jobs many SL® clubs use in order to offer you the most enjoyable experience possible. After reading the responses to that post, I felt it was also appropriate to offer further education for each position separately so that both club employees and patrons understand all the more what goes into them.

The first position we shall discuss is often an overlooked one... that of the Host or Hostess. As I am a novice on the subject, I asked Sanctuary Rock's Host Manager, m0xi Caldwell to offer her own insight as well.

The most noticeable duty that a Host performs is to greet patrons who first step into the club. This first greeting of "Hello ! Welcome to !" helps to ease the nerves of n00bs and seasoned patrons alike. If you don't feel comfortable there then you won't want to spend time there, right? Its just a nice touch that people appreciate. Its nice to know that people notice you and make you feel much more welcome. This can be difficult (especially at busier SL® clubs) to meet and greet -everyone- who walks in. Sometimes using a MystiTool or Radar will help. Having dancers working on your shift with you often helps as well in case you do get bombarded.

Another often overlooked aspect of the Host is to be the "mother hen" as the go-between for the working staff and patrons.

To accomplish this, Hosts often...

1) Send out Group Notices/IMs about events & reminds patrons what the event theme is during the event.
2) Remind patrons who the DJ and Dancers are during the event.
3) Point out other aspects of the club (Sploder, Mall, Tip Jars, Donation Boxes, etc)
4) Control the Voting Boards and/or take Votes in IM for contests.
5) Announce and hand out prizes to the winners of the contest.
6) Remind patrons what the next event (if any) will be along with the next DJ & Host.
7) Keep track of any possible 'problem patrons' whom may be at the club.

A hefty load of responsibilities, no? m0xi even mentioned, "I have trained a lot of people to become hosts and most of them say to me at one point during the training that they had no idea how much was really involved..." It's definitely not something you can pick up overnight. It takes a great deal of training (and patience), just like with any RL job. The trick is to do everything so effortlessly that patrons and most other staff have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.

If there's one thing that I find absolutely ridiculous, it's staff who personally ask for tips. DJ's are more likely to do it than Hosts, but I've seen a few Hosts who've slipped a little 'Hey, slide some Lindens® in my tip jar too!' into their mantra. m0xi offers this suggestion: "Being obnoxious or seeming desperate about it is NOT attractive. People really do appreciate being able to go to a club and having fun here in SL®. Sometimes they don't know how to tip, its amazing how many people ask that. "How do I tip staff?" Once they know, a few reminders here and there to show appreciation to the staff is all thats really needed. You are going to have great days, good days, and maybe some horrible days. It happens to everyone, and you just have to realize that its not all about you and to not take it personally."

Also there will be times when all the staff on your shift will not cooperate. It's bound to happen since not everyone is going to like everyone else. As the previously mentioned "mother hen" of the shift, it becomes the Host's responsibility to make sure that this drama is not noticed by patrons. Staff are there to enjoy themselves as much as everyone else, so you sometimes will need to step in and remind them that acting like a whiny bitch throwing a tantrum is not only childish, but also ruins everyone else's fun.

Last, but certainly not least, being a Host should be FUN. Fun is what keeps people coming back time and time again, and thats what we all want... for people to enjoy themselves enough so that they come back, invite friends to come and join them.

So are we all on the same page on what an SL® club Host does? A big cuddly thanks to m0xi for giving her input and an even bigger thanks to all Hosts whom do this incredibly under appreciated job!

Next Club Etiquette.... Dancers


Rosie Barthelmess said...

Hear hear!

Rykk Ferraris said...

I agree, a good Host/Hostess can make or break a club experience. The ones at SR are absolutely the best, most well-trained in (trademarked location deleted). I have had the misfortune of working with many clueless hosts (at other clubs) who are obviously in personal IMs the whole shift. Then there are the ones who beg for tips...when I DJ, I spam for the staff every mic break. Hosts or any staff member who beg for their own tips turn folks off. I have to be able to depend on my host to keep an eye on the crowd, greet folks, make sure my avie isn't pushed off sim by some n00b, etc.