Greatest Love (aka OMG there’s HOW many stops?!) has drawn to a close. It was the first grid-wide hunt I ever took part in as a retailer and it probably won’t be the last. I met lots of new people, made a handful of new friends, and talked a lot to the folks who came into my shop (My favorite comment: ‘Think the ceiling is low enough? Nice stuff tho,” spoken by someone just as I was rezzing in nearby. She and I ended up friending each other, heh).
One of the thing we talked about was how some vendors hid their boxes. There’s a balance to be found between getting folks to look at the stuff in your shop and not driving them insane with trying to find the prize. One hunter said she likes the grocery store approach: you have to go through the supermarket to get to the milk, but you know just where the milk is. Large laggy shops that had people doing the “jello walk” were wise to make the box easy to find by camming around. Huge sim-sized shops drove hunters crazy with hiding the boxes in sky platforms and underwater. The problem with hiding the boxes too well was twofold: people remembered that shop as the one that tormented them and wasn’t fun, and whoever followed them on the trail was SOL.
Most hunters seemed to agree that this hunt was TOO big. And the way the links in the chain were set up, it was easy to lose the trail altogether. Many suggested dividing a hunt of that size into two tracks (one with stuff for guys, one with stuff for women, intersecting where shops have both), saying that guys on the hunt had to wade through piles of useless stuff before finding anything they could enjoy.
There was mention of blogging the links to all the shops on the chain. Nobody did that with this hunt, because, again, it was staggeringly huge. Someone spoke in favor of blogging links to the box locations; another said that destroys the fun. I can see how it could ruin the fun of the hunt; but with 500 stops on a hunt, figure an average of 5 minutes at each stop, and you’re looking at almost two solid days of hunting. The prizes found might not cost a linden, but–as one hunter said–their time is worth something. So I can see, especially with shops that put their boxes in ridiculously hard to find spots, the advantage of blogging links to the box locations. But then, people just arrive at the milk without walking through the supermarket first. I would think at very least an online list of the shop entrances would have been beneficial.
It would have been especially beneficial considering how many vendors didn’t follow the directions. It wasn’t rocket surgery, folks: set the contents of the box for sale for $0L. Anyone who owns any kind of business in SL should already have that very basic principle down pat. I myself went on a portion of the hunt (maybe 35-40 shops) with a newbie friend. and I would say 5 or so of the shops had the box set incorrectly. Some had them set to “copy” for sale instead of “contents”, making it difficult to get to the next stop’s landmark (especially in no-rez zones); some didn’t even have them set to “for sale” at all. I heard of at least one place that hid the contents in the POSTER, rather than the BOX. So just in that small sample, approximately 1/8th of the shops broke the chain.
We were also informed that we should put our gift(s) into one single item, then put the one item in the box, so that hunters finding the box get a folder containing one item and one landmark. I’d say an eighth of the shops I hunted at didn’t get this one either. That one wasn’t as big a deal to me, personally, though it did fatten up the inventory all the faster.
So, let’s see, summing up.
Best thing about the hunt for me: meeting so many new people.
Worst thing about the hunt: people who didn’t wait for anything to rez in the shop and kept trying to walk through my house’s front door. Repeatedly. (“Does it open this time? How bout now? What about now? Now?”)
What I’d have done differently: two things. One, have landmarks to the entrances to all the shops posted somewhere in some blog. Two, have a guys’ track and a gals’ track to break it up and save hunters lots of time at unnecessary stops.
What I’ll do differently next time: offer something that’s already made and ready to go. I decided to make something specifically for GL when I suddenly got notice that it would be starting a week sooner than we were originally told. I got my products ready but I could have offered something with much better quality with more notice. So, next one, I’m not going to put that stress on myself. Also, I’m considering popping a shop-at-home catalog vendor into the box. I’ll need to weigh that one.
What I’ll do the same next time: have something for both men and women. Greet people when they come in, then give them space to hunt. Hide the box kinda but not torment the poor souls.