I have ended up running a D&D Meetup group and have been trying to figure out what to do with it.
We ran two big events - Night of the Rolling Dice and Night of the Rolling Dice 2: This Time By Daylight - both 10 tables of DM + 5 using DM's from RPG Vienna. Packed out, 40-50 players turned up for each, with waitlists too. All good.
I feel people can be better served than by occassional big set piece gaming meetups. We have regular Friday night open tables (as discussed before) and I have been putting them up on the meetup with low response on the Meetup itself (2-3 folk, maybe, often none at all) but we do seem to get twos and threes rocking up at the door.
This is however putting the squeeze on the number of seats in the venue so at this point I figure there are probably folk who are happy to play at other times and locations so we should probably disperse across the calendar and city a bit more - or other time options will help more people get gaming at least.
Something is needed because of the 300 odd folk who have joined the group, 200 of them have never turned up to an event. We've had ~80 folk come to one event, 10 come to a pair of them and 3 come to three events.
How to help that 200 find their tables? In honour of hitting 300 folk I have sent out a poll on when, where and what people want to be playing - to pretty desultory response so far. At this point all I can do is give the opportunity to tell me what they want, ask people to write in if they have an idea and continue to post the events folk can rock up to.
The players are *out there* - just being very, very quiet...