Promotional and Teaching Aids
You know that go is the finest two-person strategy game of all time, but most of your friends and neighbors don't. Tell them! You can promote go in your community and attract new members to your club. One enthusiastic player can start a strong go community! Here are some ideas that have worked for other enthusiasts, and a wealth of materials for download to help make your promotional campaign a success.
The "Special Event" Approach: Schools, bookstores and many civic and community organizations in your area want interesting programs and presentations for their meetings, classes or events. If you live near a major city, you'll also finds lots of conventions you can visit; most will allow you to set up a table, often at no charge. Anime and comic book conventions, game-oriented gatherings, Asian festivals and even street fairs are promising venues. Use the materials below as a starting point and you'll create a winning demonstration.
The "Club" Approach: Maybe you're not the world's best public speaker, or you don't have the time to put together a whole presentation and find places to do it. No problem -- let interested people come to you! Arrange a regular meeting place and time -- the local mall's food court; a bookstore, coffee shop or game store; basically any public place that will accommodate you. All you need is one other person to play with or teach. Stock up on copies of some of the handouts you can download below, and you're ready for interested passersby -- and there will be interested passersby!
Getting the Word Out: Download our poster or make your own with a phone number and/or e-mail, and post them around town -- supermarkets, community bulletin boards, libraries, universities. You can often arrange for your meeting or event to be listed for free in local papers and Penny Saver-type publications. A well-written press release might even get you a feature story.
The Way to Go: This little booklet has taught 1000's of players for more than thirty years.
GoeBasics: a 15-minute video.
The AGA Starter CD: [CURRENTLY OFFLINE] The ultimate toolkit for beginners -- more than 300 MB of software, pdfs, game records and more! Perfect for the novie with limited Internet access. Get a copy through your chapter, or download and make your own CD for distribution to your friends.
Secrets of Success: AGF Teacher of the Year Paul Barchilon gets 20-30 kids every week at his club; read his secrets to success here.
Sample Press Release: Barchilon used this press release to attract interest from local media.
Cultural Diversity Funding Request: Barchilon secured funding from a local youth services board with this grant. You are welcome to freely copy his language for use with your own local agencies.
AGF Funding Request: Barchilon secured funding from the American Go Foundation with this request.
Introduction For Kids: This file shows a simple and fun way to get kids started in less than five minutes, avoiding the common pitfalls of boring or confusing the child. The file is in .sgf, the standard game recording format. Most go software can read this format; for a free reader, download the KGS Go Server client.
What Is Go? Poster: Print this lively, colorful 8.5x11 pdf file, fill in your contact info in the space provided, and you have a handsome, personalized flyer for your chapter or event. Click here for the 11x17 version. If you prefer, download a Word template where you can add your info in the blank space before printing. Click here for the 11x17 version.
Que Es El Go? Póster: En Español.
Play Go! Poster: Or choose this poster to announce your event if you prefer.
Educational Benefits of Go: This 1982 monograph by Skip Ascheim tells why go is not only fun -- it's one of the best things you can do for your brain.
Capture Go: Some beginners find this simplified form of go easier to grasp. Click here for a brochure specially designed with children in mind.
GO: An Ageless Game for All Ages: This brochure in 8.5x11 format is packed with information about go. Put your contact info in the space specially provided on the back.
Pairing Sheet: Print this download and easily pair a knockout tournament of up to 16 players..
Link to us! Download banner links for use on your web site.
Sample scripted presentation: Feel free to use it wholly or in part, or as a starting point to develop your own presentation. By Go! More Than a Game author Peter Shotwell.
Sample press release: Shotwell's approach to informing the media.
The Game of Go: The Art of Strategy a nice-looking introduction by Neil Kolban.
Power Point presentation for use as a basis for your public presentation.
Give a beginner a perpetual opponent! Igowin, a 9X9 freeware version of Many Faces of Go, plays a decent small-board game.
The Interactive Way to Go at PlayGo.To is a good online tutorial for beginners.
Commented Games for Beginners
Download four short 9x9 games with comments for beginners by Yi-lun Yang Pro 7-Dan, the dean of America's go teachers.
Download 19x19 GOGAME, a complete move-by-move commentary on an "ideal" game, also by Mr. Yang.
If you want to start a serious teaching program, The American Go Foundation Store has everything you need. AGF-approved teaching programs qualify for matching funds that let you shop for the things you need at a 50% discount. Not sure where to begin? Talk to your local librarian. Public libraries are fighting to stay relevant in the Internet age. They love activities that bring people in; space is usually free. The AGF has a special support program for libraries, including a free copy of the entire 23-volume Hikaru No Go manga series (for the cost of shipping.)
The AGF Starter Set: Contains enough equipment to give up to to twelve players started, $50 value. The AGF sends a free Starter Set to any AGF-approved teaching program; fill out and submit this form to apply.
Magnetic Demo Board: For large groups -- more than six or so -- you'll need a large standup board with magnetic stones to demonstrate the rules, comment on games, etc. A full-size board is available from The AGF Store for $200; a small board version is $100. If you're handy with tools and have a few free hours, you can also make your own demo board.
Prizes and Incentives: To keep your students motivated, you'll want to get some cool stuff you can use as tournament prizes, to reward achievements (playing XX number of games, changing ranks). The AGF Store has beautiful ukiyo-e prints, colorful go-theme stickers, and other promotional items you can't find anywhere else, for approved AGF programs.
Making it happen
Here are some other ideas that have worked for other organizers:
Barnes and Noble superstores schedule presentations all the time to sell books. They like authors, but they'll take anyone that might draw a crowd or sell some books. Show these materials to the events manager and you can probably get a date.
Arrange for the club to meet at a local mall. Space is often available in the central area or the food court. Schedule regular presentations and chat up interested people in between shows.
Many community groups, from Kiwanis to the Boy Scouts, like to schedule presentations on interesting topics to enliven their meetings.
Write a press release about your club or special event and talk to your local newspaper, radio station, PennySaver and other media outlets. They are always looking for community news.
Local events can be great opportunities to attract interest. Staff a booth at a nearby Asian Festival, Anime Convention or other related event. Make sure to have plenty of informational handouts available.
Be a guest on the local cable show.
Got another venue that works? Let us know and we'll add it to the list!