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Guide: Forming Your Own StreetPass Meet-Up Group

Posted by James Parker

Make the most of your 3DS

Just recently we brought you an interview with StreetPass Liverpool's Anthony Boyd, to learn a little more about how these events and groups come together to share a passion for 3DS. Now we have a guide from James Parker, who created and runs the StreetPass Metro Detroit group along with other keen gamers.


Shortly after the launch of the Nintendo 3DS, a number of small communities began sprouting up all over the world with the intention of promoting the new console’s social functionality — StreetPass. Despite their lack of affiliation with the gaming giant, these meet ups took off in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and London, no doubt attributed to their dense populations per block. StreetPass features and games work great in major cities, but this posed a problem for people living outside of these locations; StreetPass hits in the wild are just too few and far between.

Feeling left out of the excitement and wanting to build a community of 3DS owners in my town, I decided to be proactive and see exactly what it took to create a community like the one in New York. What I learned can help anyone make their own StreetPass events, and the basics are straightforward and, frankly, quite simple.

Find a Team!

Creating a team to tackle this project will help make things run smoothly. While you could do everything yourself, working alone creates unnecessary amounts of effort and stress and it leaves a lot of room for mistakes. Finding a few people who share your passion for the 3DS and all of its gaming glory will not only make planning the events easier, but can also create a mini StreetPass event every time you meet. Your team may consist of as many members as you desire, but make sure to keep your team as efficient and on task as possible. Your goal is to have fun, but it’s important to recruit people you who you know can be productive.

Location, Location, & Location

Everyone always hears about the location cliché, but it is true nonetheless. You and your team have to decide on a suitable location to hold these meet ups! Venues are everywhere; you just have to know what you are looking for. Seeing as the 3DS is a portable system, you can play it anywhere, creating near-limitless options. When considering your location, take into account the weather, the distance, its operating hours, and whether or not it has loitering policies.

For my first event, I held it at an outdoor mall. I talked to the security desk just to double check if having 20 or more kids in the middle of their plaza would be acceptable. They thanked me for my courtesy, and said that it was not a problem as long as we didn’t impede the shopping of customers. After that first event, I talked to my local library about utilizing their auditorium. The auditorium housed a projector, making it easy for me to hook up my Wii U, allowing guests from the library to join in on the fun even if they didn’t have a 3DS with them! Different venues allow for different set ups, take that into account when deciding where to host your next event!

Date & Time

I wish I could attend an event at the drop of a hat, but not everyone has the flexibility to do that. Giving your attendees a lengthy period of time prior to the event will allow them to take the time off work, or schedule their daily routine around it. Take into account that the majority of people who want to attend will do their best to move their schedules around, but they can only do this with prior notice.

As the brains behind your own event, you must show you are willing to work for this community. Organizing your schedule and planning out work for multiple future events at a time will make it easier in the long run, giving your team much needed time to plan each event in its entirety. Also, making the event worth the drive for some of the attendees is equally important. Driving an hour to a meet up might not be worth it for some people, so it’s important to take your attendees’ perspective into account.

Get People Involved

During the first few events I held, my team and I noticed something disheartening; people tended to stay in their cliques and remain with the people who they showed up with. While this is understandable as it’s not always comfortable to talk to new people, the purpose of these events is to be social! Nintendo is, and will be for the foreseeable future, all about local multiplayer and promoting real life interaction between its dedicated fans; social interaction is a primary feature of the 3DS and is the heart and soul of StreetPass events.

Because of this, it’s important to welcome newcomers with open arms and big smiles! Whether they’re visiting from off the streets or from friendly referrals of regular attendees, you want to make a good impression on first-time visitors. By leading an event like this, you are somewhat of a liaison to the Nintendo fan base, and we all want to look good. Try to break through those social barriers and bring your community closer together.

Rinse & Repeat Steps 2-4

There you have it, the basics of what it takes to run your very own StreetPass event. As stated in the beginning, it is very simple and very straightforward. Once you get the basics down, adding a bit of flare to your events will keep people coming back. Some suggestions include but are not limited to:

  • Food & Drink: Food and drinks at your events can make the longer meet ups more appealing. However, providing refreshments for larger crowds can be costly, so try not to let your wallet take the full strain and see if people will pitch in. If not, try to host your events near a food establishment. That way, people don’t have leave your event or at least wander off too far if they become hungry.
  • Partnership: This could be through your local Nintendo representative, or establishments in your area. If you can amass a group of people, a business like Dave & Busters, or any other arcade, is a great place to hold a StreetPass event because it is likely people will stay and play games or purchase food. It’s always beneficial for everyone involved if you can form a partnership with a business that shares a common goal.
  • Resources: I personally work at a popular game retailer, and during my shifts when it gets slow, I talk up my StreetPass events to customers and co-workers. Go to your local games retailer and try to get them involved; it’s more likely than not they are 3DS owners themselves. However, do not badger people into learning about your events. There is a fine line to walk here and you don’t end up being that creepy person!
  • Tournaments: Mario Kart 7, Pokémon X & Y, Super Smash Bros, and some other titles are games that are built for competitive play! This is a prime opportunity to host your very own tournament. Pay-to-play or free-to-play, its up to you how you want to set it up, and the prize pool can be something as silly as a set of trophies you make or eShop games on the cheap! Hosting tournaments promotes healthy competition and keeps things lively.
  • It Doesn't Always Have To Be About The StreetPass: You can set up a meet for
    any reason anywhere! Take the group to a local museum and pal around there, go to a local charity event, or just hang around the zoo! You are bound to get StreetPasses, but the end goal of everything is to strengthen the community you are in and establish new relationships that are based on friendship. That is the heart of the StreetPass Community and if you lose sight of that, the whole thing falls apart!
  • Have a Website/Social Network Page Dedicated To Keeping the Community Informed: Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, and Google+ are just a few social networking sites at your disposal. These are a great way to keep everyone up to date with the community and what’s going on. The best part about most social media sites is that they are free to use! If you want to dedicate a website to your community, more power to you, but the sites listed are more than enough to provide what you need and are easily accessible by everyone.
  • Be safe: This is a brief but important one. If you are young, make sure you have supervising adults to help you. That goes for attending groups too, make friends with the same common sense that you'd normally show.

As stated several times, it is fairly simple setting up your own personal StreetPass community – you just have to have a vision and some help to get it off the ground. Create your own personal rendition of the StreetPass events, gather some people to kick it off, and make them known far and wide.

I would like nothing more than if a multitude of new communities started popping up. In my opinion, everyone who has a 3DS should strive to make something like this happen in his or her area. Sadly, we do not all live in Japan or New York, where walking around a populated area is a daily occurrence, so having days dedicated to StreetPass is a great way to utilize this unique feature of the 3DS.

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User Comments (39)

XCWarrior

#2

XCWarrior said:

@adrian123 Read the article. It starts whenever you form the group....

Almost needs to be a website dedicated to this initiative. Sounds cool in theory, would love for someone to do that here in northeast Ohio, but I'm sure it's tough.

Windy

#6

Windy said:

So much hassle for a function that stinks. Now if you work in a cool place that has Attwifi or somewhere in the gaming industry its totally functional. But driving around looking for hotspots and going to the trouble of setting up an event is a lot of work for something so miniscule as street pass. Don't get me wrong my hats off to the people who take time out of there days to plan these street pass events. I just think Nintendo would be better served to work on a better online system. Especially one that doesn't promote playing or hooking up with strangers such as street pass. Its a neat idea. But let's face it....it promotes having to Go out and hookup with strangers which Nintendo says they dont condone but they do with streetpass. 90+% of people in this world are good people. But streetpass meetings could lead to some trouble. They got rid of swapnote because of creepiness. In my opinion streetpass could lead to something far creepier. At least my swapnote list was people I knew or could delete if they got creepy which never happened. Sorry for the long winded rant but I've never been a fan of streetpass

Flutterscore

#7

Flutterscore said:

@Windy StreetPass could indeed lead to something creepy, but whos to say that online interactions couldn't do the same thing. It all depends on who runs it. I make sure that every single one of my attendees feels safe, and to the best of my abilities host the events in a location that is public location that is easy to find. I have not run into any problems with patrons as of yet, but that is not to say it can't happen.
It doesn't encourage going up to random strangers and asking them if they have a 3DS it encourages people to bring their friends who are known and trusted. If that is the impression you got from what StreetPass events are, you might have never been to one. New York, L.A, Tokyo, and many other major cities have established communities like this with a team of trusted individuals. It all comes down to WHO is running it, and what their goals are.

Flutterscore

#8

Flutterscore said:

@technotaylor98 Not complicated at all, if you read the bold text you can basically go off of those and make an event. Technically if you have 5 people who have 3DS systems in a room you are technically having a StreetPass event.

dinosauryoshi

#9

dinosauryoshi said:

I've been thinking of getting one of these started in Sheffield, UK as there doesn't seem to be one here. This guide has come at the right time! Thanks :-)

russellohh

#10

russellohh said:

@Windy What do hotspots have to do with streetpass ?I've street passed literally thousands of people, and have never once done it near a hotspot/wi-fi zone/whatever.

Windy

#11

Windy said:

@Flutterscore Like I said my hats off to you. Its a great thing your doing. I know it can be fun. I have actually setup 2 streetpass get together in Las Vegas. Both times the turnout was good from 10 to 15 people. I used the public library as the event spot and ran an ad in craigslist. I also wanted to make sure everyone felt safe and requested they bring a friend especially if under the age of 16. Don't get me wrong at all. These events can be a blast! I just found it hassle after setting up my first 2 events and was constantly worried about the people who attended safety. No doubt when ran well can be a great time

Flutterscore

#14

Flutterscore said:

@Windy It might be easier for me since I had several people close to me help with this endeavor on top of the Nintendo Rep and some of my contacts at local GameStops and other types of communities including MTG, Cosplay, D&D, Anime Clubs, and Conventions alike. All of those are perfect cross communities and events for StreetPass like gigs! Considering Comic Cons and Anime Conventions people already bring their 3DS systems with them, holding a panel or a gaming room off to the side is always a good time. Did something similar at an event in Chicago and in Detroit.

Windy

#15

Windy said:

@Flutterscore well if you ever do an event in las Vegas I will attend! Sounds like a good time. Las Vegas Anime expo is in September :) I had actually thought about renting a space last year at the expo just for street pass. Believe me I wish streetpass worked. I shouldn't say it doesn't work. For some people it does. For others streetpass is work. Driving around to McDonalds or libraries to hope for a few hits. Or link up at an event to get a lot of hits

Windy

#16

Windy said:

Before I go any further on this thread lol. I just want to say that this is an excellent guide to setting up a streetpass get together or event. If you have aspirations to setup a streetpass event you should use it a Blue print. All I can add to that Is setup ground rules and make it clear to people who are interested in attending to bring a freind. Be safe and think safe. There is no reason why these cannot be excellent events. OK that said...streetpass still stinks haha

bouncer0304

#18

bouncer0304 said:

I'm part of Streetpass South Wales and it's great fun. The Mario Kart 8 one was fantastic but this month it's more of a mini meet. I'm popping in as i won't have much time but it's nice to just say hi. My hat goes off to the leaders of my group but recently i was asked to take the reigns of the twitter account! Since my fibromyalgia stops me from doing the big stuff, i'm able to help in this small way. I basically just remind people of meetings and i've been sharing different videos most days just so there's something going on. The guy running the group is happy with it but he's my back up in case i get really ill at any point. Right now i'm not too good but it keeps me going so i don't mind.
I love my group and i'm so glad to have been a part of it for the last year. It's nice to share my hobby with other people and it brings a lot of joy to us all. As long as it's run right and you go with someone you know, then there shouldn't be a problem You're all there for the same reason so go have some fun and make some new friends.

Windy

#19

Windy said:

@bouncer0304 wow! I know that fibromyalga can be aweful. I have Chemo induced Neuropathy since I had Chemotherapy 6 years ago. I hear people compare the Neuropathy with Fibromyalga. I think they even treat them the same way Lyrica, Cymbalta and pain meds? Hope you get better. I know how chronic pain can be. keep on Gaming!

sleepinglion

#21

sleepinglion said:

@XCWarrior Sounds about right. I'm in the middle of Ohio, about an hour north of Cinci, and I take my 3DS with me on lots of errands. Unless I stop by a McDonald's I get zero hits.

bouncer0304

#22

bouncer0304 said:

@Windy Thanks very much. Sounds like you had it rough as well :-( I have two choices- cry myself into a puddle (which was ugly ;-P) or do my best to be happy as i can. I'm feeling crap at the moment but i could be much worse. I have an amazing sister so i'm lucky. I'm on new meds but nothing so far. Hoping it'll kick in soon. My mam had chemotherapy and i saw what that did to her so it's good to see you're okay (or as well as you can be). Thanks for your concern though lovely :-)

XCWarrior

#24

XCWarrior said:

@sleepinglion I get streetpasses at a decent rate, helps I go to sporting events where there is a lot of people. Plus about 6 of my friends own 3DS, and some of the kids I coach. But nothing compared to Japan. I do use the hot spots a lot.

Zach777

#25

Zach777 said:

Nintendo needs to send out more StreePass content. I finished it all already.

Deadstanley

#26

Deadstanley said:

I live in the NY suburbs, so I definitely don't experience the foot traffic I would normally get in the city, but I still get some StreetPasses.

I carry my 3DS in my jacket pocket in the winter, or in one of the cargo pockets of my shorts in the summer. My wife and I do our weekly grocery shopping, etc. Usually by the time I get home, I rejoice at having what I call "fanboys", when I see the little green light illuminated and I dig into the notifications menu to see which titles we paired on. Usually it's one or two people, and usually popular titles, not so much the obscure ones unfortunately. Most of the people I tag with I've actually tagged with before but never met in person. I couldn't even tell you where on the trip I find them.

The thing is though that it's a really fun feature. I really do enjoy the excitement of discovering that I crossed another 3DS gamer and I'm always interested in seeing which games they are playing or what StreetPass titles we have in common. Having the few StreetPass tags in my once a week outing works fine for me. I wouldn't want the heavy StreetPass influx of the city... and here's why.

I brought my 3DS to Disney and Universal Studios theme parks and had to clear the thing every hour because I'd hit the maximum threshold so fast. Paying that much attention to StreetPass was kind of annoying, especially when I'm trying to do other things. Clearing out the Plaza isn't a quick task either. By the end of the day I was glad to experience all those tags, but knew I didn't want to deal with that constantly.

I think the meet up groups are a great idea and people should take advantage of attending or starting one. When set up as an event like that I feel it would be more manageable and feel less like a chore. Maybe once a month to once quarterly? Who knows...

For what it's worth, there are some StreetPass relay stores in my area too. Most McDonalds restaurants I've been to have this feature and it's a great way to just collect 10 tags. Also worth mentioning — I've noticed is that it seems you can't tag with the same person twice in the same day.

onery

#27

onery said:

Excellent article, however I would like to ask the best ways you would go about marketing/making your event known. So far I tried making an event myself and well... the two things I learnt from that experience was that drumming up interest is hard and that facebook sucks especially for event management.

Flutterscore

#28

Flutterscore said:

@onery so Facebook is a good tool to find friends and communities to advertise. Like 3DS Communities, Gaming Communities and the like are leveraged for advertising. As far as managing the event, while Facebook is unreliable, it does offer people a permanent place to get the information. Also reddit has a good StreetPass community!

Pokefanmum82

#29

Pokefanmum82 said:

Nice to know but I live in a small town in Ontario and don't know enough people to set one of these events in my town.

AugustusOxy

#30

AugustusOxy said:

I've tried starting one up here in Michiana, but everyone is pretty paranoid. Despite the fact we'd be meeting in the middle of the most active mall in northern indiana.

Oh well, if people wanna be scared of their shadows, let them. I'm gonna be out living life.

Smooching

#32

Smooching said:

I would love to form a group and it's not the organizing skills that I lack, it's the people .. :P I tried on a local forum nonetheless.

FernandoMachado

#33

FernandoMachado said:

I've set up one once and pretty much followed the guidelines... had around 9 people in. While the clique thing is true I'm a bit of a clown myself so it helped breaking the ice and getting people to interact.

Some hints:

  • Make sure you have enough wall plugs, extension cords, etc, because people ARE going to need it. (and remind them to bring their chargers)
  • Remind people to UPDATE their 3DS before leaving home because some features like Download Play might not work if they are using (very) outdated firmware. (It happened with two people on my experience and we had to use our mobiles as hotspots... messy...)
  • If you don't have a tournment thing in mind, run a poll asking people what they want to play. And bring Mario Kart 7 as it never fails.
Kifa

#34

Kifa said:

A shame really that in my area 3DS is still not a popular system. There's even not a single store selling Nintendo hardware or games in the radius of about 150 km from my city, which is pretty mind-blowing to me considering the fact that it's the capital of the region... Still - I happen to catch a pass once a month or maybe less often, and even caught one while at home (someone must have passed along the street and the range was sufficient - no other explanation to this), so there are consoles around. I don't think a StreetPass meeting could work though...

russellohh

#35

russellohh said:

@Kifa Visit America's East Coast! I get up to 1,000 street passes a day. I can't clear mii plaza fast enough on a street pass day.

MeloMan

#36

MeloMan said:

Detroit eh...? That's my neck o' the woods... didn't even know we had one of those here. Guess I'll be seeking this out :)

dkxcalibur

#37

dkxcalibur said:

I doubt this would work in my area (South/Central PA). My oldest son just started Swimming competitively and at every meet, there are tons of kids playing their 3DS systems but we have only received 2 street passes. I have come to the conclusion that many people do not know how to use their 3DS to the fullest. When we go to the local malls, we're lucky if we get 1 street pass. Thankfully their are many Mcdonalds, Burger Kings, and Ruby Tuesdays in my area. I personally love the streetpass features and I'm looking forward to Tomodachi Life picking up in popularity. I actually thought about starting a 3DS club at the local library for kids in an attempt for my two sons to meets some other kids their age with similar interest....video games.

RevesAvalon

#38

RevesAvalon said:

This seems like it would be a good idea, but it would really need to be regulated. I can see parents getting irritated over their little snowflake being exposed to the outside world. I may do something like this in Texas.

Flutterscore

#39

Flutterscore said:

@MeloMan The next StreetPass Mii'top is July 26th at the Clinton Macomb Public Library! Find StreetPass Metro Detroit on Facebook for more Information!

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