Events are what we do everything else for, choosing garb or learning to fight, so we can go and pretend we are in the Middle Ages for a day, a weekend, or a whole week. For some people an event is the first time they have contact with the SCA, for others they’ve attended several meetings and practices before ever going to an event.
Events are where people gather in garb to fight in a tournament, watch the tournament, work on small projects and chat with each other, and usually to enjoy some food. Since events are meant to attract attendees from throughout the Kingdom, the hosting group will expect to see unfamiliar faces, they will not automatically know that you are new, and they may be busy with the chores of running the event. So people may not make a point of introducing themselves and helping you to get started. For some people being new is less difficult because they are comfortable approaching strangers to start a conversation, for many others it is not easy. Ask if there are others from your group attending the same event and see if you can hang out with them.
Attend practices and meetings beforehand so that you will know a few people before you arrive at the event. Smaller events are often easier for newcomers. At a Collegium you will be able meet the people in your classes in a small group setting and you will learn more about the SCA.
The best answer is to get involved!!! Offer assistance in the kitchen (just go to the kitchen door and ask to be put to work), they can ALWAYS use more help. You will get to know some of the people, and they will welcome and respect your contribution. Introduce yourself as a newcomer and ask people what they are wearing, what they are working on, what the various badges they are wearing mean, etc. It is a good way to start a conversation, and you will learn more about the SCA.
Read the event announcement carefully. Look for all the details about the schedule, about what is allowed at this event such as pets or alcohol, and about the fee structure. Check the location to make certain it is a place you can get to.
Reservations are a good idea. Particularly if you want a seat at feast, many are limited in size and sell out in advance. Also if you use a medical device (such as a CPAP), the Event Stewart needs to know because not all cabins have electrical outlets; bring an outlet splitter or an extension cord with more than one outlet. If you will not be attending the feast or if there isn’t one, it is okay to arrive that day and register at the gate. To make a reservation, you will need to mail a check made out to the sponsoring group for your fees for the weekend and include a copy of your membership card if you have one. This should be mailed at least 10 days prior to the event.
When you arrive at the event site, look for a Troll sign. Troll is where you sign in and pay your fees if you didn’t send in a reservation. You will need to sign a waiver, for yourself and any minor children that are with you, unless you are member and have a blue card (which signifies that the SCA has a waiver on file for you). Nonmembers also pay a $5 surcharge along with the entry fee. There is an additional waiver to be signed for each minor attending the event who doesn’t have a blue card. You may be given a site or feast token, this shows that you paid your fees.