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What makes for a great Host(ess) ?


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I can't give you any examples of awesome hosts, I don't think anyone really can, but what folks CAN give is offer advice on what NOT to do. It'll all sound super negative, but, if you look through the forums, you'll find loads of threads about this topic. All of them pretty much say all of the same things....

Don't gesturbate like  a fool. Yes, I mean that. Do not use gestures constantly, whether it's advertising for the club or dj, or just to converse in local...and don't use countless other idiotic gestures either, especially noisy ones. It's extremely annoying to more people than are willing to admit, lol.  Don't buy into a club that tells you that you have to, if they *truly think you do, or require it, odds are pretty good they have no idea what they're doing, and they're perfectly content with mediocre. Don't ask constantly for "linden lovin" either, that too, is annoying. If you must do it, once an hour is more than sufficient. People will tip/donate if they feel compelled to, and begging won't make that happen any faster-it has the opposite effect. If you and the dj are good at what you're doing...people will tip.

Don't use some stupid hud to greet guests. Don't use canned responses to greet guests. Definitely don't use a gesture to greet guests. You may not be able to read their display names(happens a lot), just do your best, make it personal, at least make them feel welcome when they arrive. 

Engage your crowd. Don't talk about nothing but shopping, odds are good that while they may be few, there are probably guests that don't give a crap about the latest fad, mesh head, mesh body, makeup, newest shopping events, gachas..yadda, yadda. They tire of hearing that constantly, it's annoying. Find *neutral* topics to discuss that more folks can actually join in. Hell talk about the music if you want, but avoid topics that separate your crowd or make guests feel uncomfortable. Encourage other topics from guests too. If you try to chat with someone in local that doesn't seem to want to chat, leave it be. Also, avoid using your IMs while you're supposed to be working. It's terribly, unprofessional(not that anyone really IS a professional at it, but there are plenty that know what they're doing far more than most, lol) and trust me, people can tell when you're busy being a chatty cathy to friends, family, loved one, whatever, in IM, rather than engaging the crowd. Constantly going afk because rl is interrupting will also turn guests off to the venue. Though, understandable, things do happen that take us afk, rl always comes first, avoid constant afk-ing.  If a guest comes in that has questions, even general sl questions, familiarize yourself with some of the basics-like how to change clothes, add attachments, where to get help for new residents, how to use an AO, etc.. Then you can answer them quickly and efficiently, without making them feel inferior for not knowing, there is LOTS people don't know-we were all new once :) Also, language barriers, translators are not always the greatest, but do your best with the tools available, don't simply say "sorry we only speak (insert whatever language, though it's usually English)" and don't encourage other guests that DO say this(and they will, lol). It's not nice to exclude people, no matter what method is chosen.

Dealing with griefers, which happens even at the best places, should be done efficiently and without making a spectacle...just deal with it using the tools the club provides(if they don't provide...it's not a good place to work). Encourage guests to ignore, mute, block, whatever..and move on....don't talk about it for the next 30 minutes, or you'll quickly see the place empty of anyone other than those that enjoy making spectacles of things. 

If you have a bf, gf, husband, wife, partner, whatever come to the club-that's perfectly fine..but don't ignore your guests in favor of that person, or even friends, family, loved ones, whatever. Keep your lovey dovey nature off the screen, your lover can wait a wee bit for the sugar, I promise. Odds are good there will be guests that may have a  "meh" feeling towards that kind of stuff-for whatever reason, temporarily or otherwise, and you're going to make them feel all..like they're a spectator in your bedroom, then the club will likely get complaints and you'll probably find yourself canned. Even if no one else is really talking in local, encourage those folks, that person, whatever, to ALSO speak in local and try to engage the crowd. Nothing rubs some folks more wrong than seeing a host/ess having a conversation with only folks he/she likes/loves/is currently sleeping(or flirting) with.

In other words..do your best to make EVERYONE feel welcome, like they belong, like you're not a bot, and generally like what you're doing and want to be there for THEM. You'll do well. Otherwise, you'll be like the countless others that are, mediocre, at best..at their "job". 

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/me hires Tari  - Everything she said!

Use the notes part in peoples profile if they seem to be a regular or even if not.  A quick reference to help you next time you see them.  eg Band they might mention they love - next time get the DJ to play a song for them so they feel remembered and important.  

Be early for your shift.  Don't leave your boss or DJ wondering if you are going to show up or if they need to get cover.  

Check beforehand if your DJ is going to have any theme  eg playing rock/90's/or anything different to the normal style

and just in case Tari's point didn't register - NO GESTURES.  Incredibly annoying.   Begging for L$ every 5 minutes  also incredibly annoying.  

Have fun though.  :)

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I've never been a hostess, but I often hijack that role when visiting entertainment venues. When I notice someone has arrived, I read their profile and immediately start teasing them with something I found in it. I'll keep that profile in mind for the rest of the evening, as I may not learn anything else about them. I'll also read public chat to get a sense for whether the person is a newbie or a regular, and adjust accordingly. I like to weave absurd connections between people, using what I learn from profiles and public chat. My goal is to make people feel noticed, to elicit a response, and to keep public chat lively. Where rezzing is allowed, I've been known to set new arrivals on fire for "being late". I've yet to receive an objection over those warm welcomes.

 

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See, these things are why I can't be a host in a club, anymore, lol. Most you find now have "rules" about some of these things, which are the exact opposite of how I feel about them (especially gesturbating.....shudders...and "linden lovin" requests). Well that and I'm not keen on the "kinda unwritten, but really not" policy about using alts to help increase traffic which a few of the more popular, or seemingly always populated places use. I'm a huge fan of transparency and making it feel more like a home, a family, a welcoming place for all.... not, umm..."it's a business damnit" policies :D  I'm very critical of such things though, and I don't sugar coat it, well, more than the forums force me to sugar coat it anyway, lol. I'm really critical of clubs in general too, and I've no qualms in saying that. I have very, very few I really like, and even they do some of the things I can't stand. So I have to limit my attendance to keep the annoyance factor down. 

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40 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I've never been a hostess, but I often hijack that role when visiting entertainment venues. When I notice someone has arrived, I read their profile and immediately start teasing them with something I found in it. I'll keep that profile in mind for the rest of the evening, as I may not learn anything else about them. I'll also read public chat to get a sense for whether the person is a newbie or a regular, and adjust accordingly. I like to weave absurd connections between people, using what I learn from profiles and public chat. My goal is to make people feel noticed, to elicit a response, and to keep public chat lively. Where rezzing is allowed, I've been known to set new arrivals on fire for "being late". I've yet to receive an objection over those warm welcomes.

 

These are the kind of shenanigans I like...they make people feel welcome, and make places feel welcoming..rather than chock full of afk bots lol.

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14 hours ago, Nimue Galatea said:

I'd like to attempt applying for in-world employment as a Hostess, but would not want to be a mediocre or lacklustre Host.

Others have already said it: Stay away from gestures - especially the ones with capital letters, multiple exclamation marks and lots of "decorative" (NOT!) ascii characters - and make sure you never ever use worn out clichés like "Linden Love". If you remember that, at least you're not doing any harm - which is more than can be said of most SL hosts.

If you want to do any actual good, I think the first step should be to get at least one guest involved in some dialog in local chat. If you can manage that, you have some base to build from. If you can't, you might as well go afk rather than waste your time flogging a dead horse.

 

14 hours ago, Nimue Galatea said:

Anyone could even give some examples of great hosts I should check out?

If you don't mind a bit of nudity, check out Skinny Dip Inn. They seem to be doing it exactly right these days.

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Thank you so much for all these wonderful replies. They have whet my appetite for developing an eye for some great Hosting.

Hosting is something unique to Second Life, correct? I can't think of any real life examples to compare it to. With this in mind, can someone break it down for me? What is the bare bones definition and PURPOSE of "hosting" in SL?

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22 minutes ago, Nimue Galatea said:

Thank you so much for all these wonderful replies. They have whet my appetite for developing an eye for some great Hosting.

Hosting is something unique to Second Life, correct? I can't think of any real life examples to compare it to. With this in mind, can someone break it down for me? What is the bare bones definition and PURPOSE of "hosting" in SL?

Was a time, back when, when I'd make a little cash on the side by being a 'Professional contest entrant'.

You know, all those "best in whatever" contests on the grid.

Now obviously some contests were rigged, others were always won by that 'regular' who tp's in 4 of her alts when the voting starts, etc., but...

The fair contests, trick wasn't to have the BEST outfit most of the time, trick was to be ENTERTAINING, you won the contest because you were doing all the things the host should have been but wasn't, and never did all the things the host shouldn't have but did all the damn time. You won because you were entertaining, and voting for you was how people tipped you.

You use local chat, you make people feel involved, you make them laugh with funny comments, light hearted wit, and general sillyness, you try to keep a multi person conversation going, in text NOT voicespam, as voicespam interferes with the MUSIC.  DJ's are NOT there to talk, they are there to hear requests and change the record at the end of the song, Hosts are there to ENTERTAIN, in local chat, to cause FUN to happen ALONGSIDE the MUSIC.

That is what makes a club, music you like and fun with people you can get along with.

People want to stand AFK, bored, they can do that on the bottom of a low lag sea sim.

People wast to listen to a certain music genre in silence, they can turn on a radio at home, or an mp3 player.

People want to see endless gesturebating, with bad ascii art, they can visit a latin american sim.

People go to clubs to have a good time, make sure they get one, and you succeed as a contest entrant, or as a host...
 

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2 hours ago, Nimue Galatea said:

I can't think of any real life examples to compare it to.

Desk clerks at hotels.
Greeters at Walmart.
Receptionists in offices.
Retail staff/checkers in stores.
Wait staff in restaurants.
Bank Tellers.

Those are all examples of jobs that have (to varying degrees) customer faces. Those faces can go a long way towards making or breaking a business.

When I walk around Home Depot, I often hear something like "Can I help you?"
When I walk around my local Mom and Pop hardware store I sometimes hear something like "What did you break now?", and there's a sign over the cash register that reads "If we don't have it, you don't need it."

Which place would you rather shop?

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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All these suggestions are great. One thing I would add is to treat everyone in a friendly manner regardless of whether they tip or not. Also, thank everyone sincerly, whether someone gives you a 20 L tip or 500 L tip, the thank you should be just as warm and friendly.

Along with not asking for tips, I would add not getting in someone's IM and disparaging that person for not tipping, or threatening to boot someone for that reason. Yes, incredibly there is at least one host I know who threatens contest and sploder winners for not tipping a portion of their winnings.

Every DJ, dancer, and host I have encountered always says it is not about the tips, but rather the fun. I tend to think this is for the most part bunk, but if you are doing it for the money, some virtual method acting may be required.

Also, patrons at gay venues tend to tip better than at other venues, and a lot of Europeans tip less than people from other parts of the world, due I suspect, to the added cost they have in purchasing Lindens.

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10 minutes ago, Nikolai Warden said:

Also, patrons at gay venues tend to tip better than at other venues, and a lot of Europeans tip less than people from other parts of the world, due I suspect, to the added cost they have in purchasing Lindens.

Neither of those things are hard and fast facts. They may be anecdotal, at best, and I severely doubt that too.  At least, neither has been my experience, or the experience of anyone I know that has ever been a host/hostess. I find it odd anyone would make those correlations anyway. 

People will tip what they can, when they can, if they feel compelled to do so. Give people a reason to think they should tip, and they will, regardless of who the host is, whatever sexual orientation they may have have(or do not have), where in the world they may reside, or anything else one may want to attribute to folks. 

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No, you are correct. They are not hard and fast facts, merely observations I and a few other hosts, DJ friends, and dancers have made over the years. People tip what they can, when they can, of course.

However, I think what constitutes a "good" tip has somewhat of a cultural basis. What is sometimes perceived as under tipping at some gay clubs is perceived as exceedingly generous at other venues. I did not mention that as a criticism.

Having attended parties for years at European owned clubs, I noticed tips of 10 to 25 Lindens being more the norm. This led to my belief that SL is pricier for some than others. Once again, these are my impressions, not hard facts.

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen a good host or hostess. At best they speak to you when you tp in and that’s it. A little worse they have a conversation with people they know and leave everybody else out “Hey sis! *huggiez*” At the very worst it’s awful gestures “woooooooooooo!” “That’s my tune woo la la la la!”

Hopefully, you can see I’ve been traumatized by the last one. So yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a venue where the host(ess) actually truly engaged me. The best I’ve ever got was an invite to the hostess’ dance hud where a bunch of girls were doing new dances like Beyoncé’s “Put a ring on it” and a lot of twerking in a line.

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Hmm what can I say, not a lot of good things to say about hosts/hostesses in these replies, that's kind of sad. I think the one piece of advice I would give someone who was thinking of becoming a host/hostess is to think of it as inviting people into YOUR home for a party, you entertain, treat them with respect and attempt to make them feel at HOME in your home. Along with that you also have a responsibility to both the DJ and the venue, you are expected to increase traffic, increase tips to the DJ and the venue. Also every venue is different there are no set in stone rules. Some places will encourage certain behavior that others forbid it is YOUR job to adapt to those standards. The most important aspect is to SERVE the customer, whether that customer is a guest,, the DJ or the venue. One more thing, have fun, if you are not having fun there is no point in expecting others to.

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8 hours ago, AnimaVenator said:

Hmm what can I say, not a lot of good things to say about hosts/hostesses in these replies, that's kind of sad. I think the one piece of advice I would give someone who was thinking of becoming a host/hostess is to think of it as inviting people into YOUR home for a party, you entertain, treat them with respect and attempt to make them feel at HOME in your home. Along with that you also have a responsibility to both the DJ and the venue, you are expected to increase traffic, increase tips to the DJ and the venue. Also every venue is different there are no set in stone rules. Some places will encourage certain behavior that others forbid it is YOUR job to adapt to those standards. The most important aspect is to SERVE the customer, whether that customer is a guest,, the DJ or the venue. One more thing, have fun, if you are not having fun there is no point in expecting others to.

in short : hosting is a skill, and most hosts in sl don't have it. It's for them nothing more than a skill-less job to get some L$.

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I'll opine that "hosts have it hard" compared to DJ's; and I both DJ and Host.

Very often, the Host is there to absorb flack so that the DJ doesn't have to, and has "club rules" to follow that require them to spam, ask for tips for the DJ and do things people mention here as being annoying.  Personally, I agree with most of what was said; but many Hosts do this because their employer requires it.

To cap that off, Hosts often rake in less than DJs for tips on the theory that they don't contribute as much........

I work much harder when hosting than when I play music :-) 

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11 hours ago, AmandaKeen said:

Very often, the Host is there to absorb flack so that the DJ doesn't have to, and has "club rules" to follow that require them to spam, ask for tips for the DJ and do things people mention here as being annoying.  Personally, I agree with most of what was said; but many Hosts do this because their employer requires it.

See, that is a spiral of doom. People do not like giving to beggars, if the club demands you to be a beggar... guess what happens?

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Unfortunately, you're up against the Business Model.  Nightspots are not subsidized by Linden lab, buying music to play isn't free and people don't want to pay a cover charge to go dance in SL.......the club owners have to monetize to break even.

To borrow an old saying; "Don't hate the player; hate the game"

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