5 easy steps for running a successful Go demo


Teach how to play Go in your town. It’s fun!

So you want to run a Go demonstration for Learn Go Week, but aren’t sure what to do?

You’re not alone. Since proposing Learn Go Week in July, we’ve received more questions about this than anything else.

The good news is that it’s not that hard, and we’ll work with you to make it as easy as possible.

We have customizable posters, brochures, printable Go sets and much more ready for you to use.

1. Choose a good location


Don’t run a Go demo on a deserted island!

If you’re only going to do one thing right and don’t have time to worry about anything else, make it your choice of location.

A good location for your Go demo can partly make up for a total lack of promotion and other preparation (as long as you still have a Go set).

On the other hand, a poorly chosen location can ruin even the most meticulously planned event.


Choose a location with a lot of foot traffic.

Choose somewhere which:

  • Is fairly well known (so it’s easier to tell people where it is and for them to remember if you tell them).
  • Is easy to get to for people who’ve seen your advertising.
  • Has a lot of local foot traffic at the time when you’ll be there.

Examples of good locations are public spaces near popular shopping areas, popular parks and tourist attractions (check whether you need permission to use the space).

Read more about choosing a location

2. Promote your event


Use this customizable poster to promote your event AND your Go club.

If more people know about your event, more people will come. It’s that simple.

And the more ways you promote your event, the more people will know about it.

You can promote your Go demo on shoestring budget in each (or all) of the following ways:

  • Posters – stick them up anywhere and everywhere!
  • Local media – reporters are looking for interesting stories all the time.
  • Social media – get your friends involved too.
  • Word of mouth – once you start promoting your event, people will tell their friends.
  • Register your Learn Go Week event – let us help you promote your event.

This brings us to one of the main reasons for Learn Go Week. Three Go players running a local teaching event isn’t that remarkable, but the same three local Go players who are now part of a global phenomenon involving thousands of players is a completely different story.

That’s another reason why you should register your Learn Go Week event, to help create a tangible list of events which you and other Go players can show to the media to credibly claim that x people are involved.

If you’ve been involved with your Go club for years, I’m not asking you to do anything different to what you usually do (unless you want to). I’m just asking you to do what you always do to promote your club, and to do it on the same day as everyone else.

3. Be prepared

This isn’t boy scouts, but the principle is the same. The more prepared you are the more smoothly things will run.

We have all kinds of material for you to print and give to people

Have a look at our event checklist to get ideas about what you’ll need on the day. You can find all the Learn Go Week checklists here.

4. Teach and enjoy yourself


Keep it simple! Don’t lecture people or they’ll fall asleep.

Now that you’ve got people’s attention, teach them! That’s why you’re doing this, right?

Remember, you love Go so it should be easy to talk about it with enthusiasm.

When teaching beginners, keep things simple to start with and get people playing and having fun as soon possible.

Read more about teaching

5. Follow up with people

After a satisfying day of teaching people to play Go, it’s tempting to think that your job is done.

However, if you have a Go club (or want to start one) you’ll be selling yourself short if you don’t follow through afterwards.

This requires a little preparation too, but it’s as simple as asking people to write down their email address on the day (if they seem interested).

Once you have some new contacts, email them to invite them to other local Go events and meetings. If you don’t have any events, invent one!

Further reading

All of these tips come from our Guerrilla Go Marketing Toolkit. Check out the toolkit for many more suggestions and resources.

What are your tips?

What we’ve discussed here only scratches the surface of what’s possible when promoting Go.

I know a lot of you also have a lot of experience promoting Go and have been doing this for years. I’d love to hear your ideas about the best ways to run a Go demonstration.

What are your top tips for readers who are new to all this?

To share your ideas, click here and leave a comment below.


About David Ormerod

David is a Go enthusiast who’s played the game for more than a decade. He likes learning, teaching, playing and writing about the game Go. He's taught thousands of people to play Go, both online and in person at schools, public Go demonstrations and Go clubs. David is a 5 dan amateur Go player who competed in the World Amateur Go Championships prior to starting Go Game Guru. He's also the editor of Go Game Guru.

You can follow Go Game Guru on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.


  1. Thx for the Tips! 🙂

    Aonken GO Club from Punta Arenas – Chile this will be done in this global challenge!

  2. I’ve made an alternate poster – feel free to use it!


    • David Ormerod says:

      Wow, thanks Evan! That looks really good.

      I compressed it (losslessly) and uploaded it here with the other poster.

      By the way, I’ll add another version of my poster without the ‘Learn Go Week’ info on it soon (when I have time) too.

  3. Great advice! Definitely looking forward to seeing the results from this great initiative!

  4. Bart Lipofsky says:

    This is a wonderful promotion with a lot of effort. But I have to question the black hooded character that could be taken for a jihadist. I KNOW it’s supposed to be a black go stone, but that was not my first impression.

    My local club is going to support the event to the best of our ability.

    Best wishes, Bart

    • David Ormerod says:

      Thanks for bringing that up Bart. We hadn’t thought about that, because Kuro is a ninja (as well as a Go stone) and he’s kind of the Go Game Guru mascot and has been for several years. We thought the ninja connection was obvious with Go being a game of Asian origin.

      We don’t put him on any of the posters, brochures or other material that’s supposed to be used in public, he’s only on our website.

      It’s great to hear that you guys are on board for Learn Go Week!

  5. I have an unrelated, silly question: Why are all of your ninjas black? Where is Shiro and his company? 😉

    I rather like him in the “Learn Go” image above. He’s even stealthier than Kuro against the white background… a truer, more ninjalike ninja in white-backed portions of webpages. 😉

  6. Justin Steece says:

    Im hosting my event At the local Dunn Brother’s Coffee In Zimmerman, MN United States of America on the 15th due to the 13-14th being national guard drill for me, so it is a public demonstration and I will be having lessons throughout the rest of the week if thats okay

  7. What Bart Said!