Monday, October 11, 2010

Planning for my first "House-Con"

I really enjoying going to board game conventions throughout the year. This year I've made it to 3 different ones: the IBC (Indy Boardgamers Convention) in February, the Geekway to the West in St. Louis, and GenCon (not really a board game convention, but that is what I do a lot of while I'm there). It is just great to have nothing to do but game for 3 or 4 straight days! There are several other conventions I'd like to make it too eventually, but just don't have the time or money to do so. These include KublaCon on the West Coast, BGG.Con in Dallas, and the grand daddy of them all - The Spiel in Essen, Germany.However, as of right now, it doesn't look like I'm going to make any of these cons anytime soon.

Earlier this summer I was listening to the On Board Games podcast and they began talking about conventions and more specifically - house conventions. The more they talked about it, the more I wanted to do something like that. Each month we host a 10 hour session of gaming, but I wanted to try a little more. We've also had another couple over for a weekend of gaming, which is great, but the more people you have the more options you have, so this weekend is our first house convention, which I'm calling "13th Tribe Extravaganza".

Here is a list of what decisions I made coming into the weekend to make sure that everyone had a good experience:
  1. Kids are awesome, but they can be very distracting and detract from the fun of a board game, so I made sure to implement a kids are welcome rule. However, the adults must switch off watching me so that the other parent can play a game undistracted.
  2. I specific starting and end time each day, so that I know I'll get at least 7 hours sleep each night.
  3. Kept the cost as low as possible per person, but realized needed to charge to cover costs of toilet paper, cups, paper towels, etc. We're also having chili one day, which we are making, so needed money to pay for that too.
  4. While discussing keeping the cost down, it stopped me from getting a customized dice for everyone. I really wanted to do this, but just couldn't justify the extra $1 or $2 per person it would be and didn't want to spend the money myself.
  5. We have an annual Puerto Rico tourney, as I stated in my last blog, so I built a trophy to give away to add some excitement.
  6. Table space. I don't have the biggest house in the world, but with the basement it isn't that smallest either. For normal game days we have 2 or 3 tables going at once, so I'm planning on more. We'll have 3 tables upstairs and at least 3 tables downstairs for the weekend. The bigger issue will be getting enough chairs to fill those tables. Right now I have access to 27 chairs, so I'm hoping that is enough to handle the peak time I expect on Saturday.
So those are the 6 main things I thought about for this weekend. I'll let you know how it went next Monday. I'm excited!

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