I just put in my request for my leave this year at work. I think I requested nine days off. Five of those days are for board game conventions and one of those five days are for IndyCon. IndyCon is the local convention that I help in organizing and carrying out. I'm sure I'll be posting some type of blog after it is over, but I thought I'd describe a bit of the work that goes into it from my perspective, which doesn't even include getting the hotel, rooms, shelves, payments, bags, food, or any of that together. The work I do is pretty much getting sponsors, updating the website, and organizing a couple events during the convention.
Getting sponsors is the most work. I spent several hours this past week alone researching, calling, and emailing different game publishers, retailers, and related businesses. This is my third year in helping in this endeavor and I've got to say that it is becoming easier each year. There is still a lot of work, but once a company sponsors us one year, then next year it is a bit easier since they've already done it once. Now don't get me wrong, we're still a small convention and these companies get all kinds of calls, so they sorta remember me each year, but it's not like I'm on a first name basis with them. I've very appreciative of all our sponsors every year that make the convention a success. Already this year, working two weeks on it, between Dave (the main organizer) and myself we've got 9 companies to sponsor us!
Updating the website is what it has become, but I had to build it first! That took awhile, even without getting into the HTML part of it. I'm pretty satisfied with how it came out, though I hope one day we actually make a bit of money on the convention and we can purchase a domain of our own. Now, I'm just writing some news bits, adding sponsors to the sponsor page, and editing the schedule as things change. You can see the website here: IndyCon 2011.
Running events at the actual convention is probably my absolute favorite part. I've always loved tournament style things from my brother and I racing our whole matchbox car collection down an old chalkboard to playing in all day long basketball tournaments to watching the Big Dance every spring. Tournaments are good. Last year I ran the Thoughthammer Tichu Tourney on Friday night, which seemed to be a big success. I had a great time playing in it and also organizing it. This year, Mayday Games is going to be sponsoring a Crokinole tournament, if the boards that are on order come in time. I'm really hoping they do, because I think that'll be a blast! It's real fun for me to cross teams off the brackets & then move the winner on.
So that is some of the work that goes into just helping organize IndyCon and I don't even do the real grunt work that Dave & Tami do each year. Is it worth it for 3 days a year? Heck yeah! It is very satisfying to see about 100 people come together and just have a great time. From the casual player who shows up just for a couple party games to the hardcore wargamer playing the same game for 12 straight hours, both types of people and all those in-between can't wait for the next IndyCon!