As I reflect back on Gen Con 2017, I am also looking forward to Gen Con 2018. After an event as big as this that I plan to repeat, I like to take notes while things are still really fresh in my mind. Taking notes and making plans for next year now enables me to focus on facts more than fuzzy memories. If you are planning to return to Gen Con next year, I encourage you to do a similar reflection. Next year for us is a bit unclear, which means planning is a bit more challenging. Our daughters started college this past Friday, and at this point we do not know what their summer 2018 will be like. They might have jobs that do not offer them as much vacation time. So, we have to keep that in mind.
My wife, Angie, attended the entire week with us this year (last year she attended through Friday morning), which helped us learn a lot about accessible travel, especially conventions. Yet again, the Gen Con staff were very accommodating to our needs, and we have contacts to use for next year. The Special Services desk provides such wonderful and friendly assistance, making the process of picking up and returning tickets so much simpler for us with the wheelchair. The SpringHill Suites continues to be amazing as an accessible hotel, so we will plan to stay there again and have already spoken with Gen Con Exhibitor Services as to how to reserve an accessible room next year. As I thought last year, reserving the hotel through Sunday night really helped, so we will plan that again next year. Allows us to take our time after booth clean-up to finalize packing and relax a bit after the convention is over.
Well. I tried some slightly better shoes this year, but they were still not good enough. I came home with slightly less sore feet this year, but the same slight injury in my right foot again. I thought these new shoes were good enough, but they apparently were not. Even with the gel inserts I could feel the shoes failing me as the week progressed. I am on my feet a lot at work, but nothing like at Gen Con. The shoes I currently wear and brought to Gen Con have worked wonderfully for work and walking a mile or two each evening. They are NOT good enough for walking over thirty-five miles and hours upon hours on my feet at Gen Con. So, I am looking to invest even more money into higher quality shoes. If you have recommendations, let me know.
This was my fourth year managing a booth and third year with my daughters assisting. We had a wonderfully successful year in the booth financially, but still had some minor staffing challenges. Chris Birch (Modiphius) and I are already discussing how to do things even better next year with the booth staff and some ways to up our professionalism and marketing in the booth. After all these years, I feel I have the booth supplies figured out well, so I have that packing list written. We did determine we need more petty cash next year to start out the convention (especially $1s and $5s). We also need to open our booth worker schedule before Gen Con Event Registration begins so we can confirm booth workers before they choose events. We also need to discuss how we compensate booth workers, because our current system was confusing.
This year, I did much better with scheduling meetings before Gen Con, but still didn’t manage to see everyone I had hoped. Besides my scheduled meetings with publishers, I am contemplating having some deliberately scheduled times and locations where I can be found, besides my time in the booth. The game night we hosted on Saturday evening was wonderful, because people could just stop by to find me there. I think I might schedule some lunch times with locations that I post online before and during the convention, telling people that they are free to join me there if they want to hang out, talk, and/or play some games.
Each Gen Con, I focus more on booth work and relationship-building, but I do get in some gaming. Game demos in the Exhibit Hall and our yearly Saturday night gaming with friends and family really fill my tabletop gaming needs during the con. I still have not managed to do any roleplaying at Gen Con, though. I am going to try harder next year to schedule at least one evening to sign up for an RPG adventure event.
Well, that is what I have made note of so far. What things have you made note of to do better or at least differently at Gen Con 2018?