Thank you everyone for coming out! I think that it is fair to say that this was our best convention yet. We had about 80 people and whenever I looked around, almost everyone was playing or appeared to be having a good time. I met (and reconnected with) a bunch of great people.
Also, thank you to our volunteers: Brad, Candy, Darryl, James, Jeanne, Kenton, Rachel, and Zap. Without them the convention simply wouldn't have been possible (or at least would not have been nearly as much fun).
What worked well? What could be improved?
The big theme from feedback was that people liked the scheduled gaming track. On the other hand, the biggest issue that people had was that we didn't have enough scheduled gaming. Only having one track of scheduled gaming was a deliberate choice on our part, since we hadn't been very successful at doing scheduled gaming in past conventions. Now that we have it a bit more figured out our plan is to expand it in a big way next year. You'll hear more about this in the coming months.
There were also a bunch of little things that could be improved, such as doing a better job at welcoming new players, providing family-friendly activities, and providing food options. We have been going over ways of addressing these issues and think that we will be able to generally improve things next year.
Was it sustainable? What is the money going to be spent on?Yes! We made enough to cover next year's convention, which was our primary goal.
Although we plan on putting most of the money towards the 2019 convention, we do have one big expense that will take a big chunk of it. We plan on forming an LLC this year. There are two primary reasons for this:
- It limits our personal liability. Although we don't anticipate running into legal problems, we live in a litigious culture and none of us wants to lose everything because someone started a fistfight over Monopoly house rules then sued us for it.
- It will allow us to get a bank account. This sounds boring, but it is actually pretty important, since we would like to be able to have pre-registration.
What are the plans for next year?
We're going to do it again, of course! We are looking at holding it at the end of February again, and are in the process of looking at venues. We would like to move to a bigger venue at some point, but due to the initial costs of forming an LLC, that might have to wait for another year. We will make the initial announcement as soon as we are able to.
One of the most frequent questions that we fielded at the convention was if we are considering doing it twice a year. We are not. We would rather do it consistently and long-term than risk burning out (which is what happened back when the convention was first started and was put on twice a year). We may consider doing smaller events throughout the year, but there are no plans for that currently and our first priority is to get things sorted out for the 2019 convention.
What is our vision for the convention in the long run?
We want to build this into a small, but robust, regional convention. There are plenty of large gaming events around us, and we don't want to attempt to compete with them. Our current thinking is that an attendance of about 150 would be nice (this year was about 80), and although that number might well change, it is probably in the right ballpark. We think that this size will balance the variety that comes from getting a bunch of people together with the friendly, relaxed vibe that we love.
There is also a good chance that we will be changing the name, provided that we can find something that we can agree on. We would like something a bit more fun, and we also want to draw people from adjacent areas (Centralia, Shelton, Aberdeen, etc.) that may not associate as strongly with the South Sound as Olympia, Lacey, and Tumwater do. If we do this, we want to do so as soon as possible so that the transition can be as smooth as possible. We'll keep you in the loop.
Again, thanks! The three of us had an awesome time and hope that you did, too. We'll see you again next year.