Anthony BoydellUnited Kingdom
UnspecifiedWelcome...to my Shed!
Yesterday, then, the news that HABA have pulled out of 'live' conventions for the rest of the Year; hot on the heels of last week's Essen no-shows for 2F-Spiele / the Spring 'n'attendons pas' from Asmodee (and all of the brands that we love so much). This is, simultaneously, a Bad Thing(TM) - because it means no decent massive convention for a second year - and a Good Thing(TM) - because it further justifies my own own apprehensions about travelling to Germany.
Conversely, the small Events seem to be quite happy to pick things up again; despite a small number of 'Ooh, I've been pinged!' Track & Trace scares, it seems the UK Games Expo managed to beetle through with relative success: albeit as a shadow of it's usual self. I had a long conversation with pal Richard about his couple of days there and he was rather glowing about folks' adherence to masks, social distancing and general conscientious behaviour; this is great to hear - especially after the UKGE's original position of 'Do as thou wilt' in Q1, which firmly kiboshed a number of firms' attendance plans.
UKGE had approximately 10,000 unique visitors - about a third of the usual number - which, if extrapolated to Origins and GenCon (in terms of a 'drop off') would mean about 10,000 and 25,000 respectively; the latter sounds like it's pushing the boundary, though. Now...take 2019's Essen attendance of 208,000 (!) and we're talking 70,000: a truly monstrous - just over a Euro 2020 Wembley Stadium Final - number! So where is the physical and psychological cut-off point? For smaller conventions in the UK - Handycon (500), GridCon (300), Bastion (100) and my own Gathering of Chums (60-ish) - the prognosis would seem more positive; borne of word-of-mouth/friends attendance, there's better assurance that attendees will be sensible and considerate.
The barometer, I feel, will be Spring 2022 and - fingers crossed - the return of Leiriacon (500): it was the first Con to be Covid-cancelled (I had actually packed my suitcase for it when it was initially-postponed) and, should it go ahead, it would be a welcome marker of confidence and optimism: here's hoping, eh?
Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Father, Grandfather, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer.
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