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Subject: Glasgow Gaming Festival - Feedback rss

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Nick Pitman
Scotland
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Firstly a big Thank You - cross posted from the Facebook page.

Thanks everyone who turned up and played, kind of an essential element.
Thanks to all the gaming helpers who assisted pre-event, stocked the library, and did all the welcoming, teaching and many other tasks on the day. Most spent more time helping than playing.
Huge thanks to all the GCU helpers. We never could have staffed the event without them.
Thanks to my wife, Emma, for all her help.
Thanks to Brian, who played an invaluable part in making the event actually happen.

Now on to business. The business of 2015. I had always hoped that if the event worked it would be great to have it as a regular annual event. It feels like it was a success so the plan would be to do it again next year. With that in mind, I would like to ask for feedback.

Positive feedback is always nice, but specifically - what was especially good? What is it essential that we preserve for future events?

And what could we do better, or do without, for future events?


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Nick Pitman
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I'll start the ball rolling myself
- We need better food. Some kind of lunch and dinner right by the hall would be a massive advantage.
- Trade presence. Armed with the attanedance from this year, and a bit more time, I would plan to have some kind of trade presence in future years.
- A two day event maybe?

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Wulf Corbett
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I was greatly impressed by the turnout throughout the entire day (and I was there throughout the entire day...), and surprised that so many people in one room did not make more noise. Except when Cash n Guns was being played somewhere in the background, you could hear everyone talking around your table. Good acoustics. Also, good, attentive & well-informed staff & volunteers.

Yes, it needs closer food outlets (I find it amusing, if predictable, that there was a bar, but no food, right on site). And something approaching proper meals too, even if it's just a microwave. The vending machine Hot Chocolate was, however, superb

A bring & buy would be even better than a trade area for me - new games are great, cheap ones are better. cool

I'm not sure about a 2 day event. It's cheap enough, but it's a long day sitting in one hall. Great as a one-off, but 2 days? Maybe too much.
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Wulf Corbett
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Oh, and a Facebook page we can post to. I don't care if you're getting spam, deal with it. A Facebook page we can't post to is worse than useless.
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Michael Ross
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As the party responsible for bringing Cash n Guns I have to put my hands up as guilty as charged. We possibly were a teeny (!) bit noisy. If I'd thought about it earlier re-locating to the other side of the partition wall might have made more sense.

I agree with the points about lack of hot food but would add that the bar only having one keg of draught beer was an error. More beer and a better selection would be my request for next year.

The Last Saturday in November was a good fit for me, getting a chance to sample all that crunchy Essen goodness and check out other games before embarking on the festive spending rush was inspired.

I very much doubt that I'd attend a two day con, time is limited enough at this point in the year.
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Keith Jones
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Thanks, Nick, for organising it. It was an excellent day and I'm really pleased that you're already looking towards 2015.

I'm not sure a two day event would be a good idea for the reasons already stated in posts higher up this list but don't feel that the lack of hot food was an issue. There are places within walking distance of the venue where that can be obtained if needed.

Maybe run the next one on a Sunday? That way parking would be much easier and getting to and from the venue a pleasanter experience.

Don't just concentrate on facebook to relay information. Some of us (ok, probably only me) don't and won't use it so will probably rely on BGG to get the details.

Under the category of "preserve for future events" - the "player wanted" signs and the library. Neither of those had any impact on our table because we'd arranged to meet up and what we were going to play but looking around at the event in general both struck me as good ideas.

I'm not convinced that a trade presence would work but a bring and buy is certainly a good idea. How about modelling it on the BGGCon virtual flea-market?
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Douglas MacIntyre
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First as with all the other comments day was awesome fun and worked really well, see you guys next year.

Onto some hopefully useful feedbacks:

- The white on blue design of the website was bit eye achey to read for info (looks clean for the big bits but tough to actually read sections like the faqs on)

- Get info out there in advance, depending on where you came into the uni from it was tough to tell where to go and i don't think the official guys on campus (apart from security who always seem clued up) knew where the conference hall was Campus map if we are back at GCU would be great. Also the library worked awesomely well on the day, if you can let people know exactly how it works they will be happy to add to the library.

- I know the Players and Teachers wanted didn't pull in the numbers - would it be worth looking at trying to add in sign ups for next time (Heroes wanted game - 1pm estimated 60-90 minutes - 3 player slots with teacher/experienced player/owner ........../........./.......)

- Would it be worthwhile looking to make a guild to gather the details together a bit better than just posting in Scotland? [happy to throw xmas geekgold in if it helps] (much as that is also a great one to flag it up on the run up) That way it will be easier to find the lists and threads that are beng used and a central point for info to be kept.
Would also allow for specific threads that would be easier to trackdown and keep up with. (i.e separate ones for requests, volunteering additions to the library, links to runthrough type videos for the multi copy games...)

- Last one - thanks again for organizing and pulling this one off. Both to Nik and Brain and also to the hordes of volunteers who were in on it as well - Day went smoother than i would have thought a first time event could.
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Forsaken One
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I was there from opening to about 10.30 (Needed to catch a bus). I really enjoyed it and I'm grateful to those who organised it. You all did a great job and for a first con, it was very impressive.

Personally, I liked it being one day only and that day being a Saturday. Quite simply, if it is moved to a Sunday then I will not be attending. If changed to a two day one then I would attend the Saturday date at the very least.

The problem with the players wanted/teachers wanted thing is they were far too small. They really need to stand out in order to draw people in. If you look at videos of Dice Tower Con, the stands they used for that were at head height when placed on a table. That would certainly catch the eye better.

I do think encouraging people to use the signs would be a good idea (Even if it's just a dedicated helper going around handing them out/collecting them throughout the day). I'm one of those shy people who did wander around quite a bit between games struggling to get in on any starting up (I came alone). I was lucky that some people did reach out to me for a couple of games and then I just followed them around from table to table.

Not having food nearby was not a big deal to me. I had always intended to go out to eat as I needed to stretch my legs and rest my brain after indulging in some reasonably weighty euro games. I can understand that those not familiar with Glasgow may prefer to have something closer to hand, though.

Like Keith Jones, I do not and will not ever use Facebook. Please ensure that you post to BGG too. I'd be fine with a dedicated guild or continuing to run it out of the Scotland forum. I liked the website although it seemed to randomly go offline from time-to-time.

Finally, please come up with something to mark you've paid other than stamps. I hate having my hand stamped. That's just a personal thing, though, I could live without changing that.
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Wulf Corbett
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Taller signs on the tables, yes.
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Stefan T
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Some ideas (a few new ones)

1. Opportunity to buy/sell used games

2. Opportunity to trade games. Trades should probably be decided in advance.

3. Have the adjacent cafe open

4. Have somebody sell hamburgers or something outside

5. Prepare a map on pieces of paper to distribute that shows where nearby takeaways, restaurants and shops are

6. Have drinking water available

7. I don't know where I read this, but sometimes games companies can donate a game to a con. The names of all people who play the game during the day are put in a hat, and at the end one of the day one of the people who played the game will get the game. This encourages people to find players to play the game and it is PR for the company.

8. Have a microphone for announcements.

9. Run a tournament in some small game that doesn't take too long to play, so that the tournament would only take like two hours.

10. Have the festival continue on the Sunday but not play games on that day. Instead there would be seminars and workshops somewhere else at the university. Talks from games designers (students) who could get feedback, history of board games, board game publishing etc.
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Steve Scothern
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I was there with my family from 11:00 til 16:00 (had to leave for dog/kids, but would have happily stayed longer if possible).

It was an excellent day, and I would certainly attend again. The games library was well stocked, we had no trouble finding something we all wanted to play.

Staff/helpers were very friendly and helpful, and the guy that taught us Imperial Settlers was a fantastic teacher.

The hall was good, not too noisy, with a nice atmosphere. Closer food availability would have been nice, but not essential.

If there had been a trade stall, I would probably have bought copies of all the new games I played!

I was surprised there wasn't more of an effort to promote games shops/clubs, but hey, we have the internet, so those that are interested can easily find them :-)

Thanks very much for organising this!
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Owen Duffy
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Hi Nick.

Fantastic event, thanks very much for putting it together!

I would echo the call for food in the same building. Also for more beer - some interesting craft beers are never a bad thing.

I don't know whether tournaments etc. would be a great idea. I quite liked the informal vibe.
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Sonia Mitchell
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Adding my two cents and like the others I thought you guys did great! Well organised in such a short period of time. Great turnout. Will be keen to come back next year. We managed to have a short chat with Brian and made some comments but my only comments would be:

1. Flags. Although we didn't need them (had organised a game ahead of time), I think they're a great idea. It didn't seem like they were being used a whole lot. I don't know if people tended to stick together on the same tables but anything to encourage people to mix a bit is a good idea. Maybe distribute them around the room more. I'm not sure people would think to use them unless they were right in front of them. Taller or more visible flags are a good idea.

2. Tournaments. Continuing with the mixing theme, I think this would encourage people to mix and maybe try something new. Maybe set aside three tables at the side of the room to play on. One game in the morning and one in the evening running continuously throughout the day.

3. Bring and buy.

4. Raffle. Prizes are nice. Raising money is nice. Can't go wrong there!

5. Photographers. I guess I was the only one that was bothered by this. At one point in the early afternoon, whilst trying to avoid three photographers, I turned to see another four taking pictures of the room. I'm not keen on strangers taking pictures of me without knowing who they are and why they're doing it, it's a personal thing. Only one girl asked permission, I think she was a student. The man in the cardigan, I heard he worked for the university. It would have been better if he and anyone else had clear ID. Just a personal opinion though.

Otherwise, fantastic! You guys were wonderful! meeple
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Stefan T
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msangryduck wrote:
5. Photographers. I guess I was the only one that was bothered by this. At one point in the early afternoon, whilst trying to avoid three photographers, I turned to see another four taking pictures of the room. I'm not keen on strangers taking pictures of me without knowing who they are and why they're doing it, it's a personal thing. Only one girl asked permission, I think she was a student. The man in the cardigan, I heard he worked for the university. It would have been better if he and anyone else had clear ID. Just a personal opinion though.


For me it is OK if people take one or two photos but it bothers me when they take ten or twenty, and I wondered what this was for. Of course, I could have asked, but I was busy teaching and playing the games.
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Brian McDonald
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On the Photography point, I briefed the students to always ask. If they didn't ask and made you all feel uncomfortable, I apologise

As to the quantity, I maybe overdone it with the student volunteers for the Photography side of things. Next year only a couple at peak times and no more than 200 photos this time
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Sonia Mitchell
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No worries, students I have no problem with. I would assume that photographs obtained via institutional means would be vetted prior to being posted online. My concern was the sheer mass of photographers encouraging random amateurs to feel they had free reign. Clearly visible ID, along with a reduction in frequency would help avoid this.

No reason to apologise though. Nothing wrong with a bit of enthusiasm
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Wulf Corbett
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The only people I noticed taking my picture did ask - although how many didn't I notice?

I did wonder why there were so many though (not all fixated on me).
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chris ward
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Hello everybody,

I was there with my 13 yo daughter from 10 am until round 6:40 pm and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I'd like to thank everyone concerned, the organisers and helpers. In particular can I thank the guys that taught us the various games we played : Sean (Euphoria), Yannis (I hope I am spelling that corrctly, Santiago de Cuba) and the Doug & David Doubleteam that taught us Coal Baron & Power Grid.

On some of the issues that others have raised.  I thought the food at the canteen was really pretty good value, but it wasn't obvious how to find it and I can see the case for a more immediate catering option. I would also have appreciated a trade presence, I'm sure we'd have gone home with something of interest. If it were stretched to 2 days in future we would only attend on one of the days.

One slight issue we did have was a slight difficulty in finding a table at the busiest time of the day (early afternoon), but this was probably a sign of success more than anything. Maybe go for a bigger venue next time? Or allow for the play area to extend out into the adjoining hall if required?

But I'll just repeat that we had a great time and will definitely attend next year. Ongoing domestic and other commitments generally restrict us to playing 2 player games at home (barring visitors) but we do hope to find the time to at least occasionally visit some of the gaming groups that had a pesence at the show.

Thanks again & regards - Chris (& Rachel)
===============================
Thine be ilka joy and treasure
===============================
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Grant Whitton
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Thanks to all the organisers. Missing Dicecons East and West , and Edinburgh Unplugged , this was a great reintroduction of Con gaming and very well organised.
The venue was great and almost perfect (see others comments). The room size was good and I'm sure a few more tables could have been accommodated if needed.
Some food vending onsite would be good - but it's never been an issue at previous cons and might be born out of us being in a refectory with closed catering shake . A bit more info on the Facebook page about local food outlets should be easy to do. And give the number of the local Dominoes pizza .
I think a one day event is supportable (no preference for Sat or Sun), as 2 days of being sat at table would be too much like hard work.

Bring and Buy is a good suggestion. At least as an experiment for next year. You need volunteers to run it , and space , but the one run at Claymore event in Edinburgh is a good template.
I'm not sure about traders and game shops being present. It's hard to see how it would be worth their while bringing stock to the event - which also needs space. On t'other hand , there are more shops competing for business up here these days and some arrangement around pre/post Con orders might be possible.
How about someone running a GGF No Ship Math Trade for pickups at the event ?
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Nick Pitman
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Thanks everyone for all the positive feedback.

Distilling things down, so far for next year the plan would be

- Probably similar date
- Single day event still seems most popular option. Main advantage for 2 days would be for those who want even more gaming, and those who might find it worthwhile travelling from further afield. Maybe some time in the future...
- Same venue but more tables and possibly option to spill into the canteen area
- On site catering nearby
- Better beer. Draught for the whole night at least
- Possibility of some trade presence
- Looking for input from games publishers
- Maybe some kind of bring-buy system. Would need staffing though. Option might be a maths trade but they can be a bit intimidating.
- More publicity pre-event, which should come from having more time
- Less photography. I haven't seen the pictures yet but think the saturation we had this year is likely to have benefits. Main advantage will be when it comes to publicising the next event we can use the photos from this one.
- Possibly a small, light tournament. Keen not to disrupt the relaxed atmosphere but should be able to strike a balance
- Some kind of prizes if we can get them. Probably by raffle
- Printed tickets rather than hand stamps

Phew.

Oh and following a very wise suggestion, I am in the process of setting up a guild to contain future posts on the event.

 
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Douglas MacIntyre
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+ More directions and a nice map to the location (will not be a problem for all us year 1 veterans though cool )

- also interested in a non ship trade (this would probubly be less administration and could need as little manpower as a meeting point and a list on a table of 'you can spot me by my xxxxxx')
- Anyone else interested in running one (if no-one else has more of a clue I can look to annoy variuos people and try to get up to speed to run it - wanted to try to be part of the UK one anyways)

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Keith Jones
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shadowruin wrote:
- also interested in a non ship trade (this would probubly be less administration and could need as little manpower as a meeting point and a list on a table of 'you can spot me by my xxxxxx')


The virtual fleamarket, which was run for BGGCon, seemed to work well. Sellers would put their wares on display in a geeklist with a selling price and buyers could then purchase with the actual exchange happening at the convention (or festival in our case).
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Douglas MacIntyre
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Could see a maths trade.. into a flea market.. into a trade stand. I can take a shift at whatever kind of stand we end up with (all assumptions included in the 11 month gap ).
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Ian B
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Great stuff. There is definitely room for a Math Trade alongside whatever other sorts of trades there are and I would use it in preference to any sort of 'bring and buy' which I suspect would involve too much speculative transport of games that I would be unlikely to bring anything.

We've done a few Edinburgh no-ship Math Trades run by Joao Lima (jmlima) and he might be persuaded to run it if he has time.

http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/170788/no-ship-edinburgh-m...

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Eddy Richards
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A con in Brighton I went to a couple of times had a very light and fun tournament structure. I can't totally remember the details but I expect I could delve back into my memory if pressed!
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