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Subject: Never Been to a Convention rss

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Michael Johnson
United States
California
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So I've never been to a convention specifically aimed at board games. I was wondering what other people's opinions are about the best convention to go to if you've never been before. A good 'entry level' convention, if that makes any sense. A trip to GenCon, for example, while awesome would be FAR too expensive for me as an individual unfortunately. BTW, I live in Long Beach, CA. I'd also probably be going by myself. I don't have a gaming group of friends that I'd be able to chip in on the trip. Maybe there is something a bit closer to me? Thanks for any input.
 
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Martin V
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Victorville
California
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Hey there,

I would suggest a local convention to start off and if you like it.

A local one for you would be Strategicon...here's the link:

http://www.strategicon.net/index.php

It should be close enough to drive to, perhaps even daily if you can attend more than one day. At the moment the events are light, but more and more are added as it gets closer.

It happens three times a year: President's weekend, Memorial weekend, and Labor Day weekend.

Cheers!
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Jeremy Gray
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West Chester
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Here's a neat list to identify cons in your (and many other!) areas:

http://casualgamerevolution.com/game-cons-2017

I went to my first "real" con last year (Dice Tower Con in Orlando, FL). It was 1,500 people "big" and it was a fantastic time. I immediately followed that up with a trip to Gencon, which was also amazing.

Choice of con really comes down to a few main points:

1. What can you afford? If you can't swing the cost, then that makes the decisions for you.

2. What are you going to a con for? If it's to have open gaming, then (as a general rule) the smaller the better. If it's events, big releases, shopping the new games, etc, then the bigger the better.

3. How are you wired? If you get overwhelmed in public easily, definitely go to the smaller cons first. You may never want to go to Gencon. All cons are not for all people.

I can't speak to California conventions, but there are a great many good cons out there. Just pick one and go!

Good luck!
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ronald fraigun
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Tujunga
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We have great conventions here in L.A. 3 times a year. Stratigicon conventions at the LAX Hilton hotel. Presidents day, Labor Day, and Memorial Day.

http://strategicon.net/
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Donald M.
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I was thinking of not going to Gencon because I live so far away, like over 2000 miles. It will be a lot of time and expense if I go just for the con

If I combine the trip with a visit to other places land do more non relating gaming activities that would justify the trip.

I certainly would not go just to play games as I can do that at home.
 
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Nick Hayes
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I second Strategicon. It's very close by and certainly qualifies for an "entry-level gaming convention." It was my first convention, too.
 
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Martin V
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Oiler1 wrote:
I was thinking of not going to Gencon because I live so far away, like over 2000 miles. It will be a lot of time and expense if I go just for the con

If I combine the trip with a visit to other places land do more non relating gaming activities that would justify the trip.

I certainly would not go just to play games as I can do that at home.


I agree that Gen Con can be an expense when either a long drive or airfare is involved. I've been a few times, coming from Southern California, so I get it. However, I would still recommend going if you can swing it. When I go, I try to do things I can't normally do at home, as you mentioned. I would also say you want to look at Gen Con a little differently...

I had a gaming buddy that I tried to encourage to go. He has more gaming inventory in his home/garage than most stores I've been in. If he redirected a few months of funds, he could easily go. However, he felt the expense was not worth the opportunity cost of product he could buy. My wife has slowly convinced me (over the years) to look at it from a different perspective: Buy an experience/memory instead of most "stuff" to put in the closet/garage. While I still buy "stuff," I try to buy a lot less, and instead try to spend more on experiences. That's how I've come to see Gen Con (and travel and other events). Anyway, a long winded way of saying that I would encourage you to try Gen Con if your budget would allow. As you also mentioned, you can do other activates in the area, perhaps that could make the trip meaningful to you as well.

Cheers!
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