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Subject: Why no conventions in Pittsburgh, PA? rss

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J.R. Shoenberger
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Does anyone know why there isn't a current gaming convention in Pittsburgh? What is stopping one from going on? I know there are a few vibrant gaming groups in the area?


Before people comment, I know the following things to be true:
1. Yes, I know PAX Unplugged is in Philadelphia (4-5 hours away from PGH)
2. Yes, I know Origins is in Columbus and isn't too far (4-5 hours away from PGH)
3. Yes, I know GASP used to hold a convention in the past.


Thoughts?
 
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Grant Johnson
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squared82 wrote:
Does anyone know why there isn't a current gaming convention in Pittsburgh? What is stopping one from going on? I know there are a few vibrant gaming groups in the area?


Before people comment, I know the following things to be true:
1. Yes, I know PAX Unplugged is in Philadelphia (4-5 hours away from PGH)
2. Yes, I know Origins is in Columbus and isn't too far (4-5 hours away from PGH)
3. Yes, I know GASP used to hold a convention in the past.


Thoughts?

Isn't WBC about an hour outside Pittsburg?
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Rob Foley
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squared82 wrote:
Does anyone know why there isn't a current gaming convention in Pittsburgh? What is stopping one from going on? I know there are a few vibrant gaming groups in the area?


Before people comment, I know the following things to be true:
1. Yes, I know PAX Unplugged is in Philadelphia (4-5 hours away from PGH)
2. Yes, I know Origins is in Columbus and isn't too far (4-5 hours away from PGH)
3. Yes, I know GASP used to hold a convention in the past.


Thoughts?

You actually just missed one that was two weeks ago. www.replayfx.org
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Michael McKibbin
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tallgrant wrote:
squared82 wrote:
Does anyone know why there isn't a current gaming convention in Pittsburgh? What is stopping one from going on? I know there are a few vibrant gaming groups in the area?


Before people comment, I know the following things to be true:
1. Yes, I know PAX Unplugged is in Philadelphia (4-5 hours away from PGH)
2. Yes, I know Origins is in Columbus and isn't too far (4-5 hours away from PGH)
3. Yes, I know GASP used to hold a convention in the past.


Thoughts?

Isn't WBC about an hour outside Pittsburg?

Yep, at the Seven Springs Ski resort. Just got back a couple weeks ago. I know there were a number of day commuters from the Pittsburgh area who came in to play.
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Leo Zappa
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Reric wrote:
squared82 wrote:
Does anyone know why there isn't a current gaming convention in Pittsburgh? What is stopping one from going on? I know there are a few vibrant gaming groups in the area?


Before people comment, I know the following things to be true:
1. Yes, I know PAX Unplugged is in Philadelphia (4-5 hours away from PGH)
2. Yes, I know Origins is in Columbus and isn't too far (4-5 hours away from PGH)
3. Yes, I know GASP used to hold a convention in the past.


Thoughts?

You actually just missed one that was two weeks ago. www.replayfx.org

Um, that's not for boardgames, which I believe is what the OP is looking for.

As for boardgames, yes, WBC holds its annual convention at Seven Springs, which is about an hour outside of downtown (or, for you Yinzers, "dahntahn"). Unfortunately, you just missed this year's WBC, so you will have to until July 20-28 of 2019 for the next one.

https://www.boardgamers.org/wbcindex.html
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Dean B
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Good question.

I've honestly just been kinda waiting to hear an update, hoping that GASP finally hosts another one. Doesn't seem likely at this point, however.

That said, Origins/Columbus is only three hours from Pittsburgh. And there is a convention an hour from Pittsburgh in Seven Springs, the World Boardgaming Championships (WBC).

I think that GASP's inability to secure a new location a few years ago took the wind out of most people's sails. I'm not very connected to the local, gaming community i.e. I don't go to GASP days or any other meetups but I do sense there is an audience for a 500-person con in the city. Just need to find a venue and organize.

I would love to see another boardgame convention in Pittsburgh. The final GASPcon was fantastic. I'd even be willing to help organize if someone were to take the lead.
 
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Curtis Frantz
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dreamingant wrote:
That said, Origins/Columbus is only three hours from Pittsburgh. And there is a convention an hour from Pittsburgh in Seven Springs, the World Boardgaming Championships (WBC).

This.

While I'm sure it would be nice to have a convention in Pittsburgh (and I don't have an answer for why there isn't one), I'd consider myself lucky to have that close proximity to WBC, Origins (shouldn't take you over 3 hours to get to Cbus), and even Gen Con (6 hours).
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Kaarin Engelmann
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There is 3 Rivers Con, though it is not really much of a game convention and now seems to be called 3 Rivers Comicon (http://3riverscomicon.com/). Assuming it is the same convention we attended years ago, we left early because we couldn't get enough boardgamers together to play any of the games I attended to play.
 
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Charles Boyung
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Because no one has taken the reigns to run one. If you want one there, start one.
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Eric Engelmann
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motoyugota wrote:
Because no one has taken the reigns to run one. If you want one there, start one.

Here's how:
http://tinyurl.com/condirector
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Mike
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desertfox2004 wrote:
Reric wrote:
squared82 wrote:
Does anyone know why there isn't a current gaming convention in Pittsburgh? What is stopping one from going on? I know there are a few vibrant gaming groups in the area?



Thoughts?

You actually just missed one that was two weeks ago. www.replayfx.org

Um, that's not for boardgames, which I believe is what the OP is looking for.

https://www.boardgamers.org/wbcindex.html

I was at replayFX. There is a boardgaming section there actually. Largely it's video games and the world's largest pinball competition.

https://www.replayfx.org/games/tabletop/
 
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rush howe
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I have space in pgh if somebody wants to arrange a convention
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Joe Salamone
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According to George Romero, there are zombies in Pittsburgh. That's why.

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P J

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There should be
Yes, there should be a gaming convention in Pittsburgh. When there is one, I will be there. Imagine it in the city's sparkling, compact Downtown, where there is a surge of development happening. New hotels are sprouting all over. Downtown is within walking distance of where the Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers play, and there is music and movies every night, year-round, in Downtown's Cultural District. Pittsburgh is a fantastic location for a convention.

Oh, yeah, the convention center is Downtown, too.

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Eric Engelmann
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The Pirates wrote:
Yes, there should be a gaming convention in Pittsburgh. When there is one, I will be there. Imagine it in the city's sparkling, compact Downtown, where there is a surge of development happening. New hotels are sprouting all over. Downtown is within walking distance of where the Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers play, and there is music and movies every night, year-round, in Downtown's Cultural District. Pittsburgh is a fantastic location for a convention.

Oh, yeah, the convention center is Downtown, too.


Convention centers are EXPENSIVE, and force a con organizer to be very well capitalized and experienced. A suburban event for a few hundred people is much cheaper, with only a few thousand dollars at risk. It's an EXPERIENCE!
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J.R. Shoenberger
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I must’ve missed that about WBC. The last I heard was it was in Lancaster.
 
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J.R. Shoenberger
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rushhowe wrote:
I have space in pgh if somebody wants to arrange a convention

What are we looking at here? Big basement? Backyard with a large tent? Own a hotel? Have the keys to Heinz Field?
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joe_salamone wrote:
According to George Romero, there are zombies in Pittsburgh. That's why.


Yinzer zombies.
"The horror..."
zombie
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J.R. Shoenberger
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Triple post. Poor form, I know. But I’m on my phone and BGG isn’t totally optimal like this...


Thanks for all of the quick feedback, everyone. I somehow missed that WBC moved from Lancaster. I’ll look at in future years. My sister lives pretty close to there.

I’m going to PAX Unplugged this winter, so I don’t mind traveling for a con. I was mostly reaching out to see if anyone more local knows why there wasn’t a more formal board gaming con or why past attempts had failed. Steel City Con or Replay aren’t the same at all.

PGH has a pretty decent gaming scene with the many excellent game stores, meetups, etc, so it’d make sense to have one, even if it’s just a couple hundred people in a hotel ballroom.
 
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Eric Engelmann wrote:
The Pirates wrote:
Yes, there should be a gaming convention in Pittsburgh. When there is one, I will be there. Imagine it in the city's sparkling, compact Downtown, where there is a surge of development happening. New hotels are sprouting all over. Downtown is within walking distance of where the Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers play, and there is music and movies every night, year-round, in Downtown's Cultural District. Pittsburgh is a fantastic location for a convention.

Oh, yeah, the convention center is Downtown, too.


Convention centers are EXPENSIVE, and force a con organizer to be very well capitalized and experienced. A suburban event for a few hundred people is much cheaper, with only a few thousand dollars at risk. It's an EXPERIENCE!

The DAvid L Lawrence holds about 7500 people and starts at about 30K per day... plus any utilities and labor charges.
I wish there was a con there, but thats some major $ to get started.
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sao123 wrote:
Eric Engelmann wrote:
The Pirates wrote:
Yes, there should be a gaming convention in Pittsburgh. When there is one, I will be there. Imagine it in the city's sparkling, compact Downtown, where there is a surge of development happening. New hotels are sprouting all over. Downtown is within walking distance of where the Penguins, Pirates, and Steelers play, and there is music and movies every night, year-round, in Downtown's Cultural District. Pittsburgh is a fantastic location for a convention.

Oh, yeah, the convention center is Downtown, too.


Convention centers are EXPENSIVE, and force a con organizer to be very well capitalized and experienced. A suburban event for a few hundred people is much cheaper, with only a few thousand dollars at risk. It's an EXPERIENCE!

The DAvid L Lawrence holds about 7500 people and starts at about 30K per day... plus any utilities and labor charges.
I wish there was a con there, but thats some major $ to get started.
Hmm, it sounds like utilities and labor could easily double that cost?

I know EuroQuest (in Pikesville, MD) did a survey to con attendees if they would rather expand the con to let in more people, but up rates across the board since they'd need to rent out convention center type space, even if it is on the smaller side, which is already more costly than a hotel space, or limit attendance and maintain the same rates and levels of service.

Growing pains are a real thing with running cons as well.

Also, some folks aren't happy that West Dice Tower, (formerly known as MeepleCon) has gone from 3-day to 5-day, but will not do day nor weekend passes. AFAIK, since their hotel rates vary per day (e.g. Wed., Thurs., and Sun. are cheapest when they expect to have non-peak attendance), I suspect that weekend passes would've followed suit, and not really offered any significant discounts either. (perhaps only at most $10 off?)
 
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Ill always and forever blame steel city con for driving out gasp from the Monroeville convention center, and ill tell everyone I know to not go there.
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About an hour north just outside of Sharon PA is http://roundtablecon.com

It is very small. This year was the first year so it was not well attended. I'm trying to spread the word so it will be better next year.
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Chris Anderson
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Bummed that I missed that! My wife's family is from that area and I have been to stuff at that Park Inn loads of times. It's on my calendar for next year!
 
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IvanGrimm wrote:
About an hour north just outside of Sharon PA is http://roundtablecon.com

It is very small. This year was the first year so it was not well attended. I'm trying to spread the word so it will be better next year.

Here are some techniques to market a small con:
https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/39411/marketing-your-conv...

Here's how to run an ad on BGG (a GREAT deal!!)
https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/39415/advertising-your-co...
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