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Subject: Why no conventions in Pittsburgh, PA? rss

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Clint Conner
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Thanks for all the info. I'll look into WBC. Probably can't go this year, though. Are there any other events throughout the year?
 
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Eric Engelmann
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Maziken wrote:
Thanks for all the info. I'll look into WBC. Probably can't go this year, though. Are there any other events throughout the year?

Board game cons in the DC, MD, and VA are listed here.
https://www.meetup.com/DMV-Board-Game-Conventions/events/

Of these, PrezCon is most like a smaller version of the WBC model.
 
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Jamie Tang
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Maziken wrote:
I'll look into WBC. Probably can't go this year, though.
If there's anything you can reschedule, or a vacation day you can take, it is highly worth attending WBC. See my previous post. You could take off Thursday and dedicate it to playing Command & Colors. Or spend the first weekend playing Scythe. There is simply something beautiful about looking over the Ballroom and seeing multiple groups of people enjoying a game that you can't get on the table at home. There is not equal representation from "the World" for the World part of the name, but there are certainly people who come from other countries or fly or drive a long distance for their favorite week of the year.

As for the original writer of this thread
J.R. Shoenberger
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see http://aidanp.github.io/event-scheduler/app/. Out of his top ratings, there are tournaments of Agricola & 7 Wonders that would cover the first weekend. Also Power Grid, 5 Tribes, Carcassonne, Castles of Burgundy, Tigris and Euprates, Great Western Trail, Stone Age, and Ticket to Ride. For a weekday, it looks like Wednesday is his best bet as he could play 5 of his favorite games. (I've just realized that he started this thread last year, so will likely not read this.)

Again, there is no need to play tournaments, but it's how you guarantee that you will get to play those games. Conversely, you could stick to Open Gaming and borrow new games from the huge library. Or, you could go to "event" games such as Mega Civilization or Memoir '44 Overlord scenarios. You could restrict yourself to games printed before 1980 or after 2017. There are many ways to enjoy WBC.
 
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J.R. Shoenberger
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Thanks everyone for all of the ongoing discussion. I thought I was subscribed to this thread, but for some reason I wasn't. So I missed a whole year of discussion...

Thanks to
Jamie Tang
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who messaged me about it. Great call there.

I definitely appreciate all of the discussion. I've added myself to the mailing list for the Sharon, PA con, and I was actually looking at the WBC website last week.

I really appreciate all of the input here. Thanks guys!
If there is anything else around the Western PA region that pops up, feel free to post about it here!
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Josh EC

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Let's talk minicons- I know a lot of groups out here in Chicago area that rent a hotel meeting room or two for a weekend for more for k I no I RPG and board game cons. Any reason why that can't be done? Especially with the con organization tools available now adays, this should be doable.
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Jason Panella
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Just to let folks know: we're starting with something small(ish) next summer. We're planning for Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18. We think we found a good venue at La Roche University in the North Hills—they have an excellent space and it's checking a lot of our boxes off for accessibility, food options, and so on. We'll have more information in the next few months, I think, once things get finalized.
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Jamie Tang
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jasonpanella wrote:
Just to let folks know: we're starting with something small(ish) next summer. We're planning for Friday, July 17 and Saturday, July 18. We think we found a good venue at La Roche University in the North Hills—they have an excellent space and it's checking a lot of our boxes off for accessibility, food options, and so on. We'll have more information in the next few months, I think, once things get finalized.
Excellent! Please go back through this thread to find Eric Engelmann's "how to" guide for helpful ideas.
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Jason Panella
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jatang wrote:
Excellent! Please go back through this thread to find Eric Engelmann's "how to" guide for helpful ideas.

I've been using that since day one as a helpful launch pad (as well as lots of conversations with friends who run cons elsewhere). Great resources abound!
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Josh EC

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I'm not normally one to nitpick a con, but doing a summer con puts it right in the middle of every other con (between Origins and GenCon). I'm just curious why not another time during the year?
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Marty Sample
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If you're talking about WBC, its been held during the summer since its roots, going back to the AvalonCon period of the early 90s in Camp Hill PA. Among other things, mid summer makes it more family friendly - there is a healthy contingent of juniors who attend. Since most attendees come for the entire week plus event, holding it during the school year would seriously dent attendance. Its always worked in this time period, so why mess with success ?

There was a thread on Facebook recently about conflicting with GenCon. There is only slight vendor overlap and from the sounds of it, not much attendee overlap either. Furthermore, the two cons are very different in their focus. Its not to say one is better than the other, they are just very different.
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Jason Panella
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derim wrote:
I'm not normally one to nitpick a con, but doing a summer con puts it right in the middle of every other con (between Origins and GenCon). I'm just curious why not another time during the year?

If you're talking about the proposed con, several reasons.

--The greater Pittsburgh metro has two other cons that happen in the fall and spring. I also made a big chart of lots of cons in a day's driving distance, and lots are in the fall or spring. So there was a nice little spot on the calendar for this one.

--I've spoken to a number of group organizers who said they wished there was a local con in the summer, since not everyone goes to Origins or GenCon (or WBC).

--A number of affordable venues are booked completed in non-summer dates (affordable ones, at least, since we're starting from scratch). If you're looking at the winter, that also gets into holiday travel, which is a gamble.

--Maybe it's because I know lots of teachers and school-age kids, but I always think about the school schedule. Once school kicks in, that limits availability for a lot of families, and we'd like this to be a family oriented event that folks don't have to drive five hours to get to.
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Chris Anderson
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I would definitely be interested in your con; yes, even in July.
jasonpanella wrote:
I also made a big chart of lots of cons in a day's driving distance, and lots are in the fall or spring.
Also I would be very interested in this chart! I'm sure other subscribers to this thread would be too. I can think of several off the top of my head but I'm curious if I am missing some good ones.
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Jason Panella
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StandSure wrote:

I would definitely be interested in your con; yes, even in July.

Also I would be very interested in this chart! I'm sure other subscribers to this thread would be too. I can think of several off the top of my head but I'm curious if I am missing some good ones.

Thanks, Chris! If I can get the list into a shareable shape I'll definitely post it here. I was really happy to see how many vibrant little cons are in New York and Ohio.

 
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Marty Sample
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I'd be interested in what you consider a days driving distance - you might be surprised. When WBC was contemplating moving from Lancaster, a lot of folks were upset about having another three hours added to their trip. For a 2-3 day long convention, that's a good % of driving to gaming ratio for some. For a week long con, three hours is a lot more tolerable for many. But even then, some claim say six hours is as far as they can drive in a day . Point is, the length of the con will partially determine people's driving threshold.
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Jason Panella
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Marty S wrote:
I'd be interested in what you consider a days driving distance - you might be surprised. When WBC was contemplating moving from Lancaster, a lot of folks were upset about having another three hours added to their trip. For a 2-3 day long convention, that's a good % of driving to gaming ratio for some. For a week long con, three hours is a lot more tolerable for many. But even then, some claim say six hours is as far as they can drive in a day . Point is, the length of the con will partially determine people's driving threshold.

Six to seven hours is what I had in mind.
 
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Chris Anderson
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jasonpanella wrote:
Marty S wrote:
I'd be interested in what you consider a days driving distance - you might be surprised. When WBC was contemplating moving from Lancaster, a lot of folks were upset about having another three hours added to their trip. For a 2-3 day long convention, that's a good % of driving to gaming ratio for some. For a week long con, three hours is a lot more tolerable for many. But even then, some claim say six hours is as far as they can drive in a day . Point is, the length of the con will partially determine people's driving threshold.

Six to seven hours is what I had in mind.

I agree that it depends on the features of the con. From Pittsburgh, I will drive to Indianapolis for Gen Con and am considering Philly for PAX Unplugged. Columbus is a no-brainer for Origins and we're hoping to get to BGF, but I wouldn't go more than a couple hours for something pretty small, unless there is a special draw to the con or location.
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Probably because the local Chamber of Commerce or similar entities haven't put out a bid to be a host city for a convention. You may want to start a grass roots effort to host a convention in Pittsburgh.
 
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Jason Panella
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StandSure wrote:

I agree that it depends on the features of the con. From Pittsburgh, I will drive to Indianapolis for Gen Con and am considering Philly for PAX Unplugged. Columbus is a no-brainer for Origins and we're hoping to get to BGF, but I wouldn't go more than a couple hours for something pretty small, unless there is a special draw to the con or location.

It really does depend! I've met a few people who always come to the two small conventions in Butler from several states away because they like the vibe and the focus on RPGs.
 
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jasonpanella wrote:
--A number of affordable venues are booked completed in non-summer dates (affordable ones, at least, since we're starting from scratch). If you're looking at the winter, that also gets into holiday travel, which is a gamble.
I figured you guys are used to the snow there? As in people can still get around, they plow roads, mass transit is still up and running, and the air isn't too cold to breath?


The affordability is another concern. Case in point here is MAGfest (video game convention in Gaylord hotel in Maryland) is typically the first week of Jan. One time, it was the day or 2 after New Years day. People were asking on their forums if they could bump it back a week, due to the proximity of new years holiday. They said they weren't. If they did that, they would have to charge everyone an extra $60 to $80 for badges since that's a "prime slot".


jasonpanella wrote:
--I've spoken to a number of group organizers who said they wished there was a local con in the summer, since not everyone goes to Origins or GenCon (or WBC).
AFAIK, few people actually do the whole tour of cons every year. They usually just pick a few of them each year to go to, so having 2 at the same time slot isn't THAT big a deal.

Case in point was I met one person who goes to BGG Con every other year since he can't afford to go every year.
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Jason Panella
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ackmondual wrote:
I figured you guys are used to the snow there? As in people can still get around, they plow roads, mass transit is still up and running, and the air isn't too cold to breath?

The affordability is another concern. Case in point here is MAGfest (video game convention in Gaylord hotel in Maryland) is typically the first week of Jan. One time, it was the day or 2 after New Years day. People were asking on their forums if they could bump it back a week, due to the proximity of new years holiday. They said they weren't. If they did that, they would have to charge everyone an extra $60 to $80 for badges since that's a "prime slot".

Case in point was I met one person who goes to BGG Con every other year since he can't afford to go every year.

Thanks for the thoughts. I'm not sure if I'm reading too much into them, but are you suggesting that picking a different time is advisable?

(Pittsburgh is a mess in the winter, to be honest.)
 
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Marty Sample
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Some people, even those that live in the snowbelt, rule out winter cons due to travel concerns. Personally I don't, but there are those that do. Its a trade off - you can almost always get cheaper venue rates, but you've likely reduced the pool of potential attendees.
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Jay Graffious
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jasonpanella wrote:
Butler, Pa. also has two conventions: one in the autumn (SIB Con) and one in the spring (COS Con). They lean heavily toward RPGs, but there's still a decent amount of board gaming and miniature stuff happening.

Anyway, I've long been frustrated about the lack of a somewhat larger convention, considering how vibrant the gaming scene is here. We used to have Three Rivers Con and then GASP Con (and yeah, I'm still angry at Steel City Con for what they did). I think it's very possible to try to get something going again--just takes folks coordinating!

I was at the last GASP in Monroeville and had an absolute blast, was very sad when SCC (which is money grubbing snooze fest) pulled rank. I'm in Morgantown WV, so your game days are a bit of a reach, but will def make it if you mananage to find a home.
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Jason Panella
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jjklmn0 wrote:


I was at the last GASP in Monroeville and had an absolute blast, was very sad when SCC (which is money grubbing snooze fest) pulled rank. I'm in Morgantown WV, so your game days are a bit of a reach, but will def make it if you mananage to find a home.

Thanks, Jay. I'm not affiliated with GASP, but have gone to some of the game days.

I'm probably going to start a dedicated thread for this con once we settle on a name; I feel like this one has outlived its original intention.
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Chris Anderson
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jasonpanella wrote:
I'm probably going to start a dedicated thread for this con once we settle on a name; I feel like this one has outlived its original intention.
Good plan. Be sure to give us a link here when you do!
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jasonpanella wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
I figured you guys are used to the snow there? As in people can still get around, they plow roads, mass transit is still up and running, and the air isn't too cold to breath?

The affordability is another concern. Case in point here is MAGfest (video game convention in Gaylord hotel in Maryland) is typically the first week of Jan. One time, it was the day or 2 after New Years day. People were asking on their forums if they could bump it back a week, due to the proximity of new years holiday. They said they weren't. If they did that, they would have to charge everyone an extra $60 to $80 for badges since that's a "prime slot".

Case in point was I met one person who goes to BGG Con every other year since he can't afford to go every year.

Thanks for the thoughts. I'm not sure if I'm reading too much into them, but are you suggesting that picking a different time is advisable?

(Pittsburgh is a mess in the winter, to be honest.)

Marty S wrote:
Some people, even those that live in the snowbelt, rule out winter cons due to travel concerns. Personally I don't, but there are those that do. Its a trade off - you can almost always get cheaper venue rates, but you've likely reduced the pool of potential attendees.

Pretty much what Marty S said. Try to find a balance. You can't be paying through the nose for the appropriate accomdations, but it doesn't do you much good if you an affordable venue, but get too few takers.
 
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