Happy Holidays -
It's that time of year again ... to get serious about returning to the World Boardgaming Championships. As a recent attendee, you will want to know about some potential changes in the wind for our gaming convention. Expanding attendance and recent developments require us to take a long look at what the future holds for our annual gaming convention and how we might best go about serving the needs of our members - both new and old. Since these potential changes require long term planning over the course of several years and major financial commitments, we want to start the process with as complete a survey of our membership's likes and dislikes - past, present and future - as possible. To that end, we are asking you to take a few moments to respond to a free online survey at http://bpasurvey.drupalgardens.com/. Please read the background information on the home page before clicking on "Take the Survey".
We know you are busy and don't want to waste your time. However, we rarely ask for such information and this will be your best chance to influence the future course of the convention for years to come. So a few moments response now may save you considerable anguish later. Whether you attend every year, infrequently, or have never yet actually made the trip but are contemplating doing so, we'd like to hear from you, so please let us know what you want.
Secondly, you probably realize that WBC is all about volunteerism. Without the efforts of over 100 volunteer Game Masters there would be no WBC. For far too long we've relied on the generosity and efforts of what is essentially the same volunteer core to be the glue that makes WBC work. As attendance has climbed, the percentage of people pitching in to lend a hand has not kept pace. That places too much strain on the same stalwarts from whom we've already asked too much. Therefore, this is an appeal to consider joining our band of brothers (and sisters) to keep the traditions of WBC alive. Step up and offer to GM or assist with an event. Get your feet wet by running a demonstration for a GM or maybe cover a heat if you'd like to start small before trying to run an event yourself. It is all too easy to just sit back and take the effort of others for granted. But if everyone takes that attitude there will be no WBC to enjoy. No one gets paid. Our GMs have no obligation to serve you other than knowing by doing so, others will also step forward and serve them in turn in another event.
To that end, we have made a small change in how we list events. No longer will events be held in reserve for the previous GM. Our Orphans Page will now list all events as OPEN through January and encourage potential GMs to submit event forms for any event they care to run. The best GM offer on hand will be selected on February 1st and only then will the Orphans Page be updated accordingly. It is hoped this change will encourage more event submissions from potential GMs - thereby giving our old standbys some help. To that end, if you'd like to get a new event on the ballot for the annual December Membership Drive, time is running out. Any event not submitted by November 30th cannot make the ballot and will have to depend on a sponsor or alternate selection to make the cut.
2013 CHANGES: To guard against a recurrence of last year's unfortunate air conditioning failure, we have contracted with the Host to keep the Expo in reserve during our stay so that in the event of another failure, there will be a fallback position. In addition, Open Gaming will be expanded to include the poolside pavillion.
Lastly, I'd like to remind everyone that BPA takes great pride in being the best bargain around insofar as gaming conventions are concerned. We don't enjoy charging higher at-the-door rates but must do so in order to protect our pre-registration incentives. So, be advised that our cheapest rates for 2013 last just 31 days starting December 1st during the Annual Membership Drive. Renewing your membership at that time not only gives you our lowest rate but also allows you to vote for the 25 Continuing Trial events as well as get a free T-Shirt or Hat and full color Yearbook. Starting January 1st, that deal is gone. See our Membership terms for more details. And remember, Tribune members get free access to all pre-cons; upgrading later on site is more expensive.
Full Disclosure: the only reason not to join early is that membership fees are NOT refundable. Otherwise, please consider submitting your membership form and ballot on line or by post sometime in December for the best rates.
Donald Greenwood CD