Knoxville, TN

Running a Board Gaming Event: Intro

July 27, 2019

Five years ago, I was offered the chance to run analog gaming for Hamacon, a small anime con run by some of my friends in Huntsville. My only qualifications were (1) I had played tabletop games at cons before, (2) I own a lot of board games, and (3) I was willing to drive a car full of those games 3 hours away.

It was a great experience, mainly because Hamacon had a dedicated, knowledgeable community running it, and that community had the freedom to do some interesting creative things.

In my case, I wanted to build an analog gaming room for people like me: somewhat socially awkward, and interested in trying heavier or offbeat games I might not be able to experience elsewhere. I didn’t necessarily achieve that. Even if I had, that’s a very narrow focus which isn’t necessarily serving other attendees wants.

While I’ll likely be on a con staff somewhere in the future, I’m not currently, so I don’t feel like I’m revealing con secrets by adapting my con checklist (and other lessons learned) into a blog series. Hopefully, someone can benefit from some things I learned–or at least avoid some things that I failed at.

I’ll also mention that MTAC and Momocon were major inspirations for the way I ran Hamacon analog gaming. Which is to say: if you like tabletop games, they’re cons you might want to check out.

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