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ConStruction Blueprints

In my last post, I listed why I believe the fact that ReefCon is the only fixture in an otherwise fluid Cairns RPG scene presents problems for said scene. It's easy, though, to criticise an endeavour when you've never made or are unwilling to make a similar endeavour yourself. Which means that niggle I mentioned in the last post often takes the form of a little voice in my head which says, "Why not organise your own RPG convention?"

And I'm starting to seriously think about it.

Now I know I'd be going into it utterly blind. I also know that there's at least one subscriber to IMAGinewS who's been part of the organising team behind a con or two, which means I'll probably be pestering those people for advice. I'll especially need help with venue organisation and liability insurance.

Another plus is that I have something of a blueprint for how I'd like the con to work and be orgnaised. A while ago, Steve Darlington made a post on his LiveJournal about the problems he saw with the traditional con setup and some solutions. I like a lot of the suggestions:

  • Eliminating Rego: There goes half the organisation work right there. Admittedly, you won't know until the day how many attendees you'll have, but frankly, by the time you organise pre-registry you'll be pretty much committed to the con, succeed or fail.
  • Eliminating Prizegiving: Cool because A) going to an RPG con to be a lumberjack (earning trophies) creates competition and hurt feelings instead of gaming just for fun and B) quite frankly, ReefCon and the RPGA have refined prizes and rewards to an art form. Hell, the last ReefCon I went to, I got a pack of six D&D Miniatures just for signing up and turning up. Why compete? Just make it about trying new games, meeting new gamers (or hooking back up with old acquaintances) and enjoying sessions.
  • Scantily-Clad Ladies: ... well, okay, maybe not. Besides, it's Cairns; we'll probably get enough people shedding clothing with the humidity! A ladies' discount, though? Hmm... opening oneself up to accusations of discrimination, perhaps? Then again, pubs have been getting away with Ladies' Nights for a while...
  • Beer: Now, there's a thought...
  • Short Con: And there's another one. Having a fairly quick con means you're not stuck waiting for a school holiday or a long weekend to roll around, nor would you be competing with people's existing plans for such times.

Heck, considering I have an "in" with the Courthouse Hotel already, maybe they'd be willing to host us...

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Is important to reduce the cost of your public liability insurance.

Offer a discount on entry if you come in costume... girls are more likely to dress up. Therefore no discrimination.

Short con
I like it. it means that you don't get wrecked for the week after due to sleep deprivation.

If you need any help, I have experience in orging cons, I'd be happy to give you a hand.

Sponsorship can both help and hinder a Con. RPGA does help with the insurance, but that have a lot more demands on the Con organizers. Wizards of the Coast were very eager to help in Aus. You wouldn't have to tailor to RPGA. You would also involve the colectable card game market. There could also be some inroads to someone like Hero Games. Though not as big they like to throw there support when they can. Problem would be not a lot of interest in Hero Games in Australia.

What ever you do, I don't recomend you do it on your own and to choose people you can trust to follow through. Pity you couldn't make it between Cairns and Townsville to get a larger audiance.

Fricking public liability is the fricking death of game cons. Of any community gathering, in fact.

There must be a loophole. What if you say it's a church service?

Every woman who attends a gaming event will be a victim of discrimination. Charging them less is merely setting the balance right again. And again, the people who complain about it are not the people you want at your con.

Hmmm, an alternative con in Cairns? I think that I could get my arm twisted to help. Having organised my veryown 25th birthday con called Radcon in Canberra and also being on both Phenomenon, Cancon, & Canberra games day committees I kinda know what I'm doing and how to make it successful. Problem is, I don't have the contacts in Cairns in terms of bookshops that may sponsor us, printers, mobile catering vans, game writers for alternative unpublished games, GM's, Players, sci-fi & Anime clubs, card playing clubs, boardgamers, etc...
However, from experience I have found that semi-pre registering is better then no pre registrations in terms of final numbers and game organisation and/or other events.
Also, in terms of insurance, some places offer insurance as part of the hire of their venue. There is another idea I had about venue and that is Progressive playing. Game hosts offer their own venue for their game and the convention hiring a bus for the weekend which does a round trip as each game finishes. It's an idea that need some nutting out since games would have to run on time and half an hour needs to be alocated between each game.

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