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Conception to Convention


So, what started off as an idea has recently turned in to a reality. An idea around organising and running my very own board game convention. How hard could it be right? Well lets find out as I take you through the journey of conception to convention.

When I first posted the idea to my local gaming group there was positive feedback about having a local gaming convention in and around Stevenage, Hertfordshire. So, I decided to pursue this further and start to formulate a few ideas. I scouted some venues, some were too small, some too big and some were simply too expensive. This was not going to be a profitable venture, but I also didn’t want to be hugely out of pocket. I settled on a small(ish) venue that could comfortably hold 60 people. I thought I had better start off small. I paid my deposit and that was that. A venue had been booked.

I then went about the process of getting people to sign up which was not an easy task. The sign-up process was clunky and had its problems but eventually I ironed out the kinks. Some valuable lessons learnt for next time. Tickets were starting to be purchased and the stress of wondering if this was a good idea started to kick in. I envisaged myself sat in a room on my own playing solo. However, gradually, tickets started to dwindle and eventually the convention was sold out. A huge sigh of relief.

I was put in contact with someone who was running Blood on the Clocktower sessions around the UK and he agreed to attend. This generated a lot of excitement and people were looking forward to the sessions. I also was contacted by Ruined Sky Games to see if they could demo their up and coming game Circulari. What first started off as just a space for open gaming was turning in to something else.

Leading up to the convention, all tickets had been sold, layout had been confirmed, bring ‘n’ buy planned and then something unexpected happened which just blew me away. Zatu Games donated three games for a prize raffle. Then my local club “Hitchin Board Games Club” donated some vouchers for a FLGS as well as a 10% discount and two days before the convention Ed’s Gaming Emporium provided a £30 voucher off an online order. Two weeks before the convention I was not planning a raffle/prize draw. Now I had five prizes. The support and generosity was amazing.

The week leading up to the con the final preparations were underway with games being boxed up, signs/posters laminated and snacks, tea & coffee purchased. Everywhere you looked at home there were boxes or piles ready and waiting. The night before the convention I had a quick game of Taverns of Tiefenthal and an early night. Sleep was not forthcoming, tomorrow was the big day.

The day of the convention came, the card was loaded and I set off 45 minutes early for a 10 minute drive. Crazy I know. Time for set up and there was a team of very willing volunteers that had turned up early to help me set up. Again, people’s support was much appreciated. Tables were ready, library was ready and the bring n buy table was ready. All I need now was some people. And people I got. The convention was buzzing. It was busy but not too full. And I got to play some games. First game was a five player game of Vindication, followed by Empires of the North, Tiny Towns with the new expansion, Just one with seven players, Coloma, Abyss with Leviathan expansion and Roam. I was buzzing, I met and played games with a load of new people. The worry and stress were for nothing. Everything went smoothly and to plan. The Blood on the Clocktower sessions went down a storm.

There were some lessons learnt along the way, but on the whole the feedback I got was very positive. So much so that I am already planning for the next one. FBG Con 2021 will be bigger and better. More people, more space and more games. If you want to keep up to date with the latest about FBG Con 2021, then head on over to the Facebook page and click like.

I am excited about the future of FBG Con, I have some ideas and thoughts and but first things first, lets find a suitable venue.