This past weekend, I had a booth at my very first first-year convention. ShadoCon was promoted to me when at MetroCon 2010 this year, as it was a sister convention to the massive anime con (i believe this was also a first for them to lend their expertise and staff to a smaller, upstart convention). This was the first convention that I felt like i just didn’t care. Like, i cared and was excited to go and have fun, but I wasn’t nervous (if anything i was a little sore from play Kinect all the night before it started).
I woke up Friday and I didn’t really want to go, but I was motivated by the fact that I paid quite a bit for this booth. Actually, let’s talk about that for a moment. The booth was priced well for the the convention that was sold to me. I asked “Is it going to have gaming and be gamer friendly?” I was told yes. I asked if they were expecting a lot of people/consumers, they said yes. Sad to say, but i barely had anyone stop by my booth on Friday and made absolutely no sales on the first day. Friday’s are meant to be slow, but this is the first time i went a day without selling so much as a $5 item. This was just weird and unsettling.
Not only did it seem that the majority of people just weren’t interested in RPGs, but we were also the only group running any games at the con. I knew that going into the convention, that it was either going to work completely in our favor or absolutely against us. Luckily, the lack of other games meant that every game we ran this weekend was packed with people itching to roleplay.
I had 4 panels planned. The first was Roleplaying 101, hosted by me with a guest list of… me (and i brought Ben and Nelson along). We had one or two people there at first. Then the furries showed up and they started in with the “telling us about their characters”. It made me sad and set a horrible precedent for what was to come for me at the con. On saturday, i also did a “Welcome to Third Eye Games” panel, which went much better. I had a group of about 4 people there to actually see me (which was surprising). It turned into the kind of discussion i was hoping to have with the first panel. I told them some about my games and how i got into publishing and then we just discussed RPGs in general and their influences on our lives and whatnot. It was a fun hour. I skipped the other panels due to zero interest in talking to only 2 people. That might seem crazy, but the panel system at this convention TOTALLY needs an overhaul.
I ran and API game on Friday night and a Wu Xing: The Ninja Crusade game on Saturday night. My friend Ben, who runs out home games most of the time, also ran 3 really packed Wu Xing games (one of which i played in just for poop and chuckles). That was the best of the convention, meeting those people were really were open to a fun RPG experience. Both games i ran had new players who had never roleplayed before and they decided that they loved it and bought the books because of me. My favorite comment was “I hope our games go as well at home when you’re not there”. It humbles me to think that people think so much of my GMing abilities. They were awesome new players too, so i hope to run into them down the line and see if they become even more incredible players.
In the end, it was 3 days of hanging with my friends (i have more than i thought is had) and just shooting the poop while people walked by my booth. Funny enough, I actually sold more at ShadoCon than at NecronomiCon, but the booth was twice as expensive which made it break just about even instead of going home with any profit.
So, after the weekend, i’m kinda luke warm on ShadoCon. I’m hoping they make some changes. If they do, i might go back. It just seemed like i had to work so hard for so little.
Until next time.