What an amazing weekend. GottaCon 2012 took place between February 3 – 5, 2012 in Victoria and it was packed. A lot of gaming (and selling for us) happened throughout the weekend and we had a lot of fun catching up with old customers and meeting new one’s too. I would say it was our most successful con so far, though it was also our most tiring.
Before the Con
Getting ready for a con is generally a multi-day event. We put an order through a few days beforehand in an attempt to increase stock for the event; especially for games we expect to sell well. Once we do receive the stock, the evening before the event we pack everything that has to go up so that on the day itself, load-up is easy. It’s particularly important for GottaCon for us since it’s a multi-day event in Victoria which means we can’t just restock throughout the week if we are missing product.
As always we stayed at the Howard Johnson in Victoria, mainly because of the price and convenience factor. It’s not a luxury location; but really we are barely there anyway. After that, it was the 2 1/2 hour unloading & set-up for the con. Unfortunately unlike previous years, we couldn’t drive most of the way in for unloading which meant we got a ton of exercise.
Due to an extremely long and not very well organised line-up; most visitors didn’t stream in till much later than the 5pm start time. However, once they were in, the Con-goers were quite happy to browse around, grab seats and start their various games. While we were meant to shut down at 9pm; due to the slow-start we stayed open till 10.30pm before calling it a day.
Saturday would be a roller-coaster day. After an early breakfast, we proceeded to get ready for the first sponsored event we would run – the Race for the Galaxy Tournament. We had 15 players turn-up, and the games begun. In between of course, Kaja and I took turns manning the booth, running the tournament and wandering around the Con.
The tournament went well, though I think next year we’ll adjust how we run it. We ran the tournament in 2 rounds, with 3 games each. That seemed to take too long, so we’ll adjust it to 3 rounds only, with 1 game in the first 2 rounds for next year.
With customers arriving in fits and starts, we got a chance to talk to our booth neighbors – the webcomic creators Sam and Fuzzy and Weregeek’s Alina; both of who are great people and even better Con neighbors. We were also next to TableTopScenery who make the most amazing Miniature Scenery. Almost makes me want to become a miniature gamer just to own some of their stuff.
During the slower parts of the day, I also managed to make my way around the Con, poking my head into the RPG section; the auction and visiting with Standard Action‘s cast and crew. It was great catching up with them again as well as many of the other distributors that we knew. We also bumped into Ed Healy of the Gamerati & Critical Gamers; both of whom were quite cool.
The Dominion Tournament we ran started at 7pm and would run till 12.30am. We had 32 players in the tournament and likely could have had more if we could fit them all in! With so many players, we had to run 3 rounds; which meant a long-night. We finally called it a day at the booth at 11pm and got a chance to play our first game of the Con – Galaxy Trucker. I truly enjoy Galaxy Trucker, though even with the timer on we were all moving slow.
With the game and tournament finished, we made it back home and crashed out.
Being the last day of the Con, we had a slower start to the day and made it to the tables a tad late. At first, it started slow with only a few players around and so I sent Kaja off to game. A relatively bad move as by 10am the booth was slammed for the next 2 hours with customers coming by having made up their minds. Thankfully, she was playing close by and could drop by to help when it got really bad.
Sunday was a hectic day. While we had few lull’s; it was overall quite busy and time just flew by. After 3 days; the hall was getting extremely stuffy and warm (though not as bad as Saturday night) and that didn’t help keep our energy levels up. Thank god for good booth neighbors and understanding customers as I phased out at points.
The rush to pack-up and get everything squared away for the 7pm ferry was a tad too chaotic for my liking but we did manage to make it. With about 1 minute to spare for our reservations. Unfortunately, we managed to forget a box which Carson & Evan of GottaCon now have. Ugh.
Post con, all the enjoyable administration began. Unpacking, resorting, inventorying all damaged items during transit. Then checking all our receipts, making sure they matched up with our stock and sales, counting our cash and balancing the books before making the final deposits. And then of course, getting back to our usual routine!