Hi, I’m Meeple Lady, and I’ll be writing a guest post each month at GloryHoundd Presents.
So you love board games? Ready to take it to the next level? Attending a gaming convention is a great way to do that!
There are lots of conventions out there. But if the thought of attending a large convention sounds overwhelming, either mentally or financially, you can start with a local event. For those in Arizona, Arizona Game Fair, to be held March 20-22, 2020, is the perfect convention to attend.
Gaming conventions are a great way to play more games, meet people from the gaming community, and have some fun!
If you decide to attend a gaming convention, here are some tips to maximize your experience:
- Try new games. Most conventions will have a sizable game library. Check something out that catches your eye, even if you don’t know how to play it yet. Also, many conventions I’ve attended have “need a teacher” and “need a player” flags, so more often than not, you will find a friendly person who can give you a brief overview of the game you’ve checked out.
- Sign up to play games. If the convention you’re attending utilizes a scheduler, check out its schedule ahead of time and sign yourself up. But remember not to overwhelm yourself by forgetting to schedule time for food and sanity breaks.
- Get involved. Conventions are always in need of volunteers, and it’s a great way to get the lay of the land and be in the know. Volunteers usually get some type of badge compensation depending on how much time you commit to volunteering.
- Take advantage of events. Events such as first-timer meetups, gaming championships or specialty rooms are a great way to meet new people. Specialty rooms include areas that specialize in RPGs, wargames or miniatures, or areas that cater to female gamers.
- Wash your hands — frequently. Con crud is real, folks. You do not want to end up with a bad cold or infection after being in a space with large crowds and touching each other’s board game pieces. Wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your face.
- Stay hydrated and take outside breaks. Bring a reusable water bottle and fill it up often. Also, bring snacks. But check whether convention rules permit outside food in the gaming space. If not, take frequent breaks outside to fuel up. It’s good to get some sunshine and fresh air!
- Wear layers. You never really quite know what the temperature of the gaming area will be until you’re there. You want to be comfortable! If the temperature is either too hot or too cold, it can really sour your gaming experience.
- Be kind and be respectful. A game convention brings about all types of people, so be mindful if some gamers have special needs. In general, be respectful of others’ personal space, their time and their board games.
- Bring an extra battery or your charger. Hours of gaming can pass by in an instant, and you don’t want your phone to be without any juice. Also, if the signal isn’t great in the convention area, your phone’s battery will drain quickly. And, just maybe, sharing your battery is a good way to convince others not to attack you during your game.
- Lastly, enjoy yourself! It can be daunting to attend a convention for the first time, but remember, you’re all here for a common reason: board games!
And if you see myself or GloryHoundd wandering around the convention floor, say hi and introduce yourself. We love meeting fellow gamers!
Meeple Lady can be found on her website, boardgamemeeplelady.com, and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @meeplelady. She’s also a co-host of the podcast, The Five By.