One might think that with the little time I spent at Con on the Cob (especially in comparison to the multi-day affairs that were my other convention experiences this year) that I wouldn’t have anything to offer in terms of a look back at my experience. The truth is, I learned as much from my time at CotC as I did at any of the other conventions.
Don’t short-change yourself
This is probably the most important thing that I learned. As I mentioned in my previous posts on the convention, I came into CotC in a rushed, hurried manner. I didn’t even arrive at the convention until about 8pm on Saturday night of a convention that began Friday and would end mid-afternoon on Sunday. I went in with no plan, and really, with no idea of what I was going to do when I got there. The once exception to that was the Savage Saturday Night Bar and Grill, and frankly, that party saved my convention experience.
Know what’s going on
The fine folks that put on conventions work to build event schedules so schulbs like me will have a chance to know what events they can look forward to when attending. Don’t take their hard work away from them! If the convention you’re attending has a list of what’s going down and when, then print it out and have it handy. This is especially important for smaller conventions. Big shindigs like Origins and GenCon have things going on right and left, and if you can’t find something to do, you’re not looking hard enough. At smaller conventions like KantCon and Con on the Cob, though, all you might have is a set of tables with numbers to indicate to the GM where they should play. Do your best to take a look at the posted schedules and, if all else fails, ask someone what’s up.
The people make the difference
This was true at all of my other conventions as well, but it went double for Con on the Cob. If I hadn’t met the people I met at the Savage Saturday Night Bar and Grill, then I wouldn’t have had nearly the good time that I had. I mean, how often do you get a chance to play Deadlands with folks who have helped write and edit Savage Worlds books? If you’re me, not often. As well, my day two was salvaged thanks to a group of great gamers who basically said “you’re playing a game with us” as I wandered by their table.
At every convention I have attended this year, the people I have met and spent time with have contributed greatly to the good times I have had. From David and the crew from The Cheese Grinder at Origins to the Gamer’s Haven folks at KantCon to an improbable mash-up of all of the above, the people are what make conventions great. Con on the Cob proved this rule, and I am sure that I will find the same to be true at every convention I attend.
I really wish that I had done things differently in relation to Con on the Cob. That having been said, I had an amazing time and I would’t change the way things went down for anything. I am, however, going to do my best to keep my own advice in mind and plan more throughly to make sure that I can get the most out of my convention experiences. If you’ve got thoughts to add to the conversation, please feel free to comment or, as always, you can follow me on Twitter.
This isn’t quite the end of my coverage of Con on the Cob, either. I got some good interviews and two full game sessions, so look for those to post in the coming weeks.
[tags]rpg, rpgs, role playing games, conventions, Con on the Cob[/tags]