So, Kristen is going to do a couple of write-ups on the game system that she played while I ran a con game, and then the Star Wars system, so I’m wrapping up with some advice on going to conventions that I’ve learned from this one. I know that we’ve done a previous post on going to Convergence and how to survive a convention, but a gaming convention is a different animal in many ways, so here’s what I took away from it that I want to do better next year and things I’m excited for next year. It also made a difference for us that we had to drive more than fifteen minutes to this one.
- It’ll be really nice to already have one of my games ready to go for next year. There was one of the two games that I ran which I’ll have to rework, but it’s nice to know that one of them is ready to go. Along with this, I also need to plan out my games starting a bit sooner than the last minute. I did the character creation on live stream well ahead of time, but actually get the details in place and the encounters, that would be good.
- Plan more downtime. I always want to be around people, and I loved playing in the games that I did, however, I was burned out physically by the end of it. My mind was telling me to keep going, and my body on Sunday was like “nope” and that won out. So plan a few more open time slots, go back and rest at the hotel more just to keep myself ready for the whole weekend. The nice thing with planning downtime is that if you want to join a game that someone is randomly putting together, you totally can with that downtime or break out a board game, but if you don’t have it scheduled, you can play it by ear or by how you feel.
- Don’t do a late night game followed by an early morning game. In this case I ran them, one got done just about midnight, and the other started at 9 AM, so really a good amount of time to rest, but not when are you stressed about the upcoming game and wanting that to go well. A late night game and a midday game (or even starting at 10 in the morning) would work better.
- In my case, bring my own pillow. I’m a light sleeper, and without my own pillow, I was tossing and turning all night, and that led into my body being like “nope” on Sunday. If you need something in particular to ensure you get a good nights sleep, bring it along.
- If you are driving more than 8 hours, split it up into a couple of days. I think that would have helped myself as well, since I do most of the driving for Kristen and myself, the 13 hours out there was a lot. Splitting it up on the way back with a 5 hour and a 7 hour was much much better, and we’ll definitely be splitting it up next year on the way out as well.
- Plan snacks and water better. With it being in a convention center, you had to buy their snacks to eat at the place, but we definitely should have done that. Already traveling and eating poorer because of that, we were hungry a lot. I also drink about 75-100 oz of water on an average work day. When I don’t drink that much water for a few days in a row, I start to notice it and that also contributed the Sunday flop. So, healthy snacks or small meals even, at the hotel room, and drink lots of water are going to be key for a better time next year.
For me #4 and #6 are probably the biggest ones for me to remember. I try to eat healthy fairly often, and the food at the convention center was kind of terrible. So next year, I definitely need my pillow so I can get better rest, but also should try and eat better, have some good snacks and keep that physical energy level higher even when by brain is still telling me go go go.
What are some tips or useful things you’ve found when traveling to a convention?
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