Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

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Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Leonidas300 » 8:39pm on 11 Nov 08

Dear all,

We are chuffed to bits with the feedback that we have had (see more below) and thanks to all involved.

Dave Moore asked me on the last evening the three things I had learnt and the three things I would do better. Well, like so many times, I got sidetracked and did not answer these questions.

Here are my responses to these.

3 things I have learnt:

1- keep the volunteer team better informed of what was expected of them etc. - for this, I am,at fault. Primarily because the volunteer team was taking shape over some time and the definitive list was not really put in place. Of course some members were already on the team but others who had offered support did not know how they fit in.

-Andrew Mussel did a fantastic job with accomodation bookings, and for that we thank him.
-Karen did a great job manning the desk and providing a friendly face to all queries.
-Duncan Rust (who in fairness had been chasing me some weeks before), did a great job on the front desk and the 1st night with beer fuelled welcoming skills of the highest standards.
-John Amos as usual was forever reliable and helpful in between running his usual flurry of excellent games.
-John Laurie was a great help on the desk and during setup
-Duncan Wilson, Master IT provider and 4E GM

And there are many more.

2- I learnt that different con formats work. Conception's format is excellent and serves it purpose well. Indiecon's is different, with a focus on the publishers getting exposure and some money back for their games sold. For information, the guys at Collective Endeavour said that they took as much money as they do at Conception with over 5 times more people. You may say that this is only normal as the event is targetting indie gamers (although not only indie ones as loads of LFR was run for example), but a good result in any case and more games were run than conception for them.
Leisure Games broke even which is saying something with 3 staff, accomodation and trade costs. all other traders have pledged their full support and presence for next year so we are well set up for making it an even bigger event. Our raffle was designed to put immediate cash back into the trade hall and a 3 bed chalet prize as well as 4 full con passes were just some examples of what was up for grabs. In total just over 20 prizes were in the raffle totalling £700 of prizes. This meant that nearly 25% of con attendees won a free prize. This was all about giving back to all those who had made the con a success, i.e. every single person who turned up!

3-You get out what you put in: I and the other organisers and volunteers were ready to make this a fun and convivial event. This was also the case for all those who attended. There was very much a "let's really give this a shot and have some fun" attitude everywhere. I spent time taking to all traders/publishers almost daily and in fact every single person I could to gauge the atmosphere and see if all were happy. We had some issues with some kids and parents external to the event who caused some noise and nuisance. This was pointed out and dealt with promptly. Hopefully we did our best and responding to queries and issues as they occured.

What should we do better?

1-Advertise even more and to an even broader audience and keep the momentum on the forums from now until next years event...

2-Clearly state the joint gaming mission of the event: to bring gamers of all genres and styles together to try something new and play old favourites.

3-Cater for the short games format for those who bring card games, skirmish and minis games not suited to 4 hour gaming slots. I am already in discussion with the guys from Warrior Elite and Stealthy Spider to develop this and ensure that Indiecon caters not just for RPG's.

What else happened for me at Indiecon?

some major things took place from my perspective:

Rich Stokes Savage Empire tabletop game, Alex's (Tylorva) excellent Lanston game and Max Bentleman and co decision to give Cursed Empire another go.

Savage Empire: Rich ran an excellent introductory scenario to Cursed Empire using the Savage World mechanics. This system worked for me and Rich and I have a concrete project to release the licensed version of this including a systemless Cursed Empire setting book.


Max and co: Setting is apparently what Max and co really enjoyed and wanted to know more about. Too many times, I try and show the mechanics of the game whereas the background is what I should be putting forward once again.


Alex: Alex's diceless Lanston game reminded me why I even created Cursed Empire anyway: roleplaying not dice rolling. Now some of you are going to laugh, but I had a series of "light bulb" moments during the con. It is back to basics for me now with Cursed Empire. I will be running a totally diceless series of slots at Conception and supporting Rich with his Savage endeavours. I will also run the odd crunch scenarios, as they have their following too.

Through the event itself I have struck up a new collaboration with the guys from Warrior-Elite...more to follow on this in months to come.

For me these events are all that Indiecon is about: meeting new people, developing games concepts and ideas and rethinking what I have done with my game etc.

On all accounts, this has been a success for me and yes, you guessed it, Indiecon will be back for more in 2009. We are getting exact dates sorted out very soon.

A huge round of applause to all who helped us and that includes every single person who ran, played, sketched, lugged, booked, wrote, printed, cooked etc.

I only regret not playing Mick's apparently excellent HEX game, but by the time I had got round to it, he was on a train back to Pompey. Thanks again to the huge turnout from those guys as they had promised too.

Now we can't wait for Conception,

Chris
Creator of Cursed Empire FRPG
Leonidas300
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Mick Red » 8:54pm on 11 Nov 08

Excellent news Indiecon will be back for 2009 :D
the time of year was good for me and id suggest keeping the same weekend, get the dates and venue booked asap, and sort costing, maybe start some form of deposit scheme for those who would liked to have attended but couldnt afford it maybe with monthly payments from now until next years con. Get some people on board who will pimp the con around the various bazaars, get some nice postcard flyers out to other cons, maybe with quotes from people who attended this years on the back, put stuff on the forum every week or so and start submissions for next years conbook now.
with the feedback you have had so far (100% good as well with little or no negatives) next years will be even busier.
A guest or two would be nice, not ones that cost money but ones that want to be there. Marcus Rowlands is a must and should be contacted ASAP.
I will help in any way i can if you need anything please gimme a shout.
The con was freakin awesome :D
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Leonidas300 » 9:01pm on 11 Nov 08

Mick Red wrote:Excellent news Indiecon will be back for 2009 :D
the time of year was good for me and id suggest keeping the same weekend, get the dates and venue booked asap, and sort costing, maybe start some form of deposit scheme for those who would liked to have attended but couldnt afford it maybe with monthly payments from now until next years con. Get some people on board who will pimp the con around the various bazaars, get some nice postcard flyers out to other cons, maybe with quotes from people who attended this years on the back, put stuff on the forum every week or so and start submissions for next years conbook now.
with the feedback you have had so far (100% good as well with little or no negatives) next years will be even busier.
A guest or two would be nice, not ones that cost money but ones that want to be there. Marcus Rowlands is a must and should be contacted ASAP.
I will help in any way i can if you need anything please gimme a shout.
The con was freakin awesome :D


Hi Mick, thanks for all the suppprt. You guys said that you would be there in force and you really delivered in terms of numbers and games you ran and got involved in.

I will very much be calling upon you guys to get involved soon and like the idea of flyers etc.

Ref guests, you bet that we shall be working on this.

Ref dates, I will have these shortly and will publish asap.

Ref bookings, will be taking pre-booking deposits and looking at various forms of making life easier for attendees. I could also do a paypal scheme etc.

Thanks again for making it such a good event for us.

Chris
Creator of Cursed Empire FRPG
Leonidas300
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Rich Stokes » 11:20pm on 11 Nov 08

Chris,

Just to clarify and back up what you said (for anyone interested in sales figures!):

We took 308 pounds over the two days we had our stall open. Due to travel issues, our stock only arrived late on Friday night, so we could only set up Saturday AM. I don't think this damaged sales one bit, because as far as I can tell everyone who was there on Friday was there on Saturday too.

At Conception we took 337, so very similar. Attendance at Conception is obviously higher, but the gaming on offer is more diverse. Someone who comes to Conception primarily to play Living games or Larps is less likely to be interested in what we're selling (since everything we have is a non-D&D tabletop game, targeting a different crowd). So yeah, fewer people who were, on average, evidently happier to part with their cash on our booth.

To be honest, we'd have been happy if we hadn't taken so much. Everyone had a great time, and the organisation was tippy-top. But mostly-covering the costs is a massive bonus.

To all the traders out there who missed out: Go next time! It'll be a blast and you have a decent chance of covering your costs too. Adding your presence to the con will raise awareness (I'd never heard of the not-ccg War for Edadh before and I'm looking forward to picking it up when they've got stock).
I also write a regular column here about roleplaying games and what we're really doing when we play them. It's kinda dry, but hopefully interesting to at least someone.
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Spon » 9:37am on 12 Nov 08

Chris,
you did a great job. Loved the con, I'll be there next year. And I'll definitely be signing up for a diceless game of CE.
Cheers,
Spon (AKA Co from Max & Co)
Sanity is a sawn-off shotgun
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Leonidas300 » 11:06am on 12 Nov 08

Spon wrote:Chris,
you did a great job. Loved the con, I'll be there next year. And I'll definitely be signing up for a diceless game of CE.
Cheers,
Spon (AKA Co from Max & Co)


I can't wait to run diceless Cursed Empire at Conception. This should be great fun.

Chris
Creator of Cursed Empire FRPG
Leonidas300
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Tylorva » 12:21pm on 12 Nov 08

Leonidas300 wrote:
I can't wait to run diceless Cursed Empire at Conception. This should be great fun.


I totally want to play. :)
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Evilgaz » 12:25pm on 12 Nov 08

Greetings

From what I’ve heard it was a great little con. I’m tempted to come along next year…

Is there anything in the way of GM encouragement (similar to what Conception does for example) or it is for the Glory only?

How much did it cost people to go roughly (not transport, but attendance, accommodation and booze and food) – ball park figure?

If you’re going for guests next time, I’d make sure they work for a living (i.e. run games or seminars) and are relevant. Tenuously related or merely autograph-signing guests are of little value and cost money. If you’re taking the road of having guests, bring some gaming luminaries and make them work like dogs.

Sounds a good success

Well done Chris!

Gaz (Evil).
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Leonidas300 » 12:43pm on 12 Nov 08

Hi again to all,

some good ideas here. I will definately be getting guests along and of the working variety.

We are hoping to possibly double the size of next year's event with the main hall being Indie again and the outer tables for LFR, CoC etc. We could double in size and still retain ther same logistics, volunteer teams and atmosphere.

Chris
Creator of Cursed Empire FRPG
Leonidas300
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Kaiserjez » 1:17pm on 12 Nov 08

Leonidas300 wrote:I can't wait to run diceless Cursed Empire at Conception. This should be great fun.

Chris


I would definately want to give this a try!
"And, when the doctor said I didn't have worms any more, that was the happiest day of my life."
Pompey Crew Achievements; Arse Like A Japanese Flag, Harry Redknapp'd, Pompey Social, Crash At Mick's, Spend a Penny, Safety in Numbers, Pass The Arse Gravy, The Jonny Gray's Brother Maneuver, Make Mine A Guinness, The Third Troll, Broken!, Gash Tats, Hello Sailor, Informed judgement, Dedication's what you need, The Fly, It's not trolling if..., Thundercats! Ho!
"Jez has champagne pockets and lemonade eyes." -Indie Pete
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Spon » 1:44pm on 12 Nov 08

You just want your moleskin boots back!
Sanity is a sawn-off shotgun
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Kaiserjez » 1:46pm on 12 Nov 08

Actually moleskin boots are SO last season. What every self respecting character needs now is a tatty field manual.
"And, when the doctor said I didn't have worms any more, that was the happiest day of my life."
Pompey Crew Achievements; Arse Like A Japanese Flag, Harry Redknapp'd, Pompey Social, Crash At Mick's, Spend a Penny, Safety in Numbers, Pass The Arse Gravy, The Jonny Gray's Brother Maneuver, Make Mine A Guinness, The Third Troll, Broken!, Gash Tats, Hello Sailor, Informed judgement, Dedication's what you need, The Fly, It's not trolling if..., Thundercats! Ho!
"Jez has champagne pockets and lemonade eyes." -Indie Pete
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Max Bantleman » 2:00pm on 12 Nov 08

Kaiserjez wrote:Actually moleskin boots are SO last season. What every self respecting character needs now is a tatty field manual.


My eyes, my eyes!!!
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Mick Red » 8:23pm on 12 Nov 08

Costs for accom and conpass (3 days soild gaming) cost the pompey crew £40 a head, as for food and drink depends on how mad you go, there is no GM reward bar the very generous raffle at the end, so no whacked out GM's running for free this and that like at other cons, im not suprised your interested in going next year, it was the awesomeist con ive ever been to :D

Mick the Red (Indiecon 1 attender)
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Re: Indiecon impressions by Chris - event organiser

Postby Evilgaz » 8:51pm on 12 Nov 08

Mick Red wrote:Mick the Red (Indiecon 1 attender)

Obviously I'm not going if you're turning up... :twisted:
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