With Denver Comic Con behind us, now is the time to reflect upon how it went, identify the mistakes and the issues and see how we can address them for next year.
Cuz let's be honest, it's all about next year at this point. And not just "getting by" next year, but making it really awesome.
This year, being the first Denver Comic Con had its growing pains. For me, as an organizer I found it very difficult to get timely information - and indeed any information at all. I have to give a big shout-out to Bill and Jacque Woods for sending a lot of information my way.
I considered pulling out completely a few times. In the end, I decided against it, preferring to keep up my part of the bargain and make the strongest statement I could do. A big reason for it goes to my Venture-Lefttenant, Martin Blake who offered to man the fort throughout the con while I attended my co-commitments of running Free RPG Day events down in Colorado Springs.
Some of the issues:
- The Con fell on the same day as Free RPG Day.
- The Con fell on Fathers' Day (and being a father, I like to be around my family on that day).
- Communication: This one is mostly for me. I had a fair amount of difficulty getting the information I needed to pass it to my GMs. This is the point I believe the con folks have acknoledged and I believe they will work hard to improve next year. I'm very happy of it too.
- For PFS, I would like to see a few "short intros" to the campaign to be run only here in Colorado. I already mentionned it to my Overlords and will see what happens. Having a few more 1h adventures would really be cool, especially in a con setting where many players walk in for an hour or two at the most.
- On site, the organization was pretty good: signs were up, the volunteers knowledgeable about where to send people and what was going on, the organizers gave me some great and direct information. That, to me was perhaps the strongpoint of the Con. I know its funny to put this in the issues, but I think that a lot of the work done before the con led to this. And I want to salute the volunteers and the organizers (particularly Lee and Matt) for their tireless work.
So thinking back on all of these issues, I would say they are growing pains and over the coming years, they will improve. That's great news because from what I was able to see, this could be the next "big thing" here in Denver. For with the loss of Bencon so many years back, the spring/summer period has been basically... Well it's been dead con-wise.
Number-wise, they are much smaller than Genghis Con or Tacticon, but it's a baseline on which to grow, that's for sure. We had 5 tables of PFS many with new players. Five different GMs (David, Orion, Christian, Martin and Everett) ran great games - seeing as many ComicCon attendees joined our yahoogroup after the con.
You will have no doubt noticed that I was not one of the GMs for ComicCon... That's right, I managed not to GM anything, and to play one game! But in the slot where I was doing "nothing" I did not stay idle. Martin and I went through the con hall. We checked out the Cosplayers and the booth babes (thank you girls!). What? You mean there were guys cosplayer too? I didn't see them. Then I spent a fair amount of time with the guys from the Wizard's Chest here in Denver. I got to learn the basics of Marvel/DC Heroclix, but also we talked about PFS. Check out the RMPathfinder Yahoo Group for any news on that...
So this is it... Denver Comic Con 1 is in the books. There are things to improve but I think those issues can be overcome and experience will tell in the coming years. Already before the end of the con, some announces were made: we would be at the Convention Center per se (not the Hyatt across the street), that Stan "The Man" Lee would be the guest of honor, and a number of other small things that only interests organizers. But a lot of positive. I will take from Comic Con that this is a great event and one I would like to see grow and become a staple in the gaming community.