What Board Game Conferences would you recommend for 2012?

Posted by Jim {Power Gamer} | 13-Jan-12 | 26 comments

Rather than talking about the games we’re playing this weekend, let’s talk about board game conferences!

Speaking for the BoardGaming.com team, we’re definitely going to be at Gen Con, but we’re hoping to make it to other conferences as well, especially any in the southwest.

  • What Board Game Conferences do you go to?
  • How big are they?
  • What is it about them that makes them worth attending?
  • Which conferences do you see publishers participating in?

Comments (26)

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7
Miniature Painter
Intermediate Reviewer
Master Grader

Good info in here. Neat to see who goes where!

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7
Master Grader
Novice Reviewer
Amateur Advisor
I'm Completely Obsessed

A little late on this post. Not sure if anyone will see it, but I’ll be going to OM G!con in Paducah KY on June 8th – 10th. They are mostly an anime and video game con, but they do have a big board game and rpg presence at the convention as well. I’m even considering volunteering to teach and run a few games this year.

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3
Gamer - Level 3

As another DC area gamer, there are some options out there. One coming up soon is Prez Con (http://www.prezcon.com/) in February just an hour away or so in Charlottesville VA. They have some links to gaming clubs in the nation’s capital as well.

Cheers,

Gamer Avatar
9
My First Heart
My First Wish!
My First Favorite!
Gave My First Grade

I’d forgotten about the Dice Tower con. I’m not going to be able to make it myself, but I have a friend who’s helping out at it, and it sounds like it’ll be a good time.

Gamer Avatar
8
Count / Countess
Senior
Went to Gen Con 2012
I play black

I’d also like to plug Protospiel, which is not a conference for gamers. It’s for game designers. A terrific place to try out your prototypes and see what others are working on. I went for the first time in 2011, and I’ll be back.

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6
Mage Wars fan
Novice Reviewer
I play yellow

The Buckeye Game Fest in Columbus Ohio is on my list. It is held in Columbus Ohio and run by the Columbus Area Boardgamers Society (CABS), the same group that runs the Board room at Origins. Plenty of games in their library available to check out and play! I had a great time there in 2011.

It is scheduled for September 20-23 this year.

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6
Unicorn Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Gamer - Level 6
Novice Reviewer

The one thing I miss about living in Indy was going to GenCon and Origins every year! It makes me sad remembering all the great times I had at those conventions and then realize I can’t afford to fly across the country for a con. Maybe I can schedule family vacations around them in the future!?

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10
Critic - Level 5
Professional Advisor
Expert Reviewer
Marquis / Marchioness

Another good sized board gaming conference is the World Boardgaming Championships (WBC) in Lancaster, PA. They have a heavy focus on tournaments to name champions, but there is also open gaming, as well as a room with a focus on younger gamers.

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1

In May there is Atlanta Game Fest http://www.atlantagamefest.com which is always fun. Play on Con is in Birmingham, AL the last weekend of July I think. http://www.playoncon.com. This con is equal parts parties, gaming, and parties. There are a lot of other con type things going on there as well.

Game Fest South is in August, run by Ward, who also does Atlanta Game Fest. http://www.gamefestsouth.com

MagFest, the jam band festival has gaming?

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8
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester
Subscribed to BG News
Platinum Supporter
Advanced Reviewer

I’m really curious to follow this thread. Everyone knows about Origins and Gen Con, but I’d love to hear about the smaller alternatives. (I can’t wait to take my kids to Gen Con and Origins in a couple years tho!)

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3
USA
Advocate

I’m planning on attending Origins this year, and I will try to squeeze Gencon in as well.

Gamer Avatar

GenCon is great, but I’ll put a plug in for our convention – Dice Tower Convention, just a few minutes from Disney World in Orlando!
http://www.dicetowercon.com

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10
United Kingdom
Professional Reviewer
Crab Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
Book Lover

If you are in the United Kingdom, then UK Games Expo is probably the largest general games convention in the country. It covers games of all types — RPGs, board games, and card games, though there is a bias towards the board game. It also caters to families and welcomes non-gamers too. Normally held at the beginning of June, this year, it is at the end of May.

Last year, it had several thousand gamers through its doors. For extra fun, the convention is held in a Masonic Lodge!

Gamer Avatar
9
My First Heart
My First Wish!
My First Favorite!
Gave My First Grade

I know they’re a competitor and all, but BGG con would probably be pretty worthwhile for you guys to go to.

Beyond that, it seems like at least one of the two PAX conventions would be a definite stop. They may be about video games at the frontmost, but the tabletop gaming that is firmly supported there is no sloppy seconds. PAX Prime would be my personal pick, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the west coast, having lived there the majority of my life.

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7
Paladin
Herald
Advanced Reviewer
BoardGaming.com Bronze Supporter

For Europeans SPIEL in Essen is… essential. 😉 This is the oldest and the biggest board game fair and it’s still alive and kicking.

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8
Norway
Book Lover
I play blue
Paladin

I have two conferences each year; Midwinther in the beginning of March and Spill-o-rama, around September. Both taking place on the western part of Norway. Midwinther isn`t all that big yet, but working its way up! I am the only female participating on all of the conferences. I know they hope to bring in publishers here. Spill-o-rama is a lot bigger, passing 100 people, though that is more for the especially invited. They tend to have publishers there.

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9
USA
Platinum Supporter
Petroglyph
BoardGaming.com Beta 1.0 Tester

I’ll be at Eugene Game’s Gala and Gamestorm this year, but would really love to get to GenCon and Essen someday. I also think BGG down in Texas would be something to check out. We also have GameSquall (a teeny-tiny Gamestorm) every year in our little town of Cottage Grove (the town with the largest per capita population of gamers in the World!) 🙂

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10
Jungle Elves - Summoner Wars
BoardGaming.com Beta 2.0 Tester
Summoner Wars Fan
Unicorn Clan - Legend of the Five Rings

@ David Phillips

I agree. I’m an hour out of DC and relatively new to boardgaming, but I assumed a city of that size would have at least one big gaming convention. I haven’t been able to find one yet.

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5
I Walk the Talk!

I’ve decided to attend Origins this year. They’ve moved the date up to the end of May (30th through June 3rd I think) and a couple of buddies that I have gone with before can’t attend this year but I’ll still go and get a little gaming in with some other friends.

It’s a really fun time and I’ve enjoyed the 3 years I’ve been. The only downside is the 7 hour drive and border crossing wait-times I have to endure.

For those of you who are interested I think online registration just began within the past couple of days and the hotel packages are now available. $125 at the Hyatt Regency isn’t too bad a deal…

Game on!

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8
Count / Countess
Senior
Went to Gen Con 2012
I play black

Can’t believe I’m the first to mention GenCon in Indianapolis. I always put in 3 days there. I don’t know the official attendee count, but the number 30,000 sounds right. Game manufacturers are well represented. It’s where I made my connection with my publisher and several other potential companies.

Origins in Columbus, Ohio is a good time. It’s GenCon-lite. No disrespect. It’s just smaller. In some ways, that’s actually nice. It is less expensive too.

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