Owlcon XXXI will be awesome. I hope I will see you all there? www.owlcon.com
So I want to start a long-tem discussion with the Houston Gaming community, and I admit I don't know the place best for that. If any of you own/host a blog and think we could borrow some chatter space, I'm all for that. Also, I'd like a place to pull in those who you know, who have an opinion, but who I didn't know how to reach...
As many of you know, I've been involved in Comicpalooza 2010, 2011, and looking towards 2012 as Gaming coordinator. I've done in-store game days, D&D Encounters, and now getting into helping with Owlcon too. I want more. I want bigger & better. That's not to demean those other events--far from it! Owlcon has been amazing year after year, and the response to Comicpalooza trying to figure itself out, has also been awesome. Yet, my education in marketing and sales, my years of experience, yearn for something more. I've been trying to get "names", Gaming celebs, if you will, to Houston, to put us on the map. I don't want to re-invent the wheel, but I do think we have desire and potential for at least one [more] major Con in this city, per year.
Last year, Comicpalooza put Gaming way down on the other end of the building, and a lot of you rightly jumped on me for that. No worries, although not my decision, it was necessary to hear all your feedback. I took that back to the board and let them know we had a lot of frustration with placement, promotion of events, and a lack of communication with local stores (for example, Asgard had a big Privateer Press tourney and we worked against each other, without meaning to - I had the state guys from Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio here, but no one came to their events). Comicpalooza 2012 has a whole new set of challenges. The floorplan right now is merely rooms A1 and B1.
I'm frankly really worried that this might work great for a comic book / pop culture con, but might be too noisy and uncomfortable for Gaming. Which leads my brain around to those people who suggested hotels, other venues, conference centers, and so forth. For example, would most of you consider attending a Gaming convention at Moody Gardens in June or July, if something like that formed up? Here are some of the many points I'd like to earnestly hear your long-term input on, since I don't plan to withdraw from Houston Gaming until I can celebrate with all of you, whatever monster awesome epic convention we finally give birth to. To be very clear, I am not talking about anything "against" Comicpalooza. Yet, Gaming is not currently the core of that con, no matter how much I wish my segment was better represented.
- What forum can best be used to exchange ideas and archive these discussions?
- What venue(s) do you recommend, and how better to use them?
- What can a/the convention do / do better that it has not done before?
- Should the con be more like Comic-Con, or PAX, or Gencon....or....?
- What can YOU contribute to such an undertaking...should I consider you part of the team which wants to be involved?
- What time of year works, works best, and doesn't work? (For example, I've heard some grumbles about Memorial Day, but some think Labor Day would be better)
- Does anyone have hotel, conference center, city of Houston, Reliant Park, Woodlands, etc contacts?
And stuff like this. I know there is a lot of small press publishers and game companies in Texas. I know we have writers, creators, designers, artists, sculptors. We have tons of gamers from tabletop RPG, to minis, historical, LARP, card games, board games... we have companies like Steve Jackson and Dark Skull, Dark Nova...just to throw out the bare three names I know well. Maybe I am just a dreamer, but I figure, if we dream a little together? Imagine being host to the US or world Pathfinder or D&D or Warhammer 40K tourney, or the international White Wolf Southwest Masquerade Ball. Again, just a tiny few ideas which could be pebbles in the avalanche.
Thanks for listening. At your leisure, please don't just read and delete. Help me and your fellow Gamers out...give us some feedback?
PS - Yes, there is a business opportunity here. I'd like to hear from you privately if you have that kind of interest, in being a partner, contributor, potentially profit-share volunteer, etc. BUT that's not the main topic of this discussion. Brainstorm first.