Dwarven Tavern, and a lot of other companies, go to Gen Con and various other cons throughout the year in search of success. Successful buying, trading, meeting, networking, interviewing, reviewing, and gathering of information to make the companies better at what they do. It isn’t like the companies have a pre-loaded U-Haul full of con gear. All the material being taken must be purchased, packed, loaded, unloaded, unpacked, and stowed, then repacked, reloaded, and so forth once the con is through. This is a ton of work. Even those who do not go to the cons with a stockpile of mercantile conveyances must take sacks, totes, hydration, money, recording devices, and other tools of the trade that while small, must often be ported throughout the con as those who hoof it from booth to booth most often have no booth of their own for respite.
The time it takes to prep for a con often takes months to properly organize. There is a plan of attack for optimum efficacy in the limited time available to con goers. Four days might seem like a lot of time to peruse the gilded cubicles but alas it is never enough time. One small “hi” can turn into a full-contact, no holds barred conversation engulfing every aspect of the game from inception to kickstarter glory and all the peaks and valleys in between. The exhibitor’s hall is but one of the many facets of Gen Con that absorb the mind and time of the errant gamer faster than John Carpenter’s “The Thing” can dine on hapless outpost employees (how much do those guys get paid, I wonder. It’s not enough). Before one knows it, one is looking back on Sunday night wondering where one might have stepped into the Delorean and drove right past those four days at 88.8 MPH. In other words, the time goes fast and there is a LOT of stuff to do, so in order to see the most, get the most out of it, there must be optimization planning to be done. That too takes time. No matter why you’re there, you have to be organized. If you’re there to game, see seminars, buy stuff (who isn’t?) sell stuff, meet folks, find the love of your life, lose your mind, whatever, if you want to do it all, you have to be organized. Stressed enough? Yup.
The con is but four days, and that’s just one con. Organizing is what the rest of the year is for. Getting all the contacts and setting up meetings is something just about everyone does, whether they are in business or not. We do a lot of work to have a little fun, so this being a whole lot of fun makes the proportional work required beforehand that much greater, but also that much more worth it in the end. Even running through the place with no idea what you’re doing can be great! I’ve done it, I know. The law of random encounters (if there is such a thing) insists that even without a plan at all, one with near certainty will accidentally run into something that makes the trip worth it. With that being said, if you DO have a plan, things will be even better. And even though the whole thing might be overwhelming to try and plan, given enough time, a plan can be had that makes the most out of the trip, and fortunately, we have the rest of the year.