“The Calm before the Storm”

No pics, just thoughts and text

We’ve reached the proverbial calm before the storm, Thursday before Spring Fling. This year the Spring Fling Convention has been a bit of a roller-coaster behind the scenes. We’ve decided to take on expanding the event to include more than Guild Ball. We added enough new people we knew space would be a challenge. We decided to stick with the safe venue for this year, hoping it would make things smoother. I expanded the pre-convention and in-convention team beyond just me and impromptu volunteers.

All in all, I’m content with the journey to this point. The real test on how successful the team and I have been doing will prove out starting tomorrow (Friday) evening with the Developers dinner. Although there’s still a lot of scrambling to keep things running smooth over the coming weekend, the preparation work is done and it’s hard to explain how much that prep influences the smooth running of the event.

I look sadly at some of the casualties leading up to the Spring Fling. The Significant Others event is one casualty which saddens me to see drop away. I’ve spent time over the past couple months speaking with a number of people and have learned some facts I find intriguing. First, gamers as a whole tend to travel with partners/significant others less as an event gets larger. There’s a push for attendees to room together and bringing an “other” along tends to limit the flexibility for that. In addition, the “others” tend to become more resistant to accompanying the attendee the larger an event gets. I can’t speak to the psychology of the last finding, but I find it both sad and interesting. Definitely something I will think about and look into in the future.

Also surprising to me and several of the support staff is Keyforge among the fallen events. Keyforge was on a blazing hot roll in the local area and there was no doubt it would be successful when we added it to the roster. Then the shock settled in as interest in the event was the lowest across all events (including demo’s) in the roster. Preparing for the Keyforge event ended up being the biggest hit to my “out of pocket” coverage as I took on the cost for the event on cancelling it. I’m shocked at how quickly organized events for the game blazed up, seemed to successfully cross the 6-month barrier, then died shortly after.

Speaking of card games, the real hiccup for the pre-planning of the Spring Fling Convention came from Wizards of the Coast. As I (and the store managers & owners I consult with) have experienced, WoTC has kept a fairly predictable schedule of pre-release/release/post-release events with their new M:TG sets. Thus, we were all shocked when the upcoming prerelease was scheduled early and landed directly on the same weekend as the Spring Fling Convention. This caused all sorts of anxiety and extra work as Huzzah Hobbies staff and I worked closely to figure out the impact and work around the prerelease events. The space situation for the Spring Fling Convention changed at least 3 times over the 6 weeks leading up to this weekend.

Overall, I am humbled by the help and support I’ve gotten from my staff. I’m immensely grateful to the partners and sponsors of the Spring Fling convention 2019. I’m thankful for all the attendees who’ll start arriving tomorrow for a fantastic weekend. My biggest hope is everyone who attends (attendees, staff, partners) has a glorious weekend and achieves the success they all personally seek.

Lastly, if you notice a Staff or Partner badge being worn by someone at the convention, please thank them for helping make the Spring Fling Convention what it is. Furthermore, if you have a chance to thank any of the Huzzah Hobbies Staff, please do so doubly!

Now Bring On the Weekend!!!