Convention Poll – My take on it
I recently posted a poll on FB in hopes to find out reasons for gamers not attending. Both our ConCarolinas and ConGregate efforts were less than stellar. Although ConCarolinas is considered a rebuilding year, ConGregate was a third try and gaming has gotten stagnant. ConGregate is starting to frustrate me because High Point was once a great place for us to go, but now I can’t get gamers to turn out. The con committee talked me up as being on of the best at what I do but the best I can do for ConGregate is get them 50 gamers.
We posted a poll first about ConCarolinas and plan to post another about ConGregate. This is what I said.
CONCAROLINAS 2016 POLL
Not only does JustUs Productions organize the great MACE events that you all love and enjoy, but we also organize gaming for a few local sci-fi cons. ConCarolinas and ConGregate are the two we currently work with. For ConCarolinas 2016 (June 03-05, 2016). we would like to know, if you did not attend, what was the primary reason that kept you from coming?
The choices are as follows and I will include my interpretation of each.
1. Bad timing/Had other commitments for that weekend (but would otherwise have attended)
This was intended for those that had personal, professional or non-convention commitments that kept them from coming. I interpret this as potential. Many of these folks probably worked CC into their plans and when we left, they stopped going. Either that or they are new and can work it in with some time. If this is a good portion of the votes, then it is hope for gaming at ConCarolinas.
2. Not a con I would normally attend/No interest or Too far away
These on the other hand are no one we can convince to come. If they have no interest, then there is very little we can do about that. Those that have a distance as a problem usually have a fixed radius of attendance and that rarely changes.
3. Not my kind of gaming or not enough gaming was on the schedule
This falls on me and the GMs I have available for gaming. It is the constant battle I struggle with – players won’t turn out if there is not enough gaming for them, but GMs won’t turn out if there is not enough players. I can only hope that the GMs see this too and return to running at CC.
4. Other, please explain in comments
Other reasons can be anything, but I hope in the comments they can give us an idea of how to attract them next year.
5. Con fee too expensive / Hotel was too expensive
This is data we can give back to the con. These are the two primary things they have some control over. Cost of food, travel and all that is out of their control.
6. Too close to another con I attend
Competition is always a concern and given the choice between a smaller sci-fi con with gaming and a larger gaming con, most gamers would go to the latter. Origins and GenCon is always a difficult things to judge this far away but for me, it is the GMs that I lose more than players. Many of my elite GMs go to these events and when I lose them, I lose a lot.
My fear is that we may have saturated our market and perhaps turning off some gamers. Not every game at our cons turns out good. Those players that had a bad experience might not return. Perhaps our pure gaming events are out shining our gaming at sci-fi cons and they are getting all the satisfaction they need out of them. I don’t know but I hope these polls help us learn something.
If we get a lot of #1, there is hope. At my peak in 2012, we had about 350 to 400 gamers at CC. This year, I estimate between 200 and 250 gamers. A considerable drop, but only because CC hurt its own reputation by going with someone else for 3 years. It is a rebuilding year, as I have said. This poll will give me an idea of how much rebuilding potential we have. If any of the other areas dominate the poll, then we may have some trouble.
I have a feeling the ConGregate poll is going to be different.