Top 10 Hopes for Virtual Cons

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CONVENTIONS ARE A WONDERFUL THING AND MOST OF THEM WON’T BE HAPPENING THIS YEAR.

It’s been a rough year and most of the events we’ve all been looking forward to have been canceled. I personally am always watching the news from the summer con season to see what’s going on and to learn about all the new things that will be coming over the next few months. Beyond that, I love the crowds, playing games with people I’ve not seen in years, and the energy that fills every space. In short, conventions are a wonderful thing and most of them won’t be happening this year. At least, not in the way we’re used to.


Enter the virtual con. Several groups have already announced that they will be trying to hold a version of their show on the interwebs. A few have already happened. Heck, some have been quietly been going on for years and we just never really thought about it.


This list is my attempt to organize my thoughts on virtual cons, what they mean, and what they can bring to the table… metaphorically. I’m not saying everything on this list needs to be at every con, but this is more of an, “if you have these, here are some examples of when it was done very well,” style of list. These are my personal thoughts as someone who has never undergone the stress of hosting even a small con virtual or otherwise.
With all of that said, here’s my list in no particular order.

Top 10 Hopes for Virtual Cons 1

Awards

Maybe you have a best in show award or possibly an award that is revered by the industry. Let’s just say it, maybe you’re the Spiel. Though the Dice Tower has announced they’ll do something for their awards this summer as well. Hosting an awards ceremony to hand out your trophies and honor all the nominees and recipients is not necessarily a thing that gets a lot of attention. It would be easy and understandable to simply release a list of the winners. However, I think that can be something done a bit differently.

Earlier this year I watched the British Academy of Film, Television and Art host their annual Video Game Awards online. What is typically a red carpet event similar to the Oscars was dialed back to a smaller affair. Host Dara O’Briain was streamed from his home, standing proud and dignified in his tuxedo, he would announce the awards, a cut to a prerecorded segment showing off all the nominees, O’Briain would announce the winner, and cut to a prerecorded acceptance speech.

This accomplished several things. The awards still felt special, O’Briain could interact with the audience by referring to their chat comments (though I don’t recall if he did), social distancing was respected, and the acceptance speeches were all well-rehearsed, appropriately timed, and showed the recipient in a more comfortable position making the speeches more pleasant. Additionally, the number of people who accepted the award while accompanied by family pets or other animals was just charming beyond measure. You can watch the ceremony on YouTube and I recommend it. I’ll post a link below.

That’s it for me. As I said before, this isn’t a list of what we must have to get a successful event, but they are things I hope we get to see.


Are you going to be taking part in any of the Virtual cons? Have you already? I hope I haven’t missed anything and want to hear what you all have to say in the comments or over on our Discord where we talk about these things and other board game stuff.


Until next time, stay safe and be well.

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