2012 BPA Survey Results—Length
Jan. 12, 2013

When asked if moving to a new location required shortening WBC, 37% preferred to stay rather than shorten the con. Another 27% were willing to jettison the Pre-Cons while 20% opted for a six-day convention. 12% were willing to carve it to five days while only 4% opted for a reduction to four days.

What You’d Like to See… What You Want Not to Change How I See It…
Split Genres 2: One way to address the crowding might be to split the wargames and eurogames. Instead of “’Pre-Cons”, start the wargames over the first weekend, have overlap of both on Monday and Tuesday, then finish out the week with Eurogames. Most Eurogamers I know don’t even set foot in the wargames room, and vice versa. Having some overlap would allow those who want to check out the ’other side’, but then you would have more room for each style of game during its peak attendance. / If shortening the con, concentrate genres on specific days so those who can only come for a day or two can attend during their preferred genre and have a full slate of their favorites to choose from.   Forgive me for resorting to a military axiom but “he who defends everything, defends nothing”. Or in Euro … “We can’t be all things to all people, otherwise, we risk being nothing to anyone.” Aside from playing Russian roulette with the economics generated by such drastic attendance pattern disruptions, you essentially gut the incentive for anyone to rationalize the expense of their travel with a long con by cutting their con in half, doubling the likely event conflicts within their genre during a shorter con within a con, and essentially ruin the con for those who enjoy multiple genres. Essentially, we would still have all the expenses of a longer con with none of the benefits.
Two conventions 9: Split the convention into two smaller cons; one for wargames—the other for Euros. … Each would be somewhat smaller, and they could swap venues and dates each year. For example, on even years late June in WDC for Euros and early Aug in NYC for Wargames.Vice versa on Odd years. For those who won’t travel or can’t accommodate a specific date, they should be able to attend every other year. Admittedly we are talking two contracts and much more work. That may imply finally paying what this service has always been worth! / Split it into a short Open Gaming Con and a longer Tournament Con.  

See above. In addition, you automatically make the convention less attractive to vendors by reducing attendance while increasing liabilities from hotel attrition costs. Economies of scale make running two conventions more expensive than running one—not to mention the wear and tear on the staff—thus doubling staff requirements.

Size itself can be an attraction. While there are doubtless people who enjoy a smaller convention environment, the reverse is also true. And there is always the hope that being in the same facility will encourage seeing how the other half lives and encourage cross-pollination.

Shorten the Con 9: I’d like to play in the POG Pre-Con, and, I’d like to play in the other tournaments too, but I can’t spend an entire week playing games. And, the distnace is too far to play, go home, and come back. I think it would be better if you just said the convention is from Wednesday through Saturday. It is hard to burn up all of those vacation days when we also have family commitments. Convention Length 58: The current convention length provides plenty of gaming opportunities while improving the bang for my travel buck. Those of us who fly want to get our money’s worth. / Keep the Pre-Cons. Even if I don’t attend them, that doesn’t mean I don’t hope to do so someday. / The Pre-Cons allow me to play a longer game without sacrificing too many other games I want to play. / I love the length of the con. No other convention—and I go to 2-3 per year—allows me to get away for 10 days/9 nights and immerse myself totally in gaming.

WBC is unique in many ways. One of the most obvious and appreciated is its length—allowing travellers to really make a vacation of it and make it worth the trip. Who wants to spend as much time travelling as you do at the destination?

Moreover, our length allows us to all but do away with registration lines as that chore is now spread over nine days. That makes it rough on the registration crew but mighty convenient for the attendees.

Split Facilities 1: Use two or more nearby hotels with Euros in one and wargames in another.   Large conventions often host different functions in different hotels, but it is usually seen as an inconvenience. The need to leave the main building is especially jarring to families wanting to keep track of their children. Doing so at Host and requiring multiple daily crossings of busy Rt 30 is a non-starter.
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