This past weekend I attended the first ever GameHole gaming convention here in Madison, WI. I can’t recall how I initially found out about the event. I know I ran into Josh Hoyt, overseeing gaming for the con, when I gamed with him at GaryCon in March. He was promoting the con there at the con located in Lake Geneva.
I can’t even recall if Madison had a gaming convention prior to this new venture. Correct me in the comments if I’m wrong. I don’t include WisCon, or any other of the geek-related events like Odd Con, Tesla Con, Geekkon, etc. Gaming seems to take a back seat at those events. I really wanted to see GameHole to succeed. The Madison area has more gaming stores (read it folks, we have at least 5) per capita than anywhere else in the US. We’re a decent sized city, population 250k for Madison and more than 150k for the burbs an outskirts. We’re about an hour away from Milwaukee, 4 hours from the twin cities, and a couple hours from Chicago. Not a bad place for a weekend of gaming fun.
There are certainly obstacles and hurdles to having a successful gaming convention. Having 5+ gaming stores in the area makes one wonder ‘why go to a local con when I can just game at one of the stores’? Some may even prefer to game with their own group in the privacy of someone’s house. Then there’s the cost of renting a hotel, the huge amounts of time that you have to dedicate to coordinate everything to include finding sponsors, speakers, a website, food, ecommerce, policies, marketing, and the list goes on and on. There are probably more reasons on how a con can fail than succeed. It can be a scary endeavor. Sure, many people are happy to just break even, but running in the red does nobody any favors. I gotta give these guys a lot of credit just based on the gumption to try and make it happen.
What can I say? I was really impressed. Continue reading Gamehole Con Wrap Up