My fellow Ronin (and President of Green Ronin Publishing) Chris Pramas recently posted “How to Get Me to Your Con” a blog about guesting at conventions, which inspired me to do the same, since I tend to get pretty regular convention inquiries.
What I Need
In order to guest at a convention, I need at least three things:
My travel expenses covered. I’m usually willing to drive someplace within 3-4 hours of southern New Hampshire (where I live). Beyond that, it’s airfare out of either Manchester, NH, or Boston, MA, and back.
A place to stay. Preferably this is some place where I can close the door and be alone when I need to be, like a hotel room. I’m a bit of an introvert and need some quiet personal space to recharge. I’m not necessarily averse to doubling-up or sharing, provided I know who I’m dealing with.
An invitation that includes at least the above two things and dates that fit my schedule, which can be pretty busy: I work for one publishing company, run two others, and am on the board of a pagan religious nonprofit, so free time (much less free weekends) can be at a premium.
Sorry to say that if you can’t offer at least these things, chances are I won’t come to your convention. I rarely attend cons “just for fun” and that goes double for anything outside of my immediate geographic area and, if I do attend a con on my own dime, then I’m not there to work or volunteer, but to have fun.
What I Prefer
While the above is a minimum, I also appreciate:
My food expenses covered. I’m a pretty easy-going eater with mid-range tastes, so this tends to be simple.
A game-focused event. While I’m happy to participate in the tabletop gaming side of larger conventions, I prefer events focused on the tabletop gaming (particularly tabletop roleplaying) hobby, as that’s my focus.
A con focused on safety and inclusion. I’m much more likely to look favorably on an event that has things like a non-harassment policy, diversity lounge or other safe spaces, and generally makes an effort to be inclusive of everyone in our hobby.
A queer-inclusive or -focused event. If you have a con that’s specifically queer (LGBTIQ, etc.) focused and inclusive, I’m all for it. I’ve been out as gay in the game industry my whole career and have helped to start online groups and convention events for “gaymers” so I’m always happy to give back and support such events however I can.
What I’ll Do
I’m happy to come to conventions to run games, particularly any of the games I currently work on or with for Green Ronin Publishing or Ad Infinitum Adventures. I’m usually good for one full-length (4 hour) game session a day or a couple of shorter “demo” style games.
I’ll also gladly run seminars on topics including game design, small press and self publishing, freelancing, working with licenses and licensed properties, superheroes in gaming (a personal favorite), and LGBT diversity issues in games and gaming. I play well with others in terms of being on panels or other group discussions, or will run things on my own.
I’m also happy to do or attend events for con staff, whether that’s social get-togethers, VIP meet & greets, or running a special game. I understand just how hard convention volunteers and staff work to put on an event, and am glad to show my appreciation.
What I’ll Offer
I’m usually happy to donate something (like a signed book) to a fundraising or charity effort, or to run or be involved in a “celebrity” game event towards that end.
Even if I can’t attend a convention event in person, I try to offer what support I can from Ad Infinitum in terms of prizes or give aways, especially if the convention features any Icons games. Sorry, but I can only offer things like prize support for the stuff I actually produce and publish myself, not games or products I write for other publishers.
If you have read through all of that and still want to invite me to guest at your convention, then feel free to email me with your dates and proposed arrangements and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Hope to see you at a convention sometime!