Over the next several weeks, we will be asking your opinions about certain aspects of PartyCon, or ideas we had for next year. We originally built a survey for this purposes, but it got very large and I thought breaking ti down piece by piece and discussing it an open forum might be the best way to go about it. Questions will be posted here on the website and then rebroadcast on FB, G+, and Twitter, so you can comment wherever is most convenient to you.
The first question is about the length of PartyCon. It was unfortunate that NYE fell on a Thursday this year. The middle of the week is not the best time for a holiday to fall, especially because many people are expected to work a full day on New Year’s Eve. It was also weird that the party ended on Friday, even though we had a whole weekend during which people would have had more time to spend. Fortunately, next NYE falls on a Saturday, probably the best arrangement possible. By this happy coincidence of scheduling, we’d expect to attract more people than last year. Combined with the good press from this past event, 12 months of planning and promotional time, and greater recognition, we could conceivably draw double the amount of attendees (245 paid attendees this year). With that in mind, we were considering making PartyCon a three day event, running Friday through Sunday.
Since we are a relatively small con and three-day cons of all sorts tend to have at least one really slow day (and that day is usually a Friday), it would probably not be structured like the usual three-day convention. We might not have vendor hours at all on Friday, or at least make them optional. Friday would become sort of a wind-up day, focused on social interaction, relaxation, and night life. It would open at 3 or 4 PM and extend into the wee hours of the morning. Some possibilities include dinners or drinks with guest speakers, musical acts, and so forth. The tabletop and video game room would also be open and we would try to schedule some tournaments (provided we have the volunteers). Some new events that we brainstormed or were suggested to us might be ideal for this day, such as swing dancing, game shows, and karaoke (more on new events in a later post).
Saturday would then become a full day schedule, starting at 11 AM or noon and running to 8 or 9 PM for vendors, and straight on till 2 AM for the New Year’s celebration. There would be a musical act and/or a DJ, a continuation of the game room, and the first set of creator roundtable discussions. Food and drinks would be available at various times throughout the day. We could have the Nerf duels and some new events, perhaps like the Lego Design Competition (more on this in another post).
Sunday would be the wind-down day and similar to this year’s event, with the con closing probably at 4 or 5 PM. Breakfast would be served in the morning, but otherwise no food or drinks (except in the bar). The costume contest would run on Sunday (with the expanded schedule, we might be able to have a costume contest on Saturday and Sunday) and we’d finish out the day with a giant Nerf battle, this time with a room set-up with foam barriers and obstacles as we originally planned.
Is this a good idea, or does it make the event too long? Would you attend all three days? Would it make you more likely to attend at least one day? Let’s hear your thoughts!