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A Quick Guide to Gaming Conventions in 2019

Author: Wyntercon HQ
March 16, 2019

If you’ve never been to a gaming convention, 2019 is a great time to start. All around the UK, gaming conventions are springing up like toadstools. But unlike a typical toadstool, gaming conventions offer hours of excitement, entertainment, photo-ops and gaming experiences. Our quick guide to gaming conventions is designed to get you started.

What’s a gaming convention again?

Why, that’s easy. A gaming convention is an event where people meet up to play games, try games, talk about games and see what new games are on the way. What sort of games? That depends on the convention, but there are generally boardgames, role-playing games, miniatures and/or wargames and video games.

Gaming conventions can be huge. For example, the UK Games Expo — the biggest and best hobby games convention in the country — is hosted at the NEC, runs over three days and last year attracted over 40,000 visitors!

Often, gaming conventions are often organised alongside other events, such as cosplay, sci-fi or comic cons (our own Wyntercon event is an example). That means that gaming conventions are usually a fantastic mix of industry professionals, casual gamers, hardcore gamers, cosplayers, game fans, comic fans, families, people there to enjoy the vibe, and timid woodland creatures. Possibly we made up the woodland creatures. But the point is that a great gaming convention can and should be a kaleidoscope of the weird and wonderful.

Newbie tips for gaming conventions

If you’ve been to gaming conventions before, you get a free throw and can move ahead five spaces (see what we did there?) But if you’re a gaming convention newbie, we’ve got four simple tips to improve your experience:

  • Plan your visit. Gaming is so absorbing that it’s easy to get hooked on one teeny part of the event…and then find out you missed the super-exciting thing on the other side of the hall. Make sure you check out the event’s website and programme in advance, or weep bitter tears of regret.
  • Get involved. One lovely, lovely thing about games conventions is how much enthusiasm people have for their particular interests. And seeing as you’re there, why not share in it? You’ll have a better time if you do. Don’t understand what’s going on in a game? Ask someone. Wonder how a cosplayer made a costume? Talk to them. They’ll run out of oxygen before they run out of explanation.
  • Set a spending limit. Seriously. Gaming conventions are enchanted forests of temptation. At the moment, you think you’ll be able to resist, but that’s because those goodies aren’t being dangled right in front of your covetous eyes. So set a limit and stick to it.
  • Wear a decorative hat. Because, well, you never know.
Where to find a gaming convention

There are so many to choose from! To find something near you, we’d start with the Convention List group on Facebook. It has a comprehensive, and regularly updated, list of UK gaming conventions, comic cons, anime events, sci-fi conventions and more. For something more international, try conguide.co.uk. It lists all types of conventions worldwide and is well worth a visit.

Hope to see you at one soon!

Wyntercon 2019 is coming soon to an Eastbourne near you. There’ll be gaming, sci-fi, comics, model-making…and the south west’s largest cosplay competition. Be there.

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