Welcome first timers, we’re so glad to have you. We know this is going to be a great experience for you. We have plenty to do and lots of people to meet. Are you wondering how this gaming convention works? I’m so glad you asked!
We have a two-part system for purchases. To play in events, you need a badge and a ticket. The badge gives you access to the convention and the ticket lets you play in an event.
You can simply buy a badge. We have badges for the whole weekend or a single day. However, we also have ways to earn a badge by donating your time. We give free badges to people who help to make the convention happen – volunteers and game masters. Volunteers are the minions who provide their labor to keep the convention running smoothly. Volunteers might deliver materials, assist with customer requests, or do data entry for us. Gamemasters lead all the games that we enjoy all the con. This is a great way to attend the convention because you can play in your own game.
Events vary quite a bit in cost. Some events are free, especially seminars and special events. Most events cost between $1.50 and $5.00, based on the length of the event. Some events cost more, because of the material costs associated with the event. All event prices are listed in the convention book.
For those who don’t know what to play, or just want to play a lot games, the most cost effective option is the “Play Games All Weekend” ribbon. Many conventions have ribbons for purchase that get you into one type of event during the convention. Well, we say pish! With our ribbon you can play in nearly any event for the entire convention. There are a few exceptions to this, and such events have this noted in the event description. You can use a ribbon to join any event that has a seat left once all the ticketed players have been seated.
If you don’t want to shell out for a ribbon, you can instead purchase a few generic tickets. Just like a ribbon, you can use generic tickets to join an event as long as there are seats available. All generic tickets are priced at $1.50, so if your event costs $3.00 you actually need 2 generic tickets to play. If you end up with leftover generic tickets, you can return the unused tickets for a refund while registration is open.
When you arrive, grab a convention book (a.k.a. con book). The con book has rules and guidelines for the convention. It also has a listing of all the scheduled events and descriptions of each. This will help you figure out how you want to spend your time, because there is a ton of stuff to do.
When you have free time, try hanging out in the open gaming areas. We have several games libraries where you can borrow games for one generic ticket. You can also play any games you brought with friends and strangers alike – these games are called “pick up” games.
We wish we could do this for free, but unfortunately we have costs for putting on this shindig. The most notable cost is the space, but we also pay for things like printing, convention materials, and the website. All the money we collect from selling badges, ribbons, event tickets, tee shirts, and bags is for the sole purpose of funding the convention.
U-Con is organized entirely by volunteers. While some conventions out there do this for profit, we do not. We do this for love of our hobby and the community. It can be a challenge since we all have day jobs. We try to run our convention as professionally as we can manage. While our structure is similar to larger conventions, we are small enough that you can talk to us. Chances are you’ll find a current or former organizer in one of your games.
After all that, if you don’t know what to do at the convention, meet people around you and ask them for advice. You will find plenty of fun stuff!