For a discussion of where to hold your RPG convention, I went back to the source,
"Super" Dave Radzik, and asked him to talk to us about picking convention locations.
Dave: So you've heard the phrase "Location, Location, Location". Well not only does that apply to real estate but also convention. But the way it applies is more like this: Distance, Size and Cost. These are the prime considerations when determining the venue of your game day or convention.
Dave: The first consideration is related to distance from your customer/participant base. Where do they live and how far are they willing to travel. A central location that sits along major travel routes is best, but these sites may be too costly or too small for your needs. It's a balance of these factors that fit your needs that will affect the choice of venue.
Dave: The second consideration is size. How large of an event are you organizing? Something too large may be wasteful financially and also appear to be poorly attended. Something too small may prevent you from offering some great activities and cause overcrowding. Planning your space use with thought for both detail and flexibility is important to defining the actual amount of space you will need.
Dave: For many events cost is the central consideration. Once you review available venues based on location and size you will need to work with the sales person on the rental rates. You may have an ideal location in mind but find that it is beyond your current budget. While negotiating rates you will have to evaluate what portion of a venue will fit your group and your budget. You may not need the entire available meeting space. Keeping you costs down is always important.
Dave: The most often used venues for conventions and game days are hotels, college campuses, and game stores. Some other possible sites include community centers and social organizations such as Elks, Eagles and VFW halls.
Thanks, Dave! For anyone interested, Dave's latest local convention can be found here: AnCon, in Ohio.
Speaking from my own experience as a convention attendee, I'm happy if I have a place to stay and the opportunity to game. I'm willing to put up with a lot, given those two. For a multi-day event, give some thought to how close available housing is to your event.