I thought running one little Fluxx event at a small local convention (Intervention Con, Rockville, MD) would be perfect to get my feet wet again after a hiatus from teaching games. Although I had my husband to help, we also had our 7 month old infant in tow. So I made sure to enlist the help of some other Techs, “just in case.” I scheduled Fluxx Fest for 4pm – 7pm on Friday night, the first night of Intervention Con. I wasn’t expecting a lot of people because table top gaming isn’t a big component at this con, the event wasn’t listed in the con booklet (only in the program grid), and there didn’t even seem to be many people at the con on Friday. I put up a few flyers Friday afternoon to help generate some interest and advertised that prizes would be given out to everyone that played a game. Shortly before 4pm, Lara and William arrived to help. We didn’t have to wait long before someone came in to LEARN to play Fluxx. Woo-hoo! We started a game of basic Fluxx with a new person, 3 game techs, and a gamer husband (my baby was also there, but played with toys instead). The next few people to wander into the room knew how to play Fluxx, so Lara dropped out of our game to play Cthulhu with them. I didn’t keep a close count on the number of people, the number of games, or which Fluxx versions were played. I know I personally ended up playing a couple games of regular Fluxx, Oz, and Monty Python, and I taught 5 new people how to play. Lara was really great about welcoming people and inviting them to join when they walked into the room. That was really helpful, because although some people said they had come to play Fluxx, others were in the middle of a scavenger hunt or were just checking out the convention but then stayed to play after being invited. I lost count after we hit 18 people (not including the baby). At one point we actually had 3 different games going at once. More than one person asked if we were playing again over the weekend. So I’d say Fluxx Fest was a huge success.
Some lessons learned…
(1) Sit facing the door so you can invite people to play as them come in. When we first sat down, I sat perpendicular to the door to make sure we had a body in the seat that might be visible from down the hall. But Lara almost always saw new people before I did, and inviting them to play clearly made a difference.
(2) Unwrap the promo cards! I put out piles of different promo cards and let each person choose which one they wanted. Some promos were still in the plastic (opened on one side or unopened) in order to protect them. One guy picked up a plastic wrapped stack, not realizing it was more than one card. Luckily I was able to help him get one card before he left with the stack.
(3) Expect a decent turn-out. I could not have hosted Fluxx Fest without Lara and William. I was so glad that I didn’t try to hold the event without some back-up. We were all surprised at how many people showed up!
(4) Three hours felt like a long time to me. Next year I want to try to have 2 sessions of 2 hours each. That will also allow people to come back later in the con for more!