Tour to a Con

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tbrminsanity

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Tour to a Con
« on: October 26, 2016, 09:39:37 PM »
Good day everyone,

My father is a travel agent that runs Easter Tours to Europe for High Schools.  Recently he is opening up his business to provide Historic Tours to other groups such as Military Units.  I proposed to him that a Convention Tour to one of the more Historic places in the States may appeal to Gamer groups like us.  Is there interest in organizing a tour that would focus on a Convention as the cornerstone of the tour, but would also include additional day trips to Historic sites?
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PhotoJim

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Re: Tour to a Con
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 08:59:55 AM »
I'm interested in the idea in theory, but my life schedule limits the times of year when I could participate in such an event.  I'd certainly consider participating, if the scheduling worked and the destination seemed interesting.
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Matt Robertson

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Re: Tour to a Con
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 09:29:55 AM »
I think that in North America, having tours to historic sites could be a bit limiting. It would probably be better to broaden the scope of the tours. For instance, some of the major conventions are:

Major US Events
BGG.CON (Dallas, Texas)
GeekWay (St. Louis, Missouri)
GenCON (Indianapolis, Indiana)
PAX West (Seattle, Washington)
PAX East (Boston, Massachusetts)
Origins (Columbus, Ohio)
DragonCON (Atlanta, Georgia
World Boardgaming Championships (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
ConSimWorld (Tempe, Arizona)

Major Canadian Events
HalCON (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
FallCON (Calgary, Alberta)
GOBFest (Edmonton, Alberta)
Terminal City CON (Vancouver, British Columbia)
JimCON (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
PrairieCON (Brandon, Manitoba)

Aside from the conventions on the Eastern seaboard, there is not a lot of historic draw. Plus, history buffs tend towards wargames and historic simulations as a general rule. There are smaller events that happen in the US where folks gather to play wargames, many at civil war sites.

If you were to broaden the scope of your offering to include sporting events, famous dining or outings, concerts, or other forms of entertainment... I think there may be a market.

Pricing is also a major factor. I would ask myself, what can I get with a tour that I could not get on my own. If I am paying a premium to join a tour, I would want added benefits or economies of scale. The benefits could simply be that someone else is looking after all of the logistics, hotel bookings, and travel arrangements.

Hope that helps. Good luck with exploring this idea. I for one, will certainly be following your developments.
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swoop_ds

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Re: Tour to a Con
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2016, 10:00:36 AM »
I'm with Matt and Jim - I'm interested in theory but the logistics would ultimately decide whether I could go or not.

The main impediment would be my family (that sounds awful!), two kids under 3 and a wife who generally isn't really into games makes it difficult.

Having said that, I think this is a very interesting idea.  The history side of things would be neat but there is certainly all kinds of other activities to draw people in.

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PhotoJim

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Re: Tour to a Con
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2016, 10:23:09 AM »
I've been to Lancaster, Pennsylvania (had no idea there was a con there).  It is in Amish country, and there is also a very good railroad museum nearby in Strasburg.  It is also not very far from Philadelphia, which is filled with historic sites.
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swoop_ds

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Re: Tour to a Con
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2016, 10:27:11 AM »
Actually the WBC would be pretty cool - having team Saskatchewan/Canada there...

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tbrminsanity

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Re: Tour to a Con
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2016, 08:21:55 AM »
I'll pass the list on to my father and see what sort of packages he can create.
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Alphadork

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Re: Tour to a Con
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2016, 01:47:42 PM »
If you're going to a Con (especially some of the bigger ones) most of your time would best be spent there attending events (rather than side trips to historic sites).

Example - I warn everyone planning to attend their first GenCon to allow one full day just to expereince the dealer room - you'll need it.

Now, if packages could be put together with well located hotels, transporpation, registration for events and such you might be on to something.

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tbrminsanity

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Re: Tour to a Con
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2016, 05:59:33 PM »
If you're going to a Con (especially some of the bigger ones) most of your time would best be spent there attending events (rather than side trips to historic sites).

Example - I warn everyone planning to attend their first GenCon to allow one full day just to expereince the dealer room - you'll need it.

Now, if packages could be put together with well located hotels, transporpation, registration for events and such you might be on to something.

Typically my father's packages include Flights, Hotel, and known expenses (in most of his tours this means admission into historic sites, but for the convention, this would be the full convention ticket price).  When I discussed with my father about the convention, he was intending to reserve all days for the convention to be strictly for the convention, and any site seeing would be in addition to the convention.  I'm going to be talking to my father again tomorrow about some sample packages he is putting together based on the conventions listed above. 
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Matt Robertson

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Re: Tour to a Con
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2016, 11:30:28 AM »
Just be aware that some of the gaming CONS sell out very quickly and the hotel rooms are snapped up immediately. The upcoming BGG.CON for instance sold old in 2 hours and the rooms for the convention hotel sold out quicker than that. Getting a room close to the action at GenCON can be a challenge as well. Those are logistics that can make something like this very hard to orchestrate from tour management perspective. Just thought you should know.
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