Sunday, October 30, 2022

When is it Too Early to Plan for a Con (213 Days until NTRPG)?

When is it Too Early to Plan for a Con (213 Days until NTRPG)?
Today a buddy of mine who is coming to NTRPG '23 reached out for advice on travelling to the convention. Unfortunately I'm working on far too little sleep so I was just like, "Dude, just check out the scheduling website and plan accordingly."

Not my finest moment, especially with a friend, but he did actually have a valid point. Sure....the schedule is...well the schedule, but there's a LOT that you don't see in the simple black & white listing of times:

Wed, May 31 2023, 6:00pm - 12:00am

Thu, Jun 1 2023, 12:00am - 8:00am

Thu, Jun 1 2023, 8:00am - 12:00pm

Thu, Jun 1 2023, 12:00pm - 6:00pm

Thu, Jun 1 2023, 6:00pm - 12:00am

Fri, Jun 2 2023, 12:00am - 8:00am

Fri, Jun 2 2023, 8:00am - 12:00pm

Fri, Jun 2 2023, 12:00pm - 6:00pm

Fri, Jun 2 2023, 6:00pm - 12:00am

Sat, Jun 3 2023, 12:00am - 8:00am

Sat, Jun 3 2023, 8:00am - 12:00pm

Sat, Jun 3 2023, 12:00pm - 6:00pm

Sat, Jun 3 2023, 6:00pm - 12:00am

Sun, Jun 4 2023, 12:00am - 8:00am

Sun, Jun 4 2023, 8:00am - 12:00pm

Sun, Jun 4 2023, 12:00pm - 5:00pm

So....if you were having to fly in to the con, when would you want to get there? Well my answer is either Tuesday night or 1st thing Wednesday morning. Sure....technically the con doesn't kick off until 6PM, and realistically not until Thursday morning...BUT and this is a huge BUT....even with Dallas being an American Airlines hub, you want....no, YOU NEED to make sure you get there at a decent hour. My advice is usually to take the 1st flight out of the day so if there are any eff-ups (last year American had about a bazillion of them at the beginning of the con....) you have all day to get there.

That's just one aspect of trying to come to the con "on time". On paper the con starts Wednesday at 6PM, but many cons have an informal/soft start time. I remember at the Origins Game Fair I was regularly able to get my badges and last-minute registrations on Wednesday evening when they had a soft-start to field test any changes before things got hairy on Thursday. Being there on Wednesday not only made sure I got my Thursday gaming in, but it saved a metric butt-load of time and frustration.

Knowing the unofficial schedule helps not only on the front-end, but the back end. A lot of cons have plenty of events scheduled on the last day, but often at least that last time block is near empty or prone to last-minute cancellations. Normally you'll be lucky to get in a quick morning session, but things are winding down fast, and folks tend to be conventioned-out.

So while the actual game schedule for NTRPG isn't out yet (why would it be?), it really isn't too late to be looking at travel options, even though we're only 213 days away....

....Long Con is only two weeks away. if you haven't bought plane tickets to that one (assuming you'd need to), prices are going up now.....they tend to have a price jump about two weeks out (among a few others).

1 comment:

  1. Considering it's easier to get travel and tickets squared away well in advance (and it's easier to cancel), I say there isn't a wrong time to schedule to go to a convention, but the exact events and games should be charted out atleast 2 weeks in advance since those are locked in tight by then (atleast on paper on the organizers' side).


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