Tales from the Gazebo – KantCon: In Processing

KantCon: In Processing
By Cape Rust

After completing my less than epic 45 minute drive to KantCon and being festooned with my badge of honor (press pass) and my epic SWAG bag that weighed as much as a phone book, I decided to head over to the event table. KantCon ran an extensive preregistration that included its Kickstarter project. I know that it has been done before, but KantCon’s preregistration was the first I have seen. It is no secret that it costs money to put on a gaming convention and the use of Kickstarter was a great way to get those upfront funds needed to secure a venue. The folks behind KantCon were able to generate start-up money and to accomplish a good part of their preregistration as well.

To handle the event scheduling, KantCon went to Conplanner. If you have never heard of Conplanner, it is a free program that helps you schedule events at your convention. Well, Conplanner does so much more that just help you plan events. Conplanner can help you find cons near you, and post useful information about your Con. Conplanner was started by the guys over at the Fear the Boot Podcast as a free service to enhance Con organizers’ ability to run a smooth convention. Conplanner was born from the good and bad experiences that the guys at Fear the Boot had at other conventions and the lessons learned by running their own convention, Fear the Con!

I had plenty of time to preregister but chose not to and here is why: I know there are no rules against preregistering on a press pass, but I didn’t want to knock a paying Con-goer out of a game slot. Yes, I’m strange, but it was important for me to not take advantage of my KantCon hosts’ good nature. As I headed over to the event table, I started to get that kid at Christmas feeling. There were so many events and they all looked fun!

As I perused the upcoming events, a gentleman approached me and said “Did I hear you say you are Cape Rust?” For a split second I wanted to rip off my newly acquired Con badge, deny even knowing who Cape Rust was and hastily exit the building. Who was this guy and how did he know my name? Well, rather than taking the rather drastic action I had initially planned I replied with a what I’m sure was a lame affirmative. This portly bearded man (Never expected to see one of those at a gaming convention. Wait… I see one every day in the mirror…) came up to me and “Hey, I’m Chris Perrin!” I didn’t recognize Chris with the beard, but my already elevated levels of giddy gamer giddiness went off the charts.

Chris and I have been friends on Facebook for several years. I have followed his accomplishments from afar and this last year we discovered that we both had a friend in common, the always interesting Jennifer Iverson (ask her about the ball gag…). In this day and age of social media where a mook like me can be friends with gaming legends like R.A. Salvatore and Shane Hensley, it is a strange and wonderful treat when you actually meet one of those friends. I mean, the heavy SWAG bag and the press pass were cool, but getting to meet Chris…. could this Con get any better? As you can guess, the answer was a resounding and unequivocal YES!

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