I am slowly recovering from my Enfilade convention. This post will deal chiefly with the convention from the standpoint of Kevin Smyth Convention Director, which is a lot different than the perspective of Kevin Smyth attendee and game host. That will follow in a subsequent post.
This will also include some opinions that are strictly impressions based on conversation and observation, have no basis in numbers and facts, but they are honest, so please forgive me if I seem to paint with an overly broad brush.
I’d like to say it was a normal convention with the floor packed, and games galore with attendees packed in the aisles. It wasn’t. We had 135 attendees and some 80ish games. There were 41 pre-registrants who were no-shows and 50+ walk-ups who registered at the convention.
I can’t say why people stayed away. I don’t have evidence except for anecdotes. One didn’t attend because we didn’t require evidence of vaccination. Five didn’t come because of the masking requirement. We had nineteen pre-registered Canadians who couldn’t come across the border. The majority, however, felt with infections spiking, mounting breakthrough infections and the ultra-transmissable Delta variant dominating it was too risky to a family member or important future plans to take a chance on getting sick. I was the contact for those who canceled for 2021, and those were the stories I heard. It’s not a complete record.
Look, I don’t want to be a downer. It was a weekend filled with happy, enthusiastic gamers. I hosted or co-hosted four games. All but one of them were full. As director, there were no significant complaints. Everyone I spoke to, and I make an effort to contact as many as possible, things seemed to be good. Vendors seemed to be selling products and the B and B was abuzz all weekend long.
Attendees seemed to know we were in a precarious financial condition and they were anxious to help. A few donated cash. Others supported NHMGS with purchases from a fully stocked Bring and Buy. One of our vendors–Games Plus/Stonehouse Miniatures sponsored a Magic Tournament with profits going to the convention. Eight gamers took part. Not bad.
While it would be super if Enfilade 2021 was like 2019, that simply wasn’t going to happen. The virus was spiking at precisely the wrong time. We missed those who chose not to come, but those who did had a good time.