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Another November, Another Huge Board Gamer Party!!! Woot for #BGGCON16!

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We attended our first Board Game Geek (BGG) Convention in 2012 and have returned every year since then. I loved the overall feel so much, I joined Team Geek in 2014 and volunteer 20+ hours every year in exchange for free tickets.  We still pay for gas, food, and to stay in the convention hotel (which we split with friends).  Overall, it ends up being a 5 day vacation every November the week before Thanksgiving for $500-$750.

Team Geek 2016

Since this was my third year on Team Geek, I was finally able to sign up for the primo volunteer shifts!  “Primo” for me meant that I was able to count the setup and tear down shifts as actual time towards my required 16 hours (I usually do those shifts anyway for free just to help).  The team this year was even more efficient together and just as friendly as always…they make me feel like part of something important and bigger than myself.  I know that sounds weird when talking about convention staffing, but it really does feel like an annual family reunion.

Team Geek 2016

My only tiny complaint was that I didn’t end up in the amazing BGG library for my shifts as often as usual, but I know it’s because a few other Team Geekers were being way more useful there.  I just missed it.  Check out this panorama view taken by Kevin Rutherford!

BGGCON16 Library Panorama

Assassin Con

This was the first year that Mayfair Games hosted Assassin Con, which was SO FREAKING AWESOME!  It was free to participate – you just had to sign up in advance and pick up your info packet during a 2 hour window on Thursday.  In the packet were the rules and your first target, another participant.  You would look for your targets and get them to sign their target card.  At the same time, you were being stalked by someone you didn’t know to avoid. 

I’ll admit that it made me a little paranoid, and it brought out the worst in a couple of people, but it was fun!  I ended up assassinating 5 people before I was slaughtered.  That put me in the top 5 out of 150+ participants.  Who would have known I was good at meeting and killing tons of people?  😉

Virtual Flea Market

I truly appreciate the Virtual Flea Market (VFM).  You buy and sell games in advance and use the VFM to do the final exchanges if you haven’t met up elsewhere.  I enjoy helping my husband complete his transactions and then playing matchmaker with others that couldn’t find each other in the first 30 minutes.

BGG Poker Tournament

BGG hosts an annual Texas Hold-Em Poker Tournament the Friday of each year.  I’ve lasted less than 30 minutes all the way up to 3 hours.  It’s nearly as much fun as gambling for real money at places like Foxy Casino at Topmobilecasino.co.uk. 

This year was an average year for me.  I made it through the first 3 rounds and lasted about 2 hours.  Someday I will make it to that final table, dammit.

BGG Bazaar (aka The Real Flea Market)

Our friend was selling a bunch of little stuff like Cranium and unopened puzzles at this year’s Bazaar, but he wasn’t making much progress since he really didn’t like the stuff he was selling.  So I kicked him out of his own spot and sold like a crazy person.   Made him $52 and sold ALL the things.  WIN!  I also told my hubby he needs a booth next year for me to work…

This was another great BGG Con to round out my season of conventions since FinCon16 was in September (you can join us at FinCon17 here) and Petsittingology 2016 was in October.

Do you attend any annual conventions or conferences that you enjoy?  Which ones?



FYI:  I worked at a dead end cubicle job from 2005-2011 for about $30,000 per year.  I went self-employed in July 2011 and make between $80,000-$100,000 through blogging, professional pet sitting, hubby's reffing, and our rental home.  If you’d like to start your own site (link to my free step-by-step guide), I highly suggest checking out Bluehost (my referral link with a nice discount for you, PLUS a free custom header banner from me!).  I even have all of my favorite tools on a resource page - I hope they help you too. Please contact me any time at budgetingfunstuff*at*gmail*dot*com with questions or just to brainstorm! I’d love to help!
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