Next Time Gadget

I’m getting round to pushing everything from my head after expo onto paper, or at least webpages, and one of those is what I would like to do better at future cons. I really enjoyed my time as press but I am pretty sure I can do better, helping highlight the smaller companies and games in a sea of big releases.

Let’s have a look at what I got right and what I can improve.


Some of you will no doubt have seen my marathon previewing. Whilst this was useful for me in narrowing down the companies I wanted to visit, I don’t know if made for that great a read. I think I will do a similar thing next year, but instead spend my writing time pulling out those companies I think are interesting and maybe getting in touch for an interview, or similar, pre-con.


I had both my mobile phone, a Moto 4g plus, and a Nikon SLR with me. First thing I need to make sure of next year is that the date and time on the camera align with the phone. Those who have looked at my google photos gallery will have seen that some are out of order.

Second thing I will need to do is get some practice in taking photos. I was a little haphazard with both cameras, resulting in some blurring. A little more of a considered approach should do me a lot better next time out.

Shut up and Sit Down

I spent a lot of time wandering the halls merely soaking in the shiny things on display. Whilst this was useful in a way, I didn’t spend enough time sitting down at stalls and actually playing games. This was in part due to some of the long demo lengths being offered, which you can read about here, but I could have given more time over to the ones I wanted to see. Lack of confidence definitely had a part to play here, but I know what I am doing, sort of, for next time.

The other sort of sitting down I want to do more of next year is with friends. I only really got in a couple of games with folks I don’t see nearly enough of, so I might take off some time on the Saturday next year and just sit down and play.

Finally I should sit down more because my legs did not thank me by the end of day three. Stupid weak legs.


My organisation was pretty good this year but I think I could still do with some improvement, especially since I missed one arranged game. My instinct is that getting in touch with companies just to say I’ll be swinging by isn’t much use. If I can arrange a game at a particular time that is definitely worth doing.


I wasn’t using this during the daytime, so I think I don’t really need to carry it around with me during the day. My bag was pretty light overall and lunchtime trips back to the hotel certainly helped with offloading any purchases. It’ll depend on how much I ramp up the amount of things I see next year, which is certainly my intention.


I didn’t really pursue this side of the press this time round, though I do have a Modiphius one to write about. This was mostly due to a lack of confidence on my part, but seeing how friendly everyone was to even a small press guy like myself has definitely given me the confidence to set up some more next year. I am hoping to get some practice in doing this over the coming months, as I will be reaching out to some small press folks who were at the con to ask them how they got on.

If I am going to do interviews I’ll be looking into the equipment I am carrying around as all I had this year was my phone and an app. Not sure how much I’ll be wanting to invest but I am pretty enthused by the press side of things so I am sure I can free up some cash.


I’ve been pretty pleased with the response to my blog since the con. The overviews of each day were easy to write up in the morning of the following day and I will follow a similar format for future cons. People seem to have responded well to my post regarding Kickstarter, Demos and Niggles and everyone has  been very kind in their feedback on the site.

I’ve come back with loads to write about so I have to keep up the pace in order to get everything out before the fire of the con fades a bit. I think next year I will probably need a week off after the con just to sit down and pour out the writing.

I think that is enough to go on for now. I think I got a lot right for a first time out, but there is always room for improvement. Watch this space!


Iain McAllister

Tabletop games reviewer and podcaster based in Dalkeith, Scotland.

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4 Responses

  1. Sounds like you’ll be kicking some ass next year pal.
    I thought your preview pieces were really good, although there were quite a few of them, the content on each exhibitor was short enough for me to get enough out of it.
    I, for one, was really impressed (and jealous) at how quickly and eloquently your were dispensing your thoughts after each day, great job there!
    I hope you and I can try and get a game in next year too, despite the best intentions it just didn’t work out for us this year.

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