When Earth Nerd Clave pitched some of us attending the TantrumCon in South Carolina, I was surprisingly agreeable considering I had no idea who the Tantrum House folks were at that time and that, in general, staying away from South Carolina has been good for me.
But this past weekend, some of the Nerds on Earth crew gathered together at TantrumCon 2019 and I have to say, it was a great experience.
What TantrumCon 2019 Nailed
As someone who has experience in creating great events, you always want to cover a few of the basics:
1. The convention space was solid. The event was hosted in a nice Marriott hotel with ample meeting space, good chairs and, if you were staying at the hotel, easy access. That is huge. While I wish that WiFi had been included and a breakfast of some sort, on the whole, I can’t complain too much about the location.
2. The volunteers and staff were very friendly. As someone with some borderline social anxiety issues, being in a new place with new people can be a challenge. But instead, they did an excellent job of communicating, welcoming and being available.
Plus they gave away a ton of games, both to premier attendees and via raffles all weekend.
3. They were working to make things better. There was a small hiccup at the Friday dinner that made them want to address it before Saturday’s dinner; they sent an excellent email, explained everything, offered a refund and, again, sent a good follow-up after the refund was requested.
Coming Back For More
Three things that will make me want to go back to TantrumCon next year:
1. Their game library was stellar. The chance for us Nerds to pick up a bunch of games we were interested in, grab a table and play was exceptional. For the size of convention that it was, they had many, many games, old and new. (Several of them seemed like we were the first players of, as we had to punch out pieces.)
2. The demos. When you have heard about a game like Gloomhaven and your interest is piqued, you can see what it is like. I spent a couple hours getting a walk through of the game by one of the TantrumHouse volunteers and left knowing more about the game and having a clear idea about it. (Plus it went on Amazon sale that weekend!)
3. The RPG area. I hope that this area grows to include some Dungeons and Dragons next year but us Nerds got to play some Starfinder and had options at some other indie games and Pathfinder sessions as well.
All in all, TantrumCon was a good event and a great time to play some serious boardgames with friends. Here are some of our thoughts about the changes in the convention scene that favor great regional conventions versus huge nationally known cons.
If you are in the southeast and looking for a good event to gather at, this one is worth putting on the list of possible conventions to attend!