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2022 Board Game Convention Schedule

Now that 2021 is in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to look ahead at the 2022 Board Game Convention schedule! There are tons of great shows to visit, play games, meet people, and stay abreast of all the new happenings in the board game industry!

Last year, there were a lot of changes for conventions because of the pandemic, and expect those same safety measures to rightfully continue in 2022. More shows are requiring proof of vaccinations and masks while in attendance to protect the attendees. You’ll want to check out the individual convention websites for the latest in these measures.

In case you’ve never attending a big convention, there are plenty of resources out there to help you get started. In fact, we have a nice article detailing Best Practices to help you when attending a convention. Especially if you’re a first-timer! The article is from a few years ago, so you’ll want to take extra health safety precautions if attending this year.

Anyways, there are some big board game conventions that you’ll want to check out, in addition to some smaller ones that are gaining in popularity. This isn’t an exhaustive list of every convention, just a summary of the big-ticket ones more centered around board gaming. Many regions have their own smaller conventions that might be more your speed.

Small/Medium Conventions

Dice Tower Con

Dice Tower puts on a couple different conventions and events throughout the year, but Dice Tower West and Dice Tower East are made for landlubbers who won’t be gaming on the high seas through the Dice Tower Cruise. The claim to fame with this convention put on by one of the larger board gaming channels is their Dice Tower library! This features over 2,000 games for you to rent and try out! It’s a great way to try board game titles without needing to purchase them. Here’s the list on BGG with every title in the library.

  • Dates: March 2-6, 2022 (Dice Tower West), July 6-10, 2022 (Dice Tower East)
  • Location: Las Vegas, NV (Dice Tower West), Orlando, FL (Dice Tower East)
  • Dice Tower Con Website
  • Current Safety Measures: Mask-wearing indoors

CMON Expo

CMON Expo has been virtual the past two years, so people are itching to get back to an in-person con. CMON is well-known for their games involving beautiful miniatures, and this convention celebrates everything that they offer. I’m anxiously awaiting the next Marvel United iteration to arrive! As of now, I don’t believe dates have been set for this con.

Geekway to the West

Geekway hasn’t even hit its 20th anniversary yet, but it continues to grow year after year. You won’t find as extensive a game library as some of the other conventions on this list, clocking in around 2000 titles. Attendees will also find game tournaments, a vendor hall, and long swathes of tables awaiting to be played on. Another nice thing about Geekway is that it’s a centrally-located convention, right in the middle of the country.

  • Dates: May 12-15, 2022
  • Location: St. Charles, MO
  • Geekway Website
  • Current Safety Measures: Full vaccination status

BoardGameGeek Con (BGG Con SPRING)

BGG Con SPRING is coming up in May. As you can expect, this is the BoardGameGeek convention from the website that you probably use every day for all of your board game needs. In the past, attendees have gotten games on registration and board games are played abundantly. This convention also features a gigantic library with over 5000 games!

  • Dates: May 27-30, 2022
  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Unofficial BGG CON SPRING Thread
  • Current Safety Measures: Full vaccination status and mask-wearing indoors (2021 guidelines)

Large Conventions

Origins Game Fair

Origins Game Fair is one of the smaller BIG conventions, but don’t be fooled – over 20,000 people make the trek to Columbus for this amazing convention. It’s basically like a smaller, more manageable Gen Con! There are two gaming halls to accompany the vendor hall, and this is one of the first big US conventions of the year so you can expect many new releases. I should definitely get around to attending Origins one of these years.

Gen Con

Gen Con is the top dog when it comes to board game conventions! You’re promised the ‘best four days in gaming’ and having attended multiple times I can confirm that you get what is advertised. The convention grounds are massive, and the City of Indianapolis swells under the influx of new nerds flocking to the convention center and attached Lucas Oil Stadium. Gen Con also features digital ticketing for events through their app.

  • Dates: August 4-7, 2022
  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
  • Gen Con Website
  • Current Safety Measures: Full vaccination status and mask-wearing indoors

PAX Unplugged

Also going by the abbreviation PAXU, PAX Unplugged brings gaming to the east coast! PAXU features gaming of all kinds, including your favorite board and tabletop games, miniatures, panels, and more. There are also plenty of ways to recharge your internal batteries during the show thanks to AFK Rooms. Don’t forget to pack your favorite cosplay!

  • Dates: December 2022
  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • PAXU Website
  • Current Safety Measures: Full vaccination status and mask-wearing indoors

International Conventions (Outside U.S.)

UK Games Expo

The UK Games Expo is the largest convention in the UK, and roughly the same size as Origins. There are two separate vendor halls that you can check out, as well as ample amounts of open table gaming. This is also a really good option for budding designers who want to organize playtests for the board game that they’ve designed. You can also pack used games to sell at the show, and then you’ll have plenty of space in your luggage for the return trip.

  • Dates: June 3-5, 2022
  • Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom
  • UK Games Expo Website
  • Current Safety Measures: Full vaccination status and mask-wearing indoors

Essen Spiel

Essen Spiel is the big one. This is perhaps the largest gaming convention in the world, with over 150,000 attendees each year. That’s DOUBLE the size of Gen Con! Essen Spiel is the Super Bowl of the board gaming convention year. I mean where else can you go and store bags filled with your board game treasures on-site? Essen Spiel has anything and everything!

  • Dates: October 6-9, 2022
  • Location: Essen, Germany
  • Essen Spiel Website
  • Current Safety Measures: Full vaccination status and mask-wearing indoors