Take Care of Yourself at Conventions

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I recently spent 3 wonderful days at Geekway to the West, a gaming convention here in St. Louis. I had a blast playing 8 new-to-me games with a wide variety of people from around the country.

Knowing that I had ample time over the 4-day convention, I targeted the space between meals for my attendance (around noon to 6:00 each day), which provided enough time for me to play a bunch of games but also time to recharge and work in the morning and evenings. Also, I decided to get some fresh air and play disc golf on the fourth day instead of returning to Geekway. I drank a lot of water, and I went with the flow instead of scheduling games at specific times–I’ve found that the biggest stressor for me at a convention like this is to feel like I need to finish game A at a certain time so I don’t keep the folks waiting for game B. Also, of course I wore a mask the whole time (I’m fully vaccinated and boosted to protect myself and the people around me), and I showered every day before heading to the convention.

But that’s just me! Today we have a special guest, our diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant, Lydia Wehmeyer, to share more about how you can take care of yourself at conventions and events.

When I interviewed for the position of Retailer Relationship Manager for Stonemaier Games, the first question I asked Alex Schmidt, Director of Sales & Logistics, was this: Are the tasks listed on the job description tasks you are currently managing by yourself? These were tasks related to signing retailers up for the Stonemaier Direct Retailer Program, proactively building relationships and programs with brick and mortar stores, managing the wholesale storefront and sending monthly e-newsletters.

Alex paused and thought for a moment and said, “Yes, but only to the smallest extent.” As Director of Sales in a global company with a small workforce, his work had become more focused, necessarily, on US and global distribution logistics, localization partner communication and management of ocean freight shipping, but all the while he was aware that there was a need to build relationships with the lifeblood of the boardgaming industry — the friendly local game stores. He expressed genuine regret that he didn’t have enough time in the day to build those relationships, and said that this is where the person hired for the position would come in.

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