Big Bad Con 2015 Feedback - How to make 2016 better!

Mar 18, 2016

A few months later than we would have liked to get it out, but still very useful for planning for 2016, here's the feedback from 2015.

Thoughts on the data itself

Before digging into the results, here are some thoughts on the data set we captured this year:

  • We had many fewer entries than past years. 172 vs. 545 submissions last year. This isn't a big surprise. We went from forms on every table to an online form folks had to go out of their way to fill out. With that factored in, we're pretty proud of the 172 we got!
  • The comments were much more detailed than before. The definite upshot was that with a web form, many folks took their time to write very detailed feedback. Some of those comments were specific and detailed enough that we won't post them here, but if you have any concerns whether or not they were received, please feel free to contact thewolf at bigbadcon dot com to confirm.
  • There was a lot of great feedback about the hotel and the food trucks, which is unfortunately only applicable in a general sense since we're moving to the Marriott this year and the food options are going to change drastically.

With that said, here's what you said.

Charts, Charts, Charts

We love our charts. Here's the numbers!

Big Bad Con 2015 Feedback_1

Big Bad Con 2015 Feedback_2

Big Bad Con 2015 Feedback_3

For the most part, YAY! It looks like folks were happy, especially in the areas of our con staff and personal safety. However our offline sign ups and the noise levels could use some improvement. The hotel accommodations also had some issues, which we'll be on the lookout for at the Marriott.

Summary of the comments

Remember what I said about detailed comments, we had twelve pages of them just on the con! Here's my summary, broken down by categories:

Events

  1. The play-to-win board games program was a appreciated, but should have been better advertised, both in how the program works and in when the drawings were going to be.
  2. Ghost Court is like cowbell. Everyone needs more Ghost Court!
  3. The game offerings were very strong this year, so even if someone couldn't get into their first choices there were good alternatives.
  4. Ice Cream is also like cowbell. Bring back the Ice Cream Social (and other social activities, see below).
  5. Schedule GMs who are running back to back games to run both of them in the same room. (this intended, just a flub on my part!)

Physical Environment

  1. Boardrooms with three games in them were too loud. We either need to bring back the pipe and drape or reduce it to two games. There were several comments to this effect.
  2. Having hangout areas was great, but folks want more space and more different kinds of spaces. Specifically quiet nooks to read, knit, or otherwise decompress in.

Amenities

  1. Coffee is also like cowbell. More coffee! Bigger coffee pots! Faster coffee service. COFFEE!
  2. Oh, more coffee please.

Dealers Room

  1. Folks would like to see more vendors, or to have Endgame carry more products. Pending the space available in the hotel this year, that may be possible.
  2. A request to see new games (just off the press from Kickstarter) in the dealers room.

Game Sign Ups

  1. Overall, folks loved the quota system that staggered sign us, and in general would like more staggering (2 games on the first week, 2 more on the second, etc).
  2. We need a better way to handle game cancellations, both of the GMs and when players can't make games. That includes an easy way to communicate with the con when you can't make it, and efficient means of letting everyone know if there is a space available in a game, or if the game has to be cancelled.
  3. On the flip side, it is really detrimental to games when players don't show up. A few games folded (including one game that was under incredibly high demand during sign ups) because only two of six players showed up. LARPs, particularly ones that assign characters in advance, really suffer when players don't show up.
  4. The procedure for getting into Games on Demand wan't clear to some folks, we should improved our communication there.
  5. After the game registration went live, there wasn't a reliable way to stay informed when new games were added to the schedule.

Community Standards

  1. For the most part this was a "Yay!" category. Several folks commented that they felt safe and welcomed at the con.
  2. We need gender pronouns on badges. We'll be adding ribbons to attach to badges from pronounribbons.org next year!

Staff

  1. The Big Bad Con staff a great. They are welcoming, friendly, efficient, and helpful. What can I say, we've got the best peeps!

Hotel

I'm only including these bits because they are things to watch out for at the Marriott:

  1. Some attendees had a nightmare with the con staff, but a customer service rep took good care of them. No way to make sure there aren't hotel troubles but I'm going to get the name of a manager that is available during the con so we have a contact person to resolve issues as needed.
  2. Refrigerators were appreciated. Good news because the Marriott has them in all the rooms!

Policies

  1. Two people both remarked that when a player came 15 minutes late to a game and their seat has already been filled it was mighty awkward. We'll look at putting out something official to say that after 10 minutes GMs can use their own discretion about allowing drop ins and/or not allowing late comers.
  2. Also, we should remind GMs to give players adequate time to attend to their bodies. In long games make sure to schedule in breaks to use the restrooms, stretch, get food, and the like.

General feedback

Most everything else was a lot of Untz untz utnz! So much love from all of you. Here's a couple highlights:

  • This has always been my favorite Con and continues to do so. I am thankful for the staff, and community. Keep up the good work.
  • Still the best indie, narrativist RPG con.
  • I had a blast and while this was my first it will not be my last.
  • Big Bad Con is the best. Paragon con! <3
  • You rolled a critical!
  • I had a fabulous time! You guys did awesome!
  • Thank you for a wonderful con!
  • My first BBC. Color me impressed! I dropped an asteroid on the place and no one got mad. Woot!!
  • I can't wait for next year.
  • Easily my favorite con.
  • My favorite weekend of the year!
  • IT WAS AWESOME AND YOU HAD TO BE THERE!

Game Feedback

But what did people say about my game? I'm glad you asked. In response to requests that game feedback not be published or distributed to GMs without their consent first, we're going to be sending out emails to GMs who have feedback on their games, asking if they want to see it. Those emails will go out next week.

Most of it was "SO GOOD" but some useful critiques sprinkled in as well!

Illustrations by Eden Parkinson
Website by Colin Fahrion

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