POC Programming at Big Bad Con

In 2019, in collaboration with the Babble On Equity Project, individual, and industry sponsors, Big Bad Con hosted three groundbreaking events, that are now cemented in our vision going forward:

POC Scholarship

Working with the Babble On Equity Project we raised over $26,000 to aid people of color in attending the con by paying for travel, boarding, admission, and related expenses. This program complimented the Big Bad Con 2019 Kickstarter and Big Bad Con Scholarship program, we gave financial assistance to over 50 POCs to attend the con.

Our recipients were not only invited to attend, but also to host panels, stream eventsrun games, and showcase their products.

POC Dinner

Ajit George, Whitney Beltrán, and Banana Chan spearheaded a POC Dinner at the start of the convention, providing an opportunity to meet and mingle with other amazing people of color. All POC scholarship recipients, staff, and volunteers were given free admission to the dinner, and thanks to the funds raised, we reduced the ticket prices for all other attendees from $45 to $20 per person.

We bought out a restaurant near the convention and broke bread with over 90 attendees!

POC Meet & Greet

On the Saturday night of the contention we hosted the POC Meet & Greet, a mixer specifically designed to connect POC writers, artists, editors, and creators to their fellow piers and industry contacts. Non-POC industry attendees were invited as well, with the directive to offer mentorship, publishing, or employment opportunities to the POC attendees.

Thanks to the incredible dedication of Ajit George, Whitney Beltrán, Victoria Caña, John Stavropoulos, and Stephanie Nudelman each attendee was given a custom program that included five other attendees that they might benefit from talking to based on the interests they expressed when signing up for the event. Over 100 attendees showed up. New contacts were made and after the convention we got multiple reports of freelance and career connections!

Would you like to contribute?

Going forward, Big Bad Con will continue to host POC events including the Scholarship, Dinner, and Meet & Greet. If you would like to support out efforts, please consider donating below. All funds sent to this link will go directly to our POC programing. For more information about our charity status, click here.


Big Bad Con 2020 Canceled

Ranger Emmett, ready for BBC 2021

This is not the post we wanted to make about Big Bad Con 2020. We wanted to talk about our Kickstarter stretch goal guests, the Babble on Equity Project, and all the amazing events we have planned. COVID-19 however, changed all of that.

So, probably not surprising anyone, we’ve decided to cancel Big Bad Con 2020.

How did we come to make this decision? In some ways it was a hard decision to make and in others it was an easy one, as we knew it was the right decision. To host Big Bad Con in October, we’d have to launch a Kickstarter campaign in May. It would not be in the service of our mission or our values to ask for commitments of time and money when so many in our community are hurting.

The health of our community was also a large factor. Since our last statement, we have been keeping abreast of the coronavirus pandemic, following updates from the CA gov, SF Public Health Dept., UCSF, and others. Most likely this pandemic will still be with us in some capacity in October. Hosting a large convention would be a health risk and we care too much about everyone in our community to make that risk.

What about doing an online con? We discussed this but decided it wasn’t right. Although we could host a schedule and help set up online games, that’s not Big Bad Con. Big Bad Con is of course about amazing games but it is also about the community and camaraderie, the “Lobby Con,” the PoC Dinner, the Thursday social events, mixing people of all stripes and sharing experiences—all of which would be near impossible to replicate online.

We do have some ideas for 2020 that are more in line with our mission—possibly converting our annual Kickstarter into a fundraiser for charity. All of this is all rough right now, so we don’t have any additional info at this time.

We hope that all of you stay safe and healthy out there. Keep playing games, keep expressing your creativity, and if all goes right we should see you in 2021!

Big Bad Con Statement on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Big Bad Con continues to follow the latest developments of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and is closely monitoring the potential threats it poses to members attending Big Bad Con and other conventions and events.

At this time it is too early to tell how COVID-19 will affect Big Bad Con. However, we are working closely with the Hyatt Regency and watching the San Francisco Department of Public Health: COVID-19 updates. We will continue to update our Twitter and this page as information changes.

The Big Bad Con staff are doing their best to follow the common sense recommendations to remain healthy and we encourage all of our community to do the same. Right now the best course of action is to protect and prepare:

  • Protect yourself with thorough hand-washing and practicing social distancing. These practices help reduce the spread of the virus. There is no current recommendation to wear masks.
  • Prepare yourself and your family in case you get sick. Have backup childcare plans and supplies of any essential medication. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel any of these symptoms, contact your doctor and stay home. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

If everyone follows these common sense guidelines, we can lessen the impact on our healthcare system.

For more info on COVID-19, please visit:

Status Updates

March 10, 2020 – Hyatt Regency Enhanced Protocols: Using a comprehensive guide shared with all Hyatt hotels globally, the hotel has enhanced protocols implemented, including greater frequency of cleaning high touch point areas such as elevator buttons, doorknobs, and public areas as well as increasing the number of hand sanitizing stations in high-traffic areas and meeting spaces. We are continuing to follow procedures for the deep cleaning of guest rooms and meeting spaces and are strongly encouraging all colleagues and guests to wash their hands frequently throughout the day.

Additionally, in the interest of all guests and colleagues, if a guest or colleague exhibits symptoms of COVID-19, it remains a high priority for our hotel to safely relocate these individuals to a place where they may receive appropriate medical attention. More details in the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Covid-19 Update.

Big Bad Con 2020 – On the road again!

We’ve signed the contract and we’re very excited to announce the dates and location for Big Bad Con 2020!

October 22-25
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport
1333 Old Bayshore Hwy
Burlingame, CA 94010

2019 was our biggest and best year ever. Between the Babble On Equity Project, the scholarship program, and the Kickstarter stretch goal guests we gave financial and logistical assistance to over 70 folks to help them attend Big Bad Con. We had over 600 events and nearly 1,000 attendees. The POC Meet & Greet was an enormously successful industry event that helped several folks find mentoring, freelance work, and even full time jobs.

2019 was also the year that we stretched into every available space the Walnut Creek Marriott had to offer, and even then there were times when folks couldn’t find a table to play a game or sit and chat. This year in reviewing our past growth we realized we either needed to cap our attendance and allow fewer folks than attended in 2019 (shrinking the con) or find a new location that could sustain our growth. When reviewing locations we evaluated them based on the following factors:

  • Guest room rate
  • Parking fees
  • Event space available
  • Cost to the convention
  • Available social gathering spaces
  • Food availability (in the hotel, nearby, and delivery)
  • Physical accessibility
  • Likelihood of maintaining power from PG&E
  • Eagerness of the hotel staff to host a convention

After several months of reviewing the attendee feedback, meeting with the board and with the staff, we signed a contract with the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport, which offered us the best room rates for our attendees, has over four times the event space that the Marriott does, regularly works with gaming conventions, and is thrilled to have us.

What’s next

With the hotel settled, we still have a lot of work to do to prepare for the Kickstarter, event submission, and the growth and development of the con. In the coming months, we’ll send out updates as all of these come together.

This year will be Big Bad Con 10. We’re filled with hope and excitement for what’s to come!

2019 Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County

Letter from Feeding America

Dear Big Bad Con,

I can’t thank you enough for the incredible generosity you showed with your gift to Feeding America today. The donation you just made will help us to provide 3300 meals to families in need.

I hope that makes you feel proud. It should!

Every year the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks provides support to 40 million Americans who are battling hunger, a tremendous feat that is only possible because of the compassion and financial backing we receive from people like you.

And I’m not the only one who wants to thank you! The people we serve around the country also recorded a message that they asked me to share. I think you’ll find it heart-warming and encourage you to take a moment to watch it.

One quick request: please share your support for Feeding America on Facebook and Twitter! It’s an easy way to quickly multiply the impact of your generosity. In fact, one of the most popularly cited reasons to give to a charity or cause is because your friends and family support that cause.

Once again, please accept my deepest gratitude, on behalf of all those who will find both sustenance and hope from your gift.

Elizabeth Nielsen signature

Elizabeth Nielsen headshot Elizabeth Nielsen
Senior Vice President
Feeding America

P.S. If you have any questions regarding your gift, feel free to contact us at any time.

Transaction Summary

Contribution Date: 12/2/19
Contribution Amount: $330.00
Contribution Frequency: One-Time Gift
Tax-deductible Amount: $330.00
Tax ID: 36-3673599
No goods or services were exchanged for this contribution. All gifts may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Our Tax ID No. is 36-3673599. The IRS requires documentation for all gifts of $250 when you itemize deductions on your federal tax return.

From Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County