I have a terrible memory. I know it is chic to say so, but truly, I have a terrible memory. I fit the absent-minded professor stereotype to a tee (minus the educational achievement) and if I didn’t live in a city that was cold for so much of the year, I would forget to put on a shirt before going to work! Thankfully it is cold and thus, I consistently leave the house fully clothed.
With this kind of memory, the first few conventions I attended were a gong show organizationally. I consistently forgot games, signs, promotional materials and all the other minutia that needs to be brought along for a successful event. The result was multiple trips home and a great deal of time wasted that could have been spent playing and promoting games.
After the third event mishap, I admitted that I had a problem (acceptance is the first step) and began to explore ways to correct my perpetual forgetfulness.
The main problem is that for anyone who has tried to promote a game at a convention, there are a lot of things you need to remember. For a recent convention, my travel bag included:
- Crop Cycle (my game)
- Promotional materials and business cards
- The all-important Candy Dish
- Food and Water (recall the issues with the Convention Circuit Diet)
- Table Signs
- Wall signs
- Sheet to record emails
There is no way I would remember all of these things on memory alone, especially as I am often pressed for time, rushing out of my house (fully-clothed) while inhaling the healthiest thing between my travel bag and my car.
At times like these, a Checklist is essential. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but a physical sheet (I use a Dollar Store notebook) with your required items is absolutely essential to avoiding multiple trips to the convention. I included the checklist for a recent convention I attended at the top of this article.
As you can see, the items are clearly laid out in pink ink because pink is awesome…and that is what the dollar store had! A small box is beside each one and forces me to physically check off each item when I put it in my bag. Also, I wrote the checklist days before the event. Don’t write a checklist just before you leave or you will run into the same problem as when you are trying to recall everything from memory at the time of departure.
There you have it ladies and gentlemen, a straightforward solution to your money woes. I know the concept of writing things down to remember them is nothing new (it’s about 5500 years old if I recall), but it is something easy to dismiss as “non-essential”. If your memory is anything like mine though, it will make conventions a heck of a lot easier!
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