Encapsulating all of the anxiety we felt before and during Gen Con. How strange it is at this stage of pandemic to find myself on the “going to a massive event” side of the equation when I spent so much time in the “mask up and stay home” brigade. I’m still waiting to see what our physical consequences may be. We are still in the window where we might get sick.
Being caught between familiarity and strangeness. The convention hall is as I remembered, but the carpet colors have changed. We see long-familiar friends, but instead of going out to dinner and playing games, we retreat to the room with our food; both to manage fatigue and to avoid possible contagion. Having my adult kids as booth crew, which was both comforting, but also an additional thing for me to worry over. Are they okay? Do they need rest? Mother tending thoughts which weren’t triggered by past booth crews.
The realization that while Gen Con is not a financial tent pole in regards of show sales, it is absolutely a creative pillar in our lives. Part of the reason we felt lost and drifting this past year was that we didn’t have this pillar to build around. We need it. We need the community that forms up around it. We need the connections which spring up as a result. Because we need all of those things we have to take exactly the sorts of pandemic risks that we were unwilling to take last year.
How grateful I am to Gen Con for holding firm to their vaccination and masking policies. I greatly appreciated that they did not change what they stated they would require when I agreed to do the show.
Looking at everything through the twin lenses of Community Builder and Event Manager. I’ve owned those roles in the past year or more and it changes how I see what is going on around me. I think about how events are framed from invitation to execution. I think about how furniture placement, lighting, announcements, introductions all shape the ways that people interact with each other. I can tell when an event is lacking a guiding purpose that shapes all the organizing decisions made around that event.
Once again being filled with wonder at the way that Gen Con is a mutual creation requiring participating effort from tens of thousands of people. Everyone from the full time staff to the single day attendee are part of the creation. It reminds me yet again how empowered we all are to just re-make the world and invite others to re-make it with us.
A post titled: There and Back Again, a Gen Con journey in which I chronicle our road trip with photos and all the little stories about the jokes we told in the car, the miniature adventures in hotel selection, my wonder at green rolling hills, and the tiny sparkles of roadside fireflies in Illinois.
Other hopes, stray thoughts, insights, and musings which are currently escaping my brain. But I am still busy putting my convention-and-travel-tired brain to use catching up on all the emails and tasks that I boomeranged to think about after the convention, all of which have avalanched back into my inbox and task list. I spent the entire 12 days triaging to make sure nothing caught fire. Now I need to methodically clear up the backlogs.