2014 Meet and Greet?


PaizoCon General Discussion

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Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Are there any plans for a meet and greet this year? I know Kyle isn't putting anything together but has there been talks of maybe meeting at a local pub or something?


Since we're at the same hotel, here were the ideas in the previous thread (prior to Kyle performing his awesomeness):

  • Bring Your Own Picnic Dinner, Valley Ridge Park is 1.6 miles from the hotel (Issue: shuttle to get there?) - Alternatively Seahurst Park in Burien
  • Ballroom reserved at the Marriott (Issue: not official event - may interfere with setup time for the Con)
  • Claimjumper/Bahama Breeze/Chinese Buffet down in Southcenter
  • Claimjumper in SeaTac (Issue: space? - other nearby restaurants in airport)
  • Denny's not too far up the road (Issue: space?)

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I would prefer to go somewhere where beer is available. :)

Maybe we could get some ideas going and try to get something started. I went last year but I don't know the area that well. I know it's pretty easy to get places with the tram being so close to the hotel.

Scarab Sages

The Hotel has a very nice pool area. Maybe a pool party this year?

Although that probably will make adding games and possibly alcohol to the mix difficult.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Pool party sounds fun. Yeah, games in that area would likely not happen for fear of getting things wet or just because of lack of space. However, alcohol shouldn't be an issue. It depends on what the hotel's rules on alcohol by the pool are.

However, the hotel's alcohol is a little pricey. I was hoping to go somewhere a little cheaper.


How about the AFK in Renton? Open to all ages

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Card Game, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
anthonydido wrote:

Pool party sounds fun. Yeah, games in that area would likely not happen for fear of getting things wet or just because of lack of space. However, alcohol shouldn't be an issue. It depends on what the hotel's rules on alcohol by the pool are.

However, the hotel's alcohol is a little pricey. I was hoping to go somewhere a little cheaper.

There were a few tables in the central area away from the pool that were fine for the gaming we did Sunday evening.

Scarab Sages

Shannon Raleigh wrote:
How about the AFK in Renton? Open to all ages

Whatever it is, it should be at or near the hotel for the out-of-town folks. Since it's at the airport, most of us won't bother with a rental car.

Scarab Sages

Just taking a quick look at Google Maps, most options close to the Marriott appear to be a bit of a hike but still within walking distance. There's a number of places to the southwest, probably about a 15-20 minute walk from the hotel. Most of them are attached to other hotels, but there are a few restaurant possibilities.

I have to say that I still prefer the pool area for hanging out, but that means expensive hotel food.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Maybe someone in the local area could turn on the bat signal to summon Tim Nightengale?


Wolfsnap wrote:

Just taking a quick look at Google Maps, most options close to the Marriott appear to be a bit of a hike but still within walking distance. There's a number of places to the southwest, probably about a 15-20 minute walk from the hotel. Most of them are attached to other hotels, but there are a few restaurant possibilities.

I have to say that I still prefer the pool area for hanging out, but that means expensive hotel food.

It's not that far from the convention center I'm sure car pools could be arranged. The AFK Tavern is a geek bar. I's compatible for board games card games and rgps. It's is kid and gamer friendly. They have a web site for the original one but it is the same for the Renton one. Be sure to order the Warchief. It is the souped up version of the Orc Buger

The Exchange

Warchief, aka heart attack on a bun. LOL

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Enlight_Bystand wrote:
There were a few tables in the central area away from the pool that were fine for the gaming we did Sunday evening.

Yeah, that was pretty awesome. :)

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber
Shannon Raleigh wrote:
It's not that far from the convention center I'm sure car pools could be arranged. The AFK Tavern is a geek bar. I's compatible for board games card games and rgps. It's is kid and gamer friendly. They have a web site for the original one but it is the same for the Renton one. Be sure to order the Warchief. It is the souped up version of the Orc Buger

Neat... I wish I lived in a town that had something like this!

Even if there isn't a massive "Eat & Greet" (which probably isn't practical; I'm still highly impressed by what Kyle managed to put together last year), small groups could probably put together games in various places. I'd love to check out this AFK Tavern, and might run a Thursday-afternoon PFS game there.

Scarab Sages

waltero wrote:
Maybe someone in the local area could turn on the bat signal to summon Tim Nightengale?

IIRC Tim has retired from organizing the Meet & Eat because it became too large and too much of a headache.

I personally was astonished by what Kyle put together last year. That was pretty epic.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Wolfsnap wrote:
waltero wrote:
Maybe someone in the local area could turn on the bat signal to summon Tim Nightengale?

IIRC Tim has retired from organizing the Meet & Eat because it became too large and too much of a headache.

I personally was astonished by what Kyle put together last year. That was pretty epic.

...and costly. I think the estimation was $8K and there wasn't enough donations to come close to that. There were some things (like the goblin ice sculpture) that probably could have been left out but it was pretty awesome nonetheless and will be memorable for all who went.

This AFK tavern idea sounds interesting. I looked it up. It's called AFK Elixirs & Eatery located at 3750 E Valley Rd., Renton, WA 98057. They seem to stay open pretty late (early?) too so we wouldn't be pushed out the door too soon.

The only issue I see is transportation. Without further planning we'd have to likely take a cab to get there. You could take public transportation also but it would take longer. If we try to pool together in cabs it could be a lot cheaper.

Scarab Sages

Any idea how long the cab ride is?

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Wolfsnap wrote:
Any idea how long the cab ride is?

Google maps said it was 4.2 miles and a 10 minute drive from the hotel.


anthonydido wrote:
Wolfsnap wrote:
Any idea how long the cab ride is?
Google maps said it was 4.2 miles and a 10 minute drive from the hotel.

Having recently done that drive (after another local con at a neighboring hotel), I can say that time estimate is pretty accurate. There is some construction that your map/GPS may not be aware of, but it isn't hard to navigate around and still get there quickly.

AFK would be a good place for pre and post con gaming, since they are specifically designed for that. There are tables of various sizes so you can pretty much find something suitable to the group and game you are playing.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

As far as restaurants, do, if you hop the light rail at the bottom of the hill and take it one stop north, there is a plethora of restaurants at that stop.

The Exchange

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Should kickstart for a big party, ice sculptures could be stretch goals...


Tony Lindman wrote:
AFK would be a good place for pre and post con gaming, since they are specifically designed for that. There are tables of various sizes so you can pretty much find something suitable to the group and game you are playing.

Biggest question is how big is the place total, and how spread out? Also can we reserve it? Can they handle 100+ food orders at once?

For the Pool Party idea, we need to know the Hotel policies on a few things. I know they allow outside food in general, but is there a soft/hard limit for bringing that into the pool area? Outside alcohol policy for those that imbibe? I also don't remember how much seating total was in there.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm interested in something informal. We will be a big group so meeting in the Park is good with me

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I could try calling AFK and asking what they can handle and see if they could even maybe give some discounts. I don't remember, but weren't we able to pick up our badges on Thursday or was it Friday? If we can get them Thursday then maybe we can make it to where they give discounts to those with badges.

I guess I could also call the hotel and find out about the pool policies. I don't recall a whole lot of seating around the pool though. At least not enough for a couple hundred people.

Scarab Sages

For those who might be planning to come out to the AFK Elixers and Eatery on that Thursday, we have a couple of weekly PFS games there already. If you guys want to send me messages in regards to those who wish to play or GM a game, I will pass info on to the coordinator for the location to see what we can arrange.

Liberty's Edge

Starfinder Superscriber
Wolfsnap wrote:
I personally was astonished by what Kyle put together last year. That was pretty epic.

That was indeed epic. It's also the best fireworks show I've ever been to. (The fact that we were right underneath made a big difference.)

It's a pity that donations didn't cover the money Kyle spent on it. Is there a link to a post where he did final reporting on that?

Kyle's party from last year is one of my fondest memories from PaizoCon 2013.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
Huu-Yuu wrote:
For those who might be planning to come out to the AFK Elixers and Eatery on that Thursday, we have a couple of weekly PFS games there already. If you guys want to send me messages in regards to those who wish to play or GM a game, I will pass info on to the coordinator for the location to see what we can arrange.

This is for more of a meet and greet mingle sort of thing but people can, and probably will, throw some games together. I wouldn't want to bog down the coordinator with uncertainties since there is no telling who will show up and who will want to game.

We're just brainstorming ideas at this point anyway. Nothing is set in stone yet.

Who is the coordinator? Is it a VO? If it starts leaning towards AFK then I may contact him/her.


I am that coordinator's local VO, so feel free to PM me.

Dark Archive

I vote for PoolCon on Thursday night.

Scarab Sages

anthonydido wrote:
Huu-Yuu wrote:
For those who might be planning to come out to the AFK Elixers and Eatery on that Thursday, we have a couple of weekly PFS games there already. If you guys want to send me messages in regards to those who wish to play or GM a game, I will pass info on to the coordinator for the location to see what we can arrange.

This is for more of a meet and greet mingle sort of thing but people can, and probably will, throw some games together. I wouldn't want to bog down the coordinator with uncertainties since there is no telling who will show up and who will want to game.

We're just brainstorming ideas at this point anyway. Nothing is set in stone yet.

Who is the coordinator? Is it a VO? If it starts leaning towards AFK then I may contact him/her.

Thursdays are our normally scheduled game day for this location, and if the coordinator (Malcolmxkav) or Tony (our local VL) don't wish to, I can do the coordination for it. Both have posted in this thread already.

Sovereign Court PaizoCon Founder, Wayfinder Editor-in-Chief

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Wolfsnap wrote:
waltero wrote:
Maybe someone in the local area could turn on the bat signal to summon Tim Nightengale?

IIRC Tim has retired from organizing the Meet & Eat because it became too large and too much of a headache.

I personally was astonished by what Kyle put together last year. That was pretty epic.

Not so much as retired as stepped aside. Kyle did indeed have a pretty epic plan for the meet and eat event, something that was beyond my resources and my time to plan. I think what Kyle did was amazing, but it sort of pains me to know that he didn't break even on it.

The meet and eat has been a PaizoCon tradition since the very first one, when we all met at Todai Asian buffet for drinks, food, and conversation. When Paizo took over the con in the 2nd year and moved it to the Coast Hotel in Bellevue, the meet and eat set up shop at the Crab Pot in Bellevue...a restaurant that is a very "Seattle" place to eat, and a treat for out-of-towners.

When we moved to SeaTac Marriott, it presented a real hard issue....nothing notable within walking distance. Kyle stepped up, and provided a memorable event.

Each year, the meet and eat has attracted right around 20-25% of the PaizoCon attendance. It has been a very stable proportion (but I think last year it went well beyond that). But, as PaizoCon has grown, the 20% showing up for the meet and eat has exceeded capacity for us to simply go to a restaurant. So, if we are hitting 800 people, that's 160-200 people that will show up. No ClaimJumper can take that all at once, folks.

Personally, I think we are going to have to split the meet and eat into multiple groups.
Some folks will be more mobile...AFK may be a good venue.
Others will want to hang within walking distance of the hotel. Sharps RoastHouse is good, and Mango Thai is fantastic.
Some may want to go to downtown Seattle...the choices there are ENDLESS. Pioneer Square is where you may want to go...lots of restaurants and bars (my fav is New Orleans...good food and blues and jazz).
Some could take advantage of the hotel shuttle, and head on down to Southcenter for a variety of options. I myself think that Asian buffets work well....lots of seating, lots of food options...Mizuki would be my choice this year.

Still, I need to emphasize that no place can take on numbers of 200 of us. So, we need MULTIPLE Meet and Eat events. We need to hold court in many places to accommodate all the different mobility options.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Thanks for your input Tim.

Last year's Paizocon was my first so I was unaware of previous turnouts. I like the idea of just splitting it up into multiple (different) venues.

So right now we are possibly looking at:

AFK Elixirs & Eatery - for those who may want to do some gaming.
Marriot pool area - for those who just want to relax.

I don't know the area that well so maybe someone who does could help provide some easy to get to places that we could add to this list.

Other possible locations Tim mentioned:

Sharps Roasthouse, Mango Thai - both in walking distance from hotel
Pioneer Square - downtown Seattle

Edit: Also, I'm thinking that after we decide on the locations that we could put together a "poll" thread and have people favorite where they plan on going so we could get a possible head count.

Sovereign Court PaizoCon Founder, Wayfinder Editor-in-Chief

I'd add in the Southcenter options....claim jumper, Mizuki buffet. Those are a short ride down the hill from the hotel, likely accessible via the hotel shuttle.

For downtown Seattle, there are sooooo many options. Lots of places on the waterfront too, but I suspect that the light rail would drop people off quite a distance from there, so there would be walking involved....

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

I do wish Paizo would organize the Meet & Greet in the same room as the Organized Play but have it from 4pm to 10pm the day before the Con. I know they put a lot of work into the Con already, I am not liking the idea of a scattered Meet & Greet across Seattle.


the Haunted Jester wrote:
I do wish Paizo would organize the Meet & Greet in the same room as the Organized Play but have it from 4pm to 10pm the day before the Con. I know they put a lot of work into the Con already, I am not liking the idea of a scattered Meet & Greet across Seattle.

It may not be feasible for them, because of contracts and setup times... effectively they would have to rent their biggest room another whole day in advance of the event and they are already probably having to do that for the {Insert name of the room that held the store last year} to warehouse supplies for all the other rooms the following days.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber

It has outgrown its use, in my opinion. There was a time you would meet one person that was related to about 20 others that were all standing in the same room, and you would meet them all by pure association. Now it is more like meeting a con goer like yourself (with no ties to anyone) and not seeing them again for the rest of the Con. That is quite different than the old Meet and Greet. I do miss those days and the only answer is to just let them go.

However, I am beginning to understand that there are a lot of sub-meetings with old timers here and there that are more focused towards what they are doing in relation to Paizo. This again, is not the same as a Meet and Greet.

Paizo was small once and we few celebrated them while D&D went fourth. Those days are long gone.

I think a first-timer meet or a second-timer meet or a third-timer meet would be more interesting. I would be in the fifth-time meet...I think.

I am very happy Paizo's success has done just about everything they denied they would do. It must have been quite a shock for Lisa to do just about everything they said they wouldn't/couldn't do. They did it though and are a larger company for it. The fans are vast now and I am just another one.

Despite that, when we go to these things, we are looking for whatever it was that made the first few conventions so much fun. There has never been one that is similar to the other.

I know I am missing out on a lot of great memories with people that I had met in previous conventions, but they are in their own meetings now as contributors, Paizo employees, 3rd party contributors and even Venture Captains. They even see each other in special invitation meetings with the "Paizo ups" to discuss their future with Paizo. I don't see them in any of these places.

Neil Spicer on the other hand I always seem to see. Heheh.

However, that is because he is somehow accessible and never too worried to have a chat.

So, Meet and Greet for me is just not what it was. And yes, it is too big to be inclusive. That is why, perhaps, I am looking to other media other than here to mingle with the "Old Timer Version" of the Meet and Greet, if you will. If we talk about it here, too many would show up.

In that context you can see that I am being exclusive (cutting out the new guys),but I find it more rewarding than seeing 50+ people who see me as someone that must be dodged to get to the other side of me.

I like to be personable and have generally real experiences and nice chats. I am not into the crowds and yelling to talk.

That is what the Meet and Greet has become and I am sorry so many new people could not experience what we had before.

Sovereign Court PaizoCon Founder, Wayfinder Editor-in-Chief

the Haunted Jester wrote:
I do wish Paizo would organize the Meet & Greet in the same room as the Organized Play but have it from 4pm to 10pm the day before the Con. I know they put a lot of work into the Con already, I am not liking the idea of a scattered Meet & Greet across Seattle.

]

They already do something like that.....it's called the banquet.

Seriously folks, PaizoCon has put on its BigBoy pants, and having one kick-off party (because that is what it has become with last year's BBQ) is not easy to do without some serious cash and planning. I cannot think of a con this big now that has just one big party at the start....Norwescon, a SciFi and fantasy convention also in SeaTac, has a party wing in the hotel, with several private parties (with entrance fees and bartenders and liquor licenses) all weekend long.

But, honestly, I have no interest in organizing a frat party. I, like Ted, really enjoy a nice smaller crowd of people who I can sit down and strike up a conversation with, and get to know. The intent of the Meet and Eat was to start off the con by making friends with strangers, so that you started PaizoCon the very next day with some new found friends, and felt welcomed and at home. Can we still do this? I don't know....it depends on how we, PaizoCon attendees, want to handle it.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It can be done. I disagree with Zuxius's opinion that it can't be personable while also being large. In fact I think it quite the opposite. A larger turnout just means more people you could potentially meet. Case in point, last year was my first Paizocon and I went to Kyle's shindig (which easily had a hundred people or so). I met quite a few people there that I talked to and ended up bumping into them later during the con.

Let's focus our efforts and use this thread to try and make this happen successfully and not try to compare it with how it used to be. The con has changed and grown and thus so must any attempt at a meet and greet also change.

It's probably never going to be like it used to be with only 20-50 people total at the con because Paizo has grown by leaps and bounds since then. I'm not trying to create anything like what Kyle did. I just want to organize one or more locations that people can go to if they want to mingle, chat or maybe even game with other enthusiasts and con-goers.

RPG Superstar 2009, Contributor

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Timitius wrote:
The intent of the Meet and Eat was to start off the con by making friends with strangers, so that you started PaizoCon the very next day with some new found friends, and felt welcomed and at home. Can we still do this? I don't know....it depends on how we, PaizoCon attendees, want to handle it.

With the tremendous popularity and growth of PaizoCon (in terms of attendance), it's just become impossible to create a single welcome party that will duplicate those earlier experiences. There's no single venue that can hold us. And, even if there were, there's just too many of us to easily get around and do the meet-and-greet thing in a memorable, equitable manner. About the best way PaizoCon attendees can handle it is to spawn multiple, small engagements (just like any other large convention), hold them in venues which people can choose to reach through whatever means are available to them, and then the old-timers (and hopefully, the occasional Paizo staffer) can make an attempt to get out and attend as many of them as possible to keep that "small-Con feel" going for everyone even as the convention continues to grow.

I mentioned it elsewhere, but I also think PaizoCon is about to reach the stage where it might benefit from an additional day (i.e., a 4-day con like GenCon, rather than just a 3-day con). Most people are arriving an extra day ahead anyway. And, many of us choose to stick around the day after, as well. Regardless, more days means more opportunities to network, socialize, and run into one another with enough frequency that it, too, could help retain that "small-Con" experience for awhile longer. Especially if an effort is made to hold multiple small party events over the course of the entire con schedule rather than just pinning it down to the day before the con officially gets underway.

That kind of arrangement would also make it easier for Paizo employees and contributors to mingle at some of those events without it being pinned to a single opportunity. The PaizoCon banquet would (obviously) represent the largest of these social events, but something could be scheduled on each of the other nights, as well. Meanwhile, the extra day tacked onto the convention schedule would ensure the gaming wouldn't be reduced by adding any of these social events to each night's activities. And, folks could even register for them...or purchase tickets to them...in a similar manner as the banquet to assure the costs remained manageable for whoever hosts the events at whatever location.

But that's just my two cents,
--Neil


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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Neil Spicer wrote:
PaizoCon is about to reach the stage where it might benefit from an additional day (i.e., a 4-day con like GenCon, rather than just a 3-day con)

That would be FANTASTIC!!!

Some of us do take quite the trip -and it would still be worth it even if it was for only a couple days!- and of course another day of COn time would make this even shinnier.

Dark Archive

No pre-set Meet & Eat, huh? Bummer. I got no clue what my pre-Con plans will be, then.

Guess I'll see people in the lobby. Hope to see you there. :)

Sovereign Court PaizoCon Founder, Wayfinder Editor-in-Chief

I will probably try to reserve some space somewhere....I'm thinking Mizuki Asian Buffet, harkening back to the very first Meet and Eat at Todai.

Also, I think setting up something with AFK is a no-brainer. Hopefully, they will be as excited to have us as many of us are to go hang there.

Outside of that...not sure. I would like to try a BBQ at my house for Wayfinder contributors again...like on Wednesday, for those coming to town early. However, Redmond is a ways from SeaTac, and traffic won't be kind to anyone making that trek. :(

Maybe a return to the Crab Pot for Wayfinder Wednesday?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pawns Subscriber

I missed that Wayfinder gathering last year then, as this is the first I am hearing of it.

Sovereign Court PaizoCon Founder, Wayfinder Editor-in-Chief

the Haunted Jester wrote:
I missed that Wayfinder gathering last year then, as this is the first I am hearing of it.

You didn't, because I haven't had one of these BBQs for several years now. I only did it the year that the 4th was on Wednesday...that was 2012.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber

Well, I will stay attentive. I definitely plan to hit AFK this trip and perhaps a pub with some of the old gang. Naturally I would gravitate to Wayfinder because that is not to be missed.

I am glad I can attend this year. This has been the most devastating year of my life financially and being able to physically stand in everyone's presence once again is nothing short of a miracle.

Silver Crusade

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I am open to whatever. If there is a party. I'll be there. If not, I'll find one or make one of my own. It's vacation for me. So I intend to enjoy it. :)

Dark Archive

I won't be in town Wednesday, but I will be available for something Thursday afternoon for a bit. I can't go super-crazy because Friday I'm GMing three PFS slots, so I'll be running for... jeez, like 15 hours.

Saturday evening and all day Sunday I'm completely free as well, and those are my mega-party days.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

For those who don't want to go far at all, the central courtyard in the hotel's pretty nice. It's got a lot of separate tables and a pool, so it's not a bad location for a group of folks to mingle.

The Exchange

Timitius wrote:

Also, I think setting up something with AFK is a no-brainer. Hopefully, they will be as excited to have us as many of us are to go hang there.

Everyone that I have talked to that works at the AFK has loved us being there and I am sure that they will be excited to have even more people in there for gaming, visiting, eating, and general geeking out. :)


I've been heavily resisting the break-up/dispersal of "The Meet & Eat", but it occurs to me that even at my first Crab Pot, I barely met anyone who wasn't at my table. It's about Meeting people, not about hooking up with old friends - that's Sunday night and the rest of the Con.

But I do think it's important to keep the spirit of the Meet & Eat alive, and to do that I think we need to have 2-3 organized events for people to choose among.

Anthonydido - you offered to call AFK, do you think you could start putting this together? Gather the details, figure out any costs that have to be met?

Pool - can someone else get the exact details for this?

Tim - you could organize, but you could also just do your best to attend them all. Make them official and all.

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