Hey hey. CMON Expo 2018 wrapped up yesterday (at the time I started writing this) and I’m leaving for Geekway to the West in a couple of days (today, now! Finishing this up in the airport), so I wanted to get my thoughts on the Expo down before they get mixed up with my thoughts on Geekway.
A month or two ago I was asked to come run demos at CMON Expo. There was some back and forth discussion as we locked down details and this process, as well as some of the behind-the-scenes processes, were some of the smoothest of this type I have experienced. Details like compensation, schedule, and provision (hotel stay, badge, food) were all addressed and this was some of the best information I have received working for any company thus far. In fact, CMON offered and provided some of the best care that I have yet to receive working for any company at a convention; I’m not talking about compensation here, I will discuss that, but right now I’m referring to their physical care of me as a person working for them – they provided training on the games I was to demo, lunches, and a room I shared with only one other person. They provided cough drops (demo for hours in a crowded convention hall for days and you’ll realize how important those little things are), snacks, drinks, and encouragement throughout the event and were fun and pleasant to work with. Information was provided ahead of the event about scheduling, expectations, and the games I’d be running – more information would have been even better but I appreciated what I did get. CMON also provided fresh shirts to wear for each day and while I didn’t get to keep these, it was really nice to have a fresh work shirt each day. In addition to these provisions I was also compensated with a badge, the aforementioned hotel room, $100/day CMON credit, and a half a dozen games (these were a bonus – after the event wrapped management brought out a bunch of games, new and used, CMON titles and not, and told us to take whatever we wanted). In return I helped with set up and tear down and I ran demos of CMON games for about 7 hours a day Friday – Sunday.
I love to (re)introduce people to great games and I especially enjoy doing this at conventions; there’s a special energy and happiness at conventions that just doesn’t seem as abundant elsewhere…this was fully true at CMON Expo and I had a great time at the event. CMON puts out fun and interesting games with top-notch components and showing off these games was a pleasure. It has been my experience that people at conventions (and most board gamers in general) are kind and gracious people; I felt this was true of the attendees of CMON Expo, but I also sensed that these people were genuinely friendly too – maybe the smaller size of the convention helped ease the pressure of feeling like one may not have enough time to experience everything they wanted to, or maybe it was something else, but CMON Expo attendees were friendly, not just kind/gracious. People spent an extra minute or two chatting after a demo, were patient with each other while playing, and were seemingly easier-going than at some of bigger conventions. This created a relaxed undercurrent to the excitement and happiness and this was wonderful. I think this may have been the first time I have been consciously aware of this relaxedness at any convention and I loved it.
I got to meet and hang out with some great people, including Eric Lang. I’m going to be totally honest here – before I arrived I didn’t think that I cared if I met him or not…then it happened. I was helping to set up, looked up, and there he was. And I totally fangirled. I was more excited than I expected, but still felt like he might be less-than-stellar when face-to-face (meeting your heroes type thing). He was truly one of the friendliest, most down-to-earth designers I have ever met and I can now say with certainty that I am, in fact, an Eric Lang fan.
I’ve got to board my plane soon, so I need to wrap this up. I thoroughly enjoyed working CMON Expo 2018. Never has a company treated me so well as I worked a convention for them and because of this I felt truly valued by the company. I enjoyed the people I got to work with and for, especially the attendees. This was a great experience and I can’t wait until next time! More info and future con dates here: http://cmonexpo.com/
Thanks for reading my review; I hope you enjoyed it!