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TABSCon Explained

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Joined: Aug 22, 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:15 pm Post subject: TABSCon Explained Reply with quote

It's nearly the end of the second decade of the 21st century and TABS just had its fifteenth birthday this past September, so I thought it would be worth providing some summary of this organization's roots and what it has grown to become. Born of an idea inspired by attending Origins in the early 2000s, TABS was an attempt to develop a boardgaming community where there was none in Toronto at that time. Starting out initially in 2004 as a Yahoo group and then moving a year later to this dedicated site, we saw early success in connecting with a large number of previously unknown gamers in and around the city.

Events were quickly established to bring us together and being held in the early days in the party room of someone's condo, they were dubbed CondoCons. Within a few years we had outgrown those spaces and moved to the first of two different church hall spaces. Naturally, as went the condos, so did the name and so we came up with the terribly creative appellation of TABSCons. Mystery explained.

A selection of shots from the early years 2004 - 2010.

What started out as a quarterly event continued through to the end of 2015. Starting in 2016, we replaced our March event with a multi-day, large tabletop gaming convention called Breakout (https://breakoutcon.com/). With TABSCon events now running three times a year (June, September and December) over two floors of a Legion Hall in the east end, we've continued to focus on those elements of these single-day, 12-hr events that have proven to be quite successful:

* Large halls providing open gaming spaces from 9 AM to 9 PM on a Saturday
* Low entry fee cost of only $5 for the day
* Extensive Bring and Buy Auction where great deals can be found
* Selection of TABS game library available for attendees to borrow while at the event
* On-site vendor (Wood For Sheep - https://www.woodforsheep.ca/)
* Door prizes
* Math Trade (not managed by TABS)

A selection of shots from more recent years since moving to the Legion Hall.

TABSCon Frequently Asked Questions
1. I'm planning to attend TABSCon and it's my first time, but I don't know anyone. Is it alright if I come alone?
Absolutely! Despite its size (we typically range from two to three hundred attendees), TABSCon remains a friendly and welcoming environment. We have staff there to greet you, show you around and if requested, we can pair you up with other attendees looking for players to join their game.

2. Do I need to bring games or will there be games available to play at the event?
The majority of the games at TABSCon are brought by our attendees. Many bring large bags stuffed with titles and generally folks are pretty easy going when it comes to either lending games to others seated nearby or having them join their game if the timing is right and a spot is open. If you have a particular title or two that you really want to play, it's not a bad idea to bring them along to help ensure that you'll get a chance to play them. TABS also has a selection of games from its library that are positioned right behind the admin desk when you come in. They can be signed out to play while you're at the event.

3. I'm bringing a game that I want to play, but don't know anyone. Is it possible to schedule games ahead of time so others can sign up?
Certainly, though TABS doesn't currently provide any function on it's site to do that outside of the forums. A better alternative, and one that is commonly used by our attendees, is to either start a thread on BGG (Boardgamegeek) and post your games or sign up on an existing one that someone else created. Here is an example that was done for a previous TABSCon: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/241077/june-9th-2018-tabscon-toronto-game-scheduler

4. How do I sign out games from the library?
The selection of games available will be on a shelving unit located right behind the admin desk at the front. Once you choose a game and fill out the sign-out sheet, you will need to provide some Picture ID (e.g. driver's license) that remains with the admin desk until you return the game.

5. Are children welcome at TABSCon? Is there a child rate? Are there daycare services available?
Our stated policy is that while children are welcome at TABSCon, anyone under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian at all times. TABS doesn't provide any daycare-like services, so children are expected to be seated with a parent/guardian who is also expected to be participating in whatever game their children are playing. There is no $5 fee for children aged 12 and under to attend.

6. The Bring and Buy auction sounds cool. Where can I find more information on it and how it works?
Right here in our TABS Events forum actually. We have a dedicated thread in this same forum called Bring and Buy Auction at TABSCon. But, you can also get to the thread by clicking on this link.
It's all fun and games until someone loses a die.
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