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Idea: what if the days of ReaperCon were shifted back by one day to allow more people to attend all three days?


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With the event on Labor Day weekend, the days it is held could theoretically have been changed to make it more accessible to more people. Lemme 'splain! Up through 2017, it was held on a non-holiday weekend:  Thur/Fri/Sat full days of classes & games, Sun a few classes and the auction, people drove home Sunday night. And then back to work on Monday.

 

But in 2018 with the change to a holiday weekend, everything could have been shifted back one day... but it wasn't. If it had been shifted, it would look like this: Fri/Sat/Sun full days of classes & games, Mon a few classes and the auction, people drive home Monday night. And then back to work on Tuesday.

 

Pros of keeping the same schedule:

  • An extra "free day" on Monday, before most people return to work on Tuesday
  • Some people can stay longer on Sunday, rather than leaving early for extra travel time

 

Cons of keeping the same schedule:

  • Attendance at all three full days requires people to take off TWO days from work (Thu/Fri), rather than just one (Fri)
  • Not all employers will allow people to take two vacation days right before a 3-day weekend
  • Students/teachers are just starting their year, and may not be able to leave class on both Thu/Fri
  • People who cannot take ANY time off of work can only attend one full day (Sat)

 

I'm a teacher, so the current schedule is unworkable: there's no way I can take off two days when the school year has just begun. If we did the shifted schedule, I could still attend two full days on Sat/Sun, a partial day on Mon, then head back in time for work on Tuesday. Same for other people cannot take off work this time of year. As it is, I can attend ReaperCon for only ONE full day. (This year I got lucky with the dates of Rosh Hashanah so was able to attend Friday as well, but this year was the exception.) I wonder how many other people struggle to take off enough days this time of year.

 

Thoughts?

Edited by Bold
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3 hours ago, Bold said:

 

Pros of keeping the same schedule:

  • An extra "free day" on Monday, before most people return to work on Tuesday
  • Some people can stay longer on Sunday, rather than leaving early for extra travel time

 

Monday is much needed at home to decompress and get ready for Real Life.  I know some folks like it as a travel day, but the current schedule works for us.   If it shifted to full days Fr/Sat/Sun we'd still have to take Thurs off to drive down, and would miss most of Sun driving home.  So, effectively lose a day. 

 

3 hours ago, Bold said:

 

Cons of keeping the same schedule:

  • Attendance at all three full days requires people to take off TWO days from work (Thu/Fri), rather than just one (Fri)
  • Not all employers will allow people to take two vacation days right before a 3-day weekend
  • Students/teachers are just starting their year, and may not be able to leave class on both Thu/Fri
  • People who cannot take ANY time off of work can only attend one full day (Sat)

 

People who can't get 2 days off are going to have a problem no matter what weekend the con happens. Not everyone who attends works M-F, some people are taking Sat-Sun off work to be there, so this doesn't help them.  Some employers allow people to take vacation they've earned whenever they want it, some companies shut down on long weekends,  some people don't get paid vacation days at all, I get it. 

 

You're not going to find a solution that everyone is happy with.   Being a teacher/having kids in school is tough when you want to do things, but not getting days off whenever you want them is part of the job.   I did notice that a number of parents were there with kids, and had signed them out of school for a couple of days.  I think it is manageable for some people.  

 

I think for the majority of people the current arrangement works, even if some folks can't be there Thursday or Friday. 

 

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Another possibility:

 

Given how much the convention has grown, and how hard it is for people to get into classes, would it be worthwhile extending Sunday to a full day? That is, have a full day of classes and games on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, AND Sunday? As it is, there are only a few classes offered on Sunday morning, and not much of an incentive to stick around, even for the "Saturday 1-day" attendees.

 

Offering a full day of events on Sunday would more effectively take advantage of the event occurring on a holiday 3-day weekend. It would benefit those people who cannot attend Thursday and/or Friday, as well as people who have lots of vacation time and would like another full day of ReaperCon. It would also make it easier for attendees to get into classes which are sold out, since there will be that many more slots. It may also make the event more of a draw for artists who would prefer to come for just Saturday/Sunday.

 

 

30 minutes ago, Inarah said:

Monday is much needed at home to decompress and get ready for Real Life. 

 

What did you do prior to 2018, when ReaperCon was not on a holiday weekend? For so many years, it ended with the auction mid-day on Sunday, and most people returned to work Monday morning--no time at all to decompress.

 

And of course, if we kept the current days and merely extended Sunday to a full day, you could always leave early on Sunday if you wanted more time for travel and/or decompression.

 

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44 minutes ago, Bold said:

What did you do prior to 2018, when ReaperCon was not on a holiday weekend? For so many years, it ended with the auction mid-day on Sunday, and most people returned to work Monday morning--no time at all to decompress.

 

 

We have left early before the auction nearly every year for the past 15+ years in order to get home before midnight.  DH used to take Monday off from work, because the drive leaves him pretty ragged.  Some people who leave Sunday don't get home until the following day. Some won't get home for several days. 

 

59 minutes ago, Bold said:

It would also make it easier for attendees to get into classes which are sold out, since there will be that many more slots.

 

 

I'm willing to bet that most of the artists would prefer to not teach additional classes on Sunday. Most are pretty tired by the award ceremony Sat night, and have to face the horde of contestants seeking feedback on Sunday morning.  But I could be wrong about that. 

 

Classes will continue to sell out, due to limited seating.  The con has expanded for years, and continues to fill up. 

 

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3 hours ago, Chaoswolf said:

I think this pretty much sums up the entire discussion.

 

Oh, absolutely! And that's why I raised the question, because I suspect the assumption has been "hey, let's keep things exactly the same" even though ReaperCon was moved to a 3-day weekend with a holiday on Monday. This is kind of a follow-up to my comments elsewhere last week about how not all ReaperCon attendees watch every Twitch stream, and it would be mistake to assume they do. Likewise, not everyone spends a day or two driving each way; plenty of us fly in.

 

In faction, my later suggestion today about offering additional classes & games on Sunday is precisely because not everyone will be happy with one solution. With that Sunday extension, some people could attend on just Thu/Fri, some just on Sat/Sun. Some might split the difference with Fri/Sat, others might come for three days, and some die-hards would likely cannonball all the way through the full four days.

 

Inarah's comment about artist fatigue would certainly be valid for those that chose to attend all four days, but that's kinda' the point: perhaps some would only want to come & teach for Sat/Sun? Or maybe Fri-Sun? Other attendees have complained that artists/judges weren't available on Sunday morning for critique; perhaps they would've been at their tables if they had arrived Friday morning, rather than Wednesday night?

 

I completely understand why many Forumites love the traditional Wed night through Sunday morning schedule, with a road trip to & from. But I'd hope that they would also be open to the preferences of those artists and attendees that attend fewer days, or fly in, or whatever.

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It also greatly increases the cost to Reaper for an additional day because the hotel flips the rooms almost immediately after Reaper is out and Reaper would likely need to pay for Monday.  The next group was already showing up Sunday afternoon and the hotel was severely behind cleaning rooms due to staffing levels

 

Reaper likes to give all of their staff Monday off to recover so Tuesday could be a normal work day, and having to break down the room on Monday would negate that.

 

Now that said, there's nothing saying people can't organize games in the lobby on Sunday.  

 

The convention I have helped run was on Memorial Day weekend and we tried to run all day Sunday, and it was lightly attended and left us all exhausted.

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20 hours ago, Inarah said:

 

We have left early before the auction nearly every year for the past 15+ years in order to get home before midnight.  DH used to take Monday off from work, because the drive leaves him pretty ragged.  Some people who leave Sunday don't get home until the following day. Some won't get home for several days. 

 

 

I'm willing to bet that most of the artists would prefer to not teach additional classes on Sunday. Most are pretty tired by the award ceremony Sat night, and have to face the horde of contestants seeking feedback on Sunday morning.  But I could be wrong about that. 

 

Classes will continue to sell out, due to limited seating.  The con has expanded for years, and continues to fill up. 

 

 

You are correct. We can't get artists to teach on Sundays.  Many are so tired and then this year Sunday was for feedback day. This is why Sundays are not filled with classes and activities.....We just can't get it scheduled if no one is willing to teach....Monday is also a holiday for our employees and many hourly employees are working the con all weekend too.....so Sunday is really the only day we have employee help to "Move-out" of the convention center by 6pm. We don't see our employees back to work until thursday due to working the weekend, and monday is paid day off holiday. We will try in the future to get as many events/activities for Sunday before closing ceremonies at 2-3pm.

Edited by ReaperAHawk
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23 minutes ago, ReaperAHawk said:

 

You are correct. We can't get artists to teach on Sundays.  Many are so tired and then this year Sunday was for feedback day. This is why Sundays are not filled with classes and activities.....We just can't get it scheduled if no one is willing to teach....


So you’re saying us lesser artistic mortals might scrape in some “teaching” by signing up to do Sunday classes and help the process?
 

About the only things I could teach is basic getting-started painting and teaching kids to paint. Not sure there would be a lot of signups for that tho. 

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The current schedule works best for us I think too. I loved and needed having yesterday off. So, for me, if everything was pushed back a day, I'd have to take another day off work anyway or (more likely) just be miserable and suffer through work that day. I've been to large Cons not on a holiday weekend and gone straight to work afterwards. It's not fun. I much prefer the current schedule. Though, I do have to constantly remind family not to plan anything on Labor Day weekend. Despite 2 whole years of telling them this, they keep forgetting and always ask us to do something with them a week or two before on that weekend. This weekend is completely blocked off in our plans for as long as ReaperCon occurs on those dates.

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12 hours ago, ReaperAHawk said:

 

We can't get artists to teach on Sundays.  [...] We will try in the future to get as many events/activities for Sunday before closing ceremonies at 2-3pm.

 

Understandable, especially if they've been there since Wednesday night. If there are any artists who arrive later in the week would be interested in running a class on Sunday morning, I suspect those of us who fly out on Sunday night would be interested. This year there were only a couple classes offered at the Sunday 9am and 11am slots; I attended a class during each slot, and would gladly do so again.

 

Part of the reason I started this thread was my memories of a wonderful Labor Day gaming convention which used to be held many years ago in Omaha. It ran Friday-Saturday-Sunday, with Monday a half-day allowing for convention clean-up and attendee travel. Sunday was well-attended since it was just the third day of a 3-1/2 day convention (a bit like Saturday at ReaperCon) and featured a giant "interactive" module on Sunday night (like DDAL Epics, if you're familiar with those) which was the highlight of the convention. That schedule made for a fun convention weekend with minimal impact on jobs, college, etc.

 

But as you pointed out, Monday is a holiday for your employees, and I can certainly see why as a business Reaper would want them to have some downtime (and a chance to enjoy the holiday with their families!) before returning to work later in the week. Thank you for providing the inside scoop!

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On 9/7/2021 at 1:27 PM, Dicey said:

...I do have to constantly remind family not to plan anything on Labor Day weekend. ... they keep forgetting and always ask us to do something with them a week or two before on that weekend. ...

 Uh , yeah.  I am engaged in a number of hobbies which involve various conventions and contests.  So is my wife.  And we often attend each other's events.  It seems to make no difference how much advance notice we give to family, friends, and organizations ... we are constantly asked if just can't revise our schedule to fit the druthers of whomever waited until the last minute.  And such folks never seem to appreciate me pointing out that they were notified of our unavailability up to a year in advance.

 

As to the other issues above, our trip to Denton is a day and a half, no matter how we cut it.  So we are gone as soon as we can get out on Sunday; we need five to six hours on the road if we are going to make it home on Monday evening.  We actually look forward to the trip home as we have always managed to find a different route on back roads -- we avoid interstates.  So, no matter how the ReaperCon schedule might be changed, we wouldn't attend on Sunday.

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This is a valid topic and one that Reaper should be very open to consider.  It annoys me when someone just closes a debate with the "can't please everyone" statement.   I get it.  Majority rules.   And you can't make everything perfect for everyone.  Yet, why can't you consider some changes?  Why not try to see if there's other options?

 

My first RC was the 2017 con and it was a non holiday in October.  When it went to Labor Day in 2018, I first cringed.   Usually Holiday Weekend Cons are more expensive, more crowded.  The reason you do a holiday con is to take advantage of the weekend.  More people usually take the long weekend to go somewhere.  You want to take advance of the Monday in some form.   I've been to cons that took that extra day and used it.   I also understand its a great "pack out" day too.   

 

In this case, it makes perfect sense for Reaper to use that extra day to allow staff to decompress and get ready to go back to work on Tuesday.  Yet, Reaper also has the power to say Tuesday is a holiday for their staff too.    It's all relative.    Sunday has been considered universally to be a sleep late and lazy day in hotel cons.  But it doesn't have to be.  

 

Working with cons, the "pack out" is critical and caused by the time consuming aspect to flip everything around so another exhibit can move in.  Thats the biz!

 

BUT, I will always support a non Holiday Weekend and/or weekend that doesn't conflict with another competing event.   

 

Sunday could do with some rework though.  

  • I think the Auction takes way too long.  
  • It's exclusive to only high rollers as everything is priced to dang high.
  •  I think it should be about an hour and be for the unique stuff.   
  • Open a (Dave & Busters-like store) Brinewood store, trade some reaper bucks for some smalls (cups, brushes, hats, shirts, etc.) 

 

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1 hour ago, Knighthart said:

     

  • Open a (Dave & Busters-like store) Brinewood store, trade some reaper bucks for some smalls (cups, brushes, hats, shirts, etc.) 

 

Last year without the auction, they had a similar store. Prices were decent but some of the bigger stuff was spendy. Allot of it was out before Sunday thou. I got what I wanted out of it at least.

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38 minutes ago, haldir said:

 

Last year without the auction, they had a similar store. Prices were decent but some of the bigger stuff was spendy. Allot of it was out before Sunday thou. I got what I wanted out of it at least.

 

Yes, the Brinewind store was popular and I hope they continue the tradition, with more low and mid-ranged items for people to spend their hard earned coins on.  Some people saved all weekend and had slim pickings, which is not a happy way to end a con. 

 

 

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