Gaelcon is going online for 2020 after a long process of deliberation and consultation. This wasn’t an easy decision to make, but we felt there was no other reasonable option for us this year. Below, in this post, we’re going to outline our logic behind our decision to move to an online convention, but first we’d also like to announce that the Gaelcon 2020 theme is becoming ‘Tomorrow’s Gaelcon, Today!’. Several of you pointed out that our previous theme had become less and less tasteful as the year wore on, and we agreed. Our community is built around telling stories and escapism, and the previous theme wasn’t going to give us an escape.
Now to talk about the reasons for going online.
First and foremost, the safety of our members of the community is something Gaelcon and the IGA take extremely seriously. We don’t believe that we can ensure the safety of Con attendees in the current environment, and as far as we’re concerned, any risk to our members is irresponsible. With this in mind we couldn’t see any way for us to allow the con to go forward in good consciousness.
Secondly, the financials just aren’t there because of Covid-19. Any event that would run would have to be substantially smaller, and this year, with our planned move to a new venue, we’d be taking a huge financial hit. To the tune of ‘the con never running again’. Even in a best case scenario of getting the most people into the venue we could, and negotiating a new price, we probably would be losing a lot of money, which as an event, we cannot afford to do.
Thirdly, the con just wouldn’t be fun. An in person con this year would be incredibly difficult to run, even if we could ensure it would be affordable and safe. We’d need to limit the number of traders, games, and events at the convention. Whole slates of games would be impossible to run with social distancing. The casual gaming of the event that many people come for wouldn’t be able to happen as we’d need to keep a rigid schedule. We would also still need to limit the number of attendees, which means we’d have less players, GMs and writers for things anyway. Beyond that, having to spend your entire time at the event worrying about social distancing puts a damper on anything. Also, no pints, not a chance.
Online we think we can bring you a lot of the experience of Gaelcon but without the risks. We have all been running games online during lockdown, be they boardgames, RPG’s, wargame simulations, and even parlour LARPS. We can run different types of special events and work on new things to run at the con when it’s back in person, as well as doing things like an online Charity auction.
It’s not going to be easy, but the committee is determined to give you the best experience possible for ‘Tomorrow’s Gaelcon, TODAY!’. If any of you want to help us bring this new Gaelcon to light, please email the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org .