This year I’ll be participating in three gaming conventions.  Despite all three being spread out through the year, the varied size of the conventions make it such that January is the intersection of planning activities for all three.  Crazy.

TotalCon, the largest local convention where I’ll be joining Mr. Mentzer and Mr. Kask in the old school GMing ring, is the most immediate being held in late February.  I’ve already got my hotel reservation in and my events registered.  The event list is supposed to open any day now, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what’s going to be run.  There was a bit of an effort this year to gather all the old schoolers together, and thus we have our own little corner of the convention for our games.  I’m hoping there will be enough interesting stuff that I’ll have plenty to choose from for the slots I’m not GMing myself.

HelgaCon, the smallest convention in the world, is in April.  Really it’s just a handful of friends gathered together in a house for a weekend to play some games, but I am the one organizer so there’s plenty for me to do to get ready.  Two years ago there was a mix-up on the date due to trying to avoid conflicts with Easter.  Last year the convention ran on the same weekend GenCon event registration opened, and we found the internet connection rather lacking at the house much to our dismay.  This year I’m trying very hard to pick the right date to avoid both of those problems.  Once I have the date lined up with the owner of the house we rent, I’ll start the emails going to gather events and attendees.

And of course, there’s GenCon, furthest out in August but due to its enormous size planning starts rather early.  This month badge registration will open up, and that’s usually when we start looking at flights.  I have a suspicion that we may get a somewhat larger group this year than we have in the past.  I’m trying to be as smart as possible about picking a hotel this year.  Usually we stay in the Hilton as we know the place well and are comfortable there.  I’m thinking I may try to be more clever this year and pick a hotel closer to where our games are likely to be.  Unfortunately that requires me to actually be able to predict where our games are going to be held, which may be difficult with the convention hall renovations and new hotels opening up this year.  Still, it would be pretty cool if some of the games I played in were actually in the same hotel where I stay.

Well, it looks like 2011 is shaping up to be a good year for gaming.  Here’s hoping the planning all goes smoothly (fat chance).