Airecon—The Analog Gaming Festiva—is a chilled-out, cozier, and family-friendly convention that seems less corporate and has a community feel, unlike mainstream board game events like UK Games Expo and Essen Spiel.
Founder and director of Airecon, Mark Cooke, admits the whole thing began as a weekend hangout for him and his friends. It all started with 20 friends who decided to hold a game festival in Mark Cooke’s living room. Airecon’s first public events were held in Bradford in 2016 after Mark joined forces with accountant Ben Clarkson. Seven years later, it has grown beyond recognition, with thousands of attendees, and is still growing. Airecon 2023 will be the biggest event ever, with more exhibitors, halls, and gaming space.
Aircon is almost completely dedicated to playing games and meeting new people, with huge gameplay areas, instead of the conventional halls filled with stalls we grew used to at game conventions. The ratio from retailers to gaming space is very deliberate. Attendees can expect to find various gaming options available at Airecon.
Airecon will be held between Thursday, March 9, and Sunday, March 12, featuring over 80 exhibitors, 40 hours of gaming, and innovative ideas like the G.A.M.E System to keep people updated and the Gameseekers Area for gamers.
Top 10 Highlights of Airecon 2023 You Won’t Want to Miss
10. Play & Eat: You can enjoy the delicious culinary experience of great food trucks outside the venue. You won’t have to break your budget regarding tasty meals, like what usually happens at large gaming events. A selection of local and international cuisines should be available.
9. Join “Mega Games”: Experience the ultimate gaming challenge with “Mega Games”! Gather with tens to over a hundred players as you compete in over-the-top versions of popular board games. Whether you’re a fan of strategy games or prefer something less intense, there will be plenty of choices for everyone. And this year, experience the collection of new mega-games from Floodgate Games and 25th Century Games! Be sure to catch Mega-Sagrada, a strategic game where you must use your wits to craft the most aesthetically pleasing window. Then, take on Mega-Green Team Wins and answer correctly to prove you belong on the Green Team!
8. Participate in giant games: The Herefordshire Boardgamers will bring their giant-sized versions of ‘Hey, That’s My Fish!’ and ‘Tsuro’, where YOU are the game pieces! There will be Various games to try.
7. Attend seminars, events, and talks: Experts will lead lectures and discussions, including the “Watch it Played” team. Enjoy learning more about board games during thought-provoking workshops. Experienced board game designers and professionals will discuss various exciting topics. There are also special game sessions such as “Werewolf” and “Starship Simulator – Training Program Contact”.
6. Buy second-hand games: The Bring n Buy Marketplace is a board game lover’s dream come true, with plenty of vendors. You can buy and sell new and used games and accessories like dice, playmats, figures, and cards. Plus, you won’t have to worry about overspending since it is easy to find great bargains! So stroll through the Bring n Buy and find yourself some new treasures. And when the event starts, G.A.M.E., the convention online system that catalogs all the games available, will be up and running. You can easily access it and browse what’s available.
5. Try game demonstrations: Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy interactive demonstrations of board games at the exhibitor booths. Attendees can try their favorite board games and explore new releases from independent game designers and leading publishers.
4. Play new game releases: Explore the exhibitor stalls featuring the latest and greatest board games. Around a hundred vendors will attend, offering a diverse selection of titles, including new releases. You can expect many popular games in high demand during the convention.
3. Compete in Tournaments: Participate in board game tournaments and join competitive gaming contests to win exciting prizes! Take the opportunity to learn new strategies from experienced players and show off your skills in various tournaments. With numerous participants joining each tournament, there’s sure to be an exciting atmosphere during this competitive event. Take advantage of your chance to take part and make lasting memories.
2. Play RPGs: AireCon will provide plenty of opportunities to experience the world of Role-Playing Games (RPGs). Professional Game Masters (GMs) sponsored by Paizo will be running different sessions for players of all levels. From brand-new systems to classic favorites, these GMs will help you explore the various settings and stories found in each game.
1. Play: Airecon is a convention about playing games. You won’t want to miss the opportunity to play over 700 board games hosted by Travelling Man. Not only will this provide an excellent way to connect with fellow gamers, but it’s also a great way to take a break after a long day of gaming. You’ll have the chance to get help from the “Watch it Played” team. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff will be available to provide demonstrations, tips, and advice on playing various popular titles.
And finally, here is a bonus activity for you:
Playtesting: Keep an eye out for new and upcoming board games as you join in on playtesting sessions. These events allow game designers to get feedback from players about their designs, so don’t be shy about giving your opinion!
AireCon 2023 is an event you will want to attend! With a wide selection of board games, including tournaments and demonstrations, the Bring n Buy Marketplace for second-hand titles, delicious food trucks, and playtesting sessions – this year’s convention promises to be bigger and better than ever. Whether you’re a veteran or a newbie in the board game hobby, AireCon will have something for everyone. So mark your calendars and get ready for AireCon 2023!