AndoCon is a gaming convention that, similarly to Gencon, was started out of someone’s home. After several years since its inception the convention has grown to be a public affair. What makes Andocon unique is that it is strictly board gaming. The fact that there are enough board game enthusiasts in Atlanta to warrant a whole weekend long convention is mind-blowing and wonderful.
For this social media monitoring report AndoCon 2016 will be evaluated from a variety of perspectives using advanced search mechanisms on Twitter. As mentioned above, AndoCon has been around for many years, but with this year being its biggest and most publicly attended, it would be appropriate to center the social media monitoring around the 2016 Convention which was held in mid-March. The keywords used for the search include: AndoCon, AndoCon2016, #AndoCon, #Ando. For the purposes of this research, ~50 tweets posted during and around AndoCon 2016 have been analyzed.
Ladies and Gentleman
Gaming has so often been lauded as a boy’s pastime that giving attention to the number of women who were present both at the 2016 convention and participated in the conversation via social media says a lot about the underrepresented female gamer community. The graph below depicts the percentage of tweets about AndoCon 2016 by gender, companies, and Ando. Considering how beloved the convention is, it is obvious to say that all of these tweets were of the positive variety. With 4% of all tweets using #andocon originating from female gamers, it is fair to say that women have an, albeit smaller, investment in the board gaming enthusiasts community of Metro-Atlanta. It is also notable to mention that of all of the tweets searched, only one linked to a blog post about the experiences at AndoCon 2016, and that blogger just happens to be a woman. The author not only posts great photos of the event, but also goes on to review many of the new games she was introduced to at the con.
Indie Board Gaming in Metro-Atlanta
Indie board game upstarts need all of the exposure they can get, and what better place than a board gaming convention. AndoCon makes a point to extend a welcoming hand to the Indie Board Gaming companies of Georgia. Many are not only highlighted throughout the convention, but they are also encouraged to bring their newest games to play-test with the attendees. These companies not only get to take advantage of the market being readily available to them, but they also give back a lot of exposure to AndoCon through social media shout outs. Of the percentages listed above 34% of tweets about AndoCon 2016 came from local companies representing at and supporting AndoCon. Of these companies many of them used photos to highlight their experiences at AndoCon 2016, engaging those attendees in the photos and likely reaching a broader audience as a result.
Support for Ando
Unfortunately, the founder, Ando, announced not long after this year’s convention that AndoCon would be taking a hiatus for a couple years. He cited many logical concerns as well as personal issues that brought him to this conclusion.
Ando also ensured attendees that AndoCon would make a come-back in the next 1-2 years. While the board gaming community is sad to see the convention go for now, there was also a good amount of respect for his decision.
AndoCon is a small but loved gaming convention and the metro-Atlanta gaming community will be eagerly awaiting the return. Social media seems to be a good platform for female gamers to get in the game, so to speak. Being able to show/prove their devotion and experiences through photos, posts, and tweets will hopefully help the world take notice and respect the female gamer. As someone who attended AndoCon 2016, I can attest to the large female representation at the con. Maybe AndoCon could consider supporting the female gaming community further by creating a special hashtag such as #WomenofAndoCon to show the world that women are gamers too!
Indie gaming companies not only thrive on direct to the consumer experiences such as AndoCon, but it is clear they are also giving back through social media support that a small convention needs to continue growing. Ando doesn’t stop his support one the convention is over, he continues to support the Kickstarter campaigns of these companies throughout the year. This mutual dedication and partnership will benefit both parties in the long run.
It can be easily inferred that AndoCon could benefit greatly by further cultivating these relationships with the local gaming businesses.
As for the support AndoCon receives from the community, Ando says it best when he says of AndoCon “I am Ando, and so can you!”