Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster

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Brainstorming a hypothetical UK puzzle convention

Here's an idea to kick around. There are plenty of games conventions in the UK, as discussed previously. There are plenty of puzzle conventions around the world. However, unless you know something I don't, there isn't a puzzle convention in the UK. Why not? What might one include?

Disclaimer: nothing here is anything other than the very earliest, roughest form of speculation.

Potential attendees:
* crossword fans (possibly the Listener / Magpie crowd?)
* sudoku solvers
* WPC types
* ARG players and/or organisers
* armchair treasure hunters
* puzzle event attendees
* chess puzzle fans
* puzzle authors
* puzzle software authors
* maze designers and/or solvers
* other puzzle professionals
* maybe geocachers/letterboxers/etc.
* maybe magic fans (and I'm thinking lower-case, rather than :the Gathering)
* MENSA puzzle SIG people, on the assumption that such a thing exists
* general smart types: quizzers, IQ test folk, mental skills fraternity at large
* people who attend puzzle events worldwide
* are there other subgenres I'm missing here...?

Potential competitions:
* crosswords (does the Times still have a regular contest?)
* sudoku (might we be able to produce a more tempting event to hold a contest at? I may have connections here)
* chess problems (does a tournament for this still exist?)
* qualification and/or practice for world puzzle and/or sudoku championships
* competitions in other abstract puzzles (kenken etc.) especially with sponsorship
* extravaganzas / puzzle hunts
* formats derived from puzzle-friendly game shows
* design contests
* what other contests do existing puzzle events feature...?

Potential venues:
* universities
* hotels
* holiday camps
* other conference venues...?

Schedule items:
* masterclasses
* people promoting their specialities to try to get crossover interest from fans of other subgenres
* demonstrations of unusual subgenres
* product launches
* possible sharing of material from other puzzle events, though only if permitted by those other events
* speakers
* guests of honour
* exhibitions of collections (e.g.)
* what else...?

Potential side trips:
* mazes
* follies
* puzzle-centric locations (Bletchley Park...?)
* museums and/or other collections
* where else...?

Potential funding sources:
* magazine and/or book publishers, if we have a very, very compelling product
* professionals for networking, " " " " " " " "
* media partners, " " " " " " " "
* knowledge economy sponsors
* puzzle manufacturers for product launches
* Cultural Olympiad funding
* patrons
* charity status and then Gift Aid
* charging attendees enough to cover costs (ouch)
* who else...?

What am I missing? How does this sound to people? Is there anyone reading this with enough time, resources and expertise to devote to leading the project? I'd be interested and have some experience, but some parts interest me more than others.

Please redirect any comments here, using OpenID or (identified, ideally) anonymous posting. Thank you!

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