Checking in and Getting Your Badge
All attendees need to pick up their badges at the registration desk. All the badges are held there for will call. In order to find you badge, the staff will need either:
1. Badge Number
2. Name on the Badge
3. Name on the account where the badge was purchased
4. Email on the account where the badge was purchased
The badge number and name is the easiest, you can even print your receipt or show it from your phone to verify.
With your badge you get unlimited access to most of the events, space permitting. There are very few paid events at SaltCON. Sometimes you even get some free giveaways from the sponsors!
Here’s some wisdom from other attendees:
“The game library is open and if your alone you can rent a game, go to an open table, and grab some players wanted signs to put at your table. I’ve never looked into the events but I don’t think there’s a way to signing up to play anything from the library, there’s like hundreds of games to pick from. You can also just walk around the hall and look for player wanted signs and sit down with people.” -Dizney
“Some of my favorite SaltCon memories have been wandering through the gaming area looking for a table that needs an extra player. I have discovered a lot of fun games that I never otherwise would have thought about trying, and meet people with fresh perspectives to gaming. Going solo can be a lot of fun.” -Kasey
“I echo the people that are saying some of the best gaming experiences have been just sitting down with people that have a “players wanted” sign. Last year’s summer con I sat down at the hot games with someone else that was there alone and we ended up playing games together the rest of the con! Haha. I also would say – definitely get in some games at the hot games tables. The teachers there are fantastic and you can usually get a good number of players to join you at any time.” -Eric
“My experience with salt con is that people are super friendly, welcoming, and it’s in general a really good community to be around. (Once I had a player come teach me a new game and he absolutely destroyed me at it without teaching me much haha… That wasn’t super fun but it only ever happened once.) I’d say don’t worry about coming in as a party of one. I don’t think anything is non-applicable for you.” -Jessica
“Attending alone might feel isolative, and you will have to reach out to others to build some contacts, but give it a shot. As long as you are comfortable talking to strangers you will definitely be able to find games to play. Bringing people makes it easy to have a set group, but it’s not hard to mix it up. Most people there are friendly and there to keep an open table.” -Rob
“Are there groups of people that come as groups and stick together, of course, but I will guarantee that you will not have a hard time finding games to play and groups to join if you look. There are also several tournaments that would be a good option to sit and play games in mixed company. My first year attending, I don’t think I knew anyone and found myself jumping in with groups all weekend, playing and learning games with new friends.” – Michael
“I do suggest you get in a game early with Meeple Nation through the scheduled events. Great way to meet a few people.” -Brent
What Should I Do First?
Whatever you want! The event is wide open for you to explore, and most importantly, play games! There is a large game hall where most of the tables are open for anyone to sit down and play a game. Either games that you brought with you, or games that you can check-out from the Game Library, or the Play-to-Win area. There are also game publishers, designers, and some volunteers that have games ready to teach you.
In the main game hall, there are signs that you can use. “Player’s Wanted” signs can be put up on your table when you have a game you are getting ready to play, and have room for a few more players. “Teacher Wanted” signs are for when you are setting up a game that you are still learning, and would like someone to help you learn the rules. Everyone who attends is super friendly and always willing to help learn games or have players join them.
The main game hall is open 24 hours a day, so if you are a night owl, or if you have a game that might take a while, rest assured that in the main game hall, there is no closing time, until the very end of the convention. You can stay up all night, or arrive very early to begin playing any time.
Some things you can check out right away:
We have a collection of over 2000 games that are available to all attendees to check out and play during the convention. They are free to check out for anyone with a badge, and you can return and check out as many games as you want, but just 1 at a time per badge. The games are sorted alphabetically by title, and there are some volunteers in the room to help you find games you are looking for.
You can check out games every day, and even check out games overnight, and return them in the morning when the game library opens back up.
The smaller games are spread out on tables in the middle of the room so that they don’t get lost on the main shelves with all the larger games.
Smaller events like SaltCON Bryce won’t have the full library available. Check the announcements to see exactly what games will be at smaller events.
There are 2 special shelves in the game library:
The Hot Games shelves are where we put the newest games that were most recently released, and we know will have a lot of interest. You can look here for any new game that you’ve heard a lot of recent buzz about!
Hot games have a shorter checkout period than regular games, because they are in high demand. Check them out, and play them right away, then return them so that others can enjoy these brand new releases.
For those with younger family members, we have a shelf dedicated to those games that are light and fun, with a family audience. It’s easy to find games for the right age group on the family game shelf.
Many different game companies come to SaltCON and set up booths and tables in the Exhibitor Hall. The exhibitor hall hours are limited, so plan accordingly.
Exhibitors will have their new games and products to show you, and sometimes you can even sit down right then for a game demo. They’ll have game related accessories, component upgrades, the newest games they have published and more! Anyone can wander and see all the new and exciting things coming and available for board gamers.
Hot Games Area
In the Hot Games Area we have games already setup all day long, which are the newest and hottest games around. Not only are they setup all day, but we have volunteers on staff ready to teach the games to anyone that sits down! Come join a group that’s starting, or bring your friends to sit down and learn. Having a teacher ready to go is one of the best benefits of attending SaltCON!
The RPG Area is where we have all varieties of role-playing games. These games usually require a little more interaction than most board games, so we have round tables setup, and Game Masters ready to play many different RPG systems including D&D Adventurer’s league, and many others!
You can sign up online before the convention to reserve your seat for many of the RPGs on the schedule, and sometimes you can walk right in, find an empty seat, and join in!
If you’ve never played an RPG before, there’s a character creation station where we have volunteers on hand to help you learn how to get started.
We have several Tournaments each day that you can participate in, including Envoy Regional Championships! You can sign up before the tournament to guarantee a seat to participate, and sometimes they will have empty seat available for people just showing up. Tournaments usually involve a few rounds of play, and can be a great way to enjoy some great games.
Artemis is a space bridge simulator! Imagine you are on the crew of a space ship, each of you with your assigned roles, and a mission to complete together. In this cooperative experience you can each sit at your own station, and help your crew resolve a conflict, find a hidden treasure, or face down alien species. Sign ups available before the convention, and also during the convention.
Buying, Selling, and Trading
There are several opportunities to buy, sell and trade board games at the convention, in addition to the Exhibitor Hall.
Game Swap Room – This is a room open to all attendees to put their games they want to sell with a price and a payment link. Other attendees can browse anytime and purchase, or offer trades, or find any deal they can.
Flea Market – This is a scheduled event where attendees can setup their stacks of games on a table, and attendees can browse and buy. Usually on Saturday morning, only for the scheduled time.
Virtual Flea Market – This event takes place before the convention, where attendees list their games online to sell, and then they plan a meeting time during the convention to meet up and exchange cash for games.
Math Trade – This is a big game trading event where all participants input all the games they want to trade away, and all the games that they want to get, and then they let an algorithm calculate the maximum number of trades.
The events that are scheduled can change every year, but these are some of the highlights that happen most years:
Game Show and other Large Events
The Game Show is a live, interactive event for many teams to participate. There is a different theme each year, such as Pointless or Family Feud. There are also large social events like social deductions games, or giant role playing events, where many tables compete to be the first to complete the adventure.
Have you ever wanted to learn more about miniatures, and how to paint them? This event is friendly for first timers that want to try painting for the first time. There are usually miniatures and paint on hand for free, and some friendly volunteers that can help you get started!
Every year there are some panels organized with industry players who talk about game design, adventure design, world creation, or the best game ever! See the current year schedule to see what panels we have.
Game designers, here’s your chance to show off your newest design you are working on! Players can just show up and sit down to see some of the newest exciting things in game design, before they are available to the public! Check the schedule for event times.
Do you like puzzles? Do you like puzzles within puzzles? Get a team together and crack the latest mysteries in this once a year event! Different themes, and clever mind tricks abound, as teams of up to 4 people work together to solve the puzzles the fastest, and unlock the master puzzle!