DanyCon (How to Host a Board Game Party)

Two weeks ago we threw our first ever DanyCon – a weekend board game “convention” sponsored by The DanyCast.  The inaugural event was invite only with the guest list limited to our siblings and their significant others.  Future events may have a more widespread invite list so don’t despair!

Welcome BagsDanyCon_Bags

A convention isn’t complete without free swag!  We gave out foldable tote bags with matching DanyCon shirts.  Erin made everyone puzzle books and we also included “win, lose, banana” and a random little game or expansion.  I also included a chocolate bar and the program. Then I did something silly.  I found a bunch of free “nano-games” on the internet and printed them out.  Then depending on their number of players I distributed 2 to each player so everyone got different combinations.  Everyone was supposed to find others who had the same game and play a round with them, but I think that only a few of the games actually got played.  Here were the ones I chose:

Birds are Amazing by Hannah Shaffer

Glimpse by Evan Rowland

Sad Things on Index Cards by Ben Wray and Marshall Miller

What is a Role-Playing Game by Epidiah Ravachol

Fortune Cookies and Nuclear War by Nick Wedig

Coin Age by Adam P. McIver

Even Dany got a welcome treat!

Even Dany got a welcome treat!


Will & I have hosted board game days in the past to try and inspire our friends to join in on our board game addiction, but this was a bit different.  Since this was a “convention” we put together a schedule (it ended up being a bit too ambitious).  My brother designed the program.  Check out this adorable pamphlet and our very ambitious schedule!

We wanted to have some activities that weren’t board games so people didn’t get too burnt out from board games – but instead we barely played any games!!20160611_134122

Erin put together a puzzle hunt which was super fun – but some people got frustrated!  Next year we have some ideas to improve it (like making the entire packet open at the beginning so people can parallelize efforts).20160611_115503

Jesse brought his guitar and we had a sing-a-long around the fire pit complete with s’mores. That was a ton of fun, hopefully our neighbors didn’t mind us belting out wagon wheel late at night…

Chaos during the Happy Salmon tournament

Chaos during the Happy Salmon tournament

The favorite games of the convention were Happy Salmon and But Wait There’s More which are very fun, quick party games.  If you want to hear more about them, check out The DanyCast.



Since everyone was coming in from out of town we provided food and lodging for everyone.  My sister in law is now a vegan so I focused on a menu that would be easy to swap out the main meat to accommodate.  I have a TON of board game themed platters etc, but somehow I didn’t take any pictures of them!  In addition I usually throw a tablecloth on our boring grey tables to make them a bit more friendly looking but I didn’t have time for that at lunch.  Here’s what I had for menus:

Friday Dinner

  • Hamburgers or Veggie burgers
    • Tomatoes, onions, pickles, lettuce
  • American potato salad (with mayo)
  • Grandma’s German potato salad (vegan)

Saturday Breakfast

Saturday Lunch

  • Ann’s Vegan Burritos or
  • Crock pot chicken tacos (dump chicken thighs, plus a jar of salsa+jar of water, cook on low 10 hours, shred)
    • sour cream, guacamole, salsa, lettuce, onions
  • Chips & Salsa

Saturday Dinner

  • Vegan Meatballs (from Trader Joe’s) or
  • Meatballs with tomato sauce over penne
    • Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic knots
  • Romaine, tomato, onion, salad with Italian dressing

Sunday Breakfast


Meeple Sugar Cookies

Meeple Sugar Cookies

Everyone slept in pretty late, so I didn’t end up putting out breakfast until 10 or 10:30 on Saturday which threw off our whole eating schedule.  I think next time I’ll just have a basket of muffins and a bowl of fruit that people can graze on, then make the real meals lunch & dinner.

Overall it was a fun weekend and I can’t wait for next year!

DanyCon 2016!

DanyCon 2016!

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