Many years ago, back in good old 2007, being green to proper gaming, I decided to go to a games convention called “Dragonmeet”. During that time, it was held in South Kensington’s Civic Centre. It was either October or November and it was cold, but I was excited. I was told good things about this place and they were right, they gave us freebie bags filled with some nice goodies. We signed up for some tabletop gaming and had a blast; we stayed from mid morning until night time.
Then in the next year, with the recession hitting, Dragonmeet definitely were feeling it. Spirits were low and so were the games. It felt really cheap and tacky (just as non gamers envision us di geeks to be going to). The next year wasn’t great either – spirits improved but the content did not. Therefore, after three years I stopped going. For the next five years I gave it a pass; I just couldn’t go back to such as disappointment. During that time my husband decided to go two years ago and said it was okay; nothing like 2007 though. We couldn’t go in 2014 (I think I was ill) and we decided to give it another chance this year.
They held it in Earl’s Court (not too far from the convention centre) and it sounded like they had gotten back on their feet. Well, as to my surprise, it was an utter disappointment. It wasn’t like back in 2008 when the recession hit. No, this time what failed it was their disorganization and also, lack of games to play. However those games that were up for grabs was mostly Pathfinder games (a sub division of Dungeons & Dragons). It would’ve been a lot better if people actually played tabletop games that were being sold in the vendor area!
Their website claimed to have gotten a bigger space; that wasn’t the case and in fact the venue felt smaller; it was more contemporary rather than dated but it was still, small.
They supposedly had authors there, signing books and the like but they weren’t all in one place and were quite dispersed in the small venue which made them really ambiguous.
Next they apparently had a tournament that was supposed to go on, but it was not only not openly spoken about, but it was also hidden away in some conference room. What was it about? How do you get in? The world will never know.
Vendors selling things – there were supposed to be more independent labels there but to be honest, I couldn’t tell if one table was selling mainstream things to someone who wasn’t. The only ones that were very clearly selling mainstream items were the ones who were selling board games. How can you try and support independent games companies when you can’t tell them apart?
They had a small room where you could play test board games – that seemed to be a bigger hit than the vendors and the “table top” sessions going on put together.
For many years now it seems that Dragonmeet has become an overpriced “convention” that need to rethink how they’re bringing the di geeks together. It’s currently not worth making the trip into London for and I do not recommend it.