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6 Sides of Gaming: 2021 Convention Calendar

We’re in the final leg of 2021 but there’s still lots of gaming to be had! Check out these upcoming conventions and set phasers on fun.



Holy hand grenade, it’s October! With GenCon 2021 now officially in the books we gotta say, it’s nice to be getting back into the swing of things and getting out there to see what new amazing games are coming down the pipes. In case you missed GenCon this year (and who are we kidding, lots of people couldn’t make it) we’re taking a look at upcoming gaming conventions that you can still hit up before the end of the year.

Don’t worry, there’s still lots of fun to be had, cosplay to show off and hot, new games to check out before we ring in the new year. Without further ado, the last leg of 2021’s convention calendar watch!

Geekway To The West

Time: October 4 – 7, 2021
Place: St. Louis, MO

Catching the beginning of the ghoulish, Halloween season, Geekway is an amazing 4 day event with a self-professed agenda of Peace, Love, and Board Games. Taking place just outside of St.Louis, Missouri, this convention draws around 3,000 enthusiastic gamers who are free to come with games of their own or borrow from the massive Geekway Library.

This is a really fun and laid back 4 days of door prizes, play and win tournies, a great flea market and ticketed events like Battling Tops and Fancy Games. If you don’t have a chance to catch the event this year, make sure to put it on your calendar for 2022 because this is a super fun time where gamers of all types can come see and play new games.

Essen Spiel

Time: October 14 – 17, 2021
Place: Essen, Germany

The Spiel convention, hosted in Essen, Germany is where serious gamers meet to play new games and observe new trends coming down the pipe in the gaming community. Spiel acts as a staging event for top board game designers and publishers and there’s going to be something there for all genres and age groups. In addition to being a great convention, Spiel also offers deals on rooms through ExpoBeds. This includes special room rates and increased flexibility with scheduling.

Spiel has been throwing its annual event for 37 years and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Additional events at this year’s Spiel include a showcase of both international and national comic and merchandising articles by Comic Action. There’s also a day focusing on using games for educational purposes as well as the innoSPIEL awards ceremony giving innovative, novel games the recognition and praise they deserve!

Geekway Mini

Time: November 12 – 14, 2021
Place: St. Louis, MO

In case you can’t make it to the main Geekway event and are jonesing to play some games and meet new people, FEAR NOT! Geekway Mini is sure to scratch your gaming convention itch. Held in the same area as the main Geekway event, this one offers a more straightforward…mini….affair. That being said, it’s still set in a nice big room with lots to see and do.

Gone are the door prizes and much of the distraction that larger gaming conventions are rife with. In its place is a tight, game-centric event for people who want to eat, sleep and bathe in games for an entire weekend. It’s just as friendly as its parent event with people bringing games of their own or playing games owned by the Geekway library.


Time: November 17 – 21, 2021
Place: Dallas, TX, USA

If you aren’t familiar with Board Game Geek, please take a moment (after reading this) to visit their site. It is a glorious, community-curated gaming site with information, pictures and conversation on just about any game I’ve ever wanted to find out about. It would make sense that these guys would go and launch their own convention.

The theme for this year’s convention is Road Trip and will feature the artwork of Anca Gavril who’s illustrated artwork for games such as Loot of Lima, On Tour, Bites and more. Leading up to the main event there will be a Tabletop Network designer’s retreat where like-minded gamers can network and talk all things board games!

While BGG.CON will still be using social distancing measures there will still be lots of really fun gaming to be had and this year’s convention and with it being one of the last big gaming conventions in 2021, you could easily use this as a research mission as the holiday season approaches!

PAX Unplugged

Time: December 10 – 12, 2021
Place: Philidelphia, PA, USA

Here it is guys. The last shebang before 2021 expires. Pax Unplugged is held in the lovely city where spreadable cream cheese was born. A quick visit to their site shows a brief synopsis of the event. PAX Unplugged is a tabletop gaming-focused event specifically tailored to lovers of board games, RPGs, miniatures, cards, and more. Featuring thought-provoking panels, a massive expo hall filled with the best publishers and studios, new game demos, tournaments, and a community experience unlike any other.

That basically sounds like a dream come true for gamers everywhere. One cool event that takes place across the entire length of Pax is the Omegathon which is a mega-tournie where 20 Omeganauts play a variety of games with each round being sudden-death elimination. It all leads up to an exciting finale between the last 2 competitors.

This event has it all. Workshops for game design, miniature painting, and just learning new games are open for all to explore. Meet game creators, play in tournaments or sit at a table and spend some time adventuring in an RPG. Pax Unplugged is a great way to end a year of gaming conventions and keep everyone pumped and primed for 2022!

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