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ISO branding for a new Convention
I have been cursed!
I'm destined to finish my career at the Ivory Tower I've called home for twenty years. To withstand the punishment of another two decades in academia, I decided I needed to fixate on two things that will make me look forward to living.
1) My annual international course.
2) Hosting a gaming convention.
I need your help. I've amassed a legion of faculty and staff to help launch the gaming festival for next Fall. We're working on logistics, and because we're education based - we're a bit behind schedule.
I'm partially to blame, because I'm not 100% convinced we have our branding correct. Care to help?
WE NEED A NAME.
Context is everything:
1) Venue = College of Southern Maryland
2) Dates = September 23 and 24, 2023
3) School Mascot = Hawk
FYI: The Southern Maryland region is sometimes referred to (in writing) as SOMD
I've been fixated on associating the convention name with our school mascot. But that bit of tunnel vision may be my head strong downfall. After a lot of polling and discussion, we've "brainstormed" the following:
BOPCON (Birds of Prey Convention)
Tables and Fables
Dice Dice Baby
All ABoard, a Tour of Games
Dice and Fantasy
Once Upon a Campus
Once Upon a Con
Camelot College Con
Hexes and Hit Points
Pips and Bits
Hawkland Game Fest (or Con)
HAG Con (Hawk Analog Gaming Con)
__(insert clever name here)____ Unplugged
SMAGFest (Southern Maryland Analog Gaming Festival, prob too similar to MAGFest though)
SMAGCon (Southern Maryland Analog Gaming Convention)
SOMD GG (Southern Maryland Gaming Gauntlet "Throw down the Gauntlet")
Beyond the Tabletop
Beyond the Console
SOMD Analog Gaming Festival
Do any of these ideas sound like a winner? Like, "Wow. I can't wait to see THAT logo!"
Anyone have a better idea?
There is a rule of thumb in branding that you want to stick to a name with three syllables or less. Otherwise, people will come up with their own name of three syllables or less. So for example, if you went with Once Upon a Campus from your list above, people will tend to call it Once Upon. I think that your Hawk Con is good, and if it really becomes successful, it could easily become Hawk Con - Fall and Hawk Con - Spring while still staying at just three syllables.
Then if you want to be too clever, Archimedes was an owl but your logo could be a hawk in a wizard hat.
Working with anything Hawk is an ideal sell to our President's Council. This convention will be a soft recruitment for our school (College of Southern Maryland), so having an association with our mascot is a BIG plus.
And that's where I've been stuck. My head is stuck with BOPCON. I feel I can have it both ways: Birds of Prey can be illustrated and merched out with menacing war birds, while BOPCON can be addressed in bubble gum pop sensibility. This convention will nix specificity and have a bit of everything (board, table, war, party, role playing, live role playing, plus demos / vendors / lectures). There's already a sub-committee for the COSPLAY parade.
Kettle Con was on my list early, and shot down. It sounded too much like a cooking and/or popcorn convention.
Hawk Con was up there, but most agreed that when pronounced - it sounded like someone was coughing or sneezing.
Raptor Con is already in use.
Tables and Fables has its fans, but I'm not 100% with it.
Hawkland Game Festival is painfully generic, but it does seem to check the boxes.
IDK. May need to start doodling some logos.
Shellhead wrote: For what it's worth, a group of hawks is called a kettle of hawks, a boil of hawks, or a cast of hawks. But I feel that is obscure enough information that it might not lead to a good convention name.
Man, I would TOTALLY go to Boil Con, just make sure that zip popping doc lady is there
So now I'm really leaning into Hawkland Game Fest.
I have my problems with it, but at least you know what you're getting.
By all means, keep the suggestions coming!