Top gaming festival for Harrogate as AireCon returns

The UK’s second largest (analogue) gaming festival is coming to Harrogate soon.

Monday, 10th February 2020, 3:50 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 5:44 pm

After launching in a flat in North Leeds in 2015, AireCon is now one of the biggest events of its kind in the UK.

In a coup for Harrogate Convention Centre, thousands of enthusiasts from all over the world will heading there next month to play, test new games, discuss the future of the industry and more.

Some people may have assumed board gaming was done for but as the world became more and more digital but, in fact, its popularity is constantly rising.

This year's event at Harrogate Convention Centre on March 13-15 has already seen more tickets sold than ever for the two days of gaming, exhibitions, product launches, large scale social games, special guests and more.

Originally set up by director Mark Cooke as a place for him and his friends to hang out and play games, the first AireCon was held in his North Leeds flat before moving to a venue in Bradford for its first two public events in 2016.

After quickly outgrowing its first venue and realising they were onto something big, Airecon added engineer Rick Meeson and Nabil Homsi, director of the Travelling Man chain of comic and board gamenshops, to the team to focus on expansion.

A long search led them to Harrogate Convention Centre, their home since 2017 and a platform that has allowed them to become one of the largest events of their type in the UK.

Mark Cooke, AireCon Show director and founder, said: "We're thrilled to see the growth over the last few years since AireCon's inception in a flat in North Leeds.

"This year is bigger and better again, with more space to play, more exhibitors, more guests and a new hall as well.

"However, we are confident that, despite the growth, AireCon will remain one of the friendliest and most welcoming events around."

An essential date for true fans, AireCon 2020 will be hosting some of the biggest names in the business including French publisher Asmodee, the second largest games publisher in the world behind Hasbro and current producers of the iconic Catan series, Germany’s Oink Games and UK distributor Coiledspring Games.

As well as offering the opportunity to test and play the most exciting new games in the world, AireCon also offers a huge amount of table space for attendees to meet together and game, a board game library from Travelling Man, featuring over 500 games available to borrow for free and a family zone run by international educational gaming heavyweights Imagination Gaming.

Tickets are on sale at www.airecon.co.uk