Some people stay away from conventions because they don't like "competitive gaming" or tournaments. That's fine, but there is so much more going on than tournaments. We played in a two-day fluffy narrative 40k event and the only competition going on was who could be the most enjoyable opponent. There are also hobby seminars and painting classes going on.
If you can't make the trek to Vegas or Chicago (Adepticon), good news! One of the largest and best run gaming conventions in the world is right in our back yard - the NOVA Open. It runs over Labor Day weekend and is in its fifth year. Check it out at www.novaopen.com. (Victory Comics is a sponsor of the NOVA Open - yay!)
Below are way too many pics from the Narrative event, hosted by the Narrative Guys.