Around this time last year, I took ZombieZone down to the Congress of Gamers in Rockville, MD. It was a collection/gathering of people playing games in a huge senior center about 3 hours from my house. There was some organized play, but I went for the Unpub Protozone. Basically, it's a room for designers to test out their projects with other designers and gamers. Definitely worth a 3 hour drive.
My Cardinal Convention Rule: Avoid Sundays at all costs. Why? Basically, the spark is gone. By Sunday everyone is heading out, packing up, tired, broke, and done with it all. I even booked a 6AM Sunday flight out of Gen Con this year just to leave on the wave of Saturday night (which ended beautifully with a huge 20 person dinner at Buca Di Beppo. Sunday wasn't going to beat that). So yes, Sunday is a big no-no for me.