Falafel Palmer
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I'm trying to convince my boss (we work at a toy store) that he needs to send me to one of the big Gaming Conventions. I'm hoping you guys can give me some pros and cons about these 3. Probably looking for lots of Demos and open gaming. Does anyone one know if the GAMA trade show even offers anything like that, or is it pretty much all seminars? Any insight would be great. The websites don't seem to give a lot of information for if you've never been. Thanks!!
 
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Scott Larabee
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GAMA - You may get a few demos. Not really any open gaming. But it is in Vegas.

GenCon - Tons of open gaming, all the demos you want.

Origins - Skip it. It has everything Gen Con has and less

Scott
 
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Mike zebrowski
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It really depends on your goals.

GAMA offers seminars on how to sell games, so it might be the most useful.

If you are just looking for Demos, then I highly recommend Origins. It is more laid back than Gencon and you'll have more time to talk with reps from the different game companies.

Mike Z
 
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J. David Koch
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I completely agree with Scott.

Have attended many of the gaming conventions over the years and the best by far is Gen-Con.

Origins used to be great back in the day. It is now a pale shadow of it's former self.

Go to Gen-Con and stay for the whole thing.

McGuit
 
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Edward F
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I'd say gencon. Its the biggest of the year. Something for everyone. Wizards of the Coast also said it won't be at Origins this year.
 
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Anye Freer
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The GAMA Trade Show (aka GTS) is as you know a trade show. Besides the seminars it has vendor booths for you to learn about various games. Many of the vendors go to the open gaming room in the evening to run demos of their games or to hang out and play games. However, it is a trade focused show. If you're trying to get sent to a show as a consumer to "have fun" rather than to specifically learn about products for your store, then by all means go to GenCon or Origins (both have a lot of open board gaming as well as scheduled events). But if you want information about product lines as well as just playing, and to make industry contacts, go to GTS.

I have attended all of these shows as a vendor, so I'm speaking with that hat on.
 
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Jay Moore
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DarkJedi wrote:
I'd say gencon. Its the biggest of the year. Something for everyone. Wizards of the Coast also said it won't be at Origins this year.


Is that true? Wizards won't be at Origins? That's crazy! Why would they do that? I mean, it's not the biggest convention, but it's the second-biggest, right? Why would they not even send a few reps and a table or two?
 
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Edward F
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They are not going to have a booth at all. The RPGA will not even be there to run events, another company will be handling all their stuff. No one really knows why they are not going. The just said they can only attend a certain number of cons a year. *shurg*
 
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Ed Browne
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Hmmm. Trying to get your boss to foot your bill to a Convention, huh?

But seriously, I think GenCon is probably the best place of the three. Not knowing in particular what you sell (or are looking to sell) I can't be much more specific.

What GenCon has over GAMA is that it isn't a trade show, it is a gaming convention. You could learn a lot from the merchants who are marketing to the same people your store is... the gamer. At a trade show, they are a lot of "bells and whistles" aimed at YOU, the store. You could be fooled by "fluff" rather than substance and have no gauge of how gamers feel about the product.

At GenCon there are many "individual" stores with booths in the vendor area that you could get marketing ideas from. You could see where crowds seem to be gathering (and possibly cheering) for demo games to see what seems to be popular. This year Arkham Horror sold out its entire printing and it was the buzz of the convention. If someone is selling out of a demo game, then odds are it will sell at your store as well.

If you demo some games, they will sometimes even give you merchandise, which could be given to your boss as samples. For example, lots of CCGs will let people keep the cards from the demo decks they use for the demo.

There are also lots of "smaller" companies and even individual vendors walking around marketing to gamers waiting between games. In 2004, I saw the designer of Lock N' Load: Forgotten Heroes of Vietnam basically self-peddling his game in the food court area(s) by just carrying a copy of the game and asking people to play. I also "discovered" Battlecards (WWII card game) by talking to the designer and having him play a few games with me at GenCon. My local game shop never got those cards in until I started bringing it in and showing people the game and gamers started asking for them.

GenCon is better than Origins merely because, for your money, you will see more vendors and be able to observe more gamers because it is larger.

From a purely business standpoint, you could get a fairly cheap room (might be a bit of a drive), you could easily get by with only paying the basic fee for the convention (and not buying individual event tickets, many events are free that would be helpful to you anyway) and then spend your time in the vendor area and observing the "side tables" in other areas for business and game ideas. Not that expensive and could have huge returns of info. I could see doing this for just a couple hundred dollars or so if you aren't buying event tickets.

Perhaps the boss would pay for your room and daily entrance and then you could offer to spend your own money should there be any actual events you wanted to enter that cost money. Spend one or two days for the boss and one or two for yourself. You'll be able to get lots of observational (and physical) info for him from distributors and other game shops. Offer to take photos and give some written reports (possibly even in email as they usually have email access kiosks at GenCon).

Hope this helps. Good luck convincing the boss.
 
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Falafel Palmer
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Thanks everybody!! very helpful. and actually, i think the convincing is going well, i can feel him begining to weaken Just a touch of the Jedi Mind Trick and we should be good ninja
 
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jeremy cobert
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DarkJedi wrote:
I'd say gencon. Its the biggest of the year. Something for everyone. Wizards of the Coast also said it won't be at Origins this year.


well you just helped me make up my mind. Origins it is!!!! no WOTC means less CCg's which mean less annoying kids. thanks for the heads up on that!
 
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James Stubbs
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I'll be taking in all three. Business demands it

North American Sales Manager, Magnificent Egos Miniatures.


 
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Ed Browne
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Jeremy,

Wow! What a great observation! I avoid the CCG room (and as large a radius around it as possible) at all costs!

Of course, not much different than the no-limit poker tourney I get into usually. Just substitute "annoying adults" for "annoying kids." cool

From a business point of view, though, those kids are spending lots of their parents' money...shake
 
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Tom Jolly
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GTS; Lots of freebies and promotional materials. Free luncheons. Hosted parties for retailers. You know, they're trying to sell you product. The open gaming area tends to be heavy on game demos at night. Texas Hold-em' tourney is fun.

GenCon; all the new games you can play, all day and all night.

TJ
 
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John Bohrer
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MUKid wrote:
Is that true? Wizards won't be at Origins? That's crazy! Why would they do that? I mean, it's not the biggest convention, but it's the second-biggest, right? ?


Essen gets 150,000 folks, Wiener Spielefest about 90,000.
Origins & GenCon get a fraction of that.
WBC is all boardgames! A great time.



John
Pittsburgh
 
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