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Subject: BGG Bazaar 2016 - Suggestions, Lost & Found, Other Things rss

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Dwayne Hendrickson
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Every year I try to make improvements so please let me know what worked for you and what didn't from either the standpoint of a seller or a buyer. The table arrangement for the inner tables was changed this year, how did that work for everyone?

I am reviewing a few other rules:

* Possibly changing the cutoff time for name substitutions.
* Maybe letting sellers get product to their table but not set up until nine.
* Instituting a policy for No-Shows with no prior notification of being a No-Show.

I also have a few games that got left on tables. Once I unpack tonight I'll update this entry with the names and locations.

Thanks again to all the sellers. We had a few hiccups but I think everything got ironed out. And thanks to the buyers, ya'll donated $83.23 to the Spiel Foundation by purchasing shopping bags for the Bazaar.

Please let me know of any suggestions. If we can't make the change, I'll tell you why. I'm not unreasonable, hard headed at times, but not unreasonable.

UPDATE: Games that were left on tables:









There was something very special about Nova Cry that the person claiming should be able to tell me in order to verify ownership.
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David Short
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The new table arrangement was a good improvement. It felt more spacious this year. Thanks!
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I thought everything ran very smoothly.

My one suggestion would be similar to your second point above: maybe open the doors for sellers at 8:30 instead of 9:00. With a bigger window for setting up, it might stagger things a little better.
 
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Chris Johnson
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The whole thing went great for me this year; very smooth.

My one suggestion would be to think about maybe not letting "retailers" set up; there were two or three tables consisting pretty much of new current-release material at near-retail prices, and it was not at all what I was looking for in a event.

Thanks for all of your work.
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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Point taken regarding retailers. I'll talk to Jeff about this. I don't want BGG to lose out on booth rental due to retailers selling at the Bazaar. Not sure how I would enforce this, but this topic has come up before in the past.
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Miranda Folland
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I think it was great this year.

One suggestion: Post large (if possible) posters of the map of the sellers everywhere. Post it outside the doors and on all the walls. Since the seller layout is not intuitive, this would be really helpful. There would be a lot less wandering around trying to figure out how to find people.
 
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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So you're wanting to know who is at what table? Just curious why you would want to know that.
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Matt Freitas
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i wasn't on them this year but i thought the diagonal tables were a nice change as i walked around i could see their tables from the outer row.

I don't know if i need more time to get in i felt 9 am was fine i had 20 min before the doors opened on my table.

 
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Miranda Folland
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okiedokie wrote:
So you're wanting to know who is at what table? Just curious why you would want to know that.


Oops, I've gotten the Bazaar mixed up with the Virtual Flea Market. My suggestion was for the Virtual Flea Market. My brain is so tired after an absolutely fantastic BGG Con (on Team Geek too). Sorry for the mix up.

So, yes, as for the Bazaar, there's no need to know who is what table. I thought it was especially well done this year. I especially liked the round table set up in the middle. The hardest part, as a buyer, was getting to the tables in the corners, where there was so much less physical space for buyers to stand. We all got bunched up in those corners. Maybe there's a way to cut the corners on an angle (like a diamond) to prevent this.
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Mike Cooper
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Buckets wrote:
okiedokie wrote:
So you're wanting to know who is at what table? Just curious why you would want to know that.


Oops, I've gotten the Bazaar mixed up with the Virtual Flea Market. My suggestion was for the Virtual Flea Market. My brain is so tired after an absolutely fantastic BGG Con (on Team Geek too). Sorry for the mix up.

So, yes, as for the Bazaar, there's no need to know who is what table. I thought it was especially well done this year. I especially liked the round table set up in the middle. The hardest part, as a buyer, was getting to the tables in the corners, where there was so much less physical space for buyers to stand. We all got bunched up in those corners. Maybe there's a way to cut the corners on an angle (like a diamond) to prevent this.


There *were* triangular placards on the tables with things like "Tha...Tro" so you could find someone with that username. The problem was that they were usually left on the table and got surrounded by games. We put ours on top of the highest stack of games and went from there. Would advise that this be de rigueur for next year.
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Matt Freitas
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Thosw wrote:


There *were* triangular placards on the tables with things like "Tha...Tro" so you could find someone with that username. The problem was that they were usually left on the table and got surrounded by games. We put ours on top of the highest stack of games and went from there. Would advise that this be de rigueur for next year.


that was what peopel were supposed to do it started that way once the chaos started it kinda fell to the wayside.

The VFM was the easiest it has ever been. i had found most everyone within 30 min it was crazy.
 
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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And people are STILL confusing the two events.

shakeshake
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Mike Cooper
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okiedokie wrote:
And people are STILL confusing the two events.

shakeshake


If that's the case, then no reason to change the name, right?
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Miranda Folland
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Thosw wrote:
okiedokie wrote:
And people are STILL confusing the two events.

shakeshake


If that's the case, then no reason to change the name, right?


No need to extrapolate from my mix up to other people. I'm just one very tired Con goer who didn't have the brain power left to read properly. I like the new name. It makes a lot of sense.
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Michelle English
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Actually I was not very happy this year for two reasons. First i gave up a small table in order to share a table with someone else. When I got there , there where three of us sharing a round table which was very awkward and uncomfortable when there was a round table in the back corner with one person on it with like 10 games as well as a large middle long table with very few games.

Also someone bought my red dragon inn with 7 expansions and brought it back saying parts where missing which indeed there where. The thing is there was only one other person who took a look at the game prior to that person buying it so between the two I lost $50 dollars since I had to refund the persons money who brought it back. I did not think things like that happened but they did. I was told to report it, but realized what could anyone do? Nothing at all. So lesson learned, a very sad lesson but learned none the less.

So I think those things made me very sad.
 
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Sean Tompkins
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okiedokie wrote:
And people are STILL confusing the two events.

shakeshake


BWa-haha-ha - That's exactly what I thought when this was posted...
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Sean Tompkins
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Eliminating the tables facing each other in the middle was a GREAT improvement - as a seller at one of those tables last year, I can attest that they are frequently ignored. I don't know how easy it was for the sellers who were standing back-to-back at the new layout, but it was much easier to browse the tables that way.
 
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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Cheelara1 wrote:
Actually I was not very happy this year for two reasons. First i gave up a small table in order to share a table with someone else. When I got there , there where three of us sharing a round table which was very awkward and uncomfortable when there was a round table in the back corner with one person on it with like 10 games as well as a large middle long table with very few games.


I do apologize for this. Everyone who requested a Large table indicated that they had at least 40+ games so if they had 10+ perhaps they had sold most of them prior to the doors opening, they overestimated what they would be bringing, they didn't accurately list their inventory.... I don't know.

Regarding the sharing of round tables (aka Large) I had reduced the number of helpers for Medium and Small sellers from two down to one in order to help reduce the overcrowding situation. I was at a Large table myself with three total people trying to work it and I understand the difficulties that you encountered. I'm not sure the best way to resolve this, but it will be on the front burner going into next year

Cheelara1 wrote:
Also someone bought my red dragon inn with 7 expansions and brought it back saying parts where missing which indeed there where. The thing is there was only one other person who took a look at the game prior to that person buying it so between the two I lost $50 dollars since I had to refund the persons money who brought it back. I did not think things like that happened but they did. I was told to report it, but realized what could anyone do? Nothing at all. So lesson learned, a very sad lesson but learned none the less.


Again, I'm sorry to hear about this negative experience. I'm not sure exactly what happened. A Buyer 1 examined the game and didn't purchase it then Buyer 2 purchased it without examining it. Buyer 2 returns the game stating parts were missing and you refund the money to Buyer 2.

Is that correct?

Even though it can slow down a transaction, I always try to open the box and show the buyer the contents so that everyone involved knows what is involved in the transaction. Once or twice I surprised myself to find the game missing instructions (that I was POSITIVE were there when I verified it at home) or that it even included an expansion that I had forgotten about.

I don't know who suggested reporting it (not sure what there was to TO report) but I understand your pain.

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I want to expand on my previous comment about opening the doors a little earlier for sellers.

Some people have a lot of games to set up, some have relatively few. Some have a table to themselves, some are sharing it with one (or more) others. Not everybody needs the same amount of time to set up.

I usually am one of those who have a lot of games, and I'm always sharing my table with someone. I try to be self-sufficient with tubs and a hand-truck to move them with. When I got to the doors, I had to wait outside because it hadn't officially opened yet. That's fine, no problem. However, when other people came up with hotel luggage carts loaded with games, they were allowed in to drop off their games "in order to quickly return the carts to the hotel."

It felt like unfair treatment for *not* using hotel resources. My helpers decided to game the system (as gamers are wont to do) and grabbed a cart for me, transferred my tubs over, and in we went. On the inside we found another, empty cart that someone else had just left there. So much for the "quick return." Of course, we returned them both after dropping off the tubs.

The point of that long story is just: be consistent. If the doors don't open until 9:00, then don't let anyone in before then. If that crowds the hallway, then maybe think about opening it before 9:00 just for anyone with a large amount of games.
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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This was the first year I had someone ask to come in early because the hotel wanted their carts back so I made a snap decision (usually something that I regret).

Back at the old hotel the Flea Market was catch as catch can regarding tables so that's why everyone was allowed in at the same time, otherwise folks just started showing up earlier and earlier and earlier.

I'm rethinking this policy and trying to determine the best workable way to allow everyone the same amount of time to set up. Perhaps allowing product in to be taken to the table and then have sellers wait near a different door.

Your comment about gaming the system brings to mind a few other things that need to be addressed.
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Mike Cooper
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okiedokie wrote:
This was the first year I had someone ask to come in early because the hotel wanted their carts back so I made a snap decision (usually something that I regret).

Back at the old hotel the Flea Market was catch as catch can regarding tables so that's why everyone was allowed in at the same time, otherwise folks just started showing up earlier and earlier and earlier.

I'm rethinking this policy and trying to determine the best workable way to allow everyone the same amount of time to set up. Perhaps allowing product in to be taken to the table and then have sellers wait near a different door.

Your comment about gaming the system brings to mind a few other things that need to be addressed.


Why not just say "Large tables enter at 9:00, Medium enter at 9:15, Small enter at 9:30?" You've already got a list of sellers. Shouldn't it show who has what size table?
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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Good idea!
 
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Mike Cooper
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okiedokie wrote:
This was the first year I had someone ask to come in early because the hotel wanted their carts back so I made a snap decision (usually something that I regret).


This reminds me. Please be cognizant of the luggage carts. Hyatt has been alternately patient/annoyed with us using them to haul games to the bazaar in past years, but I'm worried we're overstepping our bounds on use and not being good citizens. I've been guilty of grabbing one before to haul my games, so I went out and bought a folding dolly for my own use. (I'm local - so take with a grain of salt. I know not everyone can do that.)

To that end, I'm going to suggest that in the spirit of gamer brotherhood, if you do have a dolly or other non-hotel-owned conveyance, please make an effort to loan it to someone else once you get your games into the ballroom.

The question is how to handle that. I will gladly offer up my dolly next year to someone else who has a large table (because they'll need it more than people with medium/small) who would usually have to get a luggage cart.

Suggestions on how to handle welcome.
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Matt Freitas
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Thosw wrote:


Why not just say "Large tables enter at 9:00, Medium enter at 9:15, Small enter at 9:30?" You've already got a list of sellers. Shouldn't it show who has what size table?


I don't see how this solves anything honestly. The large tables want more time, cutting down everyone elses setup time doesn't solve that. I've never seen a problem with people setting up at the same time hindering people.

Also i feel people are always going to line up early. If you let us in at 8:30 carts will show up at 8:05. The bazaar isn't crazy like the VFM just let us all in at the same time and instead hound the people who come in with carts that they get their stuff off asap and go take the cart back. If large tables need more then an hour then open it up earlier don't make everyone else come in later.

My only qualm with the Bazaar i felt this year was you switched from having helper badgers to requiring ID (might have been other years too and it just affected me this year). I feel that's a bit much, who cares if i get one helper if i bring John or Susan. Is the worry that people are printing extra to get buyers early into the bazaar? Perhaps instead of giving out things early and forcing checks you give people a sticker at the door. Ie i show up with my +1 you give me and him a silly sticker from the dollar store to put on our badge now the TG at the door simply has to check for the sticker and it can't be transferred.


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Dwayne Hendrickson
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I really appreciate the input on all of this. Here is a little background on how I have handled things so far:

Originally the Bazaar didn't have assigned tables, so it was first come got table choice. I had to institute the one hour setup with a start time in order to keep people from showing up at 05:00 to get their table choice.

I've had people show up at the very last minute (09:59) and try to set up their stuff, only to get swamped when the doors opened. Therefore I instituted the 09:00-09:50 setup time.

I have always had a name check-in and the past few years I had sent out the badges. You check-in, show your badge, it gets marked (not sure if this happened this year), and then you can come & go without having to check-in over and over. The cutoff date-time for helpers was so that I could have an accurate list for TG to go by. I do like the sticker idea, it's quicker than marking the badge.

I feel that I do need to have a name list of who is coming in, otherwise somebody out there will game the system and print extra badges for their friends. However, since I had 5 instances of helpers not making it either through sickness or having a bad case of abandoning a friend that needed help, it's clear that I need to rethink this part of the policy and make the cutoff for helper names closer to the actual event.

Another area where I feel the system is being gamed is when folks reserve a table and never show up and never contact me. I ended up with three no-shows and sadly I had two folks still on the waiting list. I feel folks are reserving a table for the Bazaar so they have a place to sell things they don't clear out in the VFM. They sell everything in the VFM and then no-show on the Bazaar.

This is a free event but it appears that some people are abusing the system and robbing other folks of a chance to sell in the Bazaar.
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