I was talking about the summer's convention schedule with Jim Raggi, and he directed my attention to the UK Games Expo
. He can't go himself, but I might, so I'm curious about it if anybody can tell me more. I can take or leave a June convention like this this year, but if the conditions seem particularly favourable I could see myself going. UK is not that far, after all.
I'm interested in the convention as an exhibition opportunity. My publications are rather convention-friendly, and I usually manage to pay my way in these, so going to conventions is a good way of improving the stock flow and introducing the games to new people. In addition to my own publications I also have the wide and shallow Arkenstone retail library; it's always nice to show that off and lighten the inventory so I get to buy more things for it later.
I'm particularly interested in these issues:
- What's the crowd like at the exhibition? Buy-happy or play-focused, teenager-based or adults, gamers or families? The materials indicate that the exhibition typically draws a crowd of about 2500 people; I've seen that size of convention range from quiet to busy from an indie booth's point of view - which would this be?
- Anybody else going there? I'm especially interested in exhibitioners who share our interests and who might even share a booth with us. I'd probably come to the convention with one extra helper monkey myself, so it wouldn't hurt to get a couple of other people into the same booth to share the work.
- Travel and accomodations logistics, any experiences handling those would be welcome. If somebody wants to come pick me up at the train station so as to avoid me getting lost in Birmingham, that'd be a bonus, for example. Also, if there's something particular about hotel choice or couch-surfing opportunities I should know, then you should tell me.
- The materials I got from Jim seem to indicate that you get 6x6 feet of booth space for a bit over 100 €, which isn't too awful, especially as you also get furniture. Any hidden costs that I should take into account there?
I'm sure that there are some British indie publishers here who've been to this thing several times and can tell me everything I need to know.