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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Board Game Geek Report

Steve Cole Reports: We had been wanting to attend the Board Game Geek Convention in Dallas for two years, ever since our then-Marketing Director Ken Burnside told us how great a show it would be for us. I mean, we publish boardgames, right? We couldn't make it due to schedule conflicts in 2005 or 2006, and almost canceled this year due to the recent problems (the death of my mother and others) but were determined to go.

We had a pleasant drive down on Wednesday the 14th, although Mapquest does leave something to be desired. Trying to read the last six short-order turns in the dark while moving without missing a turn was a challenge, but we got there. The convention people were incredibly nice, helped us get better tables arranged in a better way.

We got up Thursday, got to the booth, finished set up, and were ready for business at noon when the dealer area opened. Right then, we knew something was different about BGGC. There was no "rush to the dealer room" as there has been at every convention we have ever been to. Seems "everybody knew" (except us) that BGGC was not a big "selling" show; the people were just there to play games, not to buy them. There wasn't even much interest in seeing new games or trying a demo of a game. After a couple of hours, we walked around and noticed that the term "boardgame" means different things to different people. To BGGC, we don't sell boardgames; we sell wargames, which people at BGGC aren't interested in. To us, the "board" games played at BGGC were not board games at all, but hobby games, parlor games, and family games. By mid-afternoon, we were talking about pulling out and going home, and by the end of the day we had decided to do so. There just was no point in staying. Very few there were interested in what we had to sell, and we didn't even see any games we wanted to play. So, Friday morning, we packed up and went home. It was a pleasant drive on a good road and we got home safely.

Don't get me wrong. BGGC is a great convention (if you like Settlers of Catan and "German" games a lot, I mean, really, a whole lot), and it is run very well by really nice people. It's just not a convention for anything other than "German" games and it's not a convention where you can expect to sell much, just "show" things.

Addendum by Steven Petrick:

Sorry there was no Blog yesterday. I was home ill.