Hello everyone! Heading into a major convention is always a crazy experience. With a calendar of more events than anyone can possibly imagine and hundreds, if not thousands, of vendors, it was hard for me to decide exactly what to do.
First, I decided I was going to compete in one event for myself. The rest of the time I had planned to be working with various companies to find the best new products for our communities. On Thursday, I played in the Shadespire event they held, because I’ve loved playing it in my free time, and took 5th place. Not bad for never having competed in a major tournament for the game.
The rest of my time was spent with game designers, manufacturers and distributors. Each had their own unique product desiring shelf space at Gameology. There were two things to keep in mind: what would people actually want to see in store and keeping within the budget I had brought with me. Although a majority of the financial commitments I made were over the course of several months, this does affect the store in a huge way.
Distributor presence was massive. That was a fantastic experience for me, as the store just started doing business with two new ones. They all had unique items to offer and their representatives clearly demonstrated their experience dealing with stores like ours for years. We were able to talk about what new items we should be stocking from card game accessories, to board games, and paints.
The vendor floor is a massive ordeal. It took me 3 days to make my way through it. It didn’t hurt to stop at every booth, even the ones I didn’t have plans to buy from, and say, “hi, I have a store, what would you like me to buy?” It definitely engaged conversation, and helped me build up my understanding of what products were worth investing in.
The most notable visits were with Wizkids, Dwarven Forge, Blue Orange and a few independent companies who’s products you already see on our shelves. If you want to know more about the games I saw that are on the horizon or just dropped, feel free to come in and ask!
~ Kevin Gaffuri
Editor’s Note: We have SEVERAL Demos and new product lines that were exclusives to GenCon, including DC Spyfall and Reef, which have both been hugely popular with our crowd!