Monday, April 20, 2009

Tasty Minstrel Games: GAMA trade show

The trade show last weekend was very interesting! I had no idea what to expect, so when halfway through the first exhibition day someone apologized for it being so slow, I was a little surprised. I guess there's usually a lot more traffic. But hey, it's a recession - maybe a little silver lining is that in a recession while most things are going down, board games can actually thrive. The big example being Monopoly becoming a huge success during the Great Depression. Board games are cheap entertainment compared to something like a movie.

If the first day of the show was slow, then the second day was flat out dead. Many people were only there the first day. But nonetheless, Michael, Erin and I exchanged a lot of business cards, met a lot of people, and made a lot of contacts with various retailers, manufacturers, and distributors. Many people seemed to like our name, "Tasty Minstrel." :)

All through the show I was amused by the catch-22 wherein retailers would stop by our booth, listen to my spiel about the games, and say "yeah, we could sell that in our store... but they don't buy from the publisher, they go through their distributor. Then distributors would come and say 'yeah, we could bu that, but we don't know if it'll sell.' So how do you bridge the gap? I guess that's the question!

I met a number of people at the show, including a couple of game designers. I invited them to join the Board Game Designers Forum. I also met Mike Compton, who's postings and blog I have read online - he runs a store in Utah, and heads up a design group up there.

The strangest thing for me was meeting with Mike Nickoloff, who's company Sorvent aims to connect designers with appropriate publishers. He met with us to pitch some games... to pitch me games, not the other way around.


Simon said...

Seth, have you checked out Impressions Advertising and Marketing? Their website is here:

They represent small publishers to distributors. They may be able to help you out.

Good luck with the company and your games! It sounds exciting.

Pinebars said...

Good luck with the start-up!

I am doing research to start my own game company so I will probably be poking my head in around here from time-to-time,