Monday, June 08, 2009

Games Expo - or 'Where Did My Stock Go?!'

So, this weekend was Games Expo - one of the biggest and broadest events in the UK games calender. Boardgames, wargames and CCGs all rub shoulders with roleplayers in a massive set of halls in Birmingham. It is an exceptionally well organised convention that could easily suck every penny from your pocket.

I approached this con with a degree of uncertainty. Its the most expensive con to attend and the crowd is very varied. You can never tell what will happen. Its quite a financial risk to cover your costs properly. D&H has also been out for 9 months and I recognise that it is quite a niche game, so it must be reaching saturation soon, right? I tried to mitigate this by releasing the 1809 Miscellany, to stimulate sales and put something new out there. Oh I know, its very business and not very 'indie' but I have bills to pay!

So, how did things pan out?

I sold out. I sold out of EVERYTHING. Even my own personal copy of the game.I sold half my stock in the first quarter of the convention. That was unexpected. I sold the game to new people, to people who have played it with their friends, to people who are playing campaigns (!) themselves, to wargamers and (more importantly) to retailers. D&H is now going to be available in stores like Waylands Forge in Birmingham and Leisure Games in London. Moreover, there were people enthusing about it and people genuinely excited about Beat to Quarters.

We also had Revenge of the B-Movie 2, Pulp! and Labyrinths & Lycanthropes on the stall, new games all, and they sold strongly as well. In fact, the stall took a record amount of money which was a shock during a recession.

Long term readers may remember me posting about having difficulties dealing with compliments and this weekend was no exception. I did take the advice and try to use each compliment as a route to talk about further plans etc. It felt a little shilly, but it stopped the embarassed shuffling and annoying silences.

The con was also a massive exercise in restraint for me. Not on the games front, but on the wargames front and the *ahem* research for BtQ front. Warhammer Trafalgar is beautiful. The Victrix Napoleonics now have French *sob* and there were just a load of interesting ... STUFFs! I did buy a cheap box of some of those little CCG style press out ships for BtQ stuff. £5 spent all weekend. I'm like a feckin' saint!

I'm now out of stock. I have never been out of stock. Its a fun feeling.


Anonymous said...

No need to feel shilly. If they're complementing you on the game it either means they're being polite, in which case they deserve it, or, and much more likely, they have an enthusiasm for the game and want to talk to you about it.

To have BtQ discussed with them by the designer is more thrill than shill.


Anonymous said...

Well done Neil. You deserve some compliments so its good you have a strategy.


devilmonkey (aka Peter Frain) said...

Yay! Well done dude! Congratulations on a massively succesful weekend.
Big up your fine self.