First off, I’d like to send a big THANK YOU to Barrie Game Exchange (BGE) for putting on another outstanding show. My first time visiting this amazing event was when I exhibited back in fall of 2018. I’ve seen and heard about it for years but never thought it was going to be anything more than a game swap. Boy was I wrong.
I’d also like to thank the board and video gaming community for coming out and supporting such an awesome show, the various vendors (like me) and giving Barrie something unique to celebrate 2x a year. Yes! You heard correct. This show happens twice a year. One in Spring, the other in Autumn.
Traffic was slow for me at BGE 2019, and I know a large part of that has to do with the fact that I don’t have any industry recognized media or merch. At a glance I’m just some guy with a Go/Checkers looking game and a bunch of words on cards. The thing I’ve come to accept with the 20+ years of game and fan conventions (on both sides of the table) is that a glance is all it takes. In that moment, can I capture an interest. It’s either provide something people have seen and love, or something so abstract they can’t help but take a closer look. I don’t offer neither so that is my challenge.
The show itself offers a lot. The vendors there range from full on games shops to collectors unloading stuff from their basements. The amount of people I saw selling game manuals, game cases (no games included) and empty console boxes was insane. Yes. People buy empty boxes for retro consoles. It’s a thing. That’s all on the video game side of things. There were also retro and vintage collectors hawking their old board games, clocks, electronics, dishware (I know) and anything else the geek culture would find fascinating.
On my end, as an indie designer with unique unknown games, I’ve been surprised at the general interest I’ve received. Yes, it’s primarily a video game swap but there are a lot, and I mean a LOT, of tabletop enthusiasts who visit these shows. Games are games and I believe I’m in the right place. Providing a more general interest in merch is my current goal for 2019. Some of those items include more novelty ideas like custom coaster, shot glasses, vinyl stickers, better keychains, wearables/jewellery and more. Keeping them in the realm of tabletop or maybe expanding into the video games may help get more bodies to the table. Then I can hook them on the wonders that are StormGate and Word•a•Bout.
There are more conventions to come this year and I can’t wait to get behind the table again. BGE 2019 is a refresher every year. The next big show is the CottageCountryComicon (CCC) in Orillia on May 19. For more info check out their site. Below is a little gallery showing some of wares created for the show. Here’s to a successful and delightful 2019 season. Check out more social posts at my Facebook page and Instagram (@adlinteractive). OH! And keep an eye out for PostPlay Novelties. I’m finally getting into the accessories and merch game with up-cycled and tabletop inspired goods.
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