The dust settles on yet another awesome PHD event. Battles were fought, monsters slain, buildings destroyed, Meeples eaten and loot gained. At the home of PHD in Orlando, FL a large contingent of manufacturers arrived to challenge our host of excited adventuring retailers in our inaugural Speed Gaming event.
This event replaced our normal Open House. A new and innovative idea, retailers had an afternoon of meeting the manufacturers, seminars and presentations followed by a sumptuous banquet and an evening full of small group adventuring action. This gave everyone the ability to get a lot of individual experience with the games and a chance to talk more with the representatives of those companies and fellow retailers.
The atmosphere was electric, the information amazing and the demonstrations fun and exciting as Retailers were split into 8-person Adventuring groups and went forth to tables of encounters for 20 minutes.
One encounter was myself talking about how to we can help maximize product sell through, Organized Play creation and tools available, such as demo programs. Another was a raucous game of Rampage done by Asmodee. Releasing in early 2014 this game will be a runaway success from the feedback coming from all parties. What isn’t to like since you get to be the Monster running amok in a pseudo city, tearing down buildings, throwing vehicles and eating Meeples. The best bit? You get to do it yourself! Flick, drop, throw, blow, there are a lot of ways a wanabe monster can tear down buildings and gobble down Meeples!
Paizo offered event appropriate, demos of Pathfinder. Understanding we were very focused on helping stores build better businesses through Organized Play they brought Mike Brock, Pathfinder Society Coordinator, to outline how they can get Pathfinder Society members in their store to kick-start their Organized Play.
Iello (pronounced Yellow) ran games of the super popular King of Tokyo and 3 Little Pigs. King of Tokyo continues to sell extremely well with their latest Halloween expansion. If you haven’t picked up a copy, do so. This expansion is a single print run and once its gone they wont be reprinted.
Winner of the noisiest fun game of the night, AEG weighed in with Love Letter. A great counter point to all the building destruction, Love Letter is a fast and furious card game where you’re trying to get your love lament to the Princess before other would be suitors. This had some groups whooping and hollering as cards were played and certainly outlines how much fun was being had.
Another game ideal for the adventuring theme of our event, PSI brought us Dungeon Roll and had retailers vieing head-to-head for who could delve the farthest, for longest and getting more victory points.
While all this was going on emissaries of Wizards of the Coast were talking with people about Wizards Event Reporter (WER), asking what could be further enhanced/added to elevate this great tournament software. WER is currently the best software available from any manufacturer and because of the huge amount of customization I often use the software for all my events, even non-Wizards. As their emissaries deliberated and cogitated another team of demoers took retailers through games of Kaijudo. With the usual great Wizards OP support this game will be around for the long haul and we recommend getting a group going in your store.
They seem like new guys on the block but Enterplay has been part of the industry for nearly 10 years now and they showed everyone their new addition: My Little Pony TCG. This game has all the components of being a sure fire hit. Enough strategy to keep the hard core TCGer satisfied with a good entry level of complexity to make it easy to understand and start to play. Oh and you get to play with amazing art cards directly from the cartoon series! Even the serious gamer in me will want to play this once it comes out!
Between encounters we gave away a lot of goodies, including amazing bundles of products, a 51″ Flat Screen TV, full uncut foil sheets of Kaijudo Dojo Edition and Magic: the Gathering Modern Masters. The last item went to a store from Brazil, yes we’re international with our sister company Coqui, and the cheering that broke out from the Latin American stores was nothing short of the passion seen normally at a Football Game.
All-in-all an amazingly fun event and one we’ll be repeating in the future. Be sure to check the website regularly as we’ll have details in the near future. But don’t just take my word on how fun these were. Comments are already coming in before folks have barely got home. So let me have a couple of them tell you themselves.
“Twenty minutes of rotating between publishers to experience their games, while giving you the tools to sell once back in the stores, was an exceptional way to set the event apart. Entire weekends at GAMA didn’t expose me or my staff to this one-on-one time with publishers or their games. Events like these usually put someone at a table for an extended period of time while missing out on multiple other demos and publisher interaction. At this event every publisher and attendee had to get everything accomplished in 20 minutes. And the free swag that went in the bag at each table actually had some meaning when bringing it back to the store.
The event was very informative and well done. I just wish I could have had every employee there.” Coliseum of Comics, FL.
“Thanks again for the expo, we both had a great time. We are going to set up a similar event here in on the 23rd where we want to have anywhere from a half dozen to a dozen of those type games. We are going to have a pizza party and have players move from table to table in 30 minute increments to introduce them to the games as there appears to interest with just the copies we brought back.” PC Outpost, NC.
For those that attended we thank you for such a fun time.
For those that missed out, make sure to attended next time. You won’t regret it.