What a week at the GAMA Trade Show

The 2017 GAMA Trade Show, a convention for the hobby games industry, was this past week in Las Vegas. I was fortunate enough to attend. Not trying to brag here, but I did want to share my experience.

I spent much of Monday attending panels focused on game design. Topics from IP protection to building a small publishing business. Learned a few new things and confirmed much of what I have already learned.

I was unable to attend Tuesday so I spent the entire day working on the GM’s chapter of Ruma. Very productive day, although I started to get swirly late that afternoon from staring at my computer screen for so long.

Wednesday morning found me back at the show helping out a local store with the manufacturer panels. I had hoped to attend the one for Steamforged Games since I’m a big fan of Guild Ball, but ended up in a 3 hour panel for Mayfair Games. It was pretty cool though. They walked everyone through playing three of their board games and announced they were giving copies of all three games to attendees. The store owner will like those.

That afternoon, I had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Chesney of Hawk Wargames and Seppy Yoon of Fight in a Box. Let me backtrack a bit. I have been a Hawk Talon (a demonstration volunteer for Hawk Wargames) for a few years, although I have to be honest in that I haven’t done much lately. On Tuesday I received an email from Liam with Hawk asking if I could help them out with their booth at the show. One of their other employees had trouble with travel and wasn’t going to make it. Fortunately I had the week off work and was more than happy to help.

So Wednesday and Thursday afternoons found me working the Hawk Wargames booth alongside Andrew. Lots of standing, but also lots of fun. Met some amazing people. Quite a few Canadian retailers looking at Hawk’s games. Several other game manufacturer’s stopped by the booth. Andrew seemed to know everyone in the industry.

I also had the pleasure of meeting several veteran role playing game designers: Jason Buhlman, Sean K. Reynolds, and Charles M. Ryan. All very nice guys who took a few minutes of their busy days to chat with me about gaming. Even showed Jason some preliminary art for Ruma. He said it looks good.

Met up with quite a few local friends who operate game shops here in Vegas, as well as ran into a new friend I met last month at the Las Vegas Open, Paul Figgins of Trenchworx. Chatted a bit with his business partner David Baker, which was cool. Also met Victoria Lamb of Victoria Miniatures. That was a surprise. Victoria is from Australia and makes some sweet guardsmen miniatures. I have several of her head and wheel conversion kits.

OK, I know I’m dropping names, but I did want to mention two more and a public thank you. Chris and Liana of E-Figures Distribution. Their friendliness and hospitality were awesome.

Overall, it was a long week, but well worth it. The show is moving to Reno next year, possibly for good. Not sure I will be able to make it, but we’ll see.

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