RIP: GenCon SoCal (2003-2006)
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:09 am 

Tharizdun wrote:So Cal is basically one vast city... The question is how they only got about 5K people to go? I assume around 1/2 of the visitors weren't even from the local area...

The exhibit hall wasn't that great for non CCG players but I doubt it was the reason for such low attendance either.

There's no simple answer for its failure. I don't think Peter honestly knows either, hence his looong synopsis of events.

It's a blow to the hobby that such an ambitious endeavor failed :?

In my opinion Peter Adkison has some business sense. I mean... Magic is very successful today, but imagine this guy and the other fellows of pre CCGs WotC wondering about spending much money on this new card game and fearing it could bomb. With hindsight, it was a hollow worry, but hindsight is like cheating on a computer game  :P

I have a far less positive attitude about Gen Con SoCal management, asking for 4/5 of the cost of Gen Con Indy for a booth is absurd. Exhibitors may be convinced once, but not twice. I am convinced that people go to a convention for events and exhibitors. What is the point in seeing some giant sized booths selling games you can find easily at home or on Internet... I think they should encourage exhibitors with some hard to find and small press products because people could say Hey! I went to X con and I found this rare/bizarre/out of print game! New releases are very attractive too  :wink:

For example, in Italy Lucca Comics and Games is, by far, the biggest convention, it attracted, in 2006, over 80 thousands visitors! As you can guess, companies of every size race as soon as exhibitor registration is open. I attended in 2006 for the first time as a exhibitor and I made quite a good chunk of money  :D  There were many attempts to copy their formula, but clearly they are not working. The recentmost project is Mantova Games and Comics, placed in Mantua, a city in Nothern Italy, in March while Lucca Games is in november. They have a nice convention center, a great city, they are placed in the richest, most populous and with most game and comic fans in the country, they are in a period of the year devoid of big events. But they are not exactly flourishing...

2007 is their second year. In 2006, when I received and read their exhibitor rates I was aghast. They were HIGHER then Lucca Games ones and WITHOUT Lucca proven track record. Of course, exhibitors were few and wooed with radical cuts in price for the booths. At least they showed some common sense and I really love the idea of a big convention in the first part of the year and in the NORTHERN part of the country where I incdentally live  :D

I am really starting to think that every country has room just for one big convention and that is all. This not saying there will be just one because, for example, we have Mod Con which is a convention by Gamers for Gamers. It is popular with hardcore players, but it is not a mass event and it does not pretend to be one. But many companies exhibit nonetheless or have a strong presence to woo them... everybody here knows the theory about the imnportance of convincing hardcore players about how good your game is, I suppose...

Last a funny anecdote> I was told once that Gen Con offered to Lucca Games and Comics in 2003 the use of the Gen Con brand for mere 10,000 dollars. When they asked for my opinion, along the ones of many others, I laughed. Gen Con is meaningless for the far biggest part of Italian gamers so why spend so much money for just a brand when you could have more and more guests... For example, more American game designers... Lucca Games asked to Gen Con management what could be worth of this money... They told we can help you in... errr... let us think about it... you are in Italy... uhhhh... The brand had no use and they could offer no significant help so they offer was refused. But last year I heard a rumour about Gen Con offering the same brand FREE to build brand awareness  :D  I am still wondering why Asmodee uses the Gem Con brand in France, unless they got it fo free...

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