Category Archives: Events

Announcements and pictures from conventions and other demos we run

Gen Con: Day 4, The Trek Home, and What’s Next

Be it ever so humid, there’s no place like home. Team IGA just arrived back at HQ after a whirlwind eight days. We are exhausted beyond belief, but excited about what comes next for IGA.

Sunday at Gen Con

Sunday was our day for Victoria and I to walk the exhibit hall and do some networking. We had some very productive meetings — including signing a partnership with a pretty major player in the industry, dropping off some review games with Tom Vasel, spent some time in the game library on the 50-yard-line of an NFL stadium, and possibly getting one of our members’ games picked up by a major publisher. It was a good day!

Meanwhile, Billy and Jason were in the booth rocking sales. As you may have seen, we broke our previous record for sales at a convention by about $300. Sunday was the slowest sales day of the four, despite our usual 10% off Sunday sale, but we’re very happy with that aspect of the con. We’re attributing our performance to a combination of our fantastic location, the new booth fixtures, and some great games on hand.

As we packed up and throughout the show, several of our members left us stock to bring home for our Minions. We have to get it all into our inventory system and refresh the store, but we think Minions will be very happy with some of their new options. We’ve got new & restocked games and accessories coming in from Gut Bustin’ Games, Overworld Games, Elzra Games, DPH Games, VRSoft, Noble Quest, Argyle Games, Zafty Games, and Thunderworks Games (yes, that one).

Saturday night’s Publisher Speed Dating was a huge success as well; we witnessed a few games get offers right there on the spot. We’re hopeful that we’ll be invited back to host it next year.  We’ll post a photo album in the coming days.

Why so Vague? Watch this Space.

We know, we know. We keep saying things like “a partner” and “a member”. You want details! There’s simply too much news to share in one post; it would be thousands of words and not do half of the things we need to talk about justice. As a result, we’ll be doing lots of posts over the coming days and weeks to announce all the new goodies as we have a chance to process them and make sure all the details are checked and the ink is dry.

We strongly recommend that you keep a close eye on our newsletter and on the Facebook groups for members and Minions — if you aren’t in these groups, now would be a great time to join.

IGA Year in Review

Not only is Gen Con the biggest show we do all year, it’s also the end of our year. This is normally when I reflect on the year that passed and announce new stuff for the year to come. On the absurdly long drive there and back, Victoria and I spent a lot of time talking about the future of IGA, and we’re going to be announcing the results of those conversations over the next few weeks. We think you’ll like what we’ve come up with. Expect to hear from us a lot soon…

… but not yet.

We’re going to need the next few days to wrap up Gen Con, and then we’re going to start working on the 2017-2018 year for IGA. Before we do, however, we’re going to go radio silent for a few days. We are positively spent after three major conventions in the span of 60 days, and we need a break to recharge. We will get Gen Con squared away first, and then after a week or so, we’ll be back in full swing, and boy, are we going to hit the ground running with what we have planned!

 

 

Gen Con Report: Dawn of the Final Day

Time flies when you’re having fun, and here we are at the last day of Gen Con 2017. So much has been happening that it’s been hard to find time to sit down and talk to you about it all. For the second night in a row, I passed out at the computer trying to write this update because we are cramming so much awesome into this show. I can pretty unequivocally say that this has been the best show in IGA history – despite the fact that I seem to have lost my glasses and am blind as a bat and unable to play games.

Sales

We are presently about $400 from breaking our record for best sales volume at a con. We’re attributing some of that to the pretty new booth, some to the sellout crowd, and some to our sales team kicking butt this year. We’ll be doing our usual 10% off MSRP Sunday sale today, which should help even more.

We’ll be releasing a poll after the show asking you what you think about a couple of ideas we’ve had about pricing and so forth at cons, to try to help us sell even more.

Sales continue to be most brisk among members who have:
* Purchased demo time at the convention
* Taken the time to tweet that their game is available at booth #361
* Given us promo cards or similar that we can use as gifts with purchase

We will be focusing pretty heavily on making those three things easier for future shows, because we’ve statistically seen how well they work.

Partnerships

We’ve had a couple of fantastic meetings with some potential partners, including some household names. I don’t want to announce anything prematurely, but I will tell you we’ve had very positive conversations with 6 manufacturers and the most requested potential partner we’ve had. We’ve also partnered with a few content creators to help you get the word out about your games, and with a company that could do some pretty fantastic things for IGA member sales. I know that all of this is very vague; that’s deliberate until the ink is dry and people are finally set up. I promise, they’ll be worth it.

Publisher Speed Dating

We ran James Mathe’s publisher speed dating event at Gen Con this year, and it was a smash success! We had publishers outnumber designers both days despite being scheduled simultaneously with some can’t-miss events, and I personally witnessed at least five designers get appointments to discuss contracts. It was an opportunity for us to meet a few IGA designers in person that we’d previously only known online, and also to talk to a bunch of new designers and publishers about joining the IGA team.

We’re super proud that James asked us to get involved, and hope we can do so in future years! I’ll be posting pictures later today when all of the Minions who took them get them over to me.

The New Booth…

… is going fantastically well. We’ve had some minor issues with the banners, which we’ll get fixed after the show. I’m a little concerned that it limits the number of distinct items we can carry, but I’ve got some ideas to try to improve that for future shows. We’re getting tons of compliments, especially from people who saw us at Origins and can really see how significant the upgrade is.

Demos

Demos in the booth have been going wonderfully — there have often been people two and three deep around the Table of Ultimate Gaming where we’re running our demos. It’s resulting in quite a few sales as well, which is what we all want to hear. Again, my team has a ton of photos; I’ve personally been in meetings all con and not had much chance to get my shutterbug on. After the show, I’ll do a mass photo dump once everyone sends me their shots.

Scheduled events outside the vendor hall have been a little hit or miss. Some have been completely sold out, others sparsely attended. As with sales, we’re finding that the key difference-maker is whether or not the publishers have taken the time to drive traffic via their social media. If you have a demo on Sunday, take some time and tweet about it and let’s get these tables filled up! If you need to know when your event is scheduled, it should be on the schedule we posted a few days ago, or you can reach out to us (though we may be slow to respond because we’re in meetings.)

On Tap for Today

We’re doing our 10% off sale on everything in the booth, so expect a flurry of sales notifications. Victoria and I will not be in the booth most of the day, as we’re walking around the exhibit hall to recruit new members and have some more conversations. Come say hi to Jason Gough and Billy Salazar, our NY and CA convention leads respectively! Of course, we also have the breakdown tonight at 4, and then the long trek home; we’re trying to make it to Georgia by 2pm tomorrow so we can be in the path of totality for the solar eclipse.

Wish us luck!

Gen Con Report: Day 1

Greetings from a very long and successful day at Gen Con! It’s 3AM here and we’re wiped out, so this one’s going to be short and picture-light.

We had a few fantastic demos, including Get Adler, Kitsune: of Foxes and Fools, Superbeings Jumbo Card Game, Filibuster, Clockwork Renaissance and others, which looked fantastic on the Table of Ultimate Gaming from Wood Robot. (See yesterday’s post for a chance to win one!)

Sales were pretty brisk today, mostly folks looking for stuff that is a new release at the show. I will say that nearly 70% of our non-new-release sales were from members who have taken the time to promote on their social media that our booth has their games. Hint, hint. Our booth number is #361.

We got to meet a number of our members and Minions face-to-face for the first time, which is always exciting for us, and also welcomed three new members and one new Minion to the Alliance. We even let one new member click the Approve Application button himself. 😉

We met with reps from IndieGoGo about ways to improve the IGG platform for gaming projects, and with a few printers about potential discount partnerships (we’ll decline to name who until they sign up.) One sad note: LongPack informed us that they can no longer offer the reduced minimum order quantity of 500 as part of their IGA promotion.  It was fun while it lasted.

The highlight of the day for us was the Designer/Publisher Speed Dating event, which we’re co-hosting with James Mathe of Minion Games fame this year. We had fifteen designers on hand and at least that many publishers, and there were solid pitches all around. We wish all the designers – IGA members and otherwise – luck in their publishing endeavors! We took a ton of pictures, which are on a phone that is at least as tired as I am, so we’ll post them tomorrow.

We’re excited that, for the first time in IGA history, all three of our primary convention leads – myself, Jason Gough and Billy Salazar – were in the same room together. Between the three of us, Victoria, and the rest of the crew, we’ve got most of the core IGA staff on hand. Some fantastic brainstorming is going to come out of this!

Pictures tomorrow. Bed now.

Gen Con Report: Day 0

Holy cow, are we tired!

We drove up from Florida on Monday and Tuesday, with a layover Monday night to visit some of Victoria’s family in northern Georgia. Victoria and I used the drive to put together some exciting plans for Year 4 of IGA — we officially launched at Gen Con 2014, so our “calendar year” ends with Gen Con — that we’ll be sharing with you after the show.

Arriving at about 7:30PM Tuesday night, we had about 30 minutes for the two of us to unload a very, very full cargo van:

We didn’t have any time to work on setup Tuesday, so we left the convention center for some desperately-needed sleep.

Today, we arrived bright and early, picked up our badges, and went to work on that surprise we told you about on Facebook.

As a reminder, this was our booth setup at Origins in June:

This is our setup at Gen Con booth #361:

Notice anything different? 😉 We’ve redone our entire fixture set! The backdrop is four 5′ metal shelving units for storing backstock, demo games, tools and empty boxes, covered with eight banners to create a 20′ backdrop! (VistaPrint unfortunately misprinted a few of them; we made it work for this show but we’ll replace the wonky banners after the show.) You’ll also note the updated presentation of the logo, which has also made its way onto most of our branding by now.

Gone are the old plastic shelves (well, not gone, they make up the counter now, behind the black tablecloths, but they’re hidden). We’ve added two pegboard spinner displays for tuckboxes and other small-box items, freeing up enough counter space to display games without resorting to floor-level shelving. We also added black rubber flooring to the booth, a feature that our Minions’ feet certainly appreciate!

Also, check out the gaming table! It’s a prototype on loan from the Table of Ultimate Gaming folks. Their Kickstarter for the tables launches August 24. You can enter to win a table, and IGA Minions get 10% off a table during the Kickstarter! We’ll likely be adding a swank table like this to our booth setup for all future shows, though.

As part of the effort, we distributed more than 60 “Proud IGA Member” table tents to all IGA members and partners exhibiting at the show. We have a handful of them left, so if you’re a member walking around the con, come pick one up!

We even redid our business cards for year 4:

We’ve also morphed our “guess the number of dice in the blender” contest to collect email addresses, to increase the number of subscribers we can send Kickstarter notifications and newsletters to.

We’d like to give a big shout-out to Andrew Smith from Gold Seal Games, who has spent countless hours working with Victoria and I to hammer out the finer details of the new booth design — and the next upgrades we have planned after this round!

What do you think? Sound off on the new design over at the IGA Developers’ Lounge or the IGA League of Minions!

Trade Day

We had an opportunity to participate in the demo period for Gen Con Trade Day this year, our first time doing so. We didn’t really know what to expect. Attendance was a little low, possibly because they gave us a slot during the dinner hours, but we had some very productive meetings with a few distributors, retailers and educators about ways that IGA and its members can more closely work with those groups. We ran a few demos in the room to interested retailers, and made a few connections and pitches that we hope will pan out. I think we could have done it bigger and better, and now with the experience under our belts, we’ll do an even better Trade Day appearance in 2018.

On Tap for Tomorrow

Day 1 of the show! We’re excited to debut new titles from several of our members. Publishers attending the show, don’t forget to come see us at the Publisher Speed Dating event, and see if you find your next big hit!

 

Dice Tower Con 2017: After-Action Report

First off, my apologies for the tardiness of this report. We were leveled with con crud upon returning from the show (the curse of the demo rep!) and between that, resetting from Dice Tower (and Origins, which we never fully got to recoup from before setting off for Dice Tower) and preparing for Gen Con, it’s been a zoo here!

IGA had its own room at DTC, in “Antigua 1”. The setup was ideal; we could sell, demo, and playtest all in one room, set the hours, and secure the room when we left for the night. That was awesome. The location… Less so. Our room was down a hall with no other exhibitors or attractions, so our foot traffic was pretty abysmal. If not for a sticker program DTC did (think the Cheese Weasel exhibitor scavenger hunt at Gen Con, but with stickers) I don’t know if we’d have seen 200 people in the room all five days. We did the best we could to haul in people from the hallway with banners and Minions, and the con staff tried to help us with call outs in the main gaming hall, but there’s only so much you can do to combat that.

Sales were slow at this show again — this was reported pretty universally among exhibitors. Cool Stuff has a massive ding and dent sale at Dice Tower and restocks it every two hours — the lines for it are usually out the door. The combination of Cool Stuff and a flea market that ran all morning Saturday seemed to vacuum up all the money at the con. I do not know if it will be financially viable for IGA to do a vendor presence at DTC next year if this structure continues, which I see no reason to indicate that it won’t.

Because slow sales mean leftover stock, several of our members (old and new) left us stock at the end of the show. Minions and retailers should definitely check out the IGA Store, as you’ll find a ton of new goodies from Tortured Earth, NSKN, Formal Ferret, Attack Dice, and others to choose from.

We did manage to do some pretty good demos and playtests throughout the week. We ran a ton of Roll Player (which won Indie Publisher Game of the Year from Dice Tower – congratulations!) and other favorites. At this point, I believe all demo reports from the show have been filed.

We had our first-ever dedicated Prototype Day on Thursday, featuring demos of Sparkle*Kitty and Rise of Tribes from Breaking Games, Superbeings from Alienplay Games, Objective: Vietnam from Recon Games, Maximum Apocalypse from Rock Manor Games,  Clockwork Renaissance from Blue Fool Games, and others. We pitched a few games to interested publishers — the publishers should have already been in contact with the designers of the affected games. Not every game got picked up, but we’ll keep trying!

We did recruit a few new members at the show, including new Pro members Gigamic and NSKN / Strawberry Studios. Welcome to the team, everybody! We’re now over 650 members, which is a huge achievement for us before our “official” 3-year anniversary. Even more impressive, we’ve now crossed 150 IGA Pro members! That’s fantastic news for us, because more Pro subscriptions means more cons we can attend, more features we can add, and more work we can do on your behalf. The bad news, however, is that our Pro members still account for only 26% of our total members. For the same reasons we mentioned above, if you’re still on the IGA Starter plan, we strongly encourage you to go Pro and help support our continued growth. If you haven’t looked at the list of Pro membership benefits in a while, do yourself a favor and check again — it’s more than doubled in the last year.

While we’re on the subject of recruiting, we’d also like to welcome the twelve new Minions that joined us at Dice Tower Con, and to congratulate Minion Aaron S. on his first IGA convention action. Aaron did a fantastic job helping us out Saturday and Sunday, and made his on-camera debut with an impromptu video demo of Superbeings Jumbo Card Game. Victoria and I would also like to thank Nathan, Andrew S., Andrew B. and Danny for your assistance as always. We couldn’t do what we do without you.

Remember, gang, we’re now less than 4 weeks away from Gen Con 50. Now is your final chance to book Gen Con demos in our booth or the event hall or send us stock to sell for you. We’re working on some cool new booth upgrades for Gen Con which we think are going to look great if we can get them done in time. Members wishing to book an appointment with Matt and Victoria at the show may do so at http://igamatt.youcanbook.me. We’ll be in booth 361 – a huge upgrade from our previous spots – in a 20×10 booth. Spread the word!

 

Origins Game Fair After-Action Report

Greetings! We just closed the book on our first Origins experience — and what an experience it was! We’ll be talking more about some of the specifics, and posting pictures, in the coming days, but we wanted to get something out in the Monday newsletter about the results of the show.

We’re presently in our hotel in Columbus waiting on the monsoon to die down before we begin the trek back. We’ll be driving back to Florida all day Monday, and most of Tuesday will be spent processing Origins financials, getting the stock re-situated in the warehouse, and catching our breath, so the warehouse and customer support will remain closed until Wednesday, June 21.  

Minions will be glad to know we’ve got some new games and expansions in the truck, which will be in the inventory when we get home. Fans of Brotherwise Games, Shoot Again Games, Breaking Games, Cohio Games, Noble Quest, and Leder Games should get their Loot Points ready!

We’d like to welcome a few new members that joined us at the show: Purple Potato Games, Flatworks Games, and Noble Quests. Noble Quests dropped off a few copies of their RPG, Mystic Forces. Flatworks and Purple Potato both have Kickstarters in progress now — Dwarven Smithy and Burst My Bubble, respectively. Links are in the newsletter and on indiegamealliance.com; check them both out! We also recruited a few new Minions at the show; welcome to you as well!

Victoria and I would like to extend an extremely warm thanks to Jason Gough, Nathan Knight and Mark Miller, who made ridiculously long drives of their own on very short notice to help us staff our Origins presence. You guys are all-stars! Thanks also to all the Minions and members who dropped by the booth to say hello – there’s too many to list you all, but we enjoyed meeting, or reuniting, with you all!

We had a few very productive conversations with some of our existing partners, the fruits of which I hope to be able to announce soon. We also had four or five very good conversations with potential new partners, and will be following up with them after the show to put the final touches on new discounts and benefits we’ll be able to offer our members in short order. We also chatted with several convention representatives that invited IGA to exhibit at their upcoming shows, which we’re excited about as well.

We didn’t intend to run a game library at Origins, so we brought only open copies of what we had to sell so that we could show potential buyers the components. However, our 10×10 booth was pretty cramped, so we had nowhere to store those games. We ended up having more Minion support at the show than we anticipated on short notice, so we ended up using the games and the extra team members to run an impromptu game library in the main gaming hall. Our team will be submitting demo reports and photos of these efforts when they get settled back in at home, probably no later than Thursday or so.

Sales were, generally speaking, quite weak at this show. We did very little business Thursday and Friday (which we heard was nearly universal) but picked up steam a bit on Saturday and Sunday. We’ve got about $1900 in payouts going out to a variety of members as soon as the credit card payments get deposited into our account from Square. If you received a real-time sales notification, we owe you money! Please take a moment and review your payment information on file — we’re missing it for about half the members who had games sell. Without this information, we cannot pay you! We’ve had a request to offer a “daily digest” mode for the sales notifications, and I’ll see if I can get that done on the site before Dice Tower.

We are pleased to report that IGA is already booked for Origins 2018 with at least another 10×10 booth, if not more. Hopefully knowing a year in advance will translate to a stronger presence, and a better bottom line for IGA.

That’s the good news. The bad news: while we haven’t done the final numbers yet, it’s looking like IGA took a beating financially by attending Origins this year. This is in part due to the short notice of the show, and as a result, very few in-booth demo sales. We’re planning on posting a more detailed breakdown of this in a few days when all the numbers are done. Members can, of course, help us out by purchasing demo time in our dedicated IGA demo and sales room at Dice Tower Convention in three short weeks and Gen Con in August. We’re still looking for volunteers for both shows as well.

That’s a wrap on Origins until we get home and get everything processed. See you next year, Columbus!

On the road to Origins Game Fair!

Greetings!

By the time this newsletter is emailed, we’ll be somewhere in southern Georgia en route to Origins Game Fair. Come see us this Thursday through Sunday at booth #151! If you’d like to make an appointment to spend some time with us for an interview or other discussion, come on by the booth and we’ll set something up. Presently, Thursday is looking like our busiest day of the show.

While we’re at the show, we’ll likely have limited access to email, social media, and other means of contact. While we will do our best to clear our emails and other messages nightly in the hotel, this may not be possible, and we appreciate your patience if we cannot get back to you until we return from the show.

A reminder to Minions – the IGA warehouse is closed until we return from the show. You may place orders in the store, but they won’t ship until we return. Members — if we’ve got stock to sell of your games, keep an eye on your emails; with our new store software, you’ll get an email in real time when one of your games finds a new home with an excited gamer!

Didn’t get your demos booked in time? Don’t wait — Dice Tower convention is in three short weeks, and Gen Con is coming up too! Book now on your Studio Dashboard before we sell out!

IGA services for Dice Tower Con and Gen Con now on sale!

Exciting news, everybody! As of right now, IGA demo time is available for sale to IGA Pro members at both Dice Tower Con 2017 and Gen Con 2017! Members with Pro subscriptions will have exclusive access to purchase time for both of these conventions for the next 30 days, after which any unsold time will also be available to Starter members. If you want the best spots, make sure to go Pro!

We’re also super excited that for the first time, IGA has a Convention Services Store! That’s right, no more kludgey PayPal transfers; you can shop for services right on our website, see exactly what’s available at the moment you purchase, and pay securely in one step with your credit card. We’re incredibly proud of this new site feature, but as with all new software, please let us know if you experience any difficulties whatsoever.

For those of you who haven’t used our services before: the Gen Con “vendor booth demos” are quick, elevator-pitch style game explanations at the vendor booth. We don’t have the space to have people sit down and play, sadly. If you want full games run, you should check out the “scheduled event / demo / tournament” option.

IMPORTANT: We’ve changed up the way we’re doing Gen Con event hall demos this year. At the request/insistence of the Gen Con events team, we will not be running a game library at Gen Con 2017. Instead, we’re doing scheduled events, which seem to draw larger crowds anyway, and guarantee that your game will be on the tables. This move will also help IGA secure bigger booths and better placement in future Gen Cons, helping us sell even more of your games.

We will be maintaining a demo library at Dice Tower Con, in our dedicated IGA demo/vendor room. If you’re a Pro member and you’ve ever sent us games, those games will be available for play at no additional charge. If you’d like to rent one of our demo tables for a scheduled event (and thus, guaranteed plays) you can do so also. This is a fantastic opportunity because you get scheduled event pricing with vendor booth sales opportunities, as we’ll be doing both in the same room.

We are also happy to do sales of Pro members’ games at our vendor booths for both shows. IGA takes a 50/50 revenue split for retail sales. All discounts and show expenses come out of IGA’s cut. If you want to sell games, please ensure you’ve updated your stock permissions and that we have stock in hand no later than three weeks before the convention date. Stock can be shipped to:

Indie Game Alliance
4250 Alafaya Trail #212-204
Oviedo, FL 32765

IGA’s member support team is available to assist with any questions or special requests you might have. Email us at support@indiegamealliance.com or call us at (888)456-6282 (10AM-10PM Eastern) with any questions and we’ll answer them right away!

Or, if you’re ready, you can just sign up for your Dice Tower Con and Gen Con 2017 convention presence right now!

IGA is proud to sponsor Expedition Prototype 2017!

IGA is proud to be an official sponsor of Expedition Prototype 2017, formerly known as Prototype Con. Expedition Prototype is a prototype/playtesting only convention held in February in Kissimmee, FL, and organized by the fantastic folks at Dream Tangibly.

Expedition Prototype is planning the following events that you can be a part of:

  • A series of design and publishing workshops and publisher interviews
  • Door prizes
  • Most importantly, playtesting and more playtesting!

Here’s how members can get involved:

  1. Buy a ticket if you can attend. If you can’t, no worries – your game still can!
  2. If you want to playtest your game in person at the event, register your game now. Spots are limited, and they’re cheaper before January 15, so hurry up and register. If you want IGA to run it for you, contact your account representative for hourly pricing.
  3. If you can’t make the event, you can register your game for their playtest library. Spots are limited for this as well. IGA will be happy to help support any member whose game is in the library with player assistance during the event. If IGA already has a copy of the game, we will bring it to the event so you don’t have to send an additional copy. If you’re sending them a copy, we can take it after the show for future demos if you like.
  4. If your game is available for publication, send us some sell sheets to hand out to interested publishers.
  5. Come by our info table and hang out with us!

Local Minions, we’d love to see you at the event too! Loot Points are available for playtesting games at the show! If you file at least 8 hours’ worth of IGA playtest reports, we’ll  reimburse your $20 badge!