Sunday, November 18

MidCon 2007 Report

Sunday I went to MidCon in Birmingham. I wasn't sure about the wisdom of attending, It's Alive! had been launched in Birmingham, so I was afraid that everyone there would already have seen it, and bought a copy if they wanted one. As a compromise, I only went for the day on Saturday, saving myself the cost of a hotel and more meals.

Friday hadn't finished until 1am, as I had to make myself a packed lunch (another way to reduce costs) as well as making games. The alarm went off at 6am, and as I had a fairly tight timetable to catch my train I leapt out of bed, had a shower, had breakfast and then set off to the station. I slept for most of the train journey, and arrived feeling at least partially awake. After a moment to orient myself, I set off and arrived at the convention at about 10am.

I had with me ten copies plus my demo copy of It's Alive!, two signs, a mailing list sign up sheet and some pens, my receipt book and a couple of prototypes (Jorvik and Escape). My plan was to demo and sell It's Alive! until 6pm, test some prototypes for an hour and then leave at seven for the 7:30pm train, which would get me home around 10pm.

On arrival there were no tables free, but while we were waiting (for half an hour) for the extra tables I got to meet Martin Wallace a legendary British game designer, who was there paytesting his latest prototype among other things. I finally got a table, but things didn't noticably improve until after lunch. Despite over 130 people at the convention I didn't get much action, and those who did play weren't buying. By lunchtime I was feeling fairly despondent. But the afternoon went better. I sold three copies (below my target of five), one to people who had played it at The Cast Are Dice with me, and I ended the evening with three games with a family who had bought at TCAD, and loved it, playing it regularly at home. Several people told me they enjoyed it after buying it at a previous convention. Talking of loads of people, there were lots of people there who either already owned a copy, or had played before. I recognised almost none of them! While feeling low at lunchtime, I wondered whether this was yet another symptom, but on reflection, it's probably just a natural response to having met so many people at conventions over the last year or two.

In the end I didn't have time to playtest my games, I just went to the toilets to take my medication (want to feel dirty? Try injecting yourself in hotel toilets!), and then headed off (getting lost in the process). All in all, slightly disappointing, but I'm beginning to think I'm reaching saturation point at conventions, and should concentrate on the internet, where I've reached a far smaller percentage of the market.

It was a great week of sales in the end, despite the slightly disappointing convention. I sold ten copies, which was my best week of sales for seven weeks (when I sold a bunch to a shop). That includes two copies to Japan. Excellent! Of course the Self Published and Gorgeous Geeklist on BoardGameGeek helped :-).

In other news, I was not receiving any emails over the weekend. I could fortunately check on PayPal for sales, but I was not getting the notification emails, nor anything from BGG or my tests. It was very annoying.

No comments: