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2013 Booth Experience


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#1 deathpinball

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:58 AM

Typically when a business becomes busier, they:

1. Open a new location

2. Expand their current location

 

They don't queue people at the door before letting them browse their wares.

 

Was I the only one offended by this?  I know FFG will give their tag line about safety, people rioting last year, etc. but all I know is that I spent $300 on FFG games at GenCon 2012 and $0 on FFG games at GenCon 2013 cause I refuse to wait in line to just browse items I may purchase.

 

I mean waiting in line to purchase is commonplace, but making people wait in line to browse items is bad business practice.  Next time if you are busy, step up and buy a bigger space or hire more check out people.  I suppose most conventioners didn't object given your lines, however I just wanted to provide a voice for at least one consumer who found this objectionable.


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#2 Gelion

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:18 PM

I was really mad that they decided to ticket their In-Flight Report for the first time ever apparently and I never read that anywhere. The GenCon ticket site was the same as last year ("Sold out. No ticket price."), which we were told was common for them, didn't really mean anything, and we didn't need tickets last year. 2013 was the first time they ticketed their big press event. Oh, and even though we had press badges we would've needed tickets. Never saw anywhere that said they were changing this policy.


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#3 BrashFink

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 11:26 AM

Yeah, I was pretty honked off at this not being able to even look. They had all the new Series 3 ships and kind of wanted to just paroose them and think about getting them.

 

Of course, I HAD to get my AOR Beta book, so I stood in line for 25 mins just to get in to be able to BUY their beta book to help them with THEIR product.



#4 ifandbut

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:00 AM

I stood in the line a few times and it was never that bad. The longest I had to wait was maybe 15 min. I did really like that they had some organization for the line with the guy holding up the big "End of Line" sign, was better then the lines I see at PAX.

 

 

 I know FFG will give their tag line about safety

 

That is because it is true. There are safety issues when you get a ton of people in one small space. Not even considering fire code issues. Frankly, I'm glad they limited the number of people in the booth because that meant I had room to look around instead of having to shove myself between people.



#5 kwinland

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:32 AM

Typically when a business becomes busier, they:

1. Open a new location

2. Expand their current location

 

They don't queue people at the door before letting them browse their wares.

 

Was I the only one offended by this?  I know FFG will give their tag line about safety, people rioting last year, etc. but all I know is that I spent $300 on FFG games at GenCon 2012 and $0 on FFG games at GenCon 2013 cause I refuse to wait in line to just browse items I may purchase.

 

I mean waiting in line to purchase is commonplace, but making people wait in line to browse items is bad business practice.  Next time if you are busy, step up and buy a bigger space or hire more check out people.  I suppose most conventioners didn't object given your lines, however I just wanted to provide a voice for at least one consumer who found this objectionable.

 

Howdy,

 

It was pretty sad, and like you I voted with my wallet.

 

You beat me - last year I spent about $120 at the FFG booth, and this year ZERO.  It seemed that their retail space was smaller, at the expense of more demo space.  Perfectly fine - they are there to flog their wares, and not necessarily sell stuff.  However, for their size and product lines, their retail space was clearly inadequate and the lines JUST TO GET IN TO THE BOOTH AND BROWSE were long and often choked the lanes.

 

Ken



#6 kwinland

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 09:54 AM

I stood in the line a few times and it was never that bad. The longest I had to wait was maybe 15 min. I did really like that they had some organization for the line with the guy holding up the big "End of Line" sign, was better then the lines I see at PAX.

 

 

 I know FFG will give their tag line about safety

 

That is because it is true. There are safety issues when you get a ton of people in one small space. Not even considering fire code issues. Frankly, I'm glad they limited the number of people in the booth because that meant I had room to look around instead of having to shove myself between people.

 

Howdy,

 

My roommate stood in line twice - the first time he gave up after 20 minutes, and the second time (Sunday) it only took him 20-25 minutes to get in (only to find out that what he wanted wasn't there).  Having a line just to browse your booth is a BAD retail decision - I wonder what the sales consequences were.  THAT said, they do accentuate demo space over retail space.  While other companies bank on good retail success at the con, I am sure FFG views GenCon more as advertisement and product placement.  No doubt FFG sales would make other con companies jealous (aside from Wizkids), but they are so deep in the wholesale stream that the retail side of GenCon is simply not that important.

 

They always had an "end-of-line" sign for their lines, but usually it was their PURCHASE line and not the line just to browse the booth.  Last year, 30 minutes after the dealer's hall opened on Thursday (the first day), the line to buy product was already an hour-and-a-half long!  Thanks to Netrunner and X-Wing....

 

Booth safety and "fire code" concerns are non-issues, after having been to 20+ GenCons and having worked the retail floor.  The browser line was simply a mechanism to try to control booth crowding and to CONTROL THEFT.  The booth crowding issue is entirely the fault of FFG - they have made the choice to have HUGE demo space in the dealer's hall and to limit the amount of retail space.  That is foolishness on both their part and on the part of the con.  The FFG footprint in the hall is by FAR the largest of any dealer, yet their retail space is modest when compared to other middle-to-large companies.  In a perfect world, FFG would have a larger retail footprint and move most of their demos to other parts of the convention site.  However, this will never happen - FFG pays a HUGE premium for space in the hall, and frankly they can do with it whatever they want.

 

Their retail space was simply inadequate for their product lines and size, and they encacted a line system to control shoppers and theft.  Feedback on the FFG booth on other gaming forums is pretty derogatory, and I am sure people voted with their wallet.  And I am sure that the results of that were pretty minor with FFG sales. :)

 

Ken



#7 dsoline

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 05:34 PM

I thought the FF booth was a good idea. I have done many trade shows (in another industry) and I thought it was well done. To have an open booth leads to many problems including fights and theft. Sadly, the latter is an issue only it is usually 1 or 2 bad apples that mess it up for the rest of us. Trying to keep control of the flow of their clients and supporters I think averted a potential issue that is worse than waiting in line.
With a company releasing many popular games it was a good choice to setup a controlled area for shopping. They had separated the lines when I was there for browsing at the display cases and going in the retail area.
Another issue that was unforeseen was the 20% increase in attendance. That is a lot by any show standards and especially it was only about 35,000 I believe 2 years ago. It is hard to account for that growth in any retail environment much Kessler a show atmosphere.
My only suggestion would be to double or triple the amount of check outs. I was so mesmerized by my new XWings thatni did not count the # of registers, 3 or 4?? I suggest that they add to this to decrease wait times and most issues for us gamers. The backlog from looky-loos is a nature of the beast and would take a pretty good dice roll to defend against it.

#8 kwinland

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Posted 26 August 2013 - 08:09 PM

I thought the FF booth was a good idea. I have done many trade shows (in another industry) and I thought it was well done. To have an open booth leads to many problems including fights and theft. Sadly, the latter is an issue only it is usually 1 or 2 bad apples that mess it up for the rest of us. Trying to keep control of the flow of their clients and supporters I think averted a potential issue that is worse than waiting in line.
With a company releasing many popular games it was a good choice to setup a controlled area for shopping. They had separated the lines when I was there for browsing at the display cases and going in the retail area.
Another issue that was unforeseen was the 20% increase in attendance. That is a lot by any show standards and especially it was only about 35,000 I believe 2 years ago. It is hard to account for that growth in any retail environment much Kessler a show atmosphere.
My only suggestion would be to double or triple the amount of check outs. I was so mesmerized by my new XWings thatni did not count the # of registers, 3 or 4?? I suggest that they add to this to decrease wait times and most issues for us gamers. The backlog from looky-loos is a nature of the beast and would take a pretty good dice roll to defend against it.

Howdy,

 

I have done a number of trade shows over the last 25 years, and they needed more retail space, pure and simple.  A *lot* of people were put-off and simply did not bother to browse.  They devote WAY too much space for their demos in the dealer's hall - that stuff needs to go into their under-used game rooms (ICC 122?).

 

They needed to do a MUCH better job than last year controlling their lines, which they did, but I think they did this at the expense of sales.  I don't know their numbers, but perhaps the sales component is a minor issue, and they view this as more advertisement.  They are DEEP in the retail stream, after all.

 

Cheers,

 

Ken






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