UK Games Expo 2019 – The Final Take
Today is the first day in what feels like a long time that I can actually sit back and reflect on the past week. To put this in context, I am currently sat in a Boston Tea Party, drinking a blueberry smoothie and eating a slice of walnut loaf. It is glorious. What a week it has been. Amazing and chaotic and wonderful and awesome and brilliant and has hurt my feet and been truly unique. This was the first year we were able to apply for the Press Pass and has been amazing fun.
We’ve spent the whole weekend playing games, immersed in this wonderful board game culture we all know and love. We’ve been talking to designers, bloggers, Instagrammers, artists, producers, and retailers. We’ve eaten burritos and drunk more coffee than I think I have ever consumed. We’ve laughed and we’ve cried…with laughter…and all thanks to the UK Games Expo 2019.
If you’ve been following this blog over the past week, you probably have a fairly good feel for what the Expo was like; however, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share a few thoughts just to summarise the whole experience. It was…well…words can’t really describe how amazing this past week has been.
Firstly, thank you to the amazing staff at the UK Games Expo. None of it could ever happen without the hard work and dedication of the team behind it. Thank you, in particular, for counting Beth and I amongst the press for this year. It’s really awesome being stood next to people like Tom Vasel and the No Pun Included guys. This blog is small, but we like to think of it as mighty, so thank you.
Next, thank you to all the designers and retailers who took their time at the Expo to explain or explore games with punters such as myself. From designers who spent well over an hour with us, talking us through their games, to retailers who would take time to answer questions even if they were really busy. Chaos Cards – you guys are amazing and we love you. Thank you for your excellent prices and awesome staff support.
Also, thank you to the live acts who perform there. The UK Games Expo is not just a gaming event, but it is a celebration of everything geeky. People like John Robertson, Paul Flannery, and Tom Crosbie run comedy shows each year and each year is better than the last. Thank you to them for keeping us entertained.
The UK Games Expo 2019 Final Take
I think it is safe to say that the UK Games Expo this year was bigger and better than ever before. It’s wonderful – we’ve been going since it took up three rooms in the Hilton Hotel, and now it takes up three whole halls at the NEC in Birmingham, plus the Hilton Hotel. Like proud uncles and aunts, we have watched it grow up into something truly special.
This year, if my maths are correct, there were 400 exhibitors, 19 seminars, and 15 live events. That isn’t including gaming sessions, RPGs, or individual gaming events. Games like Blood on the Clocktower were running a game every 30 minutes (as an example) and there were live simulators as well. There was also a press area sponsored by OnTableTop, which included of a few quiet rooms and (and I appreciate this more than anything else) private toilets.
I swear that, each year, the quality of the exhibitors improves. The stands become more and more elaborate, and the games on display are even higher quality. It’s a fantastic thing to see, and this year was no different. There were some fantastic companies exhibiting, showcasing some awesome looking games. From Fog of Love who inflated around 100 foil heart shaped balloons above their stall to companies like Fantasy Flight who had people walking around with giant Keyforge cards to put their heads in.
All in all, it was a superb Expo this year, and we are already looking forward to what next year may bring.
Over the past week we’ve been focusing heavily on the UK Games Expo and what it has been like. We still have a fair amount to write in order to cover it; however, now, whilst writing about the Expo, we’ll be dispersing it with other articles as well. This means we’ll be continuing with the analysis, strategies, and general articles from this moment forward.
The Expo was particularly amazing this year and once more we would like to thank all those who made it something truly special.