Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Booths and sessions at Origins '07

Being a volunteer at a booth at a convention is a way to become known to publishers. But it can be tough, sitting (or standing) there up to eight hours a day for four days.

For example, at one booth the gang assumed that chairs would be provided. Instead, the convention wanted $47 per chair. So the boothies there (who hadn't brought their own chairs) had some sore feet.

I ask nosy questions. In particular I would ask how sales were, as I know that often the smaller publishers (and maybe the larger ones) can barely make enough to break even. In this case there seemed to be fewer booths than last year, which meant many more tables and chairs in the empty spaces where the attendees would rest their feet and play games.

July 4 just preceding the convention might have reduced attendance, who knows? After a while GAMA will probably announce the attendance figures.

Anyway, sales seems to work out this way. Thursday is the busiest. People spend their money when they get there, to make sure they get what they want before it's gone. (I bought two things Sunday; one was the last one in stock, the other was the last of two. The sellers really do run out of some things.) Friday might be 1/6th of all sales, Saturday might be the busiest, or almost as busy a Thursday. And then Sunday some people do come and spend money.

Someone had heard that next year people would be able to get a cheap or free badge to get into the exhibit hall only. As it is, you must pay the $40-$60 for the entire convention.

BTW, there are many games running at Origins, and virtually all of them cost some small amount ($1.50, $3.00, even $4.50 for some of the RPG stuff).

The available seminars (the free ones, not the historical ones that are part of the "War College") seemed relatively few in number and not very interesting. I was limited, of course, in what I could attend because I did three two-hour seminars. About the only one I attended was Paizo's "what's coming up", which was particularly interesting insofar as they can no longer publish Dungeon and Dragon magazines: where do they turn for revenue? They have interesting plans for "adventurepath" publications, and some clever card products such as a deck of results for critical hits (which I won as a door prize). There were about 14 attendees, fewer than any of my sessions, but from past experience, not a bad number.

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