This will be HABA USA's 3rd time at GENCON and so far we've only had our booth and the 'family' area tables for certain time slots.
I would love to run an event/s however since I have zero experience with events I'm not sure what to offer to attract gamers with children!
HABA will have our 3 new Young Adult games (ages 8+ and 10+) that were introduced at ESSEN Nov 2015 at the show - Karuba, Spookies and Adventureland. These games defintely take more time to strategize and play, especially Adventureland.
THe gaming community has been super helpful to me, thank you so much!
I think it'd be great to have some more kid events that we can buy tickets for, rather than just having them in the dealer hall. My daughter is going to be 10 this year, and I hate having to buy a full price badge when she technically isn't old enough to get tickets for the majority of the events. Having some HABA events that I can sign her up for would be awesome! We have HABA games at my library and they are really popular.
I am not entirely familiar with the consumer/attendee side of things; I wouldn't want you to have to pay extra to play my games!
So if I applied for an Adventureland time slot - i could have perhaps 2 or 3 tables of the Adventureland game being played?
I LOVE Haba games, love them. I play "the crow game" with my son all the time. And kids and adults love Rhino Hero.
I think when you submit the event, you emphasize that it's all ages and kids of a certain age can easily play with adults. I think you emphasize it's a game for the WHOLE family.
What I think would be great would be if you ran a family game night event, where people could try out a variety of games for the whole family. I mean, it doesn't take an hour to play most of your games, but what you do is run an hour event called HABA family board game hour, or something, where you say you'll offer a variety of full games that can be played and enjoyed by all ages, from 2 to 100, something like that.
I'd recommend talking to attendees in this thread to get ideas on what kind of events folks might want and then we can touch base directly to talk about how to possibly implement some of those. If you haven't run events outside of the Family Fun Pavilion, it'll be good to brief you a bit so you know what to expect and what your options are.
Just drop an email to [email protected] or call me at 857-559-2420 when you are ready to chat.
Gen Con LLC
Speaking of a "family game block" in general, I'm curious what people think about Sunday events. This is something I think would be a perfect fit for Family Fun Day: take a block of space and fill it with games that work well for families to play together. Could work well with local Indy families coming in to attend, too.
What do folks think? I'm specifically curious how many of the really die-hard attendees coming with families would attend a Sunday event as opposed to a game night earlier in the convention.
Wow - these are all great ideas. I would love to sponsor a "family" game event. We have games that are fun for toddlers to play (that won't bore the parents). Last year I had a family by the "crow" game which is My Very First Games - Orchard and they had to come back to tell me that their 3 year old took such pride in their hotel room setting up the game by herself and then "inviting" her parents to come and play HER game with her. Her pride in her game made her parents feel proud. I have over 60 titles so it would be easy for me to bring an assortment of games for each age group! I know that R & R makes some great younger children's games too so we could have a great Family Game event!
My youngest turned 13 just before Christmas, so he is not eligible for any kid events this year. :( But last year at GenCon he really enjoyed the kids' LARP (they provided props/accessories, characters and storylines, and guided the kids through) and boffing with Bluebeard. He is disappointed that this year he will not be doing those things!
Honestly, we play board games as a family at home. As such, there has to be a compelling reason for us to play board games at GenCon. Instead, we prefer to do things we *can't* do at home (LARPS, tournaments, certain role-playing games, True Dungeon, seminars, concerts, shows, etc.). I think kids would be interested in those 'other' activities as well. So if you could set up a mini-LARP, or maybe a life-size board game where the kids are the pieces, or an interactive show, that would be extremely popular.
Last year was our first GenCon, but IIRC, if you want, you can set up an event but not charge for it (i.e. 'sell' tickets, for $0). Or you could charge a minimal fee just to cover costs. I think another option might be to charge for kids (i.e. those who participate) and give free tickets to adults (i.e. spectators).
Just FYI, you cannot set up a free event, unless it's a seminar, without talking to Gen Con about it. :)
Might I suggest looking up what companies such as Rio Grande/Mayfair/others have done in the past? I remember and have enjoyed when a publisher basically books a room for X time and has a selection of their games on tap for demo. Sometimes but not necessairly needed free food as well. With Sunday as the windown day of con not a bad way to book a room and get extra exposure on Family day long as you can advertise and point people to that area. I part time work for a FLGS and we have done quite well with Haba games overall compared to others in the category.
I'm so so glad to see more family-friendly game offerings at Gencon. Our family goes all 4 days so if you are able to provide, say, a Friday evening event in addition to the Sunday Family Day, we would be very interested. Our interests are pretty diverse and we do a bit of everything. Feel free to pick my brain if you'd like.
I can likely only bring my 8-year-old son to GenCon on Saturday, so I'd love to see some events the two of us can play. Is there any way we can help?
My wife and I stop by your booth every year on our hunt to buy something to bring home to our kids. Since your booth can get busy we don't always get a chance to demo everything we want. A perfect event for us would be an hour of demos. That way we could schedule around it and know that we would be able to see everything you have to offer. You could potentially even break it up to have a different event offered for each of the age groups you make games for.
Glad to see you upping your presense!
From the perspective of someone whose group runs events at Gen Con, our experience was that Sundays had such a high percentage of no-shows for sold out events that we stopped offering them. Also, staying Sunday night isn't going to be the norm for most attendees.
Sundays are tough, and performance can very dramatically from one event type or game to another. You basically have to build something flexible that doesn't require much advanced commitment (and can thus both survive no-shows and accommodate walk-ups) or that is in such high demand (or cost) that it remains filled.
Short of beign that high-demand, sold-out event, trying to set up something that works just as well for Family Fun Day passes and general attendees is probably best - though you need to also remember that simply listing the event in the schedule is not always sufficient (especially with the volume of events we have). You also need to try to promote it in some way.
Gen Con LLC