The one thing I was really disappointed with this year was the lack of the Cheese Weasel. I didn't see the Gen Con replacement and from what I heard there wasn't really on in place. I really enjoyed the Cheese Weasel system as it motivated myself and probably hundreds if not thousands of others to seek out and find booths that weren't just the hotness of the year with giant overhead banners. I really liked looking for these smaller exhibitors and getting a chance to interact with people who often wound up being the actual game makers instead of one of a hoard of volunteers.
I always liked dealing with Cheese Weasel when I was an exhibitor, and they did indeed drive a ton of traffic our way. Very sad to see them go for only the promise (unfulfilled) of a replacement. I'm guessing someone bit off more than they could chew by way of a plan to replace them?
The other thread on this subject just confirmed that Cheese Weasel made the decision to stop, rather than being told they were being replaced as some had speculated, so that could explain why there was no real replacement. It would not surprise me if someone tried to replace it in 2020 though, as apparently they are missed? I can see how if you primarily attended Gen-Con for the games and devoted yourself to the Exhibition Hall primarily that it would be a great synergistic thing to do at the same time.
"I want to thank everyone for an outstanding Gen Con! But I do have some sad news. Some of you have already heard rumors that Cheese Weasel will not being coming back to Gen Con next year.
Well, this is true, sort of. Gen Con is creating their own program and so they wont have us back as a competing company."
"We wont have a booth again next year but we might be back in some capacity. Gen Con isn't going to have us back, they are going to do their own program."
The bolding is mine. It's an interesting way for them to have phrased a decision that they made.
Haha, amazing. Well, given that, this thread can only possibly get more dramatic from here on out (unless it stops with this post) since either Cheese Weasel or Gen-Con is withholding the full story. I guess a charitable reading of the explanation from the other thread is that Gen-Con offered to let Cheese Weasel run the official program and they were not interested so they felt they were being forced out? Made all the more interesting by nobody having even seen the official version of their program, at least in the other thread. I certainly did not, but I also spent like two hours total in the hall this year, tragically.
Presumably they paid for their space -- which was prime location outside the hall. If they couldn't come to terms on the cost, whose 'decision' would it be? Gen Con's? Theirs? Not sure cost was the factor. But, the point is that if a deal cannot be reached, we might want to know the internal reasons, but it is unlikely we will be told in detail.
As far as Cheese Weasel goes, personally, I never saw the appeal. I'd rather spend my time interacting with the exhibitors that I find appealing -- instead of the ones on the card. Your mileage may vary. I also found it to be a socially awkward exchange. I always felt the subtext was "I'm not genuinely interested in your product, I'm just trying to fill out this card".
Accompanied my son on his rounds a few years ago - was sooo awkward.