Dealer Hall Layout-the Big Guys?
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Posted by sgibson260

I didn't attend last year, but heard the dealer hall was really invigorated by the participation of lots of new vendors. And one of the things that irritates me about the dealer hall is the huge amount of floor space taken up by large vendors like Fantasy Flight Games and others sprawling across multiple aisles. To me, it makes it more difficult to maneuver through the hall, and I wonder if their demo tables would be better located in dedicated ballrooms in other parts of the convention center. I get that they pay a LOT of money for those prime locations, and repeated attendance builds up some 'seniority' in how the booths are allotted.

When (hopefully) these large companies return this year, will they return to huge footprints and their central positions in the hall? I'd even be happy if (like Paizo), the big vendors would be placed near the edges and corners so their booth presence can still be epic but don't impede movement around the hall. Also, perhaps keeping the large numbers of demo tables down a bit would free up more spaces for other vendors to whom we might otherwise not be exposed. Your thoughts?

Posted by helenbb

I hope they don't move Paizo to the corner. Zombie Orpheus has had that corner for a few years and I like finding them there.

Posted by donaldbain

I’ve mentioned this a couple times in the past.

They could put all the big booths either in the front or back rows and keep the regular grid for the booths in the middle.

I have missed more than a few booths going around big guys in the middle and not reconnecting with the row I was in.

Posted by mikeboozer donaldbain

donaldbain wrote:
I’ve mentioned this a couple times in the past.
They could put all the big booths either in the front or back rows and keep the regular grid for the booths in the middle.
I have missed more than a few booths going around big guys in the middle and not reconnecting with the row I was in.

The "dance of booths" is a little more complicated then this. There are many factors that inform the placement of booths.

Mike

Posted by kertdawg

My biggest problem (and this is MY problem, not the planning) is that I'll think of something I saw earlier in the day, even five minutes prior, and choose to return to that booth. The actual location of that booth does not match my memory, though. It's like from Discworld where Twoflower bought the Luggage. It just disappeared! 

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Posted by austicke

I’ve learned to always write down the booth number.

Gen Con’s online map is helpful to find it again.

Posted by helenbb

I have a lot of trouble with booth numbers. There are numbers over the aisle, but the last 2 numbers are usually hidden, and you can't find them on the floor/at the booths.

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Posted by austicke helenbb

helenbb wrote:I have a lot of trouble with booth numbers. There are numbers over the aisle, but the last 2 numbers are usually hidden, and you can't find them on the floor/at the booths.

Yeah, that's true; but, if you ask the booth staff, they usually always know the booth number.

Or you can look on the map.

Posted by kertdawg austicke

austicke wrote:
helenbb wrote:I have a lot of trouble with booth numbers. There are numbers over the aisle, but the last 2 numbers are usually hidden, and you can't find them on the floor/at the booths.

Yeah, that's true; but, if you ask the booth staff, they usually always know the booth number.Or you can look on the map.
That would be good advice to anyone else. I use the map, I ask the volunteer staff, I walk up and down the aisles. I do this every year at least once. I admit that I'm "challenged" in this regard. I see it as comical, and I laugh it off. 
You're right, though. I need to write down the booth numbers. 

Posted by helenbb

Generally, when I ask, no one knows their own booth number. Maybe I'm just unlucky.

Posted by brumcg

I take a picture of the item(s) that interest me and something to identify the booth/number.

Posted by sovietprince

I am the opposite I missed the big names which useally have the product that I end up buying, last year felt kinda of generic. 

Posted by sgibson260 sovietprince

sovietprince wrote:
I am the opposite I missed the big names which useally have the product that I end up buying, last year felt kinda of generic. 
Oh, I like those vendors too. I would just prefer that their demo areas not be so big that they block multiple rows in the dealer hall. 

Posted by wells

I try and see every booth. Big multi-aisle vendors on an end are easy, it's the ones that block the middle of the row that causes issues for me.

Posted by traveller mikeboozer

mikeboozer wrote:
donaldbain wrote:
I’ve mentioned this a couple times in the past.
They could put all the big booths either in the front or back rows and keep the regular grid for the booths in the middle.
I have missed more than a few booths going around big guys in the middle and not reconnecting with the row I was in.

The "dance of booths" is a little more complicated then this. There are many factors that inform the placement of booths.Mike

*begins humming the theme to Tetris*

Posted by bigfathairyguy

Personally I really wish they would intermix the dealer hall and the play areas through the whole convention center instead of having a dedicated area to just the dealer hall. I think it could eliminate the traffic jams, help the vendors sell more, and allow them to lay things out so things are bettered grouped. I just feel like it makes more sense for the Paizo booth to be next to where the pathfinder society is running games, the miniature companies to be next to where the miniature games are running or even the cosplay vendors to be next to a cosplay area. Maybe the vendors might lose some sells to the random guy walking by that normally wouldn't be interested in what they are selling but I think they would make that up and more with having everyone that just gets done playing some of theirs to instantly go and buy it.

Posted by brumcg

My exhibit hall pet peeve is booths that do business in the aisle.  So customers stand in the aisle to browse and/or buy; you can't go "in" the booth.

This is what creates log jams - especially when booths across from each other are both doing it.  

This has been really bad on the higher numbered aisles.  Ironically, I think it's the lack of big booths in that part of the hall.

Posted by traveller bigfathairyguy

bigfathairyguy wrote:
Personally I really wish they would intermix the dealer hall and the play areas through the whole convention center instead of having a dedicated area to just the dealer hall. I think it could eliminate the traffic jams, help the vendors sell more, and allow them to lay things out so things are bettered grouped. I just feel like it makes more sense for the Paizo booth to be next to where the pathfinder society is running games, the miniature companies to be next to where the miniature games are running or even the cosplay vendors to be next to a cosplay area. Maybe the vendors might lose some sells to the random guy walking by that normally wouldn't be interested in what they are selling but I think they would make that up and more with having everyone that just gets done playing some of theirs to instantly go and buy it.

Not going to happen.  At the very least, it would be a security nightmare.  Where would vendors like Catalyst Games (just the first thing that came to mind) go, they have mini, boardgame and RPG events.

Also, the vendor hall also has the art and book area where would they go?

No the vendor hall is just what it needs to be and just where it needs to be.

Posted by colbrook

Also, many games happen outside the hours of the vendor hall, mixing them together would mean closing the gaming areas at the same time

Posted by kevinrg brumcg

brumcg wrote:
My exhibit hall pet peeve is booths that do business in the aisle.  

Cosplay picture taking is mine.

Movement in both directions is stopped while people stop to take pictures...

Although I generally have a pet peeve of any activity that suddenly stops traffic in the vendor hall.   If I need to do something, I always try to find a dead spot somewhere to do what I need to do (look at a phone, get something out of a pack, look at a map, etc...)

Too bad the vendor hall couldn't have longer hours (like til 8PM...)   Heck.. make it 24/7... they can sleep on Monday.  :)

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