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Chicago Toy & Game Fair

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Tj
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Joined: 04/14/2011

Greetings,
Would like to know if anyone has ever participated in the Toy & Game Inventor Con that preceeds the actual T&G Fair? I have been in contact with the organization and am curious as to the experiences of attendees. Here is the link for the fair: www.ChiTAG.com and for the inventor con: www.Tagie.net.

Thanks in advance.

Tj

hulken
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Joined: 04/18/2009
I am shure some one have

I am shure some one have atended ChiTag. ^^

I do not think you will find many people here that have tho. Seeing ChiTag is mor toys and mass market games. This is almost onley hoby games here. But I can recomend the podcast Paper Money. They have done episodes in the past where they cover the difrent conventions in the us, they talk about who should go to what convention and why (they usualy do one of those episodes each year).

You can find the podcast at purplepawn.com

truekid games
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Hulken is correct- my

Hulken is correct- my understanding is that they are VERY geared towards the mass market (which, as a result, means they are not actually as geared towards designers as the site might lead you to believe).

Hulken, dude, you need to invest in a spellchecker :)

NateS
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ChiTAG and T&GCon

Hi folks,

I'm the director of communications & technology for the Chicago Toy & Game Group.

ChiTAG is mass-market, yes... but only in the sense of the audience we're trying to get in through the door. Rio Grande and Mayfair are two of our largest exhibitors. We're really looking at creating an American equivalent to Essen, and for those of you that have been there you know they cater to a broad audience. However, ChiTAG and T&GCon are very different events.

T&GCon (formerly TAGIE, name change due to confusion with our awards show) is a place where people who are new to the industry, or considering entering it, can connect with leading experts. Its the only place where Hasbro reviews products without an agent. The advice provided is universal to the industry, and the connections made can be quite valuable. Some deals are made at the conference as well. Last year it was a 1-to-1 attendee to expert ratio, making it a great environment to have productive conversations.

Its an important conference to attend if you are looking to self-publish and want to avoid making a $50K mistake. Its also good for getting tips on getting your products licensed, as you'll be meeting with people from many different walks who can tell you the ins and outs of making a good pitch and will also tell you why they would/would not consider your prototype. Its possible that one of them might even license your product if they saw it fitting in their product line.

Consider that any hobby game manufacturer ultimately wants to sell as many units of a game as possible. The more accessible a game is to a broad market, the more units can potentially be sold. Thinking with mass-market in mind is not a bad thing.

You'll find the hobby game design reviewers you want to talk to for the hobby game market at Origins, Gen Con and BGGCon, and if you're lucky enough to get an appointment you'll have a chance to make your pitch. You'll get the tips and advice for making those conversations productive at T&GCon.

Hope that helps.

hulken
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Joined: 04/18/2009
I agree to a certan point.

I agree to a certan point. Ofcors a game manufacturer want to sell as many units as possible. The problem is he do not have a unlimited marketing budget. You speak of 50k mistakes. Well If a company have 50k to put on marketing then I would not think they are in the same leag as most hobby game makers. So he should go where he gets the most bang for the buck.

Also it depends on what type of game he has made. A party game like apples to apple or telestraition well then I think chitag is a good place to go. But for the avarage eurogame I say no. I think it is manly party games and the very rare light euro games that make it into retail stors like wallmart. I just read Munchkin just this year made it in there so I think he have a bigger chance of winning the loto. =(

treyalsup
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Joined: 09/08/2010
Registration

Am I reading this right? Registration for this event is $1250?

This is why i have to sneak into E3 every year.

NateS
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Joined: 10/30/2009
Euro vs Party games

Regardless of whether you're making party games or euro games, there are many principles that remain the same. So its not just for light euro games or party games, its for designers looking to go professional.

- What should I do/not do to get good results when walking a trade show?
- What are the benefits to manufacturing domestic as opposed to China?
- How do I protect my product before licensing/manufacturing? What should I do if someone is ripping off my ideas?
- Is self-publishing or licensing the right choice for me?
- How can I leverage social media effectively to build an audience for my product?

The cost is $1250, and we've yet to have any attendee tell us it wasn't worth it to them.

If you're not really serious about being a game designer or publisher, then no... you probably shouldn't attend. Its a bunch of money that you're unlikely to see back even if you do get published. In the hobby market, a game is considered successful if it sells around 3000 copies, and a new designer won't get much in royalties off that.

If you're looking at getting several titles on the market, then its in your best interest to invest in getting the knowledge and contacts to help put that together. That's valuable and important regardless of what you're trying to produce.

So you can do a lot of reading, hit trade shows hoping to get a few minutes of a professional's time, and do it all the hard way. The resources are out there, and BGDF is one place where people are happy to collaborate and share information. If you're not getting what you need from these publicly available outlets, you can come to T&GCon and get all of that and more in 2.5 days of intense networking and panel discussions.

Tj
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Joined: 04/14/2011
Chicago Toy & Game Fair

Greetings,
Below is an email response to me by the President of ChiTAG. You can see by the responses what questions I asked. This could be helpful information to those curious about attending. I know i have more questions. Thank you NateS for the info.
Tj

Hello Tj,

Thank you for your inquiry.

Yes many inventors do display their toys/games and you could put as many games on a 6' x 4' table as you want.

Your registration includes 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners (one of which is the night we rent a pub for our group and the other is the Toy and Game Inventor of the Year Awards - a posh event). We will have the hotel info up soon. We've been negotiating the contract. Hopefully $145 or less a night. You can stay elsewhere as well.

Last year we had 49 speakers and 75 - 80 attendees, almost half of which were not inventors, but were industry people looking to network and see new inventions, but we could not accomodate as a speaker.

I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any questions.

My best,

Mary

Mary Couzin, President, Chicago Toy and Game Group

treyalsup
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Joined: 09/08/2010
NateS wrote: The cost is

NateS wrote:

The cost is $1250, and we've yet to have any attendee tell us it wasn't worth it to them.

If you're not really serious about being a game designer or publisher, then no... you probably shouldn't attend.


Ouch. Consider me slapped.

I mostly just hoped I was reading the cost wrong. It sounds like a great event.

NateS
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"Slapped"

Sorry Trey. I didn't mean to come off as rude there, just realistic. If you're not looking to be a professional inventor (not necessarily full-time) or starting a business, then $1250 (plus travel, lodging, etc) is a pretty big expense. I suppose that's me just being overly conscious of people's wallets and also not wanting to come off as too sales heavy.

Anyone is welcome to attend, but its intended to benefit people who want to make toy & game design a professional pursuit.

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