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what to expect at a boardgame convention

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red hare
red hare's picture
Joined: 11/09/2009

Hi everyone this is my first post on BGDF! After lurking for a few months, I have a question for you experienced gamers. I am planning on bringing a prototype of mine to the Eastern China boardgame conference in Shanghai. I know that few people have been to this particular conference, but I wanted to know how I can prepare for a conference and what I can hope to accomplish, generally speaking.

I have never been to a conference and not quite sure what a designer should bring. Should I bring more than one game and should I bring multiple copies of that game? What's one thing that you were glad you brought or one thing that you wish you had brought to a conference?

In terms of expectations, should a designer hope for a little bit of exposure in the game industry by going to a conference or is a conference more about meeting like-minded people and more about socializing?

As you can tell, I am coming from this as a newcomer. I have not published a game, but for the past year I have been developing games and playtesting them with my friends. We're a small crowd of gamers here in China, but we certainly have made more than a few converts over the years.

Thanks in advance for any helpful suggestions!

Joined: 07/08/2009
You . . .

should probably figure out who you want to expose your game to, and then see how the convention lets you do that.

If you're looking to talk to game companies, see which ones will be there, see which ones you think might be interested in your game, then see how/if they want to be approached.

If you're trying to get people to play your games, make sure you can stake out some space to play and see if there's a way to advertise there/ in advance!


Willi B
Joined: 07/28/2008
A Chinese convention -


I would do a little homework beforehand if you can - see what submission policies exist and perhaps contact the companies you wish to see if you can set up a meeting. I'd probably bring your best 3 games. Then (if it is a multiple day event) approach them on the first day and try to be at their disposal for a possible pitch session. Business cards might be helpful as well. Make sure you find out their policy on multiple submissions if you are going that route.

And... PLEASE tell us about your experience there and how the hobby is faring. I hear that some of the market is really taking off in China.

red hare
red hare's picture
Joined: 11/09/2009
great suggestions

Thanks Willi B and scifiantihero for your suggestions. I'll see what I can come up with in terms of contacting the companies beforehand.

Yeah, board games became popular in Shanghai with the younger crowd this year. Trends tend to spread out from there to the rest of the country. The games I saw being played were party-type games. Classics like Risk and Monopoly have Chinese versions, but your typical Chinese person has never played a board game before outside of chess. Ironically, there are plenty of plastics and print factories churning out games and toys for export.

Joined: 05/11/2009
Live there

Hey I been trying to get to China to live for three years
Visa is problem
I used to invent board games in the 80s and thought of a few party games before they came out but young no money contacts you know :(((
Any help??

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