Today marks the end of the 2014 Spielwarenmesse.
For who do not know, this is the professional and international toy fair of Nuremberg. This show existe since 1949 and welcomes 76,000 visitors from 112 nations to see 2,800 exhibitors from 60 countries on 170,000 m2. This makes it the number 1 in the world of fairs about games, toy and leisure items. It was held from 29 January 2014 to 3 February 2014 today. a fair where professionals come to see 70,000 new items. Nevertheless, this whole year seems to have been, according to professionals, quieter than usual.
Of course, in this huge fair, a hall had my full attention. Hall 10 (10 and 10.1), the one about board games. The first impression, and that as soon as you walk through the doors of the fair is the size of this event. If you do not have a ‘mission’, a goal or an appointment, you could become quickly dizzy. Stroke of luck, I had a mission, to be precise two mission.
My first mission was to thank the professionals who took the time to answer my 7 questions and at the same time to introduce myself. I was so lucky then to see Roberto Fraga and his wonderful wife, Matthew Bonin of Iello, Mathilde of Gigamic, Hicham of Matagot and Matthew d’Epenoux of Cocktail games who was a wonderful host during the show.
My second mission was to meet new people in the game world that will respond to the 7 questions and also other more personal interviews. Among the new contacts there was Andrea Kreuzhofer of Ludo Fact that was incredibly professional, Jean-Thierry Winstel of Bioviva, Caroline Scheu and Gerard Vignacq of Bojodis, Luc Vernhet sales agent for Gigamic and Jura-Buis (Chavet-Chess ) among others, Benoit Roberge and Luc St-Pierre of GameBrotherz, Kaja Pietrasik of G3, Yvan David of FGA, Thomas Provoost and Cedrick Caumont of Repos Production, etc … The list is longer but I will speak in detail of all the people I met later.
I also had the chance, as a leitmotif, to be accompanied by Christophe Dufaux who co-created with Fred Bizet Viking Games, a new publisher and Jean-Pierre Wadoux shop owner of Le Pion Magique in Caen, a pioneer in France boutiques established in 1984 and Pierre Burtel creator of Puzzle Battle and manager of the Rosebud editions.
These two and a half days were full of discoveries and encounters. In an industry that generates millions of euro worldwide, contacts are very nice and friendly and information sharing fluid. There are of course always small frictions between some of these people but nothing too bad. The organization of the fair and the fair staff was also great except for WIFI which, due to the large number of mobiles, tablets and computers, did not work very well.
In summary, this show has brought me a lot of information that I will share in the coming weeks.
Good games and see you soon!