Sunday, March 25, 2012

Random Thoughts on the GAMA Trade Show


Before closing the books on this year’s GAMA Trade show, I wanted to touch on a few more topics and things that caught my interest, in no particular order.
1)       Organization.  Aside from the very first day, when early arrives didn’t realize the show checkin was at a different location in the Bally’s from previous years, the show was very well organized.  Kudos to GAMA ED John Ward and the rest of the GAMA staff and volunteers.  I heard no complaints from retail attendees about lost registrations and people moved through lines pretty quickly.
2)      Donkey.  Once again, the Donkey game (which I have yet to try) attracted a loud and raucous crowd in both the exhibit hall and evening gaming with players climbing on top of the game table at one point.  There always looked like a full table of players, but it was hard to tell how many of them were staffing the booth and how many were show attendees.  For all the enthusiasm shown for the game both this year and 2011, I have never had anyone come into the store asking for it and do not recall any of my distributors soliciting it.  As a side note, I see the manufacturer (Cleveland Kids) has signed up to participate in Wal-mart’s get on our shelves program.
3)      Programming.  Once again, going to blocks of manufacturer programming appears to have worked as every slot of their programming I attended had a full house.  Unfortunately, it did relegate a lot of the programming provided by the GAMA Retail Division to the evenings and later in the week, when a lot of attendees had already left. Still, most had standing room only, especially Dave Wallace’s seminars on employee maintenance filled many seats and Lynn Potyen’s education certification program.