The gamerooms/event space in which we hosted the pre-release events typically do not generate any direct revenue for the store. We do not put merchandise in them, save for one in the front clearly visible from the front counter, because of both the easy of shoplifting, even with cameras there, and the likelihood that, with players moving around, merchandise put in the area has a high chance of getting damaged. That means, unless we have customers playing in them, they are essentially dead space. It is therefore important that we host as many events, both those that generate direct revenue and those that generate indirect revenue, as possible.
Some events in the gameroom, such as pre-releases and sneak peeks generate direct revenue for the store. The money coming from customers playing in both events was likely money we would not have received had we not hosted the five events. We host our weekly Warhammer 40,000 and HeroClix events in order to generate indirect revenue, as, by giving those players both a place to play and events in which to play, the 40K players buy more Warhammer 40,000 figures, paint, brushes, while the HeroClix players buy more, well, HeroClix. Unlike Games Workshop games, there are not a lot of add-ons we can sell HeroClix players, so we rely on the collectable nature of the game and the desire of the players to the new figures to their collections.
Then, we have Nintendo’s Pokemon OP events, specifically designed by the company to make stores rely solely on indirect sales, as company policy does not allow stores to charge admission fees to events such as Pokemon Battle Roads or City Championships. Nintendo apparently designs the events with the expectation that stores hosting them will generate sales as the players shop the store, either buying cards for their decks prior to the event or making purchases during the event. We have run a few of these and, while other stores may have done well with this model, we have seen no consistent bump in Pokemon sales as a result. We will likely continue them but not bump revenue generating events such as Yu Gi Oh or Pathfinder Society, even for marquee events such as a Battle Roads.