2012 BPA Survey Results—Vendors
Jan. 12, 2013

Vendors are an important part of any game convention and while WBC is, in effect, the anti-publisher show since gamers—and not publishers—call the shots for a change, their presence is important. To many attendees, a convention isn’t worthy of the name without a vendor’s room. Well, massive trade show we aren’t, but we are blessed by the presence of many of our favorite publishers. According to the survey, 88% of you purchase at least one new game while at WBC and 38% of you purchase three or more. That’s enough to sell out our limited vendor’s room year after year.

What You’d Like to See… What You Want Not to Change How I See It…
More Vendors/Vendor space 13: I did not like your Vendor room. It would be nice to find a way to add a bit more space in the Vendor Area. I love walking through there each year to buy new games, but it’s often times so crowded that you can barely move around. Status Quo 20: I really enjoy the vendors in their current limited space. / I like having the vendors there as much because it’s an opportunity to talk to reps as for the shopping (I try not to buy too much there except for family gifts, and family gifts are not really the WBC vendors’ strong point). / I like the focus on actually playing games rather than big vendor displays and such. / I particularly look forward to the vendors’ arrival on Friday and spend quite a bit of time circling the vendor hall throughout the weekend. There are only two locations at Host suitable for Vendors due to the need to secure the room after hours. Our only other option is to replace the 4,000 sq ft of Ballroom A with the 23,500 sq ft of the Expo Center which is far too big for the number of vendors WBC attracts.
More Vendor Demos 2: I would like to see more vendor demos in addition to their sales…which would necessitate a larger area to accomodate that. Cafe Jay was always hopping when he was in attendance, but, in recent years, it is frequently unmanned with players left trying to fumble through rules on their own or just give up.   We also would like to see more in the way of publisher demos and offer free space and scheduling to that end. Publishers however have limited staff and time for shows and have been slow to take advantage of the opportunity.

Open Vendors Earlier in Week 8: Allow dealers to have more than just a Friday, Sat, Sun. Give them the whole week.

Shorten Vendor hours 1: While they are restricted to the last 3 days, focusing them on 4-5 hours/day would put more sense of urgency into the buyers, and would also allow scheduling vendor room time around events easier.

Restriction of Vendors to late in the Week 2: I think the vendor arrivals are perfect and they are there just long enough. Publishers have many demands on their time and time is money. There are far more game conventions than most can afford to attend so they tend to concentrate their efforts on the largest trade show where they can sell the most product. That is not WBC. To attend WBC at all, they need to concentrate their sales in as few days as possible. So, lengthening the vendor room commitment would have the opposite effect—and keep more vendors away—by making it more expensive for them. In short, most vendors would prefer shorter hours—not longer.
Move Vendors to the Expo Center 3: I’m also wondering if that would be a good place for vendors, as I’ve seen at other cons at the Host (although I will admit that there are far less vendors at WBC than at Historicon).   The vendors would not like such a move since it would result in far less foot traffic if not located in the center of the hotel. So, barring a change of venue or a great increase in number of interested vendors, the vendor room will remain as is for the forseeable future.
  Free Access to Vendors: 1 Many shows put guards on their vendor room to check badges since that is their biggest attraction. WBC does not charge for access to the vendor room because we want our vendors to have access to the most potential buyers. That means WBC has two attendance figures—paid attendance by those who purchase badges and unpaid attendance by those who come only to observe and patronize vendors. The latter can only be estimated.
Why is Decision Games the only Early Vendor? 1   We do not have the space to allow multiple vendors all week long and if we did, they would likely find their sales not worth the time commitment if they had to compete with other vendors for the limited attendance early in the week. So, we select one vendor who carries many lines to have an exclusive sales opportunity for the first four days before the other vendors arrive during the peak attendance days.
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