Sunday, April 6, 2014

How to Improve International TableTop Day 2015

2014’s TableTop Day is winding down in the store as I write this. We have a few diehards playing one more game of Ticket to Ride in the back  but everyone else has packed up and left, allowing me to ruminate on the event.

For us, overall , it worked. Sales today were roughly 75% above those of a typical Saturday. Really hard to argue with figures like that. We had customers in playing (and buying) games from 10 a.m. until close. Kudos to Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day, the crew at Geek & Sundry, and especially Boyan Radakovich, who busted his tukas to pull this year’s (and last year’s) event together. I doubt a second TableTop Day would have come together without Radakovich, so a round of applause to him.

We received a greater variety of promo materials than we did last year: posters, bag stuffers, and shelf talkers.  All laid out very nicely. Obviously some money had gone into their production.
Some very nice giveaways too, including the Wil Wheaton 7 Wonders leader card, promo Loonacy cards, promo Roll for It Express games, as well as a reprise of last year’s Munchkin bookmarks and Gloom promo packs. Some headscratchers too, such as promo Killer Bunnies cards and some cards for which no game was indicated. This leads into item #1 of What Did Not Work:

1—No Packing List. We ordered the Premium Merchandise Bundle, solicited as having the following in it:  3x Big Geeky Smash Up Box, 1x Smash Up + Smash Up: Awesome 9000, 1x Krosmaster Arena, 10X Wil Wheaton 7 Wonders Leader Card, 1x Rise of Augustus, The Builders, Koryo, 1X Loonacy + exclusive promo cards, 1x Space Sheep, 1x Golbins Drool, Faeries Rule + Puzzle Set, 5x Gloom TableTop Expansion, 6x Roll For It Express with 6 dice, 3x Fictionaire: Naturals, 4x Origins Game Fair Golden Tickets, 8x Tokaido Felicia Traveler, 2x Castles of Burgandy promo set, 1x Munchkin Deluxe + Guild Promo Card. Most of this arrived, some is missing and we received items not on the above list. Including a packing list would have made it much simpler to know what we should have received and what arrived extra.

2-Timing. Someone decided the bundles should arrive on April 4, the day before TableTop Day. Remember all those really nice promotional items I mentioned three paragraphs back? Most went directly into the recycling bin. We received 8 large TTD posters, 7 went into recycling, 1 went in the front door approximately 18 hours before the event started. I can only assume that someone, worried that stores would sell the promo items, decided to delay shipping as long as feasible. Bad idea. I know at least one store that had UPS delays and will not receive the TTD kit until sometime this week. Stores also did not get any information about the Premium bundle until the last day of the GAMA Trade Show, much later than we should have.

3-Mis/lack of communications. I originally ordered the standard TTD bundle and to the Premium, dropping the standard bundle after my sales rep told me the Premium bundle contained all the items in the standard. It didn’t, so the store wound up short all of the items Wil Wheaton showed in a TTD promo. Incidentally, Wheaton’s promo left the impression that all attendees at TTD would get a 7 Wonders leader card, Love Letter game and KrosMaster Arena Dual Pack, when stores only received a limited quantity of each item. ‘Quantities  Limited’ needed to get mentioned prominently and it didn’t. Also, TableTop announced several times that it would livestream its Los Angeles event. Wanting to stream the event in the store, I sent several tweets to find out where to find the livestream. No response, so we ran episodes of TableTop instead, which players enjoyed just as much.

There were a few other things, such as the GAMA Golden Tickets included in the bundle with no explanation regarding their purpose (I learned alter that some stores had a complimentary pass to Origins included, ours did not) and the extremely limited quantity of the bag stuffers received. If they had arrived earlier, we would have been out in less than fifteen minutes, but those are fairly minor. If the three things above are improved by next year, I will be quite happy.