Every May we make our way to Madison, WI for the ACD Games Day retailer event. This event, hosted by one of the biggest game distributors in the US, welcomes retailers to attend insightful seminars, play countless new games, and loot the warehouse to find sought-after titles. We always have a blast contributing to the excitement. Read on to find out what the Renegade crew was up to at the show!
Sara arrived the day before the show opened to set up the booth and make sure things were prepared for the coming days (thanks, Sara!). In her free time in the evening, she visited one of the local game stores, I’m Board! Games & Family Fun, to show off one of our upcoming releases, Junk Orbit.
Demoing the game for an entire store might seem intimidating, but it was great practice for the event we had planned for Wednesday night - a simultaneous demo of Junk Orbit to a group of 200 retailers! Of course, Sara’s done this once or twice before, so everyone had a great time learning and playing.
Scott and I arrived Wednesday afternoon, just in time to attend the boat cruise that ACD puts on for the publishers exhibiting at the show. It’s a nice moment to spend with peers before the hectic nonstop action that is the rest of the show.
Once we docked, it was time to tune our brains back into game mode and prep for the Junk Orbit demo event! Fortunately, the ACD sales staff is awesome and helped us throw games and promos on every table while we set up our presentation.
Retailers filled tables as soon as we opened the doors and the volume in the room rose with excited chatter. We shuffled some people around to make complete games, then we got down to business! Game Boy Geek did a great job with his Rules School video. We played it for the entire crowd and they quickly jumped into gameplay. The ACD sales staff was still awesome and helped answer any questions that retailers still had after the video (which wasn’t many!).
After we wrapped up the event, we three Renegades headed out to grab a bite to eat (tacos, because that’s always the right answer). We discussed our plans for the show, shared stories of times passed, and, most importantly, laughed together. After our bellies were full, we headed to bed to rest up for the big day of the show!
We met bright and early to finish setting up the booth while the retailers attended seminars given by their peers and other publishers. After resolving one snafu involving a missing box of games, the booth came together. It looked pretty darn good, if I do say so myself!
Sara took off for a bit to meet with the ACD Sales Team and show off our exciting upcoming titles and programs. Scott and I took a moment to walk around the sales floor while all was still calm and booths were still half put-together. It’s always interesting to see how different publishers arrange their product in their space and how they decorate. We were inspired by elements in a few different booths! Hopefully you’ll see them incorporated into our booths in the near future!
With our Renegade powers combined we finished all of the necessary tasks with a couple hours before the Exhibit Hall was scheduled to open. We headed to a nearby brunch place to get some work done and fuel up for the nonstop energy required for the booth. It was during this #BusinessBrunch that we announced the upcoming Clank! In! Space! Apocalypse! (yay! exclamation! points!).
We made it back to the booth in time to get settled before the doors opened and retailers streamed in. The team showed off some of our classic titles, but had our upcoming releases displayed as well. One of our favorite designers and Madison local, Kane Klenko, also joined us at the booth! He helped demo two of his games - FUSE and Flip Ships. Steve Ellis, one of the designers of The Tea Dragon Society, momentarily turned in his retailer hat to explain his upcoming release to curious booth visitors.
While everyone enjoyed dinner, the ACD team was flipping the Exhibit Hall to fill it with tables for demo night! We had a few titles we were showcasing. Lucidity, The Tea Dragon Society, and FUSE had players in seats all through the night, even after the event was officially over! Overall, the event was a huge success for us and we had fun participating!
The next morning, Sara was scheduled to give a presentation to retailers. She focused on all the exciting titles we’ll be releasing for the rest of the year (spoiler alert: there are a lot!) and how retailers can easily add them to their shelves. Some good discussion flowered from her presentation and the energy in the room was positive and engaged. Mission accomplished!
After seminars wrapped up, everyone headed to the ACD warehouse for shopping and food! This is always a super fun time for everyone and a great way to close the show. We sat with new and old friends, shared a meal and conversation, then walked around the warehouse helping people find our games, and picked up a few treasures for our own shelves. One of us may have had too much cake (it was totally me), but we left better for having attended and everyone made it home safely!
Our next show is Origins Game Fair in Columbus, OH from June 13-17. We will be at booth #913 and have the titles mentioned above (and many more!) available for demo and purchase. Some of them even have promos, too! You are able to reserve your copies of our hot new titles now by preordering and selecting "Origins Pick Up". Hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it, look forward to another post-event blog.