October 20, 2009: Tale of Two Shows
Over the past couple of weeks, you've seen note in this space about two events staffers attended: the Diamond/Alliance Summit and RinCon. At first glance, one may be tempted to say, "A convention is just a convention, right?" Alas, you'd be wrong.
The Diamond/Alliance Summit was a trade show. The attendees were retailers from around the country, clients of Diamond (the comic industry's primary distributor), Alliance (one of the largest distributors in the hobby games industry), or both. The exhibitors were publishers who sell through either of the two. The focus of trade shows is the presentations, either in slide-show or game demonstration format. The idea is to inform retailers on the "what" and "when" of upcoming releases.
RinCon was a regional convention. The attendees were gamers, and the exhibitors were mostly local retailers. Gaming was the primary focus; it was, as RinCon '09 Convention Director Boyan Radakovich put it, a "relax-a-con." Some of the guests gave brief talks or panels, and there was a small dealer's room.
The staffers who attended these two events reported a great time was had by all. And both types of events are equally important to us: trade shows so we can interact professionally with the other tiers of our industry, and regional conventions so we can actually play some games!
-- Paul Chapman
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