The show this year was huge. I mean, really huge - sadly I could only make the single day but the event lasted from Friday 31st May to Sunday 2nd June, three days of games, demos, shows, talks, and pretty much anything else you can think of that would get you tabletop blood pumping.
This is this year's official figures, direct from the UK Games Expo website:
Unique visitors totalled 25,704 (i.e. all individuals at the show. Up approx. 18.5%), and repeat visitors 45,097 (i.e. all people whether 1 day or 3 days. Up approx 15%). 3 days of gaming or 74 Hours of UK Games Expo from start to finish, 97 brand new game releases, 27 games crowd funding,
3.5 km of table cloths, 5 Tonnes (est.) of gaming boards, 800 T-shirts to launder and repack post event, 975m of large format printing, 311 street names stuck down, 900 stand number stickers, 25k lanyards and pouches, 32k square metres of floor space, 2 1/2 Halls of the NEC plus 1 Hilton Hotel, 430+ Exhibitors, and 121 companies from outside of the UK.
Blimey. That's a big show, and the hard work and dedication from the organisers and volunteers really, really paid off.
So, here are a few of my highlights of the show. I went with my son Bruce as there's plenty there for a 12-year old to do and he loves the day out.
I think I've only missed the UK Games Expo twice, once when it first began and one of the NEC dates - watching it grow from those small halls into the huge event it is now has been amazing, the guys in charge and everyone involved do a marvellous job. I once signed up to run a game many years ago - none of the gamers who had signed up actually turned up an I had to sit in a hall filled with excited gamers at a huge table on my own. That was an experience. The organisers were really good about it and we all had a laugh, but I never ran a convention game ever again, and it almost put me off conventions, but I'm so glad it didn't.
A cool part of the day is the journey there on the train - to spot fellow gamers on their way! I saw a Warhammer AoS t-shirt and a guy with a bag with what I think was a board game sticking out of it, but he wass too far away to tell.
When I got there at just after 10:30am it was rammed - I only had to queue for ten minutes, I picked up the free programme and in we went!