Trading and Dealing at Industry Events

You may be surprised to learn that conventions for gamers, like Origins and Gen Con, aren't the only conventions that companies like Atlas Games attend. Trade shows and open houses are also essential to the way game companies make contact with the stores that bring our games closer to you.

The largest hobby game trade show each year is run by the Game Manufacturers Association (GAMA) GAMA is the professional association for over 900 game publishers. Their goal is to grow the hobby so more people encounter and enjoy hobby games. GAMA hosts the GAMA Trade Show (GTS) so game designers, game manufacturers, game publishers, and game retailers can network and share the best practices for each side of this relationship. Although GTS is for game industry professionals, streaming channels like BoardGameGeek's BGG News and Dice Tower report live from the show to bring you the latest news in games.

Distributors also host open houses for their retail customers throughout the year, which publishers also attend. Distributors are the companies that collect products from many publishers so they can send a single shipment with many companies' games to a retailer, without the retailer having to order from each company individually. Open houses are spread out, geographically, since there are distributors all across the country and around the world.

Though this kind of get-together is invisible to the gamers who come out for player conventions, trade shows are important for getting games by the publishers you like or haven't learned about yet onto the shelves of your Friendly Local Game Store.

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