We have received the following press release from the team at the UK Games Expo:
Biggest ever UK Hobby Gaming Convention means the UK Games Scene is in the Big League
UK Games Expo – held this last weekend in the National Exhibition Centre and NEC Hilton Hotel, Birmingham – can confirm record breaking attendance at what was its 10th anniversary convention. Richard Denning and Tony Hymas (directors of UKGE) are able to confirm:
• Attendance figures of 25149 (86% up)
• Unique attendees of 12636 (41% up)
(Each attendee counts as a unique but if they come for more than one day they count as 2 or 3 attendances.)
The breakdown by day was as follows:
Asked about what he felt about the attendance Tony said “When you consider that in the first event 10 years back we had just 800 folk, the growth has been extraordinary. In the Hobby Games Industry UKGE is the largest event in the UK, 2nd in Europe and battling for 3rd or 4th place worldwide. We have truly arrived in the Big League of Hobby Games Conventions. This year some of the biggest companies told us we were firmly established as a must attend convention.”
The Buzz was palpable
Whilst Saturday was very busy, the other two days were still buzzing as both hardcore gaming enthusiasts and families explored the 10,000 sqm trade hall, containing all the trade stands where 225+ companies showed off and demoed all their games, a huge Family Zone, massive Bring and Buy and space for seminars, cosplayers and even the Tardis; and the 5000 sqm hotel in which there was space for gaming and tournaments. One of the latter was the largest ever X-wing Miniatures tournament: the Yavin Birmingham Open in which 450 players battled with miniature X-wings and Tie Fighters.
Richard commented “In 2007 UK Games Expo aimed to be the premier event in the UK where all aspects of the gaming hobby are represented under one roof.The goal was to create a fun and safe event which would appeal to families and the general public (men and women, child and adult) as well as the enthusiast. When you looked around that hall this year you knew this goal had been achieved. You always have teething issues, gripes and groans and snags to sort out but when 99% of the emails, social media chat and comments in person are positive you know you are on the right track. Now we just have to make 2017 better still.”
Awards Winners 2016
At UK Games Expo we give out awards to honour thes best games – chosen by a panel of judges and the public vote. The winners this year were as follows:
• Best Boardgame
Isle of Skye – Mayfair Games
• Best Board Games with Miniatures
Star Wars Rebellion, Fantasy Flight Games
• Best Role Play Games
Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition, Chaosium
• Best Family Games
Civilisation – Granna
• Best Miniatures Games
Frostgrave – Osprey Games
• Best Strategic Card and Dice Games
Odin’s Ravens – Osprey Games
• Best General Card Game
Games of Trains -Brain Games
• Best General Games
Time Stories – Space Cowboys
• Best Children’s Game
Icecool – Brain
• Best Party Game
Codenames – Czech Games Edition
• Best Abstract Games
Onitama – Arcane Wonders
• Best Expansion
Colt Express, Horses and Stagecoach – Ludonate
• Best Accesories
Dice Tray – All Rolled Up
The Board Game Redesign Winner was FLEE CIRCUS! by Hugh Simpson
The Children’s Ticket Design winner was Astrid Gibara aged 10.
UKGE also inducted Daniel Steel of Esdevium Games into the UKGE Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame looks to showcase some of the best and brightest, to honour those who have had a major influence on our hobby and have led the way in our industry. We believe that Dan has quietly and without fuss had a massive impact on the growth of the hobby games industry in the
UK over the last 30 years via his company Esdevium Games. He established and grew
Esdevium Games from a small one-man business to one of the largest games distributors
in the world. During this time Esdevium has developed organised play, provided demo teams around the UK, and popped up in shops and cons and even book stores and garden centres. Its role as an industry leader in supplying hobby games to the retail sector has provided the support and the games to fuel the growth we see today.
Full Schedule of Seminars and Panels
UKGE organised a full schedule over 3 days of panels, seminars and workshops on all aspects of Games. This included Art in Games (see picture), live recordings of popular gaming podcast and you tube sessions, a Wyvern’s lair to root out promising new game concepts and Q+A sessions with our celebrity guest, Colin Baker (Dr Who) and much more – cementing UKGE as a place to learn about the games industry, game design and publishing.
The Next Show
Dates for UKGE 2017 are 2nd to 4th June.
The UKGE Exhibitor pack will go live 1st October 2016. Exhibitors can make an appointment at Essen Spiel to come and discuss the convention or otherwlse email their stand requirements.
Contact the convention over the winter with ideas for tournaments and other events.