Wednesday 21 October 2009

Demo Tables - A Small Plea for Handouts

Over the years I have attended a lot of conventions and shows and 2009 has been a particularly bumper year in that regard. Consequently I have started to develop a clear idea of what I like and don't like about demo games at shows. One of my pet dislikes is a lack of ready information for spectators.

It would be nice to see some of the Demo tables with more information available to visitors. Some of the tables provided information sheets about their games but the majority didn't. This isn't in itself a problem, if you're the sort of person who feels comfortable sparking up a conversation with the guys on the table. But multiply those little conversations by say 30 demo tables and they all start to meld into one confused blur. I guess I feel the problem a little more acutely because I like to come away from a show with pictures as well as miniatures. Trying to figure out who was on what table, what their game was etc can be a bit daunting - even if I process my pictures the same day. As I get older and my mind starts to go I fully expect this problem will get worse!

It would be great if each demo table could provide some sort of handout with basic details on it. This doesn't have to be a double sided A4 colour brochure (although that would be nice). A simple photocopied A5 sheet would be sufficient. Something that would be relatively simple to put together and cheep to reproduce.

So what sort of information would I like to see on the sheet?

  • Name of the Club or Organisation running the demo table
  • A table number or reference that links to the show guide (if there is one)
  • Contact details for the club & details of where they meet etc
  • The demonstrators names
  • Name/Title of the game
  • Period or specific dates if applicable
  • A little background or historical context
  • The rules system being used
  • The scale of the miniatures being used
  • Who makes the miniatures on display
  • Additional information on terrain features
  • If the table is scratch built, who did it?
This is by no means an exhaustive list but does represent the sort of questions I seem to find myself asking over and over again (and forgetting the answers over and over again). Not every demo or participation table is 'labeled'. Some have a sign up with the club/game details clearly displayed but quite a few have nothing. Now of course you can chat to the guys running the table to find out what you want but I often find it useful when identifying my photographs if I can take at least one picture with the table/club name label included. This is especially true for larger shows where there may be two of three Napoleonic games for instance.

If you're a club and have run Demo's please don't take the views here as a negative criticism. Far from it I fully appreciate the time and effort that goes into planning, preparing and running a demo or participation game. I just think its a pity that all that effort might not get the recognition it deserves in forums & blogs for instance. Keep up the great work guys, but spare a thought for us bloggers with poor memories!

1 comment:

  1. Good call.
    I'm running a game all this weekend at a convention, and I've hurredly put together a small sheet with useful information to leave for people to peruse (and take away)


Thank you for leaving a comment. I always try to reply as soon as I can, so why not pop back later and continue the conversation. In the meantime, keep rolling high!