Independent toy, collectible and comic stores across the UK are preparing for an onslaught of gaming fans this weekend, as International Tabletop Day 2014 arrives this Saturday.
Now in its second year, the global gaming festival – created by Geek and Sundry and the team from the Tabletop Youtube show – encourages gamers, fans and retailers to celebrate the world of board games.
International Tabletop Day made its debut last year, with 123 gaming events taking place in 64 countries worldwide.
This year, the team behind the initiative – including event ambassador and board gaming superfan Wil Wheaton – is hoping to make this year’s event even bigger.
And across the UK, retailers are looking forward to the celebration championed for driving footfall and boosting sales.
“Last year the shop was packed all day and was one of the most popular events we ran all year,” Duncan Conner, managing director of Scottish collectibles store, Bus Stop Toy Shop told ToyNews.
“International Tabletop Day is a celebration of the humble board game. It’s also an opportunity for existing board game fans to meet with one another, as well as the chance for anyone who thought Monopoly was the summit of board games, to discover a whole new world.”
Conner explained that the popular event is also a chance for the store to boost its board game sales.
“We had great footfall on the day last year, and an uplift in board game sales as a result.”
The event seems to have made a big name for itself in a short time, with industry newcomers embracing the celebration, encouraged by popular local demand and its celebrity endorsement.
“This is the first time we will be celebrating International Tabletop Day as we only opened in October 2013,” Holly Ringsell, manager and owner of the Chelmsford based Dark Side Comics explained.
“I have had plenty of customers mention the event to me, mainly thanks to the wonderful Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop on Youtube channel Geek and Sundry.
“He really is doing a fantastic thing for gaming and small indie stores like myself, who both stock Tabletop games and hold frequent gaming events.”
For many retailers, the event also offers the chance to talk with their existing customers as well as ‘entice a few new, curious ones.’
Paul Moore of Patriot Games, explained: “We find it a good chance to get people in and get feedback and get to chat with people. This tournament is more relaxed than the regular specific ones we run.
“For people to come in because they are curious and to chat about their general interests is very beneficial.”
International Tabletop Day 2014 kicks off this Saturday, April 5th.