This week, a plunge into the unknown while holidaying in Spain inspires a column on the benefits of taking a chance on the UK Games Expo.

EDITOR’S COMMENT: Leap of faith

Freeze Frame.

Billy always knew that everything he had experienced in life so far was leading to this moment.

His first quiff, his first kiss and his first tooth – in that order – paled in comparison to what the above picture illustrates, his show stopping moment.

In what has to be one of the Inventor Bulletin’s most metaphorical flashes to date, this very picture tells you all you need to know about taking that all important leap of faith.

When you’re a toy inventor, the path to success is teeming with unknowns, whether it is in making that decision to finally turn that sketch into a prototype, launch your project on Kickstarter or even put your product out there to be playtested by some brutally honest critics.

This coming weekend will see hoards of tabletop and gaming enthusiasts head to Birmingham’s NEC to take part in the 2015 UK Games Expo. Here, manufacturers, designers and inventor royalty come together to celebrate everything and anything you can play with a set of die, a pack of cards or a pint of beer.

But possibly the show’s biggest allure is that this is by no means an event held exclusively for industry heavyweights. In fact, each year, the show hosts clinics, play-testing zones and even Dragon’s Den style roundtables for budding young tabletop game inventors to engage with.

According to Coiledspring Games’ sales and marketing manager, Rachael Wyatt, the UK Games Expo is not only a smelting pot of every flavour of game – giving inventors the opportunity to test just how unique their own idea really is – but also one heck of a good networking event.

I am sure you don’t need reminding of the tale of Andy Hopwood, creator of Dodekka, and his fruitful venture to the pub one evening after the show. A swift drink turned into hours spent talking to and playing his game with the Coiledspring team, and Rachael Wyatt will be the first to admit that she enjoyed it so much she decided to sign it there and then. 

And the moral of the story is that (like Billy, only two years later) Andy Hopwood decided to take that leap of faith, leave his comfort zone and discover that every now and then, fortune favours the brave.

As the below 30-second clip demonstrates, while success isn’t always guaranteed first time around, there’s no harm in trying.

Thought I’d share a holiday group highlight/personal lowlight this lunchtime.

— Billy Langsworthy (@Ace_Groovy) May 28, 2015

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