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ChiTAG is coming!

In the gaming business, there are basically two kinds of events: those for the consumer and those for the professionals.

For the consumer, and particularly for hobby gamers, you’ve got a ton to choose from:  GenCon, Origins, DragonCon, Hurricon,  Historicon… I could go on and on. Heck, there’s even FreeRPGDay, which is basically a distributed gaming convention, one that takes place at hundreds of specialty game stores.

If you’re more into mainstream games than hobby, don’t worry, there’s one for you, also. ChiTAG (aka the Chicago Toy and Game Fair) does for the mainstream what all those cons do for the hobby gamer.

For the professionals, there are “Trade Events,” shows where publishers go to sell their products to retailers and distributors. Of these, the three that I’ve been to are GTS (for the hobby market), ASTRA (for the specialty market), and ToyFair (for everything else).

…but what about for inventors? Where do we fit in? Here in the U.S., for years now, the answer has been “on the edges.” Look closely at the next event you go to, and you’ll see toy and game designers meeting with publishers, sometimes just in the back of their booth. ToyFair,  thanks to its size, has become the defacto place-to-be for game and toy inventors working in the mainstream.

Which brings me back to the title of this post: ChiTAG is coming.

ChiTAG is more than just a consumer fair. It’s also a whole suite of events centered around that weekend, including:

  • TandGCon, a con designed for inventors and publishers to get together. It’s educational, informative, and a great place to network. If you’re a game or toy inventor, this has become the new “place to be.”
  • iSpi, an invitation-only event where publishers actually tell inventors what they’re looking for. This is the second year of its existence. The first year was simply amazing.
  • The TAGIE Awards: An awards ceremony and dinner, for the industry to get together and celebrate the accomplishments of the industry. Think of it as the gaming world’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Excited yet? You should be. After years of lugging suitcases full of games around exhibit halls, toy and game inventors finally have a convention for them.

Did I mention that ChiTAG is coming?

It’s in less than two weeks. and whether you’re a game or toy designer, or would like to be a game or toy designer, or would just like to meet a toy or game designer, it’s the place to be.


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Posted November 1, 2012 in Games