Once upon a time Desert Sky Games, in Gilbert, AZ, was a hub for Magic the Gathering players. They focused on having the best supported games, turnouts and merchandise. However over the recent months I’ve been hearing some really weird things. From the disgruntled recounts of their reduced MTG table space. To the constant reorganizing/merchandising of the store. For the most part I’ve dismissed these recounts but I never truly expected the most recent and depressing article on DSG’s Blog spot.
The article shown here mainly talks about International Tabletop day, the trials, tribulations and the bleak outcome of the event. Seriously after reading this I felt so bad I debated about driving down to DSG and giving Michael Bahr a hug.
He continues the article by complaining about restocking, purchasing promos and giving an explanation on why they sold the ITTD Promotional items. I completely understand running a business is hard work. It takes lots of time, money and effort but I don’t see how posting an article like this helps their image. Customers are what drive your business and if you’re not enthusiastic about your events and products then why are you here?
Further more International Tabletop day is a bit like Christmas. Yes companies are going to find a way to make a buck off the holiday but it’s a celebration built around gaming and a day to appreciate the hobby we all love. With DSG’s questionably failed event I truly wonder why they would want to host another ITTD in 2016. More importantly this leads also me to wonder, “Where are they going in the future and why have they been trying to fix something that wasn’t broken??”
A store that sells promos seems to me to be unwise indeed. ITTD is a day when you get more people in the door than usual, and the store’s job is to show them a good time and try to make them want to come back. I know when I skittered into my FLGS right at opening time, I asked about the promos right away. A couple were raffled off (free raffle ticket when you arrived), and some of them he just gave out to people he saw playing the game or people who came up and just asked. I managed to get the Castle Panic promo by asking, but didn’t score the Sheriff of Nottingham one, alas. Some friends got the ultra-coveted Felicia Day promo for Dead of Winter because the store owner walked past as we were setting up. Several small games were raffled off, and other items. This is how you get people through the door. WITH their wallets.
When I was in Phoenix last year, I made the rounds of the local stores, and this one felt weird to me. That’s probably mostly because it was primarily a MTG venue, and I don’t play Magic, but then he did have some board games. They were just arrayed along shelves that were above my eye level, and I had to strain to see. The offerings were few and there wasn’t anything surprising or interesting on offer. I left quickly. I liked Game Depot a lot better.
It makes me sad when a store can’t take advantage of an entire day based on getting people into the store. Board games are becoming more mainstream and days like these will just get bigger in the future. However that doesn’t mean they don’t require a little bit of effort on the stores part to make the event a success.