Stores Up

Attendance at the recently concluded GAMA Trade Show grew by around 9%, according to GAMA Executive Director John Ward, from 715 attendees in 2008 (when attendance was down by 18%) to 782 this year. Hobby/game retailer attendance was up around 7%. The increased retailer attendance was achieved despite a conflict with the ComicsPro Annual Meeting, which was held the same week, and the attending retailers were focused on business. “Retailers were very serious about buying,” Ward said.



Both the number of exhibitors and the square footage of exhibit space were down from last year, but a more compact show floor gave the exhibit hall a better feel than last year's.  Ward said that enthusiasm for next year’s show was high, with exhibitors signing up for next year’s show at a rate a “significant multiple” of the rate at last year's show.


Konami had the biggest presence on the floor, introducing its new Stardust Dragon figure, with Alliance, Bandai, and Bastion tied for second.


Upper Deck had reserved space, but ended up with a sponsored break area and no visible attendees in the wake of recent events (see “Upper Deck Comments on Layoffs ” and “Upper Deck Axing WoW TCG ”).