Saturday, 20 April 2013
Salute 2013 is upon us!!!
But... I'm not attending this year, not that many of you will be reading this I'm sure. Last year I did a series of articles around Salute, and what I thought if the various stands, stores and games; you can read the start of my articles on salute here. What I think really hit me though about last years event was just how short, rushed and cramped the entire day felt. In short I really didn't enjoy traipsing down to London from my neck of the woods, and then trying to get out to the ExCeL site in a reasonable time frame. Because then you have to rush around all the stands and not really spend enough time, or as much time as I would have liked, at any of them. So I was left with a sense of frustration and disappointment in the main that I wasn't able to fully check out what I wanted to. Plus I think the hectic nature of the day also caused our otherwise placid nerdy brethren to act more like a bunch of humourless dicks than normal.
Salute is a massively important day for the industry as a whole though. For starters within the initiated gaming geek culture it has a really high profile here in Europe. As such it is a great place for companies to turn up and try to show their wares to people who otherwise wouldn't have known they existed. For many companies, in what remains a very tactile hobby, this physical exposure of their product is vital. However, as a hobbyist and a consumer I found the whole single day thing really off putting... it's not for me. I much prefer shows to run over a number of days so I can causally saunter around the place a peruse the wares at my own leisure. As such I swore to myself that I would not attend Salute again until it extended the length of the show to multiple days. Now I know this is highly unlikely to happen, and as such I'm highly unlikely to ever want to attend Salute again, and this makes me slightly sad...
So for me this is where the UK Games Expo has started to come more and more into its own. Sure, last year I was disappointed at the showing from certain companies. Yet it still remains a closer format to the sort of show I'm more likely to be attracted too. Their is a focus on more types of gaming, not just wargames. There are loads and loads of Tournaments for wargames and card games, and seeing the best at their games go head to head is always fun. The show seems somehow friendlier than Salute, it's just a shame that the show doesn't have the big name attendees that Salute does. The major problem that the UK Games Expo used to suffer from has also been rectified, the venue is switching up to the far more plush and suitable surroundings of the NEC Hilton Metropole. I know there will be those of you who disagree with me, but I feel that the UK Games Expo format is far more deserving of support from the industry, and it could genuinely grow into a great advocate for our hobby.
You see the UK doesn't really have an equivalent of Adepticon, and I have thought now, for a number of years that Salute could attempt to be so much more than just a one day bring and buy trade show that it has so clearly become. Fun though it is to meet the faces behind the products we all buy, and love; it isn't conducive to actually getting to know these companies and their products at all. Neither is it a brilliant place to run intro or demo games. It doesn't really act as a champion of the hobby in its broadest sense either, it really is just a shopping event. So this year I miss out on seeing some old friends, and chatting to new ones. But, I also miss out on the migraines, the hunger and the stench of man geek!!! If you are attending Salute 2013 I hope you have an awesome time and that you don't get too angry at the assembled masses for getting needlessly in your way! If you've seen anything good and cool drop a comment below. Peace out!