Geek Proud, GeekOut.

UK Games Expo 2017

Last year I managed to attend the Play Expo up in Manchester, got to meet one of my heroes, played some fun games, spoke to some lovely people and in general had a really nice time. We asked you last year if there are any more Expo’s that you think GeekOut should try to attend and report on. I have already asked my niece to see if they would want me to take them to one of the many Anime Expo’s scattered around the country but this week whilst browsing one of my regular sites I saw a link that I found sparked my interest.

2017advert

Overview

Taking place between the 2nd and 4th June 2017 at the Birmingham NEC the UK Games Expo (UKGE) is the largest Hobby Games Convention in the country. It takes on all aspects of Hobby gaming which include the following:

  • Card Games
  • Boardgames
  • Role-playing Games
  • Miniature Games
  • Family games

Having been to a few Expo’s in my time I am sure that this is like any other where you can expect to meet traders and creators alike, both these things excite me massively. Now as much as I love the idea of finding new and exciting things to try and avoid spending my money on I will be much more interested in the talks and workshops available. There is a burning desire inside me to one day design and build my own board game or RPG. I admit that I have no idea when I am going to find the time to do so but I would like to believe that is possible.

Taking a look at the “Beginners Guide” it really pleased me to see that the event is family friendly. One of the big things people without children (including me) forget is just how difficult it can be to attend and also ensure that younger people are catered for at such events. In the past when I attended the computer trade shows many years ago with my Dad I remember everybody being a lot taller and older than me so I utterly support any Expo that is making it accessible to families. I am a big believer that a family that plays together work better together as a family. My own childhood is deeply responsible for my utter dislike of the game Monopoly and my huge fondness for card games in general. I remember being educated (read as beaten consistently) by my own Father on the finer points of cribbage, a game I still love and get thrashed at. So yes, playing brought my family together.. (mostly).

Cost

In my opinion, the Expo is quite affordable with a single day ticket just £13 for adults and £8 for young adults (11-15). Families again get a bit of a deal for £35 for a single day which allows 2 adults and 2 young adults (saving £7). Full details of the ticket prices are below

SINGLE DAY TICKET: Adults £13, Young Adult (11 to 15 years) £8. Family £35.
TWO DAY TICKET: Adults £22, Young Adult (11 to 15 years) £14. Family £50.
THREE DAY TICKET Adults £28, Young Adult (11 to 15 years) £18. Family £70.

The show is completely accessible to wheelchair users. According to the information on the website, “all levels of The NEC are accessible to wheelchair users, via lifts, and have wheelchair friendly toilet facilities. The Piazza and Atrium main entrances have automatic doors.”

What’s On

The full seminar schedule has been published so you can begin to plan your day, there is the inclusion of some comedy which I will be very interested to see how and if it works. Also, some of the authors attending have been confirmed so if you’re a budding fantasy writer it might be really interesting to meet them and get some inspiration. For the more artistic people, there will be appearances from several popular freelance artists who again you might be able to meet and get some hints and inspiration from.

The show also promises to have Tournaments and Championships throughout the weekend, last year in 2016 they held the UK’s biggest X-Wing tournament. I’m not sure what is planned for this year but if you’re into playing a certain game competitively this could certainly be the place to get your game on. RPG fans won’t feel left out either as there will be Role Playing Game testing, workshops and talks about how to make your own game better. There is even something called Wyverns Lair, an amusing take on Dragons Den where you can pitch your ideas to the experts. If you have a concept in mind I think that this is the perfect forum for you to put it to the experts to see what they think. I’m sure their knowledge will be priceless.

GO are hoping to represent by attending the show and talking to people as much as physically possible. I intend to meet up with Joel (one of our other writers) so that we can tag team interviews and put together some really interesting stories and maybe a podcast from the event. I shall be armed with my phone, camera and monopod to take as many photos as I can. However, if you’re looking to attend get in touch with us nearer the time and maybe we can do a little GO Meet right there in Birmingham.

It’s early days but with this sort of thing it’s always good to book things in advance if you can. So, if you’re wanting to go I would action it sooner rather than later. Why not go and have a look at the 2016 Highlight reel to whet your appetite a bit? As soon as GO get confirmation then details of who is going and when will be released as soon as we can. I’m really excited, how about you? Tell us if you’re planning to attend the Expo or of any other Expo’s you think we should check out via the comments or get in touch with us via Facebook, Twitter or the comments section of this post.

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