The Road to the Expo- Van or not to Van?

Posted by Sarah Kearns on

Our road to the Expo continues! To recap, we're taking a big step here at BGS this year- our first venture to the UK Games Expo 2024! We'll be bringing our unique range of gaming accessories to the show if you're a fan of Tabletop Board Games and D&D RPG Campaigns, from dice bags and dice trays to card holders, playmats, and more!

We're really getting into the bones of the journey now- the stall setup and stock. I have officially broke the 100 mark on dice bags now, which as we go into March I'm pretty chuffed with! It would have been more, but I'm also currently fulling our Kickstarter campaign which is due out at the end of March, that's 92 bags to make and I've just made bag 42 of those, so once that's done it's bags all the way to the show!

Non bag stock wise, I'm chipping away at our gift ranges, such as Board Game themed drinks coasters, embroidered patches, stickers and the like. It's hard to predict what to take across all the ranges of products we offer, but I at least know if I have a broad range of stuff what doesn't sell at the show I can offer a "last minute" ready to ship Xmas gifts, something we've not really offered before as everything is made to order.

I mentioned at the end of the last update that the ever build up of stock is leading to our next purchase/issue- do we get a van to travel to the expo? We're lucky in we have a nice big car (Nissan Qashqai), and from our holiday travels we know we can get 4 large suitcases + 4 items of hand luggage in when you collapse the seats. It's also a nice car to drive in long distance.

However, just in dice bags we have 2 x18L really useful boxes. I'm planning on taking 2 boxes each of large and standard size playmats, so just those is taking up 1/4 of the cargo space available (it's like life size Tetris, I need Really Useful to make some L shaped boxes!) We then have to take into account Dice Trays, which for the wooden ones we'll have to take assembled, so you're tripling the space they take up, plus all the other bits we want to take. Then, we need to talk the stall itself.

The expo themselves will hire you furniture, but it seems like an unnecessary expense when we have our own stuff (we have chairs at home!), for the stuff we don't have is it better to buy our own for use at multiple shows? The average cost for van hire is looking north of £500, which seems an awful lot to shell out (plus petrol), it's a four-five hour drive so it's not going to be a pleasant trip in a van. I feel like the cost is so high because we need it for 5 days (arrive Thurs, back home Monday), so we probably need to cost up what we think we need, then weight that up against the cost of the van versus hiring stuff. 

If we don't get a van, can we manage with two cars if not just our car? My Father in Law has quite a big car too that I know he would lend us, but his car isn't comfortable to drive to the shops, let alone down the motorway. It would also leave us both having to do the drive, where as we usually share the load on other trips.

One thing we're going to do which might help- we're going to try and pop down to Airecon on the 13th March- it's just over an hour from us, and while we don't have time to stay and enjoy the full show, we can get a quick overview of what other stall holders have. What I just can't get a sense of watching youtube videos of folks walking around shows is the sizes and spaces. I defiantly don't want to be hemmed into a box for our stall, but I also want to be able to show off everything we have on offer. This could be the only time we ever do this so I want to make sure we do it right!

So, the plan is to do a cost comparison of hiring a van versus hiring furniture and taking car(s), and also visit Airecon to see what we'll actually need. I'll update when we know!

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