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"Cold Wars report (from a dealers perspective)" Topic


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1,102 hits since 22 Mar 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Mar 2017 5:20 p.m. PST

I got back from the show late Sunday night, been playing catch up all week with website updates, product ordering, filling customer orders, updating my company Facebook page and listing items on Ebay, am finally caught up, so here goes.

The show was down about 15% vs Cold Wars 2016 for me. I was told they set an attendance record; good for them, glad they got good numbers.

Despite my sales being down, I had a great time hanging out at night with my cousin/brother from another Mother Millhouse, plus Rusty Miller and Mark, Jim Lombardi, Frank, Mike Fatovic, Matt and Bob from Ohio plus several other customers/friends of mine.

I also greatly appreciated all of you who stopped by to express their condolences over the recent loss of my Dad, this was the first show I've done since he passed away, it was not easy, not going to lie, but I'm glad I went.

I picked up a great terrain piece from Doug at BTC, plus a nice rules set from Dennis at OMM, I also got some nice items for my collection from Moe the Great from Buffalo, some very nicely painted 20mm ACW figures among other things, what a super nice human being he is, just a great guy, so nice to finally meet him.

And speaking of great guys; Rusty Miller blew me away by gifting me his late Dad Ed Millers 20mm Franco Prussian War collection; I recently got into this period, I was floored when he offered it to me gratis, I will think of his Dad everytime I use the figures, I'll cherish them always.

So in the end; when it comes to conventions, it's not the money you make, it's the people you meet along the way, people you become friends with, people you bond with and have as friends for life due to a common love for a hobby.

Some of the dealers too whom I all consider friends were great to me; Gary Green, Bill Murphy, Wayne Stevens, Doug from BTC, Lon Weis, Eddie Gries, Larry Weindorf, Joel, Terry from Old Glory and Tumbleweed all came over to me and chatted during the weekend, Lon went out of his way to tell me how sorry he was about my Dad, he stopped what he was doing on Sunday to say goodbye to me and tell me to hang in there, talk about a class act, he's a great guy, someone I consider a friend in this business.

Two board members also stopped by to say hello, Dave and John, two terrific guys, Dave gave me a great history on the Franco Prussian War in the gaming area Friday night.

This really is an awesome hobby populated with some solid human beings, I'm proud and honored to be a part of it, I get to make a living at this, but I also get to enjoy it too. I love attending the big three conventions, I always have a great time, the money is good, but the overall time is better.

Thanks to all the volunteers in the dealer hall for getting me my usual spot and taking care of me, Jeff always comes by to make sure everything is ok in my neck of the woods, another solid human being in this hobby.

I give the convention two solid thumbs up, some nice games going on both nights, had fun hanging out in the gaming area Friday and Saturday night.

Thanks to everyone who supported me this past weekend with purchases, with great conversations, with a million laughs and for helping ne get through the most difficult time of my life with the loss of my Dad.

You're all great, great people, I'm looking forward to Historicon already…………….

JasonAfrika Inactive Member22 Mar 2017 5:29 p.m. PST

George you are an awesome guy and always have been. Ive seen you at all the East Coast cons for nearly 20 years now. I wish you continued success! Jason from Philly

Who asked this joker22 Mar 2017 5:37 p.m. PST

I was told they set an attendance record; good for them, glad they got good numbers.

I would have guessed the convention numbers were down in attendance. There were not as many games being run, that is for sure. Distilfink looked kind of empty at around 4:00 on Saturday. Maybe half full if that. Back in the day, you would have been hard pressed to find a table at that time. The bar area was not as bustling as before. Stuff like that told me that the con was a bit slow.

Dealer hall never seemed full to me either. I went when it first opened on Friday. Crowd was light. Saturday I went a couple of times. seemed kind of light then too.

Just some observations. Glad you could declare success on all fronts!

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2017 6:04 p.m. PST

DoubleG,
I too, am so sorry to hear about your Dad. I lost mine over 10 years ago & still miss him daily. Hang in there, it does get a little easier, but you will always have a spot no one else could fill. But that's okay too. No one else should be able too. And keep selling & playing with all those beautiful figures that you do, so well! That will help. ;)
Peace.
Peter

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2017 6:23 p.m. PST

The people who did the most to reduce attendance at Cold Wars were probably the professional media-type "meteorologists."

With hyperbole and dire warnings, they blew their predictions way out of proportion and scared the tar out of everyone. What can you say about an "on-air talent" with little more than a few undergraduate courses in the sciences and no more gravitas than a pole-dancer?

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Mar 2017 6:29 p.m. PST

Spot on; they whipped everyone here into a frenzy with predictions of 18" to 24", starting Tuesday morning and going into late Tuesday night; we ended up with 4", then it rained, then it stopped around 6:00PM………….they were only off by a foot to two feet, no big deal.

I should stop selling toy soldiers and sell milk, bread, eggs and toilet paper from December to March, I'd be a snow storm stock up millionaire…………….

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Mar 2017 6:31 p.m. PST

Joker,
The gaming areas looked crowded to me Friday night, my cousin had to park across the street Saturday as all the lots were full; granted the lawn area near the dealer hall was unusable due to the snow, so that's about 30 spots that were not available.

The dealer hall seemed crowded all three days, even on Sunday, I did a nice chunk of dough on Sunday that saved the convention for me to be honest as I was down pretty big thanks to a lackluster Saturday. Friday was excellent for me.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2017 6:54 p.m. PST

Double G:

So sorry to hear of your loss. :-(

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Mar 2017 7:06 p.m. PST

Thanks for the kind words Jason, Peter and HG; life goes on, time heals all wounds, but life will never be the same, I'm ok with that……………

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2017 7:28 p.m. PST

Lost my father 16 years ago today. He was a WWII and Korean vet. And he was my favorite golfing companion.

vagamer63 Supporting Member of TMP22 Mar 2017 7:42 p.m. PST

George,

Very sorry over the loss of your Dad! My Dad passed in 1980, and life does go on even if it's not the same! Not a day goes by I don't look at his picture in my wallet, something going on around me will remind me of him, or I have a private conversation with him about things. He's there every time, and every day, in spirit whenever I need him and I'm OK with that! I know somehow it will always be the same with you!

Stan Johansen Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Mar 2017 8:58 p.m. PST

Sorry for your loss George. See you at Historicon all the best
Stan

WarWizard23 Mar 2017 6:05 a.m. PST

George, my condolences also. I hope the many happy memories of your father will lighten the burden of your loss. I am glad you were able to attend the event and had a enjoyable time.

Thanks to ALL the dealers and HMGS staff that put on such a fun show for all of us!!

Johnnyutah8000 Inactive Member23 Mar 2017 6:56 a.m. PST

It was great seeing you again this weekend George. Every time I hear the Alamo and U-boat I'll think of you and your dad and those fantastic stories! See you at Historicon.

Matt

Who asked this joker23 Mar 2017 8:21 a.m. PST

Double G,

I guess the lots and available space is another way to look at it. They were quite full. Maybe there were not so many people running games later in the con. I did note that other areas outside the distilfink and up in the hotel lobby had something going the whole time. HWAKs room was also going pretty strong.

I am basing my observations on the amount of people in the dealer area from days gone by maybe c2005. Sometimes people kind of queue up around the dealers. That was something I didn't really see this time. Of course, i was not down there as much as you!

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Mar 2017 8:52 a.m. PST

Thanks for the well wishes everyone; see, this just proves my point about what a great bunch of guys you all are.

Matt; glad you liked the U Boat and Alamo stories, I've got a lot of them thanks to my Dad…………"JohnnyUtah", should have known that was you……….;)……….

Personal logo Moe the Great Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2017 9:54 a.m. PST

Double G,

It was a pleasure to meet you too. I agree that it would be nice to have a flea market for dealers. I would be happy to run a table then.

Looking forward to seeing you two Georges again.

Moe

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Mar 2017 11:36 a.m. PST

Thanks again Moe, you are a prince of a guy, I appreciate what you did for me regarding the items I bought from you…………….

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Mar 2017 12:16 p.m. PST

Thanks for the kind words George.

There were a bunch of really great looking games. Friday night seemed more crowded than Saturday night.

As I am located in the front of the hall, I may not have the same perspective on attendance looking out over the hall from the back. I also did not get to go and make a round or two in the hall. Friday seemed busy and at times frenzied. Saturday felt light all day long with no real surge the last two hours like normal.
Sunday was slow to start but busy the last 90 minutes. I was told on Friday night that the club was 200 attendees from a CW attendance record for the recent past. While they did make the record I didn't see those attendees show up in the dealer hall.

Friday was really good for me. Saturday was flat all day. About 3pm Saturday I started to calculate the numbers for both days and I was kind of shocked. Typically I monitor credit card sales as I can do that easily. Generally cc vs cash is in a 10-15% spread so I can guesstimate where things will wind up. My gut feel about Saturday being light were realized. However, the surprise was that the Friday half day was *double* Saturday. Yeah, double. That has never happened to me before. And the split in cash vs cc was significantly off previous trends with close to 2/3 being cash. At the end of Saturday, I was within a small amount of Cold Wars 2015. I had a stellar Sunday as well, probably 50% over normal. So in the end my sales were the best for a Cold Wars since 2008. Of course I am plenty happy with that fact.

Many have heard me say before that a bunch of us do not have to do the cons anymore to generate business and could do without the cost, hassle and significant effort. Who the heck would want to pack up 5000 skus, unload and set up, and 3 days later pack it up again only to unpack it all to continue the web/mail business? We do it because we love it on so many levels.

I have to reiterate what George said. I love this club and the people. It is like my second family. I have made countless friends and acquaintances over the years.

The dealer hall staff are always responsive and great to work with at each con. Many of the BOD members actively listen to our opinions and even seek them out, more than at any time in the 17 years I have been running BrigadeGames.

Based upon the hotel plans and them getting a Wyndam franchise, the Host will be significantly improved at Fall In and beyond. That is a really good thing.

Say what you want, but this club rocks.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Mar 2017 12:30 p.m. PST

Awesome post Lon, that pretty much nails it.

And you're welcome for the kinds words; if anyone deserves them, it's you.

skinkmasterreturns23 Mar 2017 2:19 p.m. PST

My condolences on the on your loss of your dad.

skinkmasterreturns23 Mar 2017 2:19 p.m. PST

My condolences on your loss of your dad.

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Mar 2017 2:55 p.m. PST

Thanks very much…………..

Milhouse25 Mar 2017 8:52 a.m. PST

I second all of Double Gs comments. And while Moe the Great is a prince of a guy, admit it DG : you love that nickname! :D

Double G Sponsoring Member of TMP25 Mar 2017 9:05 a.m. PST

Yup, because we all know Moe is their leader……….

Personal logo Moe the Great Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2017 6:47 p.m. PST

Milhouse,

Next time you are coming into town, let me know.

Moe

Milhouse26 Mar 2017 10:58 a.m. PST

Will do Moe!

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