Gamers Welcome

Starting this morning, downtown Seattle will be invaded by tens of thousands of gamers.  Yes, PAX Prime 2010, the 3 day extravaganza, the 3rd largest in the nation, takes over the Convention Center, Benaroya Hall and even part of the downtown Sheraton Hotel.  For anyone who doesn’t have a gamer in your family or circle, this is video game heaven. All the game companies, large and small are here showing their latest wares.  The show is sold out and devotees bought their precious 3 day passes nearly a year ago.  So well attended, an East Coast show has been scheduled for the spring so if you are in the Boston area, start preparing your game plan.

For some of you, this may  serve as a warning to avoid downtown Seattle this weekend and the inevitable crowds. But for any of you who are in the downtown area – this is your opportunity.  Go on line and get the schedule so you know what is going on.  This year, gamers will be walking the corridor between the Convention Center and Benaroya Hall.  Are you one of the countless coffee shops and lunch places typically only open during the week to serve the downtown workers?  Perhaps it would be worthwhile to open this weekend as well. Gamers are typically young men and last time I checked, they also typically consume large quantities of food, sodas and caffeine.

These are video game fanatics, that means they have an affinity for all things Japanese so perhaps a display of Japanese sodas will attract their dollars to your cash register.  If you missed the opportunity to stock some targeted items for this year, never fear, the gamers will return next year too – likely in even larger numbers.

If your business is in the downtown Seattle area, consider putting a sign in your windows offering PAX attendee discounts. You can find the logo on the internet as I did for this blog and print a sign out for each of your windows before the Convention Center even opens this morning! Be sure you are staffed properly, especially at the end of the day. Offer to label and store their “goodie bags” for them just as you would have done with a coat.  Perhaps put together a quick “daily sheet” with a fixed prix meal targeted at their budget.  Use a “game” font (again, check the PAX Prime 2010 website for examples) or even use some of the terminology you get there on your sheet.

Large groups are opportunities.  Know what is coming to your area and when.  Check the event websites for schedules and look for ways you can tap into these valuable consumers.  Your communities work hard to bring these dollars to your market, be sure you are ready – even proactive – about getting your share!

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