My own personal rant zone

I set up this place so I can mostly talk about Tabletop Gaming...but occasionally some other stuff too...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

So, we had a party...

Sometimes planning pays off. It really does. I think the 5th Anniversary party we threw for the store this past Saturday was the best event we have had yet. It was easily one of the most well attended (say 450 people through the doors that day), and the single best sales day in our history. Whew.

I am pretty sure I, and the rest of the staff worked on the planning of the party for at least two months prior. It was the coordination of so many schedules that ended up by being the most work, and it's times like this party that I thank my lucky stars I was a professional project manger type person for a while. I haven't really done that much coordination in a few years, and I forgot how much I enjoy the challenge. It's even more rewarding when it's for "you" as they say. I pulled some pretty cool things off in my Web/Marketing career, but this was way more satisfying. So, what did we do...

It all started on Friday, when I picked Chris Pramas of Green Ronin at the Airport that morning. (He has a great account of this on his blog, and is a much better writer than I am, go figure.) The poor guy had already been up for hours, but refused a break, and we dived right into some Classic BattleTech. (one of these days I will post a rant about why I simply can't ever lose the bad taste in my mouth when I use it's full name...but that's another story.) For someone who hadn't played in 15 years, he did a darn fine job. We rolled with some old school 3025 mechs (still my personal favorite era to play in), and played until we ran out of time. There was some Death From Above, and some falling I sure had fun. My good friend Brian, met us at my place..we jumped in the Hybrid, and made our way up to Napa.

Now, if you have been following the game industry as long as I have (I mean, seriously...I have been Waldorfing on it since as long as I can remember), you have to understand just how fun this ride was. Chris P is full of some awesome stories. Answered questions to things I have been wondering for years. It was spectacular. But I digress....

So we made our way up to Yountville in pretty darn short order for a Friday afternoon. This gave us plenty of time to relax, do some wine tasting...and get in the proper mindset for an evening at one of Thomas Keller's fine eateries. As some of you may have seen in previous blog entries, y'all know I completed cooking school in March of 2004. Going to Bouchon is pretty much like reading a menu out of school. It's one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. I adore tradtional french at times, and get a little tired of fusion and all that other bidness. Bouchon delievers in that department. Along with making me feel homesick for my chef's whites...the service is impeccable. I don't think I want to bore you with details on the meal, but let's just say it was quite good. Bouchon is a littler easier to get into than The French Laundry. If you know you are heading to Napa at any point, make reservations...Lunch is just as good as dinner.

Skipping ahead to Saturday, man, oh man..we hit the ground running. After we opened the doors at 9am, The demos really started rocking at about 11am, and the game room was packed the whole time after that. The sales floor stayed equally busy the whole time. As the day progressed, and the demos went on, something really started to hit me. I think I forget sometimes how we have crafted something people really care about. I manage to forget how many friendships have formed around what really is just a retail store...but kinda not. I know we make money off our business, and if we didn't we would close (duh, right?), but when people come out to just say thanks, and congratulate all really comes home for me. Maybe more-so at this party than any of the others.

Now that we are 5, the store has had a chance to mature. We have watched a few of the kids grow up. We have seen our community mature as well. And, for me...that's what this whole thing is about. Community. EndGame isn't just a store anymore, it's a community of people with like interests, tastes, mindsets, and passions. It's become almost a thing bigger than the store itself, at this point. And, aside from my's the thing I am most proud to have been involved in.

We have made a difference in these few years. Not only have we helped support a community, we have helped it grow. One of my goals in joining EndGame was to do whatever I could to get new people into a hobby I hold very dear...and this party made me realize we are doing it. Everyday. And that, is just wonderful. I dunno how long I will do this. I really don't. But, in some ways, I dunno what else I could do that would mean more to me...if that makes sense.



At 1:57 PM, Blogger James said...

Heck, you should have seen the lovin' you guys were getting over on boardgamegeek. Whatever you guys do there at the store, they love you. I think the most common thing said was that you ACTUALLY knew about the games you carry and was always friendly.


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