Saturday, 14 July 2018

Safe Sweating

Sylvia presenting PM:AR in Pyrkon.
Our booth is behind the crib,” I told Tomasz ja Sylvia from For2players.  They carried our game boxes to the booth. We had 15 minutes to set everything up before the doors opened to the public. The baby in the crib at the neighbouring booth was playing happily, while his mother and other exhibitors and retailers were setting up their displays. 15 minutes was all we needed. Soon the aisle was filled with fantasy creatures, pokemon, warriors and happy people offering “free hugs” on their signs. Pyrkon, an amazing fantasy festival, had started.

The Other Rulebook

Our booth in UKGE was
nicely located close to
our PM:RE manufacturer.
Two weeks after Pyrkon we were carrying games to our booth in Birmingham, for UKGE. Our son was stopped at the door: no minors allowed! I was stunned and the memories of Nuremberg surfaced. I had re-read the exhibitors guide for UKGE just the night before to check set-up times and other instructions and hadn’t found any age limits.

It was in the other rulebook, the rules of the NEC, which I hadn’t read since in March. That one had the age limits and safety regulations. I was soon told that we were breaking several of them. The worst thing was that we were wearing sandals, due to the nice, sunny weather. It was mandatory to have shoes that cover your feet. Luckily we had managed to smuggle most of our stuff to the booth in our sandals, so we just left the exhibiting hall.

Saved by Rubber Boots

The problem was that the safety regulations of the erection phase extended to the area for the press preview. Väinö and I were supposed to present our games there within an hour for the large crows of press people. I managed to get permission for Väinö to enter, with proper shoes. All our other shoes were in our caravan at the camping site but the two of us had rubber boots in the car. So we put the rubber boots on and ran to set up our playing cards and flyers. I know that all the journalists didn’t have “proper shoes” when they walked around checking new games. Man, was I feeling safe sweating in the rubber boots behind our table!

UKGE during the time when sandals were ok.
At UKGE, any time other than the public opening times was considered “building and restocking time” = safety regulation time. So every morning our exhibitor son was forced to wait at the front gate for the convention to open and he had to leave the hall right after closing time.
I remembered the baby in his crib in Pyrkon. We are in the EU - even the British are for a while - and one easily thinks we have the same rules. This tour has taught us, though, that each country is different. Each organization is different. Each board game convention is different. In some countries people can work and be safe with fewer rules.

In Pyrkon we were allowed to camp in the fair area.
That was nice - but noisy because the fantasy parties lasted all night long.

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