Friday, January 28, 2011

I responded to a blog that was on the Texicon.nt about how Game Stores are having a challenge with growing business. The issue is not having gamers in the store, but having them purchase. Here is the website for the blog, then Roll2Play's response.


I agree with everything you have written here. Getting, keeping and growing the business is the challenge for game stores, isn’t it? Game stores, well any business, with an actual store front have the same challenges. How do you get people to come in and spend their bucks with you instead of going into your store for a reconnaissance to find the same product cheaper online. That phrase, ‘build it and they will come’ no longer applies anymore. Like newspapers that have gone under because they can’t keep up with the online mass media. Businesses have to change and adapt to what they are doing. They have to go beyond the normal marketing and promoting. It’s time to think outside the box.

Look at the difference between Borders and Barns & Noble. BnN developed a product, Nook, that enable people to easily download and read books. Borders, instead of developing its own, reached out to other ebook developers and failed and may go bankrupted. BnN is not happy about this, because two book stores in one area will generate greater traffic. They have been growing the industry together. More people were reading books than ever before. Observers fear that loosing Borders may drop the number of readers out there. Businesses have to adapt and get creative. They can’t just stay cooped up in the store.

Here are things that store can do to offer something special and help change the mindset of buying online, versus going into the store and supporting your store. Games stores need to friend other game stores too. Create that healthy network that will grow the gaming industry. They need to know when new games are coming out and learn how to play them. When a customer walks in the staff needs to know the basics of all the games, not just their favorites. More people that know how to play Dominion, Catan and so on, the more people will want to pick it up and play it at home. One store alone cannot get the word out, it’s takes the gaming community as a whole.

Games store are going to have to host events, workshops, and so on to get people into the stores. Exposure is the key: Going to conventions, local events, supporting libraries, even getting involved with the schools. Support the chess club at schools, sponsor an anime club at the local middle school. Gaming tournaments, teaching games will also help to show the non-gamers how awesome these games are. This helps to influences people to pick up a game and take home so they can share with their friends and family.

The other area that game stores have to look into is bringing in mainstream folks. They need to reach out with events that will get non-gamers into the store. Reaching younger generations is crucial to establishing a base. The potential market is huge, it is the game store responsibility to get that exposure, bring those folks in and make them feel welcomed. I’ve been told over and over how important fandom is. Store can’t just sit back anymore. Some of the more successful game stores I know about, the owners rarely gets to play a game. He is out there talking to the people, teaching games, and doing so much more to not just be a store, he is creating a community.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fund Raiser Tee Shirts Are In!!!!

"That's How I Roll" tee shirts are completed and on sale now. I will get them on the website once I take pictures of them. I will also share the pictures here and on FB. They are a heather gray shirt with the print in white and black of a dragon rolling dice.

The sales for these tee shirts will go straight to savings that is funding the costs to open a brick and mortar store. These shirts are soft and cool. Short sleeves are only $20 and the long sleeves are $25. I have from small to 3L sizes. *I have to add tax, sorry folks. :-( * More details later. Here's your chance to support a future local game store that is already plugged into the local community, schools and gamers. Email me if you're interested.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Year in Review for Roll2Play

Happy Birthday Roll2Play-
As of mid November, Roll2Play became a year old as a gaming retailer. Yay!! We have played a lot of games since then. Inventory has quadrupled and the product lines are still expanding. We started with just a few board games, card games and dice games and just a few dice choices. Now when we go to conventions, we have to get at least two spaces. Miniatures are finally part of our product lines. We started with Anima Tactics and Heroscape. We have even begun scheduling the gaming events at different cons, including Yulecon and Texicon. Our dice selection has grown tremendously that I now order directly from two different dice companies, Crystal Caste and Chessex. Yup, we even have the inflatable d20 for the pools parties you nerds throw each year. :-D Our services have also grown. We don’t just sell games, but teach them too.

Events bringing gamers together-
There have been many events that we have tried out that have worked out great. Some of these events are teaching games to kids at the local Children Courtyards, fund raisers for different schools and organizations and vending at many conventions. I love how successful each of the fund raisers were. They have been a ton a fun, easy to host and many awesome games have been introduced to people fairly new to the gaming world. Other events that have been successful are gaming events hosted at home base. What a great way to feature new games like Dixit or introduce games like Dominion or even feed the already big following of Munchkin. You can bet we will have many more of these events. Our convention schedule has grown a lot. We now participate in a convention at least once a month. I hope to grow that to twice a month. It’s a lot of hard work, but well worth it. It’s a great way for us to hang out with our growing number of gaming friends as well as meeting new ones.

Our fan following has grown past my expectations! We have more than 200 fans on Facebook. Facebook has proven to be a great way to share when we are having events, when game masters are needed, when new games come in and so much more. When Roll2Play shows up at conventions, our fans come by to chat it up with us. That makes my heart warm up fast! Many convention organizers have invited us to other conventions just because they see us having a blast and they noticed how well received we are. This is really helping us to get plugged into the convention circuit. We would do anything for you guys!! Roll2Play is here for you!

Staffing, it’s still volunteer-
We have lots of game masters that love to get a free con badge, free food and play all weekend long at different events. You are guys are freaking awesome. The Roll2Play staff/support is getting well known and we continue to be welcomed back to future events and conventions. This is all because the folks helping Roll2Play don’t judge, take the time to teach the rules and do this with total respect to the gamers no matter their level of gaming knowledge. Remember, we have fans that are younger than 13, fans that are older than 60 and all those in-between. With this awesome pace, who knows what will happen next. I can’t wait!! We are here to spread the joy of gaming to everyone!!

I was invited to become Board Game Magnate for the Texicon gaming convention hosted in Fort Worth. Their second convention will be held in May 20-22, 2010. Roll2play will be there as a vendor and I am supervising the gaming schedules for that weekend. This convention is run by folks that are well plugged into the gaming industry. I like their welcoming attitude towards any kind of gamer and passion in bringing more folks into the gaming world. Their programs that help out small game stores are awesome. Just wait till you see the Game Wagon at the convention. I highly recommend making room in your May schedule to come out, support Texicon and try some new games.

So, what to expect from Roll2Play next year-
More events! More teaching! More games! Now that we are into our profitable months, it’s all about growth and getting an awesome war chest full of games and funds for even more growth! I am looking forward to getting more involved in discussions about the gaming industry that impact the casual gamer to the serious gamer to gamer that still has to be found. I think that this will definitely help to bridge that gap between serious nerds and main stream folks. Games bring people together. We have seen that happen over and over and over. I also hope to start bringing in guest bloggers. I realized over the last couple of months that my goal of a weekly blogging is not a reality. I need help! So, please, let me know if you are interested in blogging for Roll2Play. You can give a game review, share a gaming experience, bring to light interesting gaming trends and anything else gaming related.

What’s that, a real store? What are the rumors??
Yes, I have also been thinking about where and how to get the actual brick and mortar store open. First things first, it’s important for a new business to have at least nine months of bills saved up in the bank before actually signing a lease agreement. I hope that the numbers continue to look good and grow. At this rate, a store in two years is a real possibility. Imagine a store that you fans can say you were part of from the beginning. Phrases like, ‘I remember back when there was no store’… and so on will be used by the friends of Roll2Play today. So keep spreading the word about Roll2Play!

Here’s to an awesome 2011!!

Tiffany Franzoni
Owner/Founder of Roll2Play, LLC