Rick Janowski: I also attended the show in Chicago but I guess I forgot to put on my rose-colored glasses because I saw very little of what the obviously overly-idealistic Mr. Miller saw.
While I too was pleased with the concept of an "Essen-type" game show here in the Midwest, I was a bit more reserved about what I might actually find. The kernels of the truth are indeed part of Mr. Miller's prose however the spin he puts on these facts has produced a rather distorted view of the reality.
Certainly Mr. Miller is entitled to his opinion but I think the relish he put on this "Chicago Dog" has changed the actual flavor entirely.
As Miller said, the show was actually quite small and the attendance was equally so. If the rain on Sunday (the day I attended) did actually bring more people inside as Miller suggests, Saturday's attendance must have been absolutely dismal because there couldn't have been more than 300 people in that room at any given time during the 4 hours or so that I was there. The reason I even stayed that long was because I sat and played Age Of Mythology for over an hour. It didn't take more than 30 minutes to walk through sizing up the vendors and the rest of the time was spent talking to the few vendors I was interested in; mainly to keep them from falling asleep and perhaps get some industry gossip.
The majority of the vendors there were promoting children's products and games. The majority of people attending were, as Miller says, families. The only difference is, at least in my opinion, they were families who were spending time at Navy Pier in Chicago anyway and, for an inexpensive ticket, decided to wander through CHITAG.
Whether the show was a monetary success is dubious at best. Where the show did succeed is in it's very existence in the first place! Miller is correct in that the industry needs shows like this to succeed. It was an achievement to be sure and we can only hope CHITAG has the resources to build on it.
SH Wong: I have read that you use different size rubber band to hold your cards. Is that advisable? I asked because I had experiences of old long-unplayed boardgames in which the rubber band disintegrated and stick onto the cards. This this especially so for those rubber bands that feels more plastic or glossy.
GGA - Personally I have not had any problem with the elastic bands that I've used to store components. However, I have seen the damage that old, dried out rubber bands can cause so maybe I've just been lucky. There are specific varieties sold that claim to be safe but I have not been particularly happy with them, they're not "stretchy" enough for me. Rather than risk damage (of which I'm very concerned) I now store all my game components (including cards) in Ziploc bags. They're cheap and highly recommended. Get a variety of sizes and use whichever is most appropriate.