Last year, I went to the Chicago Toy and Game Fair (ChiTAG) for the first time, and I had a great time. I wandered around the exhibit floor, took part in the inventors’ forum, and helped out with the Ask an Expert event.
This year, Mary Couzin (the woman behind the whole event) of Discover Games had decided to spotlight the inventors’ forum by running it by itself for a full two days before ChiTAG. The brand-new Toy and Game Inventors Expo (TAGIE) is a good chance for prospective game designers and toy inventors to get a crash course in how the industry works, network with like-minded souls, and even network with the people who might publish or purchase your ideas. Afterward, you can show off your wares to the public with a booth at ChiTAG too.
Because this is a professional show, attendance does not come cheap. Still, if you’re looking to break into the mass market as a designer or inventor, consider it tuition well spent.
I will likely show up at ChiTAG again to help out with Meet the Experts, and there’s a good chance I’ll be able to get down for TAGIE too. If so, I hope to see you there.