2016 event in Birmingham attracts 16,500 unique visitors over three days
This year’s UK Game Expo, which took place last weekend from June 2nd to 4th, pulled in 16,500 unique visitors, making it the third biggest tabletop gaming event in the world.
Co-director Tony Hyams announced the figure on-stage during the close of the show at Birmingham’s NEC, adding that 31,000 attendees had been recorded in total during the three-day convention. (This counts multiple entries by the same people over different days.)
The statistic means that UK Games Expo has overtaken the US event Origins, which recorded a unique attendance of 15,480 in 2016, with 52,561 ‘turnstile attendance’ – the games fair, started in 1975, runs over five days, making its repeated entries higher. The 2017 show will take place next week between June 14th and 18th.
UK Games Expo held its first event in 2007, when it pulled in just 1,200 visitors (non-unique). It was still recording numbers of less than 10,000 up to 2014 (9,919), before jumping to 13,971 in 2015 and 25,149 last year.
Germany’s Essen Spiel, held in October since 1983, remains the world’s biggest event for tabletop games, attracting 174,000 people last year.
Second-biggest is the North American show Gen Con, begun in 1968 by Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax, which upped its turnstile attendance to 201,852 in 2016, with 60,819 unique visitors.