SPIEL is one of the largest, if not largest, boardgame convention in the world. With literally more than 1000 novelties realising each year at SPIEL it can be overwhelming. Especially if you're unsure what to expect. I always tend to prepare myself well so I can be as efficient as possible during the fair. This blog I'll highlight different tips and tools that help me prepare for SPIEL. So lets's get started!
Way ahead of SPIEL Boardgamegeek.com releases the GeekPreview for SPIEL. This preview contains all the latest info on the games present at SPIEL as submitted by the publishers. You can easily find more info on the games as it's directly linked to the Boardgamegeek.com database. You can also mark games as Must Have, Interested, Undecided or Not Interested to categorise each and every game. Besides this you can also find there if a game is available for purchase or if it's demonstration only. You can also subscribe to the list so you get notifications once new games get added. This years GeekPreview can be found here:
While the GeekPreview is already a pretty good tool, I prefer the TabletopTogether tool. This tool uses the data from the above GeekPreview and enhances it with loads of additional features. These new features include: sharing lists, printing, hall plans, exports and loads more! Checkout the tool below:
If you're interested on what games are on my list, checkout this link:
Around two weeks before the convention starts you can also download the official SPIEL Guide. This digital magazine contains all the exhibitors and their releases as well as the official Hall plans. During the fair you can also grab a physical copy of this guide at the entrances, which I find a satisfying souvenir of the fair! Download the digital magazine below:
Preorders & Promos
Now you know what games interest you, it's time to maybe consider pre-ordering games in advance for pick-up at SPIEL. The truth is, some highly anticipated games will sellout at SPIEL. So if there is a game you definitely want to buy, it can be useful to checkout if it's available for Preorder. The Boardgamegeek community collects available preorders in the list below:
Note that not all publishers offer this possibility so for those titles you got to get your running shoes on for when the halls open on Thursday! I'm kidding, please don't run. But fast walking is allowed :)
Another aspect I really like about SPIEL is the release of promos. At SPIEL you can get some cool promos of games releasing there or older games. This year there is even a Similo: board games that I'm really excited about. So before the fair I always tend to check the community list at boardgamegeek.com for all the latest promo details:
With multiple huge halls and a galleria filled with exhibitors it can be hard to orientate yourself so it can be useful to have your Hall Plans handy. As mentioned above if you've used the Tabletop Together Tool you can easily print the Hall Plans so they are marked based on your list of games. This year the organisation of SPIEL has also released an official app that you can use during the day to orientate yourself in the Messe:
If you want a bit more details on your Hall Plans you can checkout the very detailed Hall Plans from Brettspielbox. However if you choose to go that way, get your markers ready to mark you exhibitors of interest!
With these tips and tricks you should be well prepared for a SPIEL filled with board games and other novelties. One final thing to prepare is your travel plan. The official SPIEL website has plenty of info on Parking (if arriving by car) or Public Transport.