Essen Hall Chaos?

This is a Google Translation of



SPIEL Essen has grown steadily in the 40 years of its existence and has also continued to expand in the halls of Messe Essen. It has now been held in Halls 1 to 6 and in the gallery for many years. While the area and the number of exhibitors continued to grow, the clarity and orientation for the visitors became a little smaller. In which hall is this family game stand? Where were the booths with miniature games again? We want to structure this growing distribution of stands for the upcoming SPIEL Essen in a clearer and simpler way.

It’s no secret that we want to change the hall layout. We addressed the issue in various videos and posts and said that we want to improve orientation for everyone and help them find the stalls they are looking for faster. At the same time, we want to make it easier to discover new games. We had planned the major renovation for 2024. This year, Hall 6 was to be redesigned first to start the topic. Due to the conversion of one hall, however, it turned out that it made sense to tackle the entire hall concept now.

The new hall planning envisages that all halls will have thematic focuses and that the stands in the halls will primarily present the corresponding games. There will be a large area for simple to sophisticated family games, children’s games and easy to medium expert games. Another segment is aimed at tabletops, miniature games, role-playing games and trading card games. Finally, there are areas for connoisseur and expert games. We distribute the other stands, for example from dealers or suppliers of accessories, to the appropriate areas. Our goal is to create the best possible trade fair experience for everyone.

We don’t allocate the stands at whim. We talk to the exhibitors, look at their range and, as a team, are familiar with many games ourselves. With this combination of feedback and experience, we set up the halls in such a way that everyone at SPIEL Essen 23 feels comfortable, can find their way around and enjoy their favorite hobby.

We are working hard to finalize the plans. Please be patient, give us the time and trust so that everyone can have an excellent and unforgettable SPIEL Essen 23 at the end.

Warm and playful greetings,
Your SPIEL team

So. what does this mean?  It sounds like they’re trying to group booths together by game type?  But, I mean, a lot of game companies focus on different sorts of games.  Will they have to have separate booths for their games?  Will Ravensburger have a kids booth for Labryinth?  A connoisseur booth for Puerto Rico 1897 (redux)?  Will that also have a booth in the trading card game area for Lorcana – assuming that the impending litigation doesn’t freeze the game release?

Not sure how this will work at all – but it’ll be a learning experience for us all!  Looks like for the first time in maybe 15 or 20 years, I may have to tote around that big white press book with the directory of all the stand.  Who knows where all my favorite companies will be?!

In one way, it probably doesn’t matter – as long as the games are at SPIEL, people will find them.  In the 20-some years that I’ve been there, there have always been a few booths that seemed to be a bit different than their immediate neighbors (remember the few board game stalls that ended up in the roleplaying world of the old Hall 6? — or when there was that weird upstairs hall 9.1?).

In any event, it’s less than 4 months away, and I’m already excited to return to SPIEL in October.  I’m scheduling a few days to travel around western Germany prior to the show.  I am hoping to figure out how to order the unlimited rail pass for the month of October which should make the travel bit easier (and a heck of a lot cheaper)

Until your next appointment,

The Gaming Doctor

About Dale Yu

Dale Yu is the Editor of the Opinionated Gamers. He can occasionally be found working as a volunteer administrator for BoardGameGeek, and he previously wrote for BoardGame News.
This entry was posted in Convention Report. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Essen Hall Chaos?

  1. William Baldwin says:

    While I think their idea is noble, I think they will find that this classification system will see most vendors figuring out which halls have the most traffic and try to explain their way into that hall in following years. Family getting the most traffic? Look at this family game in our line we are promoting this year!

Leave a Reply