I was over at the BaneLegions site the just yesterday and realised that:
(a) the link to us that listing us as a retailer carrying their excellent models leads people not to our website but instead to my hobby blog;
(b) the last post on my hobby blog is all about how Imaginary Wars is not yet open for business; and
(c) I haven’t posted a blog update in over a month! (So much for my goal of trying to post every week!)
So I decided to rectify what I can.
And For The Record…
Imaginary Wars IS open and has been for exactly one month as of six days ago (I REALLY meant to have this post done on the exact one-month milestone…but that day–and several following it–ended up being pretty busy…which is a problem I totally don’t mind having!) Below is the walk-through video I took mere minutes before opening the store for business for the first time, back at the start of April.
Since that ‘First Day’ we’ve brought in more products, shuffled product around and stocked and restocked our shelves (it’s like a never-ending tile puzzle, really). Since day one, a lot of people have commented on our excellent variety of stock, despite being so new. I think our weakest area right now is depth of stock …and comic books—comics only because due to the weekly arrival of books (and the fact that new releases are only truly “new” for all of seven days), we initially decided to slowly build up our comic and graphic novel stock levels week by week rather that all at once (as we had to do with board games).
April 27-29: CALGARY COMIC EXPO!
We went to the convention, knowing that we’d have exposure to something like 35,000 people—and it actually turned out the expo had closer to 50,000 attendees! I ran the booth all weekend long with considerable help from friends each day.
Knowing we were a game store at a comic show, we decided to use the Comic Expo as a vehicle for advertising the new store more than as a way to simply generate some money; so we talked to everybody and used our coming Grand Opening weekend (happening on June 9!) as a reason to give away a $500 shopping spree in the store.
DID SOMEONE SAY …SHOPPING SPREE?
That’s right, we’re giving away $500 to one lucky person who has either liked Imaginary Wars, or visited our booth at the Comic Expo.
We’re planning on doing the draw on May 22nd and giving the spree away on our “official” grand opening event we’ll be holding on Saturday, June 9.
While the shopping spree was our main offering at the Comic Expo, we still brought a ton of stuff to fill our booth tables—and we had to pillage the store after each day at the show to keep the booth looking full! So we met and talked to TONS of people, gave out a ton of ballots (and only one per person at that!); we even sold more than a decent amount of stuff—and had a blast to boot!
Month ONE: DONE!
So how was our first month? Well, it’s been a tumultuous ride filled with pleasant surprises: we’ve had gamers in the store on our game nights more times than not; and a lot of work: no sooner had we opened our door than we had to start preparing for the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo. We just finished that on the last weekend of April and have more or less recovered from it. Then there’s getting our points reward system installed and worked out and able to track points collected and give out reward dollars (still working on that part)…and don’t even get me started on how many invoices I still need to input into the store’s database; it’s like my new hobby is data entry.
So there we are, one month and six days in….but with lots more work still needing to be done:
GRAND OPENING WEEKEND:
Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 10 will be our official grand opening, and we’ll be making sure our store is fully stocked for that weekend—and will even bring in some things specifically for that weekend!
The hope right now is that we’ll not only have some specials for the weekend, but we’ll also be introducing many of our game lines to those who come by the store on that Saturday: I’m hoping we can have tables showcasing Firestorm Armada, Heavy Gear, Strange Aeons and some Games Workshop games to represent our miniatures lines; we’ll also have painting lessons/tips and perhaps a table showcasing some different board games throughout the day. (So, obviously I’m hoping to rope some friends into volunteering their time to make all these tables work well!) I’m pondering trying to get enough of my models painted to make showing off Flames of War possible as well…but we’ll see how that goes.
40K TOURNAMENT: SUNDAY, JUNE 10
To complete the grand opening weekend—and make full(er) use of the store’s 1600 square feet of space, we’ll be running a small twelve-man 40k tournament…almost as a “ringing out the fifth edition” farewell tournament. I have to work out some details—beyond entry fee and prizes, etc—to make the tournament feel like it’s a farewell to Fifth Edition. (So, obviously I’ll be open to any suggestions!)
I’m getting back into the swing of things with the blog, and I’ll be aiming at one (or more) posts each week, so I can keep everyone updated on how the Grand Opening Weekend is turning out, and what the parameters of the 40k tournament will be. Honestly, with 6th Ed. almost here, I’m thinking I should make this tournament be more of a fun-filled “last hurrah” than any kind of truly competitive event. But how does one herd all the 40k cats in that direction?