GAMA has released the general schedule for the GAMA Trade Show to be held March 17-20 at the Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas, as well as a list of the seminars.  For other news on the GAMA Trade Show see 'Major Announcements Planned for GAMA Trade Show' and '2003 GAMA Trade Show Exhibitors.'



The General Schedule

Sunday March 16

Pre-Registration badge pickup begins at 6pm.


Monday March 17

Onsite Registration begins at 8am.

Seminars start  at Noon.

Exhibitor Setup starts at Noon.

The first banquet starts at 6:30pm.

After the banquet more seminars occur.


Tuesday March 18

Brunch starts at 9am

Exhibitor setup starts at 8am, continues until the exhibit halls open.

Seminars continue after Brunch, before exhibit halls open.

Exhibit Halls open 12:30pm - 6pm

Dinner starts at 6:30pm

After dinner events include 9pm-Midnight Game Demonstrations.


Wednesday March 19

Brunch starts at 9am

Seminars continue after Brunch, before exhibit halls open.

Exhibit Halls open 12:30pm - 6pm

Dinner starts at 6:30pm

After dinner events include 9pm-Midnight Game Demonstrations.


Thursday March 20

Brunch starts at 9am

Seminars continue after Brunch, before exhibit halls open.

Exhibit Halls open 12:30pm - 4pm

GTS2003 ends at 4pm.


Events are listed by whom they are particularly applicable to.  However, unless otherwise specified, all events are for all attendees. 



Retail Division Seminar and Meeting Track

Divisional Meeting Track

GRD Business Meeting 1: The first of two business meetings held by the Retail Division.  The agenda for this meeting is Divisional and GAMA reports and election of officers and board members. 1hr


GRD Business Meeting 2:  The second of two business meetings held by the Retail Division. Discussions will include setting program priorities for the coming year. 1hr


Discussion Track 

Ask the Retailers:  A panel discussion, moderated by the GRD Board of Directors, focused on asking retailers about their current concerns with the industry.  Discussion should include how to promote to retailers, the three-tiered system, and other issues inside the retail tier.  Open to all. 1.5 hrs Moderated by Steve Nicewarner


Game Industry Forum Live:  [This is the usual discussion.  Wayne, I would expect you or Vern to moderate this one] 1.5 hrs


Industry and Custom standards:  A discussion on problems within the industry relating to bar-coding, sku labeling, pricing, custom requirements, and packaging.  Open to all.  1hr.


Industry Brainstorm:  This session will start with small groups and brainstorm up to 3 large ideas for the industry.  Brainstorming code of conduct will be presented then used to produce ideas from the working groups and move up to large and collated ideas and the end of the session.  All ideas will be recorded and presented in a final report prepared by the GAMA staff.  This is a great opportunity for all tiers to come and present/refine ideas for the industry.  Bring your thinking caps!  2 hrs.  Moderator, Chris Watson.


Basic Business Track 

The Business and Marketing Plan:  Whether a brand new store, opening a second store, or expanding an existing location, Business and Market planning is essential to success.  Discussion will include how to develop and cultivate these two essential plans. Sample business plans will be provided and discussed. 1hr Jim Crocker


Essential Financial Reporting:  An overview of the accounting working tools necessary to any business.  Discussion will include the Profit and Loss statement, the Balance Sheet, the Cash Flow Statement, and basic thumb rules for financial estimation.  1.5 hrs Chris Watson


The In Store Demo:  How to use in store demonstration as a tool for growing business.    1hr.  John Kaufeld


Advertising for the Small Business Part 1:  Printing and Print media is a vast and difficult process.  From simple business cards to flyers, catalogues, and mass mailings, printers and the print medium has language all its own.  Discussion will include set up and layout of print media, printing terminology, evaluating costs for color and processing, and planning for contingencies in distributing print advertising.  1hr Mark Simmons


Advertising for the Small Business Part 2:  Advertising is one of the most difficult yet essential challenges facing the small business.  It can be the most costly skill to learn.  Discussion will include basic types of advertising, message generation, medium matching, and cost control when choosing and purchasing advertising.  1 hr John Kaufeld


Advanced Business Track: 

Dealing with Staff:  As a business grows so does the staff.  Managing a multi-person staff brings its own concerns.  Discussion will include hiring, goal setting, compensation issues, staff discipline and monitoring, and other tasks associated with having more than one person in the store.  1hr


Hyper-Working Inventory:  In today's electronic age the burden of working a retail store's inventory beyond the display floor has become necessity.  Discussion will include alternate uses of inventory, convention travel, web sites and other mail order options, and cross marketing with other industries. 1hr Marcus King


Evaluating Terms and Conditions: Distributors and Manufactures offer a variety of terms and condition for purchase of product or services.  Discussion will provide tools for evaluating early pay discounts, package deals, credit plans, and interest calculations on credit lines.  This discussion is the root of analyzing the process behind growing and maintaining profitability.  1 hr Chris Watson


Games and Their Sources:  One of the biggest questions fielded by retailers is where and when new and re-releases come out.  This discussion will focus on the life cycle of a game, how it is produced, the time and cost efforts necessary to bring a game to market.   The seminar will provide resources to guide the retailer in positively imparting manufacturing information to their customer base. 1hr


Product Diversification: Our industry is, of course, the adventure games industry. However, many successful retailers stock other products that appeal to their customer base.  Such products include hobby merchandise, specialty educational games, software, action figures and others.  Come here what these retailers have seen success with in their stores.

During the seminar we will develop a list of products from other successful retailers. At the end of the seminar we will type up the results and hand them out. By Chris Watson and others tba.


Expanding into Comics:  With the renewed popularity of comic books and their related products, the expansion of inventory into comics seems a natural fit.  However, as a different industry, many issues face the average game store retailer.  This seminar will discuss the comics distribution system, costs associated with started up a comic section, racking, display, and other issues relating to this type of inventory addition.  1hr.  Jim Crocker


The Local Convention:  Local conventions have many advantages to regional retailers, including energizing the consumer base, expanding interest level, and enhancing community knowledge of the adventure game hobby.  This seminar will discuss the basics of starting and running a local convention, including costs associated with startup, scheduling, venue selection, and advertising.  1 hr.  Anthony Gallela



Special Company Sales Presentations

GTS seminars are meant to be educational in nature, and GAMA works hard to keep sales pitches out of them.  GAMA also allows exhibiting companies that sponsor or co-sponsor a banquet to rent rooms during GTS, on a space-available basis, for special presentations about their programs and products.  This year GAMA welcomes Decipher Inc., Wizkids LLC and Wizards of the Coast in this capacity. 


Wizkids LLC Special Sales Event

If you attend the WizKids Venue Feedback Session on Monday, March 17, you will receive a MechWarrior Dropship!  (Check to be sure, at p[ress time there is some uncertainty about the plans- you might have to be a registered venue and attend the session to get the Dropship).  1 per retail location!  This is WizKids' biggest figure ever, in scale with the MechWarrior Mechs you're currently selling.  This ship is so big, four Mechs fit inside it.  For protection when landing, the Dropship is equipped with five turrets and five combat this baby is game legal.  This figure will not be generally available for sale, so it is really special.  They will be loading your Dropship with four Limited Edition MechWarrior Mechs, to make it even more special.  This will be your carry-on luggage for the flight home.  During the feedback session, you'll be able to tell the Wizkids representatives how their Approved Play program is working in your store and tell us how Wizkids can improve it further.



For All Tiers

GAMA's Origins International Game Expo

A discussion about what retailers and manufacturers want Origins to become. 


Games in Education Seminar

Tentative Description: Here plans for the future of GAMA's Games in Education project as well as a primer on how to utilize Games in Education resources to get more games used in your local schools. For all tiers. by Co-Chair Richard Martin-Leep



Manufacturer-Oriented Seminars

Fulfillment, Consolidators and You!

Description:  Retailers, distributors and publishers alike are encouraged to come discuss the inner workings of fulfillment consolidation and how it effects your business.  Learn how consolidators work with publishers and distributors to streamline the ordering process in the marketplace.

Woody Eblom of Tundra Sales,  Thom Talamini of Excelsior Entertainment, Adam Williams and Jim Fallone of Osseum Entertainment,  Phil Lacefield and Aldo Ghiozzi of Impressions Marketing.


Getting Out of the Garage: Corporations, Lawyers, and Accountants, Oh My!

This panel covers the basics of getting started as a game manufacturing company. It will cover the pros and cons of the different types of corporations and partnerships available, as well as taxes, liabilities, and the day to day and month to month running of the business as a *business*. The panel will also discuss the benefits and pitfalls of working with lawyers and accountants versus doing it all yourself. This will be a two-hour seminar. Panel members include the following: John Phythyon Jr. (Comics & Games Retailer Columnist), Matt Forbeck (President, Full Moon Entertainment), Alex Jurkat (CEO, Eden Studios), James Earnest (Founder, Cheapass Games), Chris Clark (Founder, Inner City Games), Rob Bowes (Founder, Lone Wolf Development), Aaron Robb (CFO, Living Room Games), and Steve Jackson (Fnord). Panel moderated by James Mishler (Just this Guy, you know?)  Hosted by James Mishler


Wizards of the Coast Sales Meeting

d20 Publishers Update, hosted by Anthony Valterra

This is an Invitation-Only D&D 3.5 Update for d20 publishers, hosted by Anthony Valterra


Getting Distribution into the Book Trade

By veteran of book distribution Ed Evans.


Exhibit Booth Design 101

Tentatively scheduled for Wednesday morning at 11am.

Seminar leader will have previously reviewed many booths and will lead the pack on a walking tour to comment on those which are particularly effective. The class might even vote on the 'best booth award' and a certificate could be awarded.