ReedPOP will launch PAX Unplugged, a new tabletop game show, in Philadelphia this fall. The event will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center November 17-19. There are currently four PAX (Penny Arcade Expo) consumer shows focusing primarily on video games, in Seattle, Boston, San Antonio, and Melbourne, Australia. All have a tabletop component, but this will be the first PAX show with its primary emphasis on tabletop.
We reached out to ReedPOP Senior Vice President Lance Fensterman to learn more about the new show.
ICv2: What elements (exhibit floor, gaming, panels, etc.) do you plan to include?
Fensterman: We are still developing details, but we know we want an immersive, experience that is fun, welcoming and truly feels like home - a key element of any PAX event. And we know that we plan on having at least a main expo floor, demo areas, free play space with a lending library for fans to take advantage of, organized tournaments, panels, and streamed content in addition to other content and entertainment.
What game categories do you plan to emphasize?
Like I said before we are still looking into trying some new things at this new iteration of PAX but I can say we plan on encompassing all the different aspects of analog gaming: card games, board games, pen & paper RPGs, minis, and family games to name a few.
How do you think the size will compare relative to the existing PAX shows?
I think we have some attainable goals for the first year but like any new launch, we are more focused on building something awesome for the community and if we do that well, the size and scale will come. We are looking forward to growing the event with the tabletop community through the years to come.
Why Philadelphia for your first tabletop show?
We had a lot of talks with fans, partners, and companies within the tabletop industry and it kept coming up that the east coast is where there was the most interest. On an event organizer level Philadelphia as a location offers a lot. It is geographically located as an east coast hub, making it accessible to the major cities on the eastern seaboard. It has a convention center we can grow into for years to come, and its existing hotel and transit infrastructure will make it easy for our fans to get the show and have a place to stay near the event.
What will PAX bring to a tabletop game show that will make it different from other shows?
First and foremost, the partnership with Penny Arcade which has been a long and successful one for us, them and the shows. We are very proud of that relationship. We are also really proud of the feeling of community you get at a PAX event and we believe that will be core to the fan experience at Unplugged as well. Beyond that, it is about the content, the experience, the community, the vibe of the show, the brand. We want people to know that Unplugged is a show where they can purchase their badge and be delivered a well-organized, safe, fun place. Once they are inside, they are open to experience everything there is to do at the show without a hassle; and everyone is treated equally with the same opportunities as anyone else to enjoy and interact in a community that loves and celebrates gaming and the culture within it.
Anything else you think we ought to know about PAX Unplugged?
For right now I would say stay tuned for more to come as we are cooking up some fun new ideas for Unplugged but they aren’t quite ready to be announced yet.