Once a year, in the middle of October Messe Essen transform into the world’s largest board and card game fair – SPIEL. People from all over the world flock to Essen. Some of them are here to buy games and some of them are here to show the public what’s out there. It’s chaotic, it’s fun and it’s totally awesome!
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Messe Essen – The fair
Being one of the most know halls in Germany, the halls are super impressive. It’s not the biggest of halls, actually it’s the ninth largest in the country. However, it’s well planned and easy to find your way once inside. Located with easy access from the city center there are several stops where you can exit the public transportation and head straight into the halls.
Each year the fair is visited by 1 400 000 people and a total of 14 000 exhibiting companies. There are about 50 different fairs held each year. In February each year they also have a travel and camping fair. But in this case, it’s all about SPIEL – where people that love board games meet and have four days of playing and fun. Oh, what a special moment!
SPIEL21 – Where the whole world meets
In magazines all over the world, you can always read that board games are trending more than ever. In fact, they have been trending for many years now and the business continues to grow. At SPIEL, game makers and exhibitors from all over the world gather to show the public their products and to sell their games with special discounts during the fair. All of the exhibitors also offer players to try their games – a great idea since games are often pretty pricey and you want to know what you are buying before you purchase it.
It’s also a great way for media and influencers to gather more information about games. Some exhibitors are looking for distributors and some are just here to show their stuff. A lot of the games are only available in German (sadly) but most of them have plans of translating their games into English within the near future. A chaotic place of great fun and loud noises, all in the best of ways!
did you know that there were 30 000 visitors during SPIEL21 and that was with all the restrictions due to COVID-19.
Our visit to SPIEL
The people that knows us know that we are crazy about games. I would even go as far as to saying that it’s my hobby. Mini enjoys playing games but for me it has almost become somewhat of a manic thing that I love to do with both people we know but also with new acquaintances. So, for me visiting the fair was an amazing experience and something that will stay with me for a long time.
We ended up playing games with each other and with new friends that we made during the fair. We started by visiting the fair the day before it officially opened. Then it was opened for the press and media and more than 1 000 new games were introduced to the market. The day after, the fair was officially opened and it was so incredible to stroll around and just enjoying everything at SPIEL. For the hardcore players, there’s also a trading place where people meet up and exchange games – how awesome is that!
Special moments at SPIEL
To say that our four days at the fair was incredible and amazing would be an understatement. We both ended up having a great time, finding new games and meeting amazing creators of the games. One example was a chess game with a totally new twist. Instead of beating your opponent by throwing out their pieces, Paco Sako (Peace chess in Esperanto) is a game where the pieces hug and dance.
Another special moment was meeting the creator of the game 7 Gods. We are yet to play the game but it seems really promising. I love everything about this magic game and the fact that the box is a triangle. And not to forget Lucky Duck Games and their amazing twist of combining games with phones. I believe that you can hear the enthusiasm in the text. Yes we are in heaven right now and can’t wait to try all the games out. And of course, you can play all of them in a motorhome.
Trending at spiel21
Even if games overall are always trending there are still games that are coming and going. This year it seemed like it was the year of ”Escape Games” and different kinds of Murder Mystery games. Unfortunately, a lot of them at the fair were only available in German but we are keeping our fingers crossed that they will be translated into English soon. So why have Escape Games become so popular?
Escape rooms are huge all over the world and we have visited several of them. One Escape game in Lanzarote was really good. When Corona hit the world, all these places had to shut down during the pandemic. People still wanted to play and that’s why so many showed up in the same manor and that you can play in the safety in your own home. We are not that good at these kinds of games but we sure LOVE them. After the fair we have several new once to try out in our motorhome!
More information about SPIEL
When: Each year in the beginning of October.
Where: In Essen in Germany.
Entrance Fee: 20 Euros per adult in 2021.
Visit the official website