board games

Half My Life

Was working a little late last night, preparing for a presentation I am giving today to our local Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Vancouver Island Chapter. And I realized something that surprised me a little.

World Puzzle Day

World Puzzle Day is an interesting event. Founded in 2013 by Günther Simetsberger of Austria, this year marks the event’s 7th season. Unlike what the name might suggest, the event is held over a two-month period. Competitors (let’s call them puzzlers) from around the world compete to assemble as many puzzles as possible. Puzzlers are ranked based on the total number of pieces they assemble.

Unexpected Conversations

 It has been a very very busy year at Outset Media. When things get busy, it’s far too easy to delay tasks that aren’t urgently required. And often these tasks get delayed… and delayed… and delayed… and eventually never get done.

Posting a new blog is definitely one of those “sure-would-be-nice-but-can-wait” type of tasks. In fact, it had been so long since my last posting that I was about to pull the blog off our website.

Nuremberg Toy Fair Review

This was our 6th consecutive year exhibiting at the Nuremberg Toy Fair.  It finally feels like we are making some significant progress on the international side of our business.

We exhibit at 8 tradeshows in Canada and 21 tradeshows in the United States.  At these tradeshows, the goal is to meet with retailers, and show them our board games and puzzles.  But Nuremberg Toy Fair is different for us.  At this tradeshow, we are only interested in meeting with distributors (rather than retailers) as it isn’t economically feasible to ship to individual retailers outside North America.

2017 Year in Review

The long flight to Hong Kong Toy Fair every January is always a good time to reflect on the past year.  Here is a list of my top four highlights from 2017:

Highlight #1 - Revenue Growth

New York Toy Fair Review

This was our 15th consecutive year exhibiting at NY Toy Fair!

Time has gone by so fast - it sure doesn’t seem like 15 years ago that we wheeled our portable booth into the Javits Center.  I can remember feeling excited of course, but also a little nervous too!  We had already been selling into the Canadian market for five years, and this was the start of our expansion into the United States.

Nuremberg Review

This was our fourth consecutive year exhibiting at the Nuremberg International Toy Fair.
 
Exhibiting in Nuremberg is an expensive endeavor.  Booth space is pricey - especially in a year where we increased our booth size.  Hotels become ridiculously expensive as thousands of international visitors flood into the city.  Plus, there are the logistical costs of exhibiting overseas and the time factor of being away from the office for an additional eight days during the prime tradeshow season.

Year in Review

The flight back from Hong Kong Toy Fair gave me plenty of time to contemplate this past year.  As the year progressed, there were signs of economic “challenges” in Canada.  Even with these challenges, it was a very positive year for Outset Media.

Here is a list of my top four highlights and two biggest concerns from this past year:

Highlight #1 - Revenue Growth

My New Year's Resolution

It has been a long time since I last blogged.  A very long time!  It was over 20 months ago, or 628 days to be more precise.  The topic was our first acquisition, which was a board game called Telepaths.

Our sales grew over 30% last year.  Managing that size of growth is challenging.  And not only did we grow, we introduced a robust selection of new games and puzzles, we began planning our move to a new larger warehouse, and we grew our staff too.  In other words, we were busy!

Move over Mattel… we have made our first acquisition!

In the world of mergers and acquisitions, this certainly won’t make the newspapers.  BUT… it is our first acquisition… and I am excited!

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