That’s a wrap on Origins 2018! We have a lot to be thankful for this year—great partnerships, support throughout the Columbus community, and of course attendees spending their week with us at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.
Attendance hit another record high at 18,648, an increase of 1,647 from 2017. Turnstile attendance also hit a record high at 70,765, an increase of 11,807 from 2017.
“The Dungeons & Dragons team would like to thank you ALL for coming out to Origins and playing with over 2,800 other adventurers this weekend in the D&D Adventurers League area managed by Baldman Games,” said Chris Lindsay, Product Marketing Specialist of Dungeons and Dragons. Satine Phoenix, Community Manager of Dungeons and Dragons, also commented, “The ‘Red War’ EPIC and the D&D OPEN ‘Gangs of Waterdeep’ both drew record participation in two unique story-rich and interactive experiences, providing cooperative and competitive elements that were captivating and extraordinary.”
Origins 2018 offered a variety of events and activities for all attendees—from role-playing adventures with show co-sponsor Dungeons & Dragons, to musical acts, a costume contest with cash prizes, a live Dungeons and Dragons comedy show by the Knights of the Arcade and the return of True Dungeon—a live-action, walk-through dungeon experience.
Other events included major tournament play with national championship tournaments by IELLO, Catan Studios, and WizKids, and regional tournaments by Bandai, Bushiroad, and Magic the Gathering. Prize support from companies providing tournament-style play at Origins totaled at over $20,000!
“Each year, Origins improves in size and quality—2018 was no exception,” said Stephan Brissaud, Chief Operating Officer of IELLO. “I particularly liked the new setup of the halls. That generated a constant flow in the middle of the hall. Congratulations to the GAMA staff for another well-executed show.”
This year, the Exhibit Hall was placed in Hall B, between Gaming Hall A and Gaming Hall C. This new layout provided two large areas dedicated to gaming and an expansion to the exhibitor hall, which grew by 136 booth spaces. A larger exhibit hall means attendees have more opportunities to learn about great products, test the latest games available, and of course shop from even more of their favorite vendors.
“This was the year of the highest sales and the least sleep,” said Anne-Marie DeWitt, CEO of Fireside Games. “And I still have people I wish I had been able to talk to and events I wish I had been able to attend. Origins has such a unique place among the gaming conventions. It’s wonderful to see it continue to grow in value.”
Origins continues to experience growth while maintaining a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere. Every year, the show expands its range in entertainment, offering events and activities that target different fandoms and interests. It’s a convention that is welcoming, personable, and takes pride in its inclusivity.
“Origins 2018 was a hit,” said John Ward, Executive Director of GAMA. “Our exhibitors and attendees seemed very pleased with the new layout of the halls—we saw a lot of vendor and attendee interactions happening in throughout the exhibitor hall. Origins wouldn’t be the show that it is without the hard work of my fantastic team. We’d like to thank our show co-sponsor, Dungeons & Dragons, and all our sponsors for their immeasurable support. We’d also like to thank all our exhibitors for the creativity they brought to the hall and gaming areas, and our GMs and volunteers for their dedication and commitment to making sure attendees have a wonderful experience. We especially want to thank the attendees for coming out to spend another five days gaming and having fun with us.”
Origins Game Fair 2019 is scheduled to be held June 12-16 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Hotel blocks with group rates will open for reservations September 2018.