Trader’s Chronicle III: The Prince and the Pop-Up

by | Oct 22, 2018 | Trader's Chronicles, Trader's Journal

We at Trader’s Cache had a pretty eventful past few weeks!

On October 5th, we had our second Pop-up.  It took a ton of work and planning to get it off the ground, and dare I say it, it went phenomenally.

We spent time canvasing Lawrence, passing out flyers.  We shared our social media events.  We lined up vendors and laid out the venue.  We ordered SWAG and flyers and games.  We labored to ensure the bar was fully-stocked with mead.

And you know why it was worth it?

Because the community came around us and showed support.  You came and had fun in fellowship with one another.  You, City of Lawrence, were the Prince of the evening.

It was about reclaiming face-to-face interaction through games and libation.  And you shined, my friends!

The Turnout

We had a great number of people who came.  We filled the whole room!  It was so exciting to see everyone come together.

The events themselves drew in a ton of people.  So a special thanks to the vendors:

+ Randall Harris and the Circle of Salt, put on an Adventure League Epic.  Honestly, seeing him switch his voice to an evil monster brought joy to my heart.  And from the looks of it, the heroes involved came and fought a pretty epic battle.

+ Dan Lucky put on a Magic:  The Gathering Tournament.  The prize was the brand new booster set called the Guilds of Ravnica, to celebrate the pre-release.  I went through and tried to mingle, and I’ll tell you this:  those players are good at what they do.  They’re focused, logical, and strategic.  Watching the masterminds at work was inspiring.  And congratulations to the winners who shared the prize – Caleb Loder and Gareth Kane.

+ Jonathan Herrera-Thomas, representing Roxley Game Laboratory, did a demo of their amazing game, Dice Throne.  Season 2 is set to come out very soon, and it was awesome to learn more about the first season at the Pop-Up.  Everytime we walked by, the tables were full of people enjoying 2v2, battle royale or one of the many other modes available in this versatile game.

+ Dawn Rucker of Crypt Monkey Studios demo-ed 2 great games – Jack the Ripper and House of Possession.  They are two gothic horror games which are intriguing and provide edge-of-your-seat fun.  The cool thing is that House of Possession just launched their Kickstarter campaign, so that demo was an exclusive event.  We got to play the game even before it was published!

+Nick Seal, a locally-renown Game Herald and KantCon organizer, did a pay-to-play event for Zombicide.  The creativity of this guy just blows my mind.  He created a new scenario with special features in it to give the players of this event a wild ride.

+Jessie Bledsoe of Extra Life set up a table for this amazing charity which benefits children’s hospitals all around the United States.  She is a representative of the Kansas City region.  If your bold fellowship with one another wasn’t enough, your inspiring generosity proved Lawrence is full of good people.  Jessie told me she was able to bring in a LOT of money in donations, and there were a larger-than-expected number of people who signed up to participate directly in their charity events.  For real, you guys ROCK!

+ And last but not least, Max Tompkins was our Game Master for the evening.  He was a huge resource for people who were picking out games.  His chill personality and helpful demeanor were just what we needed for the job.

The Response

I’ll be honest with you all, I was overcome with emotion at all the positive feedback we received.

Of course, we had the highly-flattering stuff, which was awesome to hear:  “great game selection”, “cool concept”, “the mead was great”, “can’t wait till you open”.  We love to hear all that, and equally, we’d love to hear how we can improve.  Thank you for all the kind words.

But what caught me off guard was all the very personal signs of support.  Stuff you can’t dream of until it happens –

+ We had more than one person tell us that they loved the idea and execution so much that they wanted to work for us.  To you who took that bold initiative, you know who you are, and we still have your contact info.  Reach out to us and stay in touch, so we can continue the conversation.

+ Gene Nutt, owner of Game Nut Entertainment, as an impromptu gesture of goodwill and support, offered five $20 gift cards to his shop for us to raffle off.  What a great guy, am I right?

+ There was one table in particular, full of a group of gamers.  They were having the most visible fun of anyone else in the room.  Looking over at their table, you’d have seen shouting, standing, jumping, and people getting super engaged in their game.  They played an exciting game called Spaceteam.  The players in this group were Jacob Isabell, Sabrina Jacobs, Jack Shaw, Matthew Sandoval, Zachary Dixon, and Stephen Deaver (and yes, they gave me permission to write this about them).  If you get a chance to play a game with any of these people in the future, I highly recommend taking advantage of the opportunity.

+ We had a bunch of people offer services to us.  Like crazy awesome services.  Like drone racing, for example.  Perhaps we’ll see more of those things in the future at Trader’s Cache…

+ I was so privileged at this last one.  And it’s the one that hit me in the heartstrings.  You might not have known this, but there were several disabled people with various conditions at the Pop-Up, and their feedback to me was that gaming was their outlet for community.  They are able to open up in ways when playing games that simply doesn’t happen at other times, and our event, and our tavern, is the perfect place for this kind of socialization and acceptance.  Wow… Just wow.  I am humbled at so amazing a compliment.  Thank you.  You know who you are.

All of this shows that we in Lawrence are an engaged people.  We don’t sit idly by as the world speeds past us.  We put ourselves in positions where we can impact our environments for the better.

And all of you showed your stuff while doing the thing you love – gaming.

The Next Pop-Up

Well, we’re excited to continue spreading the word about our next Pop-Up.

It will be on Friday, February 1, from 7pm-11pm, at Abe & Jake’s.

As always, it takes a community.  And we need you.  So tell your friends.  Share it on social media.  Continue to follow our blog.  And most importantly…

Come and enjoy a night of games with us.

Maybe we’ll even be able to give away that most elusive and treasured prize:  Gloomhaven.