UKGE 2024 Report

UKGE 2024 Report

On Friday, 31 May, I attended the UK Games Expo in Birmingham for the first time. I’d heard this was the biggest UK-based tabletop event of the year and that definitely turned out to be true!

My wife and I drove down from North Yorkshire the day before, on Thursday, 30 May and set up the booth Thursday night. The drive took us 3 hours, which wasn’t too bad.

As previously, I wanted to document my experience as a TTRPG exhibitor, covering the highs and lows, expenses, revenue, and set-up/breakdown process.



Item Cost
Exhibitor space (3x2m) £366
Corner stand supplemental £190
Stand furniture (two tables and chairs) £60
Hotel (3 nights) £494
Parking £42
Total cost of expenses £1152

I opted for a corner stand in Hall 1, which came with an additional cost. I booked relatively late for UKGE, so there weren’t many spots left, but the stand we got was pretty good overall.

Screenshot 2024-05-29 111937

These are the costs solely attributed to UKGE 2024 and don’t include things like meals and petrol. I chose to stay at the hotel closest to the venue, the Hilton Metropole, but we received UKGE preferential rates which offset the cost (and also included breakfast!).


Item Quantity Review Donation
Beneath the Broken Sword 1    
Colossus Wake 3    
HOWL 2 1  
Runecairn Bestiary 6    
The Howling Caverns 3    
Runecairn: Advanced Rules 1    
Runecairn: Core Rules 4    
Runecairn: Into the Nine Realms 8 1  
Runecairn Wardensaga Remastered 42    
Runecairn Wardensaga Remastered Variant 1   1
We Deal in Lead 27 1  
We Deal in Lead: Omega City (Ashcan) 8    
A4 Print 3    
A5 Print 7    
Watch & Warrant - We Deal in Lead Companion EP (Cassette) 3    
Patches 11    

Total amount of revenue: £2545


Some interesting things to note:

  • Runecairn Wardensaga Remastered was far and away my best seller, not surprising since I’d just finished a successful Kickstarter campaign for the new version and the CROM cover is super eye-catching.
  • The limited variant cover wasn’t as popular, though it was priced £20 more expensive than the standard cover so this wasn’t surprising.
  • We Deal in Lead continues to be a popular title and I hope to have some new adventures for it soon.
  • The prints proved popular, both in sales and drawing people to the stand. Unlike Thought Bubble, where almost every stand sells prints, they’re a bit rarer at UKGE so mine stood out more.
  • I didn’t bring any dice to sell for a similar reason; so many stands sold dice that mine would’ve been lost in the shuffle.
  • The patches were a good addition, though didn’t draw as much interest as I expected.

I stopped trying to upsell as many people from the Runecairn zine to the hardcover when I saw them flipping through it; I’ve also improved my sales patter which helped get my books across more clearly.


Expenses £1152
Revenue £2545
Profit £1393

In contrast to the 1 day of Dragonmeet, UKGE is spread out over 3 long days. Friday and Sunday were roughly on par but Saturday was by far the busiest.


We drove down from North Yorkshire on Thursday, arriving about half 6. Setup had been open all day and getting the car to the right spot was pretty straight forward, though I had to book a slot with NEC’s loading system beforehand. Drive to the staging area and then wait for the green light to park at the entrance door. We had an hour slot to offload, which turned out to be the amount of time it took us to unload the books and set the tables up.

Unlike Thought Bubble or Dragonmeet, UKGE doesn’t include the stand furniture so I had to hire the tables and a chair. I didn’t really trust a plastic chair to provide all that much comfort so I invested in two good quality padded metal folding chairs, which were great. I hired a standard large 6’ table along with a smaller table and together they worked well, replicating the sort of stand we had at Dragonmeet.

I bought a collapsible hand trolley, which did an amazing job getting boxes from the car to the table with minimal fuss. There are multiple loading doors around the two halls, which made setup and breakdown really easy. Small cars get priority over larger vans and trucks, so we managed to finish cleardown by about half 4.

Stamp Quest 2024

  • The UK Tabletop Industry Network helped launch Stamp Quest 24 for this year’s UKGE and my table was included. I made a custom Runecairn bonfire stamp and gave away stamps to Questers all weekend.
  • Most people asking for stamps immediately moved on after getting one, but maybe 15-20% of others looked around or asked questions and about 5% actually bought something.
  • A lot of people thought the £1000 prize award was a cash prize rather than £1000 worth of items, so we might need to make that a bit clearer for future Stamp Quests to avoid any sticky situations.
  • Overall, I felt Stamp Quest was a success and helped bring new eyes to the table.


  • UKGE was definitely more industry focused than either Thought Bubble or DragonMeet. From the cold marketing emails beforehand, to the various companies looking to sell their services, to the massive stands themselves. I made more networking contacts in 3 days at UKGE than I did in the last 6 months.
  • 3 days for a convention is a very long time, especially when the trade stalls are open for 9 hours on two of three days. My wife and I were both physically and mentally exhausted afterward, especially following the 3 hour drive home on Sunday night.
  • There was an unofficial indie TTRPG meetup on Saturday night after the con closed for the day and that was a lot of fun, though I was too tired to stay for very long. I did get to chat with acclaimed Swedish designer Johan Nohr, which was a nice surprise!
  • Navigating UKGE was more difficult than I expected, even with street signs on the floor. Next year it’ll be even more interesting, since they won’t have Hall 1.
  • I purchased a second banner, this one specifically for Runecairn, and both together looked great behind the table.
  • Got some great feedback for the covers and art in my books, which is always awesome to hear.
  • We ran out of business cards on Saturday, which seems to be a common issue! I did manage to hold some back for face to face networking, which really came in handy!
  • I actually set time aside for myself to have a wander around the con and chat with folks.


Improvements for next time

  • Order more By Odin’s Beard RPG t-shirts and button badges (yup, this is something I meant to do after DragonMeet but didn’t actually do).
  • Order extra business cards—LOTS of business cards.

© 2023. All rights reserved.