Internationale Spieltage SPIEL, often called the Essen Game Fair after the city where it is held, is an annual four-day boardgame trade fair which is also open to the public held in October (Thursday to the following Sunday) at the Messe Essen exhibition centre in Essen. With 1,021 exhibitors from 50 nations (in 2016) SPIEL is the worldwide biggest fair for board games. Many new games are released at the fair each year, especially (but not exclusively) European-style board games.
At SPIEL board games are offered which are hard to find in retail because a lot of international and small exhibitors present their products. While the prices for buying the games at the fair do not tend to be significantly lower than those in retail, the games are typically available sooner than in regular board game shops, come with promotional materials (mostly extra cards or tokens with a few more game mechanics, but also T-shirts and similar merchandise) and it is an occasion where passionate board gamers can meet and chat with game designers, illustrators, and famous game reviewers.
The fair began in 1983.
- Going Cardboard (documentary)
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- Duffy, Owen (2015-10-31). "For board gamers, heaven is a place on earth – located in Germany". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-11-11.
- Stewart Woods (16 August 2012). Eurogames: The Design, Culture and Play of Modern European Board Games. McFarland. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7864-6797-6.
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- Friedhelm, Merz Verlag. "Exhibitor information". Archived from the original on 2015-07-08. Retrieved 2015-07-28.
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- "Spielemesse Spiel'17 endet mit Besucherrekord". WAZ. 2017-10-29. Retrieved 2017-10-30.
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- Official web-site
- Essen FAQ at BoardGameGeek
- Stewart Pilling at the Lizard Lounge - What is it all about?
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