Between the Lines Vol. 11 - Climbing the Summit

Universal Distribution recently hosted its 5th annual Retailer Summit in Montreal.  The 2015 Summit attracted the industry's leading manufacturers of CCG's, trading cards, board games, and miniatures. Retailers from across Canada attended and were treated to exhibitions from WOTC, Upper Deck, Upper Deck Entertainment, Paizo, FOW, Mayfair Games, GF9, Iello, Passport Games, Bushiroad, Scorpion Mask, Steve Jackson, CGE, and Pokemon.  

Retailers also heard presentations from various manufacturers in attendance, as well as the NHLPA"s Director of Licensing and Associate Counsel, Adam Larry.  The presentations included previews of the hottest new releases for 2015-2016, ideas on creating an attractive retail space, and strategies for drawing kitchen table gamers to your store. New at this year's event was the addition of a demo room where retailers could see the newest games and give them a test run. 

For retailers who could not attend in person, the proceedings were broadcast live on Periscope, with updates posted on Twitter throughout the day.  Courtesy of Universal and our manufacturers, all attendees received a gorgeous gift bag filled with a sampling of games, books, miniatures, and more.  You can see photographs from the day's proceedings, on Universal's Facebook page at   

Over the last 5 years, the Universal Retailer Summit has provided a valuable opportunity for our retailers and manufacturers to interact and communicate. This has created a feedback loop between retailer, manufacturer, and distributor, where participants exchange ideas and learn from one another.  For obvious reasons, the missing player in this communication exchange is the end user - your customers.  So why not take the Retailer Summit model to your store and host a Customer summit for collectors and gamers in your community?  It is an event that we think could be successfully replicated in your retail store.  

Hosting a Customer Summit in your store would allow customers to interact with suppliers and share their gaming and collecting experiences.  The information and feedback that emerges can then be brought back to the manufacturer; for example how best to support and meet the needs of the dedicated gaming enthusiast, product development ideas, customer outreach opportunities, and promotional materials.  As well, a Customer Summit is one way to invite the local community to your store and provide a place to meet and interact with other collectors and gamers. 

The response to Universal's yearly summit has have been tremendous and we are already planning the 6th Annual Universal Distribution Retailer Summit. If you attended this year, Universal would love to get your feedback on how we can improve and make it relevant to you as a retailer.  There is nothing like meeting face-to-face and if you were not able to attend this year, we invite you to attend next year's event.

And if you are interested in hosting a Customer Summit, we can help get you started and offer support in contacting potential exhibitors and/or presenters.  Contact us for more information.