When we was approached by Hans-Georg Torkel of the KIT-Initiative at the International Inventors fair in Nuremberg to become a partner of his initative we could not imagine what evolved from that today. We at SpieleGilde are keen to not just talk but gettin' straight into projects. Therefore spending the evening in a pub after the fair we developed the "silly idea" of a Warmup Day before the Essen show. We wondered about why nobody offered such kind of event at a "professional" level yet. So we did a quick post in the BGG Essen forum right away if something like that sounds feasible to you. Within a few minutes we got a tremendous positive feedback and we decided to jump into the adventure.
We met Hans-Georg Torkel on the fair next day again and asked him if he would like to join in and help to find a venue, because he is locale in this area, while we are native to the toy and games capital city of Nuremberg. A few minutes later we were offered the Unperfekthaus - which was perfect for us. Roland visited the Unperfekthaus in Summer 2012 and discussed the details with the team there. To be honest: Until October 2012 we were not sure if we would really do it. By September we had maybe twenty registration only and this was far less we promised the Unperfekthaus. But in October news about the Warmup Day starts spreading within the community and we finished ticket reservations with 82 registrations.
About 100 people visited the first Warmup Day then. Ten game designers (among others Susan Ross, designer of the Game of the Year 2011), six publishers and gamers from eleven countries in the world made the Unperfekthaus a very fun place to go. We are very grateful to all of you, the partners and sponsors making the event possible and started with plans for a Warmup Day 2013 imidiately.
2013 we launched the "2nd edition" of the WarmUp Day with over 200 visitors, 11 publishers and about 20 Game Designers. 2014 and 2015 we reached our limits with over 400 people and dozens of publishers and game designers attending. This thing started to become really a lot of work for the non-profit organizers, leading to a stalemate in 2016, since there simply not enough manpower to uphold the high standards.
Therefore we did a complete relaunch in 2017. We aimed to get back to the roots of the WarmUp Day idea as well as adding new fun and formats to the event. We found a new location (we would like to say thanks to the Unperfekthaus for being a host for five years), which is there for us on Wednesday exclusivly and their staff help the event fulltime - relieving us the organizers - so we have more time to take care about you and the games. And we think we suceeded. Adding presentations and talks about game design and publishing improved the event. Due to making use of a backstage area games must not be distracted.
With new learnings from teething problems coming with a change of location, we jumped into a succesful 2018. There was a unforgetable talk from John Zinser of AEG Enterntainment and our patron Muchtar al Ghusain, Head of Essen Municipal Dept. of Culture joined the WarmUp Day, talked to game designers and heard presentations.
2019 we faced another challenge with the "Preview Night". We decided to focus on playing games and have prototype testing at a smaller level. Due to the fact we couldn't guarantee cause of the "competition" and skipped presentations and talks we changed to a nearby location - Felis - which turned out as a perfect place for playing. Also we added tabletop/miniature gaming and had gorgeous tables for Gaslands, Bolt Action and Warhammer 40k Kill Team.
2020 - the 8th edition of the WarmUp Day - is in preparation already with new things to come. Also first time we have nearby two locations!!! Felis + Don't Panic! So all the things like presentations will return. More info soon.