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1-3 June 2018

Cor that seems a long way off yet. But with Christmas fast approaching (and PAX Unplugged taking place right now) many of our minds turn to games.

Beautiful boardgames with their meeples, cards, dice, tokens, cooperation, deceit, strategizing, funtimes.

We’ll do a roundup of best games to introduce non-gamers to very soon, for now let’s look forward to the UK Games Expo 2018!

UK Games Expo 2018

I’ve seen the UK Games Expo grow from a small do in a hotel to a sprawling, multi-hall event at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham and the NEC Hilton Metropole.

It shows no signs of slowing down, attracting guests from around the world, big names from gaming press including Tom Vasel and Quinns, entertainment from the likes of Knightmare Live and  The Dark Room, plus all kinds of gaming workshops, seminars, and so much more.


Of course we’ll be reporting back live from the event, covering any developments, announcements, reports, reviews, and we’ll add the Expo to our Convention Survival Guide, with our top tips for getting the most from your day, or weekend.

Look out for Robin on site, playing games, camera in hand, mic on the other and say hello! He’ll be joined by Project Indie‘s Emma Spalding and they’ll be gaming, drinking, laughing, gaming, attending the various shows and seminars, gaming, and drinking. Join us!

What’s it Like?

UK Games Expo (UKGE) is the largest Hobby Games Convention in the UK – where all aspects of the gaming hobby are represented under one roof.

Basic Stats

  • Now in its 12th Year.
  • 32,000 visitors over three days (16300 unique visitors).
  • 300+ Exhibitors
  • Hundreds of seats in tournaments
  • Male/ female mix around 65/35
  • High numbers of families and children.
  • Strong core of hobby games enthusiasts
  • Good opportunity to demo products.

When is it?

UK Games Expo is held on the weekend after the late May Bank Holiday. UKGE 2018 will be held on June 1st – 3rd.

Where is it?

It is held in the UK’s largest convention centre National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham. This year we will be using Hall 1& Hall 3a NEC and the NEC Hilton Hotel.

What’s it REALLY like?

A glorious, chaotic, mix.

The NEC halls have all the stalls you’d expect with big names in attendance – whether demonstrating games, promoting crowdfunding campaigns, or simply selling their range, you’ll find boardgame and role playing games in their thousands. Over 300 companies attend and you can try their games out.

A family playing teh board game ICe Cool at teh UK Games Expo in birmingham UK

Saturday is busy. Like crazy busy. Be aware that at peak hours (around lunchtime) everything will be busy. Games, food, bars, halls. Best time to have booked a drop in roleplaying game or tickets for a show, get away from it and do something instead of struggling against the crowds.

After hours the free gaming hall is open – top tip, work in shifts to secure a table early – this year there simply weren’t enough available and many gamers were wandering around looking for somewhere to play their new purchases. Hopefully this is something that will be addressed in 2018 as it was the only splodge on an otherwise wonderful weekend.

Take money. Take water. Take Friday off and go then if you can.

Also cosplay if you feel like it, the number rises with each year.

Cosplayers gather at the UK Games Expo in Birmingham UK

We’ve not even talked about viking battles on the lawn, food stalls, Paizo GMs, bumping into Quinns, Tom Vasel, Grant Howitt, contests, auctions – if it’s related to games it’s here.

You should probably come along.  It’s only thirteen quid, shows and roleplaying are extra, bring cash and a credit card with a clear balance for you will be buying things.


Let’s check out their Press Release!

It’s only fair, they went to the trouble of writing it and has all the stats and info.


The 11th annual UK Games Expo, the UK’s largest hobby games convention, will be held at the NEC from 2nd to 4th June 2017.

In 2016 it had an attendance of 25,000 over the three days, making it the fourth largest hobby games convention in the world.

As the focal point for Hobby Games, the UK Games Expo is now the place in the UK where over 300 games companies look to release new games and demonstrate prototypes.

Expanding on its record for successfully hosting tournaments such as the Catan UK Championships, the Agricola UK Championships and the Carcassonne UK Championships, this year UK Games Expo is proud to host the first ever Fantasy Flight European championships including huge X-wing Miniatures and Android Netrunner European Championships.

UK Games Expo boasts the largest Role-playing Games schedule in the UK with hundreds of games sessions in dozens of games systems over the three days. There is a massive Pokémon regional tournament and Magic the Gathering events are planned.

The UK Games Expo is not just for gaming enthusiasts. Families and general visitors are well catered for with a dedicated family zone and demonstrations throughout the Trade Hall of all the best and newest games both for the family audience and those looking for more complex games – no need to work through a complex rule book – there is someone on hand to guide you through and make this an easy, safe, and fun event to attend. Cosplayers portray characters from Doctor Who, Star Wars and many other films and TV series, and there are live entertainment games with active audience participation. Alongside all that is a food festival and a full seminar programme looking at all aspects of the hobby games world.

Finally UKGE welcomes guests from the industry including one of the founding fathers of modern tabletop gaming, author of the Fighting Fantasy series and founder of Games Workshop, Ian Livingstone. Tom Vasel from the hugely successful The Dice Tower podcast and you tube channel and John Kovalic the most in demand artist in gaming are just some of the game industry celebrities in attendance.

Come and experience what the Hobby Games world has to offer. Adult day tickets are £13. Family tickets available. Dates for the 2017 Show: 2nd to 4th June. Location: NEC and NEC Hilton Hotel.

Robin Bates – Great at strategy, terrible at bluffing – honest Sherif, that’s definitely only three apples I’m bringing into Nottingham market… you really shouldn’t open my cart…

Quinns from Shut Up and Sit Down joined Robin on the podcast last Christmas to talk games

Paul Flannery from Knightmare Live and the MMPORG show came on to talk about his gaming shows

And you should probably join our Facebook gang and live an even better geek life (hard to imagine I know)

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