Once again, the international game days have set a record number of visitors. Around 209.000 trade fair participants flocked to the SPIEL'19 in the gaming city of Essen this year. In the previous year there were 190.000. For the 37th edition of the world's largest trade fair for board and card games, the organizers enlarged the exhibition area, adapted the hall structure and, together with Messe Essen, modernized the entry system. Not everything went flawlessly - over 200.000 people nevertheless had fun on the four days of the fair.

Expanded concepts and a completely revamped appearance help SPIEL'19 to significantly increase the number of visitors. Around ten percent more visitors than in the previous year streamed into the halls of Messe Essen over four days. Also there: a striking number of young adults, who is one of the booming target groups in the parlor game segment.  

Again or still: board games are booming

The industry is booming. Board and card games remain mass phenomena and real crowd pullers. Young people are increasingly interested in the - sometimes demanding - hobby, which is still seen as a contrast to digital experiences. 

In addition to a gigantic selection of games, SPIEL'19 scored particularly well with innovative trade fair offers, including an Educator's Day and various panels. More and more people seem to discover the potential that lies dormant behind gambling.  

Picture gallery for SPIEL 2019 in Essen:

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Despite record visitor numbers and growing offers, the community seems to be moving closer together. Several charity campaigns show that board players “have hearts”. Surprise bags, cake donations, picture raffles: there were a multitude of ways to donate money to a good cause.

The combined campaign of “BrettSPIELcake” and game bag sales alone brought in a sum of around 10.000 euros, which will benefit the “Balu und Du” association. The association supports elementary school children between the ages of six and ten years outside of school - thanks to the donations, it will soon also be at a new location in Essen.


The next international game days, SPIEL20, will take place from October 22nd to 25th, 2020 at Messe Essen. Step-by-step information will be available on the official SPIEL website www.spiel-messe.com.

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