Tomorrow is the first official day of GenCon. At 9:00 am, the VIG's gain their first access to the Exhibit Hall. They paid a large pile of money for the privilege, so I don't have much of a problem with it.
Last year, the VIG's nearly cleaned Asmodee out of Libertalia. Because we had a promo - they included metal coins for the game. We also ran completely out of 7 Wonders: Cities almost before the general public had access. And Seasons. Unfortunately, I don't think we had another shipment coming of any of these for the show, but I could be wrong - I am (as I have said many many times) just a Demo Guy when I'm here. And - as of last year - the store end of things is really a separate booth from the demos.
Some vendors have a limited quantity per day, which I think is an excellent response to programs like the VIG setup. It balances the field a bit, as the VIG program is Thursday-only.
And Thursday is the slowest day for vendors - which is another reason I don't have huge problems with the program. It brings in people who might not otherwise be here.
It still sticks in my craw a bit.
BUT it means that the most-excited gamers who can afford the additional price get in early. It means than an hour which would otherwise be dead is filled with enthusiastic people - and it DOES mean the show starts on the right foot. And it's money in the convention's pocket (and the pockets of the vendors). All of these are good things.
We'll see how it goes tomorrow - I'll be in Hall D running tournaments before the VIGs gain access to the room.