Monday, September 3, 2012

Success 1 - International Puzzle Party 32 - Party Day

Each year the International Puzzle Collectors Association hosts a major puzzle event in various countries worldwide: the International Puzzle Party, affectionately referred to as "IPP" by those who attend it.  As a longtime puzzle collector I've really wanted to attend, but it's invitation-only and the guest list is carefully managed.  I was probably nominated on a previous occasion, without my knowledge, but was passed over.

My use of the SD300 has enabled me to become a puzzle creator, which connected me with several important people in the puzzle community and, in turn, won me a last-minute invitation to this year's IPP 32 in Washington DC.  So I attended the event in three roles: a puzzle collector, a puzzle maker, and a puzzle-design competition entrant.

Party Day would be a frenzied event where puzzle makers showcase their wares at tables in the hotel's large ballroom.  Puzzles and toys may be offered for sale or (preferably!) for exchange in hopes of bartering with other collectors for trades.  Although I'd never attended such an event, I reserved a table and anxiously formulated the best showcase I could devise.

But how could I create a showcase of amusements and transport it from my home in Oregon to Washington, DC, many thousands of miles away?  The deadlines were only two weeks away, so I had very little time to plan!
I solved both challenges by adapting the cartons from the SD300's material kits.  Gathering various containers from old supply kits, I found each shipping carton neatly held a modular collection of 12 small flip-top boxes and 2 larger tray-style boxes that had previously house glue and anti-glue cartridges for the SD300.  Bonus: I could use the inner cartons as additional shipping containers for puzzles I acquired in Washington DC!
I packed the boxes with puzzles and toys, and included an assortment of supplies that would contribute a festival atmosphere: battery-powered animated lights, sticky-note paper, markers, poster putty, and hundreds of zip-closure baggies of various sizes.
My showcase included a comical poster for Not So Strait of Dover, which was going to require some sort of easel or frame to display it.  Happily, I devised a simple 3D-printed device that converted Solido's tray-style box into a display-stand.  (inset above)  My table had things to look at, stuff to read, toys to play with, and puzzles for sale.  A satisfactory showcase.

It all worked, perhaps a bit too well for my tastes: I'd barely had time to frantically arrange things on my table when a deluge of puzzle collectors swarmed into the ballroom.  My table attracted a crowd that sustained so much attention that I didn't get a break for over five hours!  I only managed to get a picture of my table during the last hour, as things were winding down and my table was relatively empty.  (Thanks for taking my picture, Matt!)

I finally got a few minutes to visit a few other tables in the room.  Not enough time!  I especially liked this Puzzled Guy Bakery table, which featured exquisitely-crafted wooden puzzle boxes in the shape of petits fours.

And that just covers one frenzied, frantic day at IPP 32.  Later I will discuss the 3D model that comprised my entry in the puzzle design competition, and the story of the 3D model that won me an invitation to the International Puzzle Party in the first place!

Allard's blog Puzzling Times describes the Party Day experience from the other side of the table.

Brian Pletcher's blog has a great picture of the whole room, photographed right over my head!  (I'm the slouching guy in the black shirt.)

1 comment:

  1. Going on how clever your puzzles are, and the amount of attention you and your puzzles received at IPP, have you considered starting up a venture online to start selling your creations to puzzle collectors around the world?