The largest tabletop games convention in the world is underway right now in Essen, Germany. Spiel 2008, which will draw approximately 150,000 people, is THE PLACE where hobby game companies release their new games for all the world to see.
I've always wanted to go to this mecca of game conventions, but have never made the trip from America to Germany yet. Hopefully that will come in the future, when the US economy and my fun-money budget are in much better shape!
I truly love boardgames, and especially conventions where you can Try and Buy, which is precisely what SPIEL is (or ESSEN as it's commonly referred to by gamers in the know). Since I cannot be there myself, I'm living vicariously through the daily news reports of Frank Kulkmann. Frank is a gamer and native of Essen, and his excellent daily round-ups can be read by going here: Kulkmann's Gamebox. Check it out for yourself; it's a great little read.