Typically an Exchanger will exchange up to a maximum of 99 puzzles (which no other collector has in his/her collection) with 99 other participants, hence he must prepare a minimum of 100 Exchange Puzzles (the 100th puzzle is for display for all to see during the IPP). Except for several rare occasions in the past, in practice the maximum number seldom happens and the average number of puzzles exchanged at each IPP is between 80 to 90+. This year, there were a total of 95 exchanges, which was on the higher side.
It is also worthwhile to note that the assistants play a vital role and do a great job of helping to hold the Exchange puzzles, taking photographs of the Exchanger/Exchangee, fetching bottled water/lunch etc during the Exchange (average duration of between 4 to 4.5 hours, depending on the number of people) and other sorts of tasks. And in one very unfortunate incident during this IPP, the assistant was helping the poor Exchanger glue up a substantial number of broken puzzles which were damaged in transit. Also, generally the rule is that one must be an Exchange Assistant at least once before being eligible to be an Exchanger at future IPPs.
|My Exchange Puzzles all laid out and ready.|
On my right is my Exchange Assistant Oli Sovary-Soos from the UK
|My Exchange Puzzle SYM-353, a joint design between me and Stanislav Knot, Czech Republic|
|Exchange participants setting up at their assigned tables|