How to Plan Your Gen Con Booth

Posted: September 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

This article is one of the best I’ve ever read – giving all sorts of good tips and wisdom on how to set up a booth, and then how to run it properly.

Ben Drago who was the Organized Play Manager for Upper Deck and Director of Marketing for Cryptozoic Entertainment, is now the head of GameHead, and gives the following advice…

“Many Gen Con attendees expect to see your games being played in your booth. You can certainly grab a box, rip the shrink wrap off, and plop four people down at table with a brief overview of the rules – it’s what a good percentage of exhibitors do. Here are some ways to stand out.

 Make sure your demo staff members are good ambassadors. Running a good demo is not easy. A good presenter has to be naturally excited and engaged for four days straight. It’s not a skill that everyone possesses, so you want to try and put people that are comfortable with this kind of interaction in these roles.

 Many exhibitors use volunteers to help run demos during conventions, so you will want to do your best to screen them in advance and schedule time before Thursday morning to train them on how your want your products to be presented.

 Preparing a demo script can seem like a lot of work, but it’s almost always worth it. You’re likely to be showing off your game at multiple conventions (Gen Con, Origins, PAX, ACD Game Day, Alliance Open House, etc) for several years, so there is a high ROI on the one-time cost of creating a good script. It’s also something that can be modified slightly and made available to retailers that are stocking your games.

 You should also make sure you have staff available to engage people walking by your booth and manage demo signups. This is one of the hardest roles, and is probably the most important. Don’t skimp on this role – you want to keep your seats filled, and they make it happen.

 Once you find exceptional people for these roles, be sure to maintain relationships with them so they’re available in the future.

 Fills seats with players interested in your games. Many companies give people that play a demo some kind of reward, but this can be lead to a big problem were your seats are filled with people that are not interested in the demo because they already know how to play, or they just want the reward. Rewards can be physical items, coupons for your store, or part of a convention “quest” that they need to have checked off.

 Demo rewards are fine, as long as they only target the right audience: people that genuinely want to learn about your game. Rewards like an convention exclusive promo card are highly valued by existing players, and they will sit through a demo in order to get it.”

This is only a bit of what you can find at the site – check it out to learn how to set up your own booth at Gen Con, or any convention for that matter.



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