Author Topic: Feedback on How to Make It In The Game Business Your First Convention  (Read 1014 times)

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Offline bayonetbrant

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Want some advice on how to hit your first game convention?  Too bad!  You're getting it anyway!  O0
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 04:37:44 AM by bayonetbrant »
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers


Offline airboy

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Re: Feedback on How to Make It In The Game Business Your First Convention
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2014, 07:32:28 PM »
Want some advice on how to hit your first game convention?  Too bad!  You're getting it anyway!  O0

All of the suggestions are good, but you left off a number of things for Trade Show 101:

1] Have a nametag.  Print your first name only, or a nickname on the tag.  Name should be short.

2] You need a sign-up sheet for more information.  Name, game interest, email are absolute minimums for the list.

3] You need a prepared fact sheet for media outlets.  This should be broken up into sections:
a] Brief overview
b] More detailed (say one page) of detailed information on each product.
c] A one page on you, your company, how long you have been in business (if interesting), etc....
Bring multiple copies.  Also have this in electronic form that you can immediately email to interested parties.

4] You need to smile.  All day long.  Fake it if you don't mean it.  Speak briefly to passers by.  Don't get embarrassed if they just stare.  Specifically - smile and say "Hello" or "Glad you could come to the convention" etc.......  You want customers to be willing to speak with you.  If you cannot do this at a convention - you probably should not be manning the booth.

5] You need a walk-away strategy for people who want to talk forever, who are not buyers, when you need to talk to people who are actually interested in buying.

6] Bring a chair for each person in the booth if not provided by the convention.

7] Don't trust the convention organizers - bring your own chair and have a back-up plan for table rentals.

8] Wear very comfortable shoes.  You will be on your feet a lot.

9] Run your financial break-even's before you ever sign up for the convention.  List every possible cost (including gas, food, lodging, convention fees, and taxes (lodging, sales tax etc....).  If this is your first convention, at minimum multiply your cost by 1.5.

Next, what do you actually make per game?  This is price - unit cost = unit contribution.

Take your fixed costs and divide by unit contribution.  This is your unit sales break-even point for sales at the convention.  This does not include building a client base for potential future sales.  But this break-even also does not factor in time costs.  For example, I value my time at $250 an hour (my consulting rate).  If I cannot make $250 an hour, and if this is not considered "entertainment" for me, then I would rather read a book, watch a sporting event, or just drink beer than go "work" at a convention.

Again - your keys are:
a] Selling merchandise
b] Building your future customer contact list
c] Being prepared to talk about your company
d] Being prepared for possible media coverage

Thought in advance will make all of this more likely to work out.

[This is the 5 minute cocktail hour version of an hour long talk to marketing managers and sales professionals on making a trade show work for you].

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Feedback on How to Make It In The Game Business Your First Convention
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2014, 08:27:21 PM »
Great hints - thanks!  (and BTW, I already hit #8 ;) )
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers