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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Conventions » Essen

Subject: First Time Exhibitor rss

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Paul Spencer
United Kingdom
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I'm currently working on self-publishing my first game Nothing To Declare.

It's a light card game that combines take-that and memory.

I've been working on it for just under a year, if you're interested please check out my website www.apaulinggames.com where I've been keeping a fairly regular blog.

To help promote the game I've decided to go all in and head out to Essen. I was hoping people might be able to give me some practical pointers on whether they prefer to sit at a big table, or huddle round a circular standing table?

What's the norm (if there is one) in terms of tables and layouts?

Do you prefer a chance to play the whole game, a round or just an explanation of how the game works?

Should I get fancy carpet?

Any help or advice would be great! Thanks
 
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Eddy Sterckx
Belgium
Vilvoorde
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If you have just 1 card game to present, a circular standing table is better at capturing the attention of the crowd.

Playing : depends on how long it takes, but usually we prefer a quick explanation followed by a couple of rounds to get a feel for the game

Fancy carpet ???? never noticed they have that in over a decade of visiting. Don't waste money on it.

Best of luck.
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Andreas Krüger
Germany
Krefeld
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Try not to look like these desperate game designers with a game and no players. :-)

Here are some things that worked well for me at a (business) trade fare:

Don't stand at the entrance like a guard, this will deter people, but make sure that everybody can see that you are ready to answer any questions. Have something that gets people's attention. Give them a second to look around and then approach them with a question. "I see you are interested in <this thing>. May I ask why it caught your attention?" Try to find a question they cannot just answer with "no" and walk away. Then offer a quick play, "Just one turn, or if you want to, we can play the whole game".

As soon as you have some people there, your booth will look much more attractive.

Never look bored, don't read or play with your cellphone. I would even recommend to stand all the time, but this is of course near impossible when you are alone. If you need a break (longer than drinking a glass of water or eating a piece of chocolate), put up a sign "Back at ... o'clock" and spend your time somewhere else. Perhaps learn the games of your neighbors, so their booths look more busy and they can return the favor later.

Again, this is what worked well for a business place, but I guess gamers are not that different ;-).
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Christian Gienger
Germany
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Do you have something to sell already? If not just go for a table in the prototype section!
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Stijn Hommes
Netherlands
Dordrecht
Zuid Holland
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ascruplepen wrote:
I've been working on it for just under a year, if you're interested please check out my website www.apaulinggames.com where I've been keeping a fairly regular blog.
Have you done enough playtesting for this game to be ready for Essen? You don't want a major fault to show up when you are at the fair.

Quote:
To help promote the game I've decided to go all in and head out to Essen.
If your game is not ready to sell, you should use this opportunity to get people interested and accept preorders for the game. If I can't buy a game in Essen, it's easy to forget it exists at all and you don't want that.

Quote:
I was hoping people might be able to give me some practical pointers on whether they prefer to sit at a big table, or huddle round a circular standing table?
It depends. When I played Safe Breaker and In a Bind at Spiel last year, a standing table was plenty of room, but anything that requires more than a little space on the table is probably a sit down type of game.

Quote:
Do you prefer a chance to play the whole game, a round or just an explanation of how the game works?
Again, this depends on the game itself. The games I mentioned earlier played so quickly that playing a whole game was easy to do. If it takes longer than 15-20 minutes to play, you might want to offer the option of a full game to people, but keep some space open for short demos.

Quote:
Should I get fancy carpet?

No. Any expense you make at Essen should be aimed at selling or promoting your game. Fancy carpet makes no noticable difference on interest in your game.
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