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July 31, 2014, 07:44:27 PM
TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessPAX East Booth Advice Needed!
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Author Topic: PAX East Booth Advice Needed!  (Read 1327 times)
Chaotic Kitten
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« on: February 11, 2013, 03:08:04 PM »

Ahoy! 

I am hoping that somewhere out there, there are a few devs with expo experience that could give me some advice, and tell me what to expect.

This is the first time I've ever had a booth at PAX and I'm trying to figure out what the best plan of attack is.

We have a 4 player co-op game, very limited funds, and a 10x10 booth so I am planning:

☼To have a TV and 4 beanbag chairs at the booth (is that too little/a bad idea?)
☼A large Vinyl banner and maybe a small standing one?
☼Something to hand out, stickers? Buttons? candy? How many do I need? 500, 1000, 5000???
☼Postcards with a special Pax discount code for the game maybe?

I was thinking maybe we could do some sort of giveaway too, but I don't know what works best for that, especially on a broke dev budget.

Is there anything missing, or something better we can do to get people's attention?

SO MANY QUESTIONS! @_@

 
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randomshade
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 03:34:58 PM »

At PAX Prime last year, we took:
-1000 buttons
-500 info cards (3"x5")

We ran out of both by mid-afternoon Friday (first day.) We rush ordered from a local supplier an additional 3000 buttons and 1000 info cards. We ended up getting these on Saturday afternoon. We ran out again on Sunday.

We had a 10x10 as well; honestly, a TV, 4 players, and 4 bean bags and you will be really tight. I'd forget about the bean bags and make people stand Smiley Nicalis was right next to us last year though, and they had two sofas and two TVs and seemed to pull it off, but it felt really claustrophobic to me.

Having a wide banner looks really nice on your "back wall" and we used a pop-up banner to grab attention, but if you're budget is super tight you can probably forgo that one.

See ya there!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 03:40:02 PM by randomshade » Logged

Chris Pavia
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 03:55:59 PM »

Oh man, I totally forgot about buttons when I was putting together my list (my first time too, obviously). Is there a good place online to order them, or do people make their own?
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randomshade
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 04:50:20 PM »

We used Busy Beaver and were very pleased.
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Chaotic Kitten
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 10:05:22 PM »

Thank you so much for the info Randomshade!!  The "back wall" you are talking about, is that the curtain like thing separating the booths? If so, what did you hang the banner with?

What is you reason for going with buttons over something like stickers? 

I would also love to know what studio you are, so I can visit you and say hi!


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randomshade
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 12:51:34 AM »

No problem. PAX Prime 2012 was our first expo and we basically had no idea what we were doing. We've done 2 others (much smaller) since then and kinda feel like we have it figured out.

Yes, the back wall would be the curtain divider. We used safety pins Smiley

Honestly I have no idea why we chose to go with buttons - maybe because we thought they were cooler? Dunno.

Small studio: Pixelscopic
Also, we have some photos for our PAX booth up here.

Edit: Almost forgot to impart an important lesson learned! Bring a little handyman's kit: ducktape, scissors, pins, tacks, wire, plastic baggies, etc. Otherwise you will have to go hunting in convenience stores or ask neighboring booths like we did :/

Edit 2: More links! Maybe helpful?
Shirts/Hoodies There are definitely cheaper options out there, but for us these guys had the best balance between quality/cost. Very good service too.
Info Cards Really excellent quality. We had a few places do some test prints for us and these were vastly superior to the others.
Banners Prices were mid-tier; quality was very good.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 12:24:57 PM by randomshade » Logged

Chaotic Kitten
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« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 01:15:31 PM »

Awesome! Those pictures helped a lot, and it's extra cool knowing you did Delvers Drop! I am always excited when I recognize a game studio Smiley I'm with a small studio as well(just my hubby and myself),called Robot Loves Kitty.

During the exhibition, what do you think drew the most people into your area?
did you hand out the buttons and cards, or was it just laying around for people to pick up?

Since you've been a part of the craziness, what are your thoughts on selling things at a booth? 
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randomshade
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« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 04:37:55 PM »

Yar, I've been following Legend of Dungeon for a while now; really dig it. Until very recently, you would have been one of the very few folks who would have had heard of us :D

As far as drawing people in, well, you basically don't have to much. There are *so* many people there and most all of them just want to see new things and try games out. We just tried to look friendly and/or helpful and that was enough to keep us busy.

We did hand out cards and buttons, but largely to people who came into the booth/were watching the game. We handed some out in passing but not a terrible lot. We also had the cards and buttons laid out on the table so people could just grab them. Seemed to work out fine.

We didn't try to sell any merch last time and I don't think we are this time either. Honestly, it seems like a giant pain in the ass to me Smiley Maybe it's pretty lucrative, I dunno, but I think you'd basically have to one person wholly dedicated to that if you were moving any kinds of quantities. Firehose games had a few different things for sale, and they rotated people in and out of the cashier slot, but it was basically constantly manned.

Are you guys in the indie megabooth or just get your own space or?

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Chaotic Kitten
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 08:12:01 PM »

It sort of feels weird to hear that people know about my game, even though I'm the one actively telling people about it >.>

I like the idea of mostly handing out buttons to people playing and in the booth, and I think we'll maybe have cards with some kind of discount or early purchase code for the game. 

I was just warned against handing out stickers, apparently if they end up stuck to the convention center it can be a massive fine :/


We only just realized PAX was something we could be a part of this year, so we are far to late to get in on that sweet mega booth action. We have a space down in the corner near Team Meat, come by and play Legend of Dungeon with us!

I am super interested in meeting other indie devs, if there is nothing happening Thursday night, it might be a great time for a bunch of us to get together!
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randomshade
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 09:45:49 PM »

I randomly stumbled across Legend of Dungeon one day on KS and have been keeping an eye on it ever since Smiley Of course, now you *can't* simply stumble across it because you all have gotten some really good press! Definitely excited to see where it goes and most definitely will swing by your booth to give it a play.

Thursday night is usually when the MegaBooth group holds its kick off get together. I'm sure the other devs would be cool if you all wanted to come; if you are interested PM me and I'll send you the details as I get them.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 09:58:35 PM by randomshade » Logged

Chaotic Kitten
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 10:28:08 AM »

Yeah, we got very lucky with press, and everyone has been very supportive! This is the first game we've made were we have done the promotion stuff fairly well I think. If you make enough mistakes your bound to get it right eventually Tongue


As far as the Booth goes, I think I'm getting it all figured out. I now have a huge to do list, but I feel way less worried about what I've gotten myself into.
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lolo
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2013, 09:38:54 AM »

Awesome! Those pictures helped a lot, and it's extra cool knowing you did Delvers Drop! I am always excited when I recognize a game studio Smiley I'm with a small studio as well(just my hubby and myself),called Robot Loves Kitty.

Funny coincidence we are in the same place of first timer and yesterday, on a whim, I rented a 10x10 and it's right next to you Smiley
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 09:57:52 AM by lolo » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2013, 10:07:29 AM »

Thanks for the heads up randomshade, I was going to walk in with a few screens and laptops and forgot all about promotion.

A few questions :
- What is that pop-up banner ?
- what's the deal with audio, is it rather loud and we shouldn't even think about bringing speakers, but headphones ok ?
- what's the vibe there ? (The photos on your site make PAX seem very cozy, I like Smiley
- multi plug... I know expos are unionized and don't allow you to hook up extensions etc... is PAX like that as well ?

Cheers.
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Chaotic Kitten
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2013, 10:46:13 AM »


Funny coincidence we are in the same place of first timer and yesterday, on a whim, I rented a 10x10 and it's right next to you Smiley



Well hello there neighbor, I am looking forward to meeting you!  I was curious who you were so I checked out your site, and your game looks great! 

I know you asked randomshade, but I thought I would pipe in with what I know.

PAX is a very friendly convention, filled with people who loves games and comics. It's a magical place, and packed with over 70,000 people over the three days makes it very cozy in a slightly crazy way. Tongue
I think the banner you are talking about is something you can buy from places like Vistaprint, it's a vertical banner that comes with a stand? 

Good luck figuring out the booth stuff!





Pax is a very wonderful place, most of the people there are really friendly. it might be a little chaotic since there will be something like 70,000 people there over the three days.
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randomshade
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2013, 11:32:53 AM »

Thanks for the heads up randomshade, I was going to walk in with a few screens and laptops and forgot all about promotion.

A few questions :
- What is that pop-up banner ?
- what's the deal with audio, is it rather loud and we shouldn't even think about bringing speakers, but headphones ok ?
- what's the vibe there ? (The photos on your site make PAX seem very cozy, I like Smiley
- multi plug... I know expos are unionized and don't allow you to hook up extensions etc... is PAX like that as well ?

Cheers.

-Yep, what Chaotic Kitten said about the pop-up banner: just a vertical banner with stand and pole that neatly rolls up and folds away for easy storage.
-It's really, really loud. You're supposed to not drown out neighboring booths or some such but the AAA games 100 feet away were deafening at times. Unless your game is audio-based you probably don't need headphones though.
-It is extremely busy. You will be exhausted at the end of each day. But yeah, cozy seems a reasonable description. Might have a lot to do with booth location though, dunno. Like Chaotic Kitten mentioned, 99.9% of the people there are super nice and friendly. It's a really good time.
-I don't think you can bring your own extension cords, but you can bring your own surge protector/power strips versus renting theirs. A 10x10 booth comes with a 500W drop - we upgraded to a 1000W as the upgrade is way cheaper than the penalties for overdrawing power.
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