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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 112 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: GenCon Booth: Garage Sale Bin?  (Read 3523 times)

Posts: 152

« on: April 10, 2004, 07:34:34 AM »

Stop me if you've heard this one before...

Would it be feasible for us to have an assorted for-sale at the booth that we could use like a communal garage sale bin?

An editor I know helps pay his expenses at SF cons, and keep his house from being totally over-run by his accumulation of books, by hauling a few boxes' worth to sell at his company's dealer's table.

I don't have anywhere near that much stuff, but like most gamers, I have some gaming stuff that's decent quality but which I just don't need. It's not enough to fill a box of my own, but between all of us, I bet we'd have a pretty interesting assortment for folks to browse through while they visited the booth.

We could keep the accounting for the bin as simple as possible: I'd be willing to donate the sales of my stuff towards a common fund for booth pizza and so forth.

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Michael S. Miller

Posts: 846

« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2004, 03:12:56 AM »

Very good idea in theory, and I'm glad someone is thinking about the booth. Personally, I'd weigh in against actually implementing it at the Forge booth, for two reasons:

1) Space is already at a premium. Something like this will suck up a lot of space (not only the bin itself, but the 1d3 gamers-who-don't-pay-attention-to-what's-around-them that will be scavenging through it) that could be better used for running demos. Our booth is small and it looks like we're going to have a record number of participants. I don't think we can afford the clutter.

2) I figured that the booth "vibe" was about generating enthusiasm for fresh-from-the-creator's-brain indie games. The garage-sale-bin would not fit this, and might even be seen as us disparaging the mainstream supplements that would likely fill such a bin.

Anyway, just my input, but Ron is final authority on all things Boothesque.

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Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2004, 06:32:32 AM »


In this case, the final authority is pointing to Michael and saying, "What he said." Good call.

I also want to say, though, that suggestions about what we might or might not do at the booth are always welcome.


Posts: 310

« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2004, 05:46:06 AM »

I do think the "residual sale" aspect of a garage sale might be explored. Something along the lines of "anytime you buy something for $10 or more, you can get something from the "sale bin" for $2 (or whatever). It can just be a box at the end of the table where the checkout line is. It's a way to add just a little extra "oomph" to each sale, but people who aren't buying from the main section can't take advantage of it. Items in the bin can have a bright orange dot on them, so anyone doing checkout can immediately see that it is a fixed price sale item and ring it up accordingly.


Christopher Weeks

Posts: 683

« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2004, 06:01:27 AM »

I'm not going to be a participant (I mean, except for coming to put faces to names, play demos, and offload a couple of hundreds) but it seems like a matter of cost:benefit.  What does The Forge gain to offset the extra hassle, potential dilution of indieness, the check-out slowdown when people find the box, etc?  I'm not seeing much.

On the other hand, Greg's note touches on physical layout, which is potentially well worth discussing.  IIRC, I had to maneuver around the three-sided shelf, squeezing between it, customers, and demos, get my books, go behind it and stand in a somewhat cramped space at the center-rear of the booth to check out.  Is that right?  How did y'all (or Ron, if it was unilateral) decide on the layout?  Can it be improved for traffic flow management?  Can things be set up so that the demonstraters are able to take up aisle space, leaving more room in the booth proper?

Chris (looking forward to Indie-ana)

Posts: 373

« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2004, 07:04:08 AM »

I'm going to back up Michael's earlier comments that a sale bin would consume more valuable space than it's worth.  I worked at the booth last year, and all horizontal surfaces were highly sought after for (1) displaying the games, (2) demo-ing the games, and (3) storing stuff (usually under or around the back table).  At the beginning of the day, everything would be neat, orderly, and open.  But once you start adding people, activity, and various transactions, space just disappeared.  I remember a couple times when I had to clear away a section of the back table just to use the credit card swipy-thing because every surface was covered.  Even one extra box that in itself does not promote the games at the booth or the Forge directly, would quickly become superfluous.

As to booth layout, I think having the check-out table at the back of the booth worked well even when it did get super crowded.  Although, I personally would have liked to have it to one side of the booth so that the short end of the L-table was accessible from the aisle.  It would provide a "person behind a table" for the folks who have questions, but don't quite want to delve into the booth.


Posts: 5574

« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2004, 07:33:54 AM »

I would much prefer to see the check out at an edge, preferably a back corner where the cash jockey could handle payments from within the booth as well as from without.  

Trying to get a paying customer who wants to buy a half dozen games through the crunch of demos and display to the cashier, was less than ideal.  I'd rather have the option of walking out of the booth with them and around the corner where they can be taken care of (and occupy isle space rather than booth space).

Jürgen Mayer

Posts: 240

« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2004, 10:43:38 AM »

I second the check-out edge suggestion. Paying for your books has to be easy and not a hassle, and the center of the booth was often crowded with booth people explaining games to customers.

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