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Author Topic: Booth Advive for a First Timer  (Read 2925 times)
Malcolm Craig
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« on: July 14, 2005, 01:59:31 AM »

Hi,

I realise that Ron and others are probably still hard at work forumulating plans for the Forge booth at GenCon, but as I'm in the throes of getting stuff sorted out for my trip across to GenCon, I thought it best to ask a few quick questions. Please forgive me if some of these are very obvious and simple, I'd just like to make sure I get everything right first time.

1) To whom and where should product be shipped? (I assume it would be directed to the booth at the convention centre, but unclear on this)
2) Is there an acceptable/unacceptable level of stock to ship to the booth? Do people have stock level recommendations based on previous years?
3) I'll most likely be arriving sometime late on Wednesday evening, when and where should I pick my badge up? (I'm assuming it'll be Thursday morning, but unsure)
4) I do have a 30 minute demo to run, is this length of time acceptable at the booth?

If the answers to some of these questions are more appropriate to a PM or email, I'll be happy to do things that way.

Thanks in advance.

Malcolm
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Malcolm Craig
Contested Ground Studios
www.contestedground.co.uk

Part of the Indie Press Revolution
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2005, 04:40:11 AM »

Hi Malcolm,

One by one!

Quote
1) To whom and where should product be shipped? (I assume it would be directed to the booth at the convention centre, but unclear on this)


Do NOT ship to the "booth" or to the convention center. Ship to yourself at the hotel where you're staying.

Quote
2) Is there an acceptable/unacceptable level of stock to ship to the booth? Do people have stock level recommendations based on previous years?


Opinions differ. You should check the followup posts from last year's booth; Ralph (Valamir) posted the sales per title, I think. Beef them up a little, though. This year's booth has some advantages over last year's.

Quote
3) I'll most likely be arriving sometime late on Wednesday evening, when and where should I pick my badge up? (I'm assuming it'll be Thursday morning, but unsure)


Well, here we go. It's different every year. This year everyone should be able to pick up his or her badge from the Exhibitor's Booth area. But they've changed the whole system again, so await further instructions.

Quote
4) I do have a 30 minute demo to run, is this length of time acceptable at the booth?


Try to strip it down a wee bit more, if possible. Remember that you are not teaching people how to prep and play the game, but rather showing off its most stellar features.

Best,
Ron
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Malcolm Craig
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2005, 05:30:05 AM »

Ron,

Thanks a lot, much appreciated.

Cheers
Malcolm
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Malcolm Craig
Contested Ground Studios
www.contestedground.co.uk

Part of the Indie Press Revolution
Andy Kitkowski
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2005, 12:54:22 PM »

Quote from: Malcolm
Hi,

4) I do have a 30 minute demo to run, is this length of time acceptable at the booth?


In my experience, 15 mintues is best (maybe with a swing 5 minutes in case it drags on). Not a lot of people can commit to that, but if you do you'll make everyone happy: The players get to experience the finer points of the game, and you're up and out to give the next demo group a chance (or if the players want to get involved with another game).

I ran demos that lasted anywhere between 10-20 minutes, that I considered successful.  Ben and his crew were able to demo The Riddle of Steel in under 10 minutes.  The Riddle of Steel... IN UNDER 10 MINUTES.  

There were some games that dragged on. One or two games ran for like an hour or more, which was a huge setback at the time, as there were others waiting to game (both demoers and players).

So, 15 minutes is best IMO.

Now, while you've got your adventure there, I'd keep your 30 minute demo and run it with the other Booth Folks: 30 minutes for adventure, 30 minutes to explain the rules so that others can run it in your stead when you're not there.

And, likewise (as you're asking for First Timer advice) be prepared to run at least three or more of the other Forge booth games at the drop of a hat.  Luke and his crew have Burning Wheel locked down, but just pick three or more Forge games you know that are going to be sold at the booth, make sure you know them back and forth, and make preparations so that you can run a demo for an interested player at the drop of a hat.

Good luck, and see you there.

-Andy
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Malcolm Craig
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2005, 03:41:24 PM »

Just to cross-post from my other 'asking for demo advice' thread, I'ce changed the demo, knocked it down to 20 mins, so hopefully all good there.

Cheers
Malcolm
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Malcolm Craig
Contested Ground Studios
www.contestedground.co.uk

Part of the Indie Press Revolution
Malcolm Craig
Member

Posts: 263


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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2005, 03:36:41 AM »

Quote from: Andy Kitkowski


And, likewise (as you're asking for First Timer advice) be prepared to run at least three or more of the other Forge booth games at the drop of a hat.  Luke and his crew have Burning Wheel locked down, but just pick three or more Forge games you know that are going to be sold at the booth, make sure you know them back and forth, and make preparations so that you can run a demo for an interested player at the drop of a hat.

Good luck, and see you there.

-Andy


Well, I have a passing familiarity with Dogs In The Vineyard (having perused a friends print copy) and have ordered the PDF version from Vincent so I can fully familiarise myself with it before the con. I also had a pre-release copy of EABA lying around, so I've purchased the 1.1 version from RPGnow so, again, I will be fully up to speed with it before GenCon. I'll see what other ones I would feel confident enough about running as well.

Would it be the case that I would be running pre-prepared demos provided by the writers of said games?

Cheers
Malcolm
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Malcolm Craig
Contested Ground Studios
www.contestedground.co.uk

Part of the Indie Press Revolution
Andy Kitkowski
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Posts: 827

I LIKE GAMES


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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2005, 04:41:01 AM »

Quote from: Malcolm

Well, I have a passing familiarity with Dogs In The Vineyard (having perused a friends print copy) and have ordered the PDF version from Vincent so I can fully familiarise myself with it before the con.


Yeah, you'll definitely want to get to a level higher than "familiarity": The problem last year was that about everyone was familiar with all the games, but no one had enough confidence to run more than 1-2 games.

Quote
Would it be the case that I would be running pre-prepared demos provided by the writers of said games?


Probably not- I find that most prepared games by other people are impossible to run for various reasons.  Most games will have to be run at the drop of a hat, so IMO it's best to plan a scenario out in your head, or in the case of games that need prep work (DITV) maybe make up your own demo.

It's hard, because every year we don't have set expectations or requirements for running games at the booth.  So everyone just kinda shows up, and in many cases try to get the designer into running demos of their game.  Which is fine.  But this year, I want to try to put a higher emphasis on being ready to run at least 3-5 different Forge Booth Games at the drop of a hat.

Good luck!
-Andy
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Malcolm Craig
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2005, 04:53:59 AM »

Andy,

No worries. As soon as I get my own demo nailed down, I'll set to work on the other ones. DITV and EABA I can say with a fair level of confidence that I'll be able to do something with by the time the con rolls around. I'll also borrow Sorcerer and Conspiracy of Shadows from a friend of mine and see what I can do with them (Not sure that I'd get mail ordered copies in time.)

Cheers
Malcolm
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Malcolm Craig
Contested Ground Studios
www.contestedground.co.uk

Part of the Indie Press Revolution
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