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Author Topic: Booth notions  (Read 4625 times)
Michael S. Miller
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« on: February 05, 2003, 04:11:43 AM »

Another booth idea hit me in the shower. As Ron said, there was a bit of a problem with "Which guy belongs with which game?" While I fully support mingling and getting to know your fellow Forgites, I have something that could help expedite things.

At the back of the booth, we have a large posterboard with the names of all the games for sale, the name of the their author/GenCon rep, and a Polaroid photo of them. That way, for folks who come to the con later and miss the getting-to-know-you time will still be able to know who is who, and can get their picture on the board so we know who they are.

What do you think?
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Matt Gwinn
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2003, 05:48:59 AM »

I agree with Mike.  I for one, am terrible with names.  By the end of the con of knew who just about everyone was, but that didn't help me on days 1 and 2.  And with (hopefully) a new influx of game designers into the booth this year I may need to associate new faces with names and games.  Another option is to wear name tags, but that is kind of lame.

,Matt G.
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2003, 09:42:39 AM »

Quote from: Matt Gwinn
Another option is to wear name tags, but that is kind of lame.


That's a joke right? I mean given that you have to wear a badge just to get in.

I'm totally with nametags. Or something cooler if we can swing it. The best would be if you could get your name on a Forge wear item, tho.

No harm in the sign with names and pics, however. You could add functionality by putting In/Out pegs on it, and/or a schedule column for each member where they could write in when they intended to be at the booth in the future as their plans pan out. So as to avoid the "He's was here a minute ago. He'll probably be back later," that often ends up being passed to people looking for crew. Just brainstorming.

Mike
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Matt Gwinn
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2003, 10:11:22 AM »

Quote
That's a joke right? I mean given that you have to wear a badge just to get in.

I'm totally with nametags. Or something cooler if we can swing it. The best would be if you could get your name on a Forge wear item, tho.


Actually I was serious.  I hate wearing name tags.  It makes me feel like I work at a department store.  Badges are different because they're more like jewelry and their easy to take off.  Plus, EVERYONE has a badge so it doesn't make you look any sillier than anoyone else.

I do like the idea of an IN/OUT marker of some kind.
 
We should also have a list somewhere that shows who knows how to run demos of each game.  That way, we don't look stupid when someone asks for a demo and we have to ask half the booth staff if they can run a demo when the game designer isn't around.

On a side note, is it really sad that we're all geeked up about GenCon when it's still 6 months away?  I'm trying to convinve myself that we're just trying to be organized.

,Matt G.
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Matt Wilson
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2003, 11:08:55 AM »

Quote
On a side note, is it really sad that we're all geeked up about GenCon when it's still 6 months away? I'm trying to convinve myself that we're just trying to be organized.


Believe me, 6 months is a good time to start prepping.

Badges are usually good enough to serve the nametag function.

A sort of schedule would be good to create, with at least some planning on who will be around the booth at which times.

Some strategy is in order to go with some of Ron's suggestions, like getting out of the long-winded discussion with the guy who's not going to buy a damn thing, or finding someone who's actually played the game a booth visitor is asking about.
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Paul's Girl
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2003, 11:22:18 AM »

There should definately be a schedule of some kind, but with ideas like a list of who know how to play what game and what not, it should be condensed onto  one sheet, small or big.  I really like the game "menu", something to hand out to people, awesome idea who ever came up with it. As far as list of games for the back wall, that could be done two ways. Either 1 big list, or let each seller produce his own on a specific size piece of paper, like 11x14. That way they can put their logo or font, along with a description if they choose.  

Well, after last year, I came up with a few ideas as well. At the both last year we did have a poor set up. Since we have such a deep booth layout for this year, I suggest we create areas that people can walk into. For example, set the tables into half circles at the corners of the thing so people are walking in to something, not blocked off by chairs and peoples backs.  Very inviting. Paul and I were thinking of some better way to display what is available.  The problem with the rack from last year, it had stuff at the bottom that wasn't as accessable, and we had to figure out where it went all the time. We were thinking of having a table display, stationary or one that turns, that people could leaf thru things and they are within arms reach.  I also think it was one idea last year to have Forge t-shirts with the logo on the front, and the names of available (for sale?)games on the back.

-Danielle
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2003, 11:46:42 AM »

I am the epitome of uninformed opinion, being as I couldn't make it to GenCon last year. Still, here's two cents:

A really successful GenCon is going to depend on lots of people being incredibly dedicated early. One thing that I understand helped a lot last year is Ron preparing short demos of a lot of different games. Being as the person who benefits from a demo of their game is the author, here's an idea: everyone who wants to sell a game at the booth should include a short demo scenario for that game. These demos are collected, and if possible, distributed to all booth members before-hand. (Hey! Bonus prize - you get a PDF of a bunch of scenarios for working at the booth. In addition, if these could get printed, they could be sold for super-cheap - like $2 - to help defray booth costs.)

It wouldn't be hard to have a matrix of who is qualified to run each game. Make these 30 minute demos the focus of the booth, and - as Danielle mentioned - anyone who's interested in talking instead of buying gets asked at three minutes in, "So, which of these games sounds most interesting to you?" Slam that guy into a demo and keep moving.

By putting the work onus on the game creators, we can have all this stuff we keep talking about: creators submit their $100, a scenario, a brief description of their game, and a thumbnail of the cover art. With that, a "game menu" and demos for each game are done.

The name tag thing has its drawbacks - sure, it looks like you work at Wal-Mart - but shouldn't be hard to do. Print up a bunch of cardboard rectangles with the Forge logo in one corner, and let people write their own name on them. Put 'em in those plastic badge holders, and when people leave the booth, leave 'em there in a box. That way, no one loses theirs, and we know who isn't at the booth right now.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2003, 12:15:55 PM »

On the previous thread, I volunteered to put together the Demo Menu, and I stand by that. I'm thinking of it as something big (poster-size) so that an inviting Chat-person can glance over at it, and see who can run the game without searching for a piece of paper that's likely to get moved/lost.

I also like the idea of a more "inviting" booth space. Chat tended to overflow into the aisle last year.

About name tags ... don't the exhibitor badges have names on them (I know that general admission badges haven't for the last few years)? I guess we can e-mail GenCon and find out.

While I kinda like Clinton's idea of each creator generating a scenario that can be run by anybody, I'm a bit trepidatious about the policy becoming "If you're part of the booth, you have to be able to run everybody's game." I mean, I think Little Fears, for instance, is a great game and I'd heartily pitch it to anybody -- but I won't run it. (not only am I bad at horror in general, but I take in foster kids and it hits too close to home to be "fun").
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2003, 12:51:37 PM »

Step 1: Find fuck-off big piece of foamcore
Step 2: Find some large-ish index cards
Step 3: Write down games, names and numbers on the cards
Step 4: Find a roll of Velcro (tm)
Step 5: ...

Okay, you can figure out where I'm going with this. Set up a grid on the foamcore, affix velcro to the cells of the grid. Label the grid with GAME, GM NAME and TIME. Affix more velcro to the cards. Voila. Instant change-able signage. You could also add a # PLAYERS field that would show how many open slots are left for that game.

Something else: Mailboxes. Just an idea I had. Sell mailbox space (free with playtest!). People sign up and get a mailbox (an envelope or a section of a divided cardbox box, whatever). They can receive messages from friends who can sign up and receive their own messages. If it sounds familiar, that's cuz it's been done before. Warning: this idea could suck, but the velcro board one is pretty good so they kinda cancel one another out, suckage-wise.

EDIT: BTW, it's insane to make a game catalog that's any more expensive than a double-sided B&W photocopy that lists each game/author/publisher/blurb/price. Hand 'em out, drop them in with other Forge booth purchases. What's with this colorized glossy hi-definition layout thing that people are talkin' about?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2003, 02:10:06 PM »

Hi everyone,

Following up on Danielle's point, I am very much looking forward to those little round tables spaced out over a big square area rather than a long narrow rectangle. It should create much more of a coffee-house or jazz-club kind of atmosphere, which is my model for this year.

I really want people to step into that space and feel as if they've entered a small, distinctive universe, which experientially then expands into something as big or bigger than the Exhibitor hall itself.

Best,
Ron
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Matt Wilson
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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2003, 02:21:58 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hi everyone,

It should create much more of a coffee-house or jazz-club kind of atmosphere, which is my model for this year.

I really want people to step into that space and feel as if they've entered a small, distinctive universe, which experientially then expands into something as big or bigger than the Exhibitor hall itself.

Best,
Ron


Okay, I'm seeing a big carboard standup of Riker playing the trombone. That's an experience to haunt all visitors.

Small tables good, say Matt, who just paid for his badge, baby.

Any pics of what the Forge scene looked like at last year's GenCon?
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Matt Gwinn
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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2003, 04:15:57 PM »

Here are my pics from last years Gencon

http://www.angelfire.com/games3/errantknight/gencon.html

pics 1 and 5 best show the booth area

,Matt G.
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Michael S. Miller
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2003, 05:08:54 AM »

Hi, Jared.

I like & loathe the foamcore idea. The physical presence & customizablity are big pluses. However, I didn't think we were sheduling these demoes like: "Demo of octaNe will run at 14:35-14:55 at table 3, there are only 3 slots, so sign up now!" I liked how last year worked such that if we chatted with someone who mentioned that they liked the detail of RoleMaster but thought that it lacked punch, we flagged down Jake and had him run a TROS demo. I think the strength of the booth comes from flexibility in meeting the needs of the passers-by. If demoes are scheduled, I think we're gonna lose a lot of people who say they'll be back later for the demo, but never make it.

As for the mailbox, it could be cool, 'cause I know it's a service that's in demand at a con, but it could also clog up a lot of the booth area with people who are neither playing nor pitching. Just a thought.
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philreed
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2003, 06:09:51 AM »

Quote from: Jared A. Sorensen
EDIT: BTW, it's insane to make a game catalog that's any more expensive than a double-sided B&W photocopy that lists each game/author/publisher/blurb/price. Hand 'em out, drop them in with other Forge booth purchases. What's with this colorized glossy hi-definition layout thing that people are talkin' about?


I expected this. If I'm not wanted here just say so. Or, at least, post this in the catalog thread.

I do have a little experience in this sort of thing and was trying to use that to benifit my own personal projects (and since there is strength in numbers, the projects of others). The only way to expand is to market. And, these days, B&W sheets of paper don't work.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2003, 07:42:41 AM »

Hey,

Phil, it's not about whether you're "wanted here." For one thing, don't let one person's comments represent "here" in your mind. And Jared, friggin' lighten up on a person who really wants to help.

I've just posted to the catalogue thread, and let's discuss all that stuff there. As for this thread, let's keep up the notions. Remember: they're all suggestions at this point. In a month or so, I'll go through it with my collecting basket and my chainsaw.

Best,
Ron
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