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Author Topic: [GenCon 2004] Primary booth organization  (Read 4048 times)
Ron Edwards
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« on: January 24, 2004, 08:47:22 AM »

Hiya,

Deadlines are very early this year and can save us all a lot of money.

Right now, what I need are people who are willing to share primary booth sponsorship with Adept Press. The endcap is $2400 if we get our shit together within the next week; it's over $2600 if we don't.

Primary booth sponsorship means we pay for the booth, pretty much right now. We just drop the money. I am requiring that everyone involved do this equally: if there are three of us, then $800 apiece, etc.

I'd like there to be at least three and with any luck four; I don't think that five is viable in terms of what the booth can be expected to provide, but I could be wrong. I also want to emphasize that furniture for the booth costs at least an additional $800, and that for two years running I've eaten this cost myself, out of sheer "make it happen" determination. I don't think I can do that any more.

So, anyone? I can't do the whole endcap myself and then get reimbursed later. It has to happen up-front. Get in touch by private mail if you prefer. Also, ask any questions you need to.

At this time, do not chime in if you are planning to attend as an "add-on," which is to say, someone who gets an exhibitor badge and pays a nominal fee to be at the booth.

Bear in mind that if you say "Yes," and then flake out at the last minute, whatever it is you value about my personal help and support of your company will probably no longer be available to you, ever again. I hate to be such a bastard about it, but last year I paid 3/4 of the booth costs, rather than 1/4, due to exactly this issue.

Best,
Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2004, 01:41:11 PM »

Hello,

I should provide some more details ...

1. I want to cut furniture costs by buying the chairs, at the least. Yes, this will be cheaper. We'll discuss all the logistics for that in, say, May.

2. Primary sponsors have poster space as well as big-table and box-under-table space at the booth.

I am also going to have two tiers of non-primary sponsors: the same $100 deal as last year, and a $200 deal which permits (a) poster hanging and (b) guaranteed volunteer demo backup.

More about which kind of participant gets what kind of booth-privileges remains to be described, but I've worked it out pretty carefully. I will say this: no one who's paid to exhibit will be shut out of display space for the game itself or from space at a demo table when they need it.

3. Fortunately, GenCon only wants half the money up-front, for the Early Priority status. So what I need are ...

Preferably three other publishers who will go in at this time for $300 each to reserve our endcap space for GenCon 2004.

Note that this time the money from non-primary exhibitors will now provide at least a noticeable fraction of help with recouping that cost.

Best,
Ron
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Luke
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2004, 12:39:55 PM »

So here's my dilemna. I feel I did well enough last year to step foward into a "primary role."

This destroys utterly my chance of actually making money at the con. Not a terrible thing, but it was nice to walk away with profit money in my pocket last year.

But I think I would like to step up and "support" other games.

Second, I am very worried about 2nd year blues. I am a bit paranoid that interest in BW will fall of drastically this year and I'll come out even more in the hole (and demoralized to boot!). I am planning on having additional printed matter at the booth this year (NPA, plus some new BW stuff), but you never know what's going to happen.

Lastly, Ron, can you explain how the pricing/cost structure works. The Primaries pay $800 each. Secondaries pay $100-200. Is the secondary money then split amoung the Primaries in order to reimburse the outlay of overhead?

thanks,
luke
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2004, 04:11:48 PM »

Hi there,

I think that saving some bucks on furniture, some judicious hotel room sharing, and the likelihood of getting some $200 participants will help the primary sponsors out a lot. Profit seems more likely.

I also suggest that the buzz of running the booth pays off big-time in direct sales; Jake and I did very, very well through most of the remainder of 2003, and I know at least for my stuff that the GenCon presence really contributed to it.

Quote
I am a bit paranoid that interest in BW will fall of drastically this year and I'll come out even more in the hole (and demoralized to boot!).


Yeah, and there could be two-headed calves born, and portents in the sky and sea, and who knows what-all else! Look at it this way: being a primary booth-guy at GenCon won't make interest in the game fall off, now will it. So you might as well see the apocalypse show up from right at ground zero.

Quote
The Primaries pay $800 each. Secondaries pay $100-200. Is the secondary money then split amoung the Primaries in order to reimburse the outlay of overhead?


Yeah, that's right. Say there's the (current) three of us. Each $100 person is reimbursing us each $33.33 1/3. So ten such folks will help us measurably, and a few $200 folks ($66.66 2/3 each) will help us greatly.

Plain old "exhibitor badge people" just break even, though, costing us nothing and getting us nothing.

Going by the last two years, I anticipate no cheating by any of the "secondary" people, as that has been entirely absent so far. Aside from the flaky fellow primary sponsors (both years), everyone who's been involved with the Forge booth has been absolutely honest about reimbursing me.

Other questions? Anyone? So far we have three primary booth sponsors, and this year, both of the other two are extremely reliable.

Best,
Ron
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ADGBoss
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2004, 06:25:38 PM »

I have a couple questions comments etc as this is my first Gen Con and my first Con ever at selling product (Seraphim and EODL) so I will have many questions.

I plan on being a $200 investor as well as putting out towards the furniture if I can.  I am not expecting to make a profit this year because the plan is just to get AzDG's name out there.  One thing I was going to bring with me though was 1 or 2 ... Booth Babes.  I apologise fo rbeing a sexist pig in that regard but I have at last 1 or 2 people coming with me anyway who I am shanghai'ing in exchange for paying part of their way. (Yes they would be in Costume, btw).

Now my plan was to make lil handouts for them ot well hand out and I was curious if others would be interested in having them hand Flyers or Props?  Honestly for prinintg up a B&W Flyer its so cheap at Kinkos that I would do it without need to reimbursement.  I would just need to know how many we might need and who would want their game/company listed on the flyer.  Unless someone else is already doing that.

Also I will need to be shown the ropes as it were, with regards to helping out and doing my part.  I may have some non-demo game responsibility to run but opther then that I would be available.

Sean
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2004, 06:42:13 PM »

Hi Sean,

You and babes* are extremely welcome!

This as good a time as any to discuss the $200 people. They get:

a) poster space on the curtains at the back of the booth

b) one guaranteed demo-person for every day of the con (we'll work this out with the badge-only people)

c) probably something else I haven't decided yet

The $100 people don't get these, but they have equal shelf space and demo-table space with everyone else; those booth features will not be tiered.

As for flyer contents, that is definitely a May-to-June kind of concern, way too early at this point. Count yourself in for major discussion when it's time, though.

Best,
Ron

* Sexism is an evil and pernicious cancer in our society. I am its remorseful victim. The agony, the agony.
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AdAstraGames
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2004, 07:29:07 PM »

Ron, I'm interested in trying to get my booth adjacent to the Forge again, but that takes both of us coordinating to do it.

Last time I posted on this, there was someone else who's a periodic poster here who had another corner booth who also wanted adjacency I'm willing to try and get a "four booth" block like that, where we can all direct traffic to one another.

I also saw a section of the floor plan walled off as a "Quiet Area".  Is that of interest to you for the Forge booth?  

Finally, if we can get our booths adjacent, I have the following resources I can commit:

1) Plastic Shelving -- I figure, if we set our booths up adjacent to one another, using a shelf as the "border" between them would be useful, since I've got some that can be used to store product from both "sides"

2) Easels.  I have two, and would set one out in such a way that the Forge folks can write what games are starting when.
Ken Burnside
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2004, 07:49:15 AM »

Hi Ken,

It should be pretty easy - we just have to make sure that we're both early registrants, and that both of us name the other one.

Oh yes, and the "quiet area" is definitely where I want the Forge booth. The name isn't perhaps the best-chosen (sounds like the library), but yeah, Peter's description of the policy is perfect. I want to double-check that the zone will not be ghettoized into a back corner, but I'm pretty sure that's not what they're doing.

Quote
Last time I posted on this, there was someone else who's a periodic poster here who had another corner booth who also wanted adjacency I'm willing to try and get a "four booth" block like that, where we can all direct traffic to one another.


Since we have an endcap, I think the best Plan A is to get the flanking/side booths of that island involved as "friendly neighbors." So if you get one side and someone gets the other, that'd be great. The corners (or endcap, if they're combined) of the opposite end of the island might be too far away to make much difference, unless the intermediate side-booth is included too.

Quote
Finally, if we can get our booths adjacent, I have the following resources I can commit:

1) Plastic Shelving -- I figure, if we set our booths up adjacent to one another, using a shelf as the "border" between them would be useful, since I've got some that can be used to store product from both "sides"

2) Easels. I have two, and would set one out in such a way that the Forge folks can write what games are starting when.


Those are both awesome suggestions and greatly, greatly appreciated.

Best,
Ron
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AdAstraGames
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2004, 10:18:23 AM »

I'm looking at the map of the convention hall right now....

Using the booths in the quiet zone area as a template:

Look at the block of four booths numbered 1440 through 1446.  

This is my "ideal" setup.  It may not be yours, it's certainly open to discussion, and it may (and probably will) get bolluxed by something.

Ad Astra/Final Sword/Timeline gets booth 1440, on the corner.  The Forge occupies booths 1442/1446 as a double booth (but not an Endcap -- it's possibly a bit cheaper for you).  The border between booth 1440 and 1442 is taken up by 8' of shelving units.  The last two feet, I put an Easel in that both sides can use, or figure out some way to hang a whiteboard there, perhaps with a bit of draping.  (I think hanging a white board from the shelving is probably best; this lets you folks use the second easel on the other side of your booth.  My other easel will go to the people in the boardgames hall (who are depressingly far away from the exhibit hall) to help them promote the game.

If we can find another person who wants a standard booth to take 1446...

You store Forge products on the side of the shelving unit facing 1442, I store my products on the side of shelving unit facing 1440.

I need the corner booth with its table area for display of product -- I've got three companies in a corner booth; doing a standard booth just doesn't cut it for our display needs.
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Troy_Costisick
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2004, 12:45:12 PM »

Heya,

Ok Ron, count Twilight Press in as a full fledged sponsor.  Where do I send the check?  Also, will you need half the ammount or all of it right away?

Thanks,

-Troy Cositisck
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2004, 03:58:09 PM »

Hello,

All done! And the application got in well in time to make the Early Priority deadline.

The four primary sponsors are Adept Press, Driftwood Publishing, Burning Wheel, and Ramshead Publishing. A few other people spoke up, like Troy, but these were the first-comers. So the other folks are welcome to become $200 participants, but we'll organize that in another thread, in a month or so.

I'll be starting several threads about GenCon, ranging from booth arrangement to promotion activities to demo organization.

But thanks, everyone, for helping out with this one, which can now be closed.

Best,
Ron
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