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5 Tips for Showcasing at a Game Conference

Game conferences such as GDC, Casual Connect, PAX, et al, give you tonnes of eye-balls; your potential players, partners or press. It’s imperative to plan ahead and plan well.The more prepared you are , the more awesome you look!

This post originally appeared on Mech Mocha Game Studios Blog on April 3, 2014.

I am sure I don’t need to tell you guys benefits of showcasing your ‘baby’ at a conference! Game conferences such as GDC, Casual Connect, PAX, et al, give you tonnes of eye-balls; your potential players, partners or press. It’s imperative to plan ahead and plan well. A 3 day showcase can be both fun and tiring! The more prepared you are , the more awesome you look!

1. Stand out: Tanks, punches, gas balloons

Just look at the picture below. That’s Casual Connect, Indie Prize Showcase where over 100 devs showcased their games. Now you know that your creation is equally, if not more, great, but the world doesn’t know it yet. In your attempt to give on-ground marketing your best shot, do something that’s relevant to  your game. If you have a candy game , have candies on the booth. If you have a tank game, do THIS or try being more creative. If you have a punching game like us, just get the punching gloves and scare people around!

Casual Connect and Devs trying to catch attention

Or if you are crazy, do something like shown in the pic above! These gas balloons were visible from far, people came to their booth to check our what those balloons meant! Go crazy, think out of the box and get the people to your table! That’s the GOAL!

2. Be prepared

Business cards are important but remember taking basic stuff such as tape, scissors, paper, notebook, extra pens, water bottle , extra charger, extra battery, backup disk. You never know what can happen, and you might be in dire need of just this. Some one may spill coffee on the board with your game’s name on it, now you quickly need a pen and paper to atleast rewrite the name on the table! Keep back-up builds. Don’t just carry that awesome shiny feature-full build you finished just one day before the showcase, it will have unseen bugs that will crawl while you are making your dream pitch. Keep 3-4 copies of old more stable build from earlier weeks. Trust me, it helps. If your game is music focussed or even if it’s not, carry headphones; not just one, but atleast a couple. Don’t make things sad for your sound designer, his work needs to be shown too.

3. Know the venue

Now venues can be both big and small, sparse and crowded , quiet or noisy. Act accordingly. If it’s a spacious venue, you can do stuff like contests on your booth. If it’s crowded, stay focused, and get as many people to play your game as you can. If it’s a shared table, respect your neighbours, and don’t jump into their space. Keep your stuff organised , it helps everyone and makes your booth look nice.

4. Call to Action

People who come to your booth need some call to action. Ask them to write to you back, sign up a tester, write about you, give them promo codes, keys ( Check the cool Steam Keys), QR Codes. Let them do something when they visit your booth. This creates an experience out of the available means of the small space at your disposal. Take pictures of prominent people while they play your game, later you can post them on your social channels and generate some buzz.

5. Freebies

Acknowledge that everyone including you yourself love freebies. Give-away stickers, notepads, stick notes, flyers, badges or any random stuff you can think of related to your game. Keep freebies compact and easy to carry. That’s our learning as one of the erasable boards we gave away was too big for people to carry without bags. Keep them relevant, if possible they should be a utility.

Lastly, Love your game, show it with pride, let people love it too~!

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