Wednesday, September 17, 2008

GenCon08: Signage at Origins

This is a photo of the Origins booth, the test-run booth as it were (or was...). Not that we weren't prepared for Origins, but it was our first logistical con; we never did this before. You can prepare all you want up front, but until you hit the ground running at the actual convention site, you have no idea what to expect. Heck, yeah, we were nervous about Origins, but it was the same type of nervous actors/directors get the week before opening night. One thing you can notice between this pic and the one below is that, aside from one more Wegshog on our side of the demo table, the WEGS sign in the background is rippled. This was due to the fact that the sign was hung on hooks from the curtain rods at the back of the booth. Not the optimal way to hang a sign, but lots of folks do it. The ripple effect was remedied at GenCon as the pvc standing unit was added and fixed the problem completely. Small, but exciting, victories...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

GenCon 08: Signage

Once you commit to getting a booth, you gotta get a sign that let's folks know who you are. Pre-Origins, we only had small 2x4 foot WEGS signs which would not fill the 10x10 booth area very effectively. So, $200 later, I went to print with a 4x6 banner (shown here). And once you have a banner, you have to figure out a way to hang it. Many vendors use pvc pipe for this purpose. I followed suit; it took me the better part of a weekend to cut/assemble/spray paint the frame (about $50 in materials). I designed it so it is free standing, with the use of two picnic table umbrella stands (the ones that anchor the umbrella pole under the table). Found the perfect type at Sports Authority ($15 each), but the stands are flippin' heavy! Sue topped off the whole assembly with two burning braziers (using tissue paper for the fire effect). We framed the signage with copper pots and WEGS 101 Book-n-Card combos. (Yeah, that's me and Fwill running a demo.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

GenCon 08: Pre-Ignition (Origins 08)

At the start of '08, I knew GameWick Games would have a booth at Origins (OH), and decided that that would be the test-run for the feasibility of having a GenCon (IN) booth. The reason I could wait to make my GenCon decision was that GameWick had never attended either of these cons and, as a newbie, could book my booth last minute via the entrepreneurial rates (first-timer discount). Your first time as a vendor at a con is your cheapest (that's the buy-in). The second year you're not so lucky... Booth space at Origins is about half the price of GenCon (around $500 for a 10x10 booth); the catch with Origins though, is that booths come without any dressing: you have to rent tables, chairs, electric, etc from the contracted dresser. There was a rental special: a table, two chairs and a wastebasket for $60. Electric and Internet connections are additional costs. You can see how this all adds up. Luckily, GameWick did not need either; as a small company with a single product ($25), it was pointless to worry about credit card processing and those complications. If we had more product and folks were hitting the $75+ price point, that would be a different story. Long story short, being a vendor at a con is a costly proposition. When you're a company with a single product, it's a dicey proposition: the odds of you selling enough product to cover expenses aren't good. When you're a company with a single product, it's not about that at all. It's about the presence on the floor and the demo, demo, demo.

Friday, September 5, 2008

GenCon 08: The Road To The Geekhouse

The road to GenCon began a long time prior to me packing the car the night before we took off for Indianapolis. It began seven months earlier, at the start of the year, when event submissions were due. In January 2008, I was coming up with the WEGS game schedule for GenCon. At that time I wasn't sure if GameWick Games would have its own booth, so I submitted a somewhat aggressive game schedule which factored in both me and Fwill as game masters (GMs). For the first time at GenCon, the two of us would be running games independently and at the same time. This plan allowed me to keep the number of events submitted high, while allowing some breathing room for the possibility of a booth. It was a pretty solid plan, I thought, at the time. With this task out of the way, I didn't have to think about GenCon for another couple months.