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We want to design a cool tradeshow booth. Help us!
February 16, 2012 1:45 PM   Subscribe

I work for a small, educational game non-profit. We have out first trade show coming up! We're looking for cool, clever booth designs.

So, we're looking to make a splash with out first booth. We're open to weird stuff (Let's carpet the floor with astroturf!). Our big constraints: We have software people will be playing, so we'll need kind of a "flow" that avoid bottlenecks. We're also trying to keep the cost down AND we'll need to travel, so a 20 foot, 400 pound robot is out of the question.

If you've seen a cool booth, I'd love to hear about it.
posted by GilloD to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Bean bag chairs or other super-comfy seating. People will come to rest their feet and stay to hear the pitch. (Colleagues who have done this have arranged to buy the furniture locally and sold/donated/freecycled it after to the show to avoid shipping.)

Also saw a brilliant gimmick - View-Masters with your pitch slideshow. It was great because no one had seen one of those since they were kids and everyone was pretty happy to pick one up and click through it.

(Now, this was at a game convention so you may want to make sure you don't look like a copycat. Memail me if you want the company name to make sure.)

Also, different shows have different vibes and different audiences. I've been to a bunch of game-related shows - which one is this? Your setup should probably be different at a recruiting-type gig vs. an end-user one.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:53 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Gog booth at Pax last year was pretty awesome. There were also cookies.
posted by TheSlate at 2:23 PM on February 16, 2012


When I worked for a licensing agency long ago we would do booths for Toy Fair in NYC that were cartoony "settings" for our licensed products. One year we had a booth that was like a doll house with different rooms to hold our toys, apparel, kitchen/dinnerware, jewelry, bathroom stuff (shower curtains, rugs, soap holders, etc.)

Another year, when we wanted to feature our plush toys we set up a giant bed in the middle of the booth with over-sized plush critters piled on it--folks loved jumping up on the bed and sitting with their feet dangling over the side while we discussed orders, etc. We had pillows flung around on the floor--it was the most comfortable booth!

Can you recreate a scene or two from your games--let people inhabit the game?

The two things I always did with tradeshow booths was have some live plants scattered about (a nice contrast to all the plastic and bling) and have a big, clear bowl of wrapped candies that could be easily reached by folks walking by--something about taking a candy made folks feel obligated to stop and chat for a bit. Neither is very expensive, but really humanized the booth.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:56 PM on February 16, 2012


Seconding the idea of somewhere comfy to sit. Jebus, working those trade shows, both as a game publisher and a developer, is brutal. I'd sit through an hour of your presentations if it meant I could sit in a comfy beanbag chair and sip green tea or something. Heck, throw in a free chair massage, why not!

One innovation we made when I was the VP of a game publisher back in the 90s: we mailed out certificates for a free $10 bill to all of the developers we had in our database two weeks before the show. Perhaps two hundred coupons went out. A neat coupon with a "have lunch on us!" message, our logo, etc.. They didn't have to do anything to redeem it except come by the booth and give it to us. We had each coupon signed, with a serial number on a list and checked it off when it was redeemed, so there was no forgery. Ten bucks for lunch, just for stopping by - can't beat that!

It turned out well. Got our name out there among the two hundred or so key game developers we wanted to know about us, generated a lot of developer traffic to our both (we redeemed just over a hundred coupons) and probably everybody at the show was talking about it, so it was huge PR for a little over a thousand bucks.
posted by darkstar at 4:05 PM on February 16, 2012


p.s. If you're interested, memail me and I'll send you a scanned copy of the coupon we used. I think I still have a few of the coupons from that show nearly 20 years ago! :)
posted by darkstar at 4:08 PM on February 16, 2012


How about a game where they can win a college scholarship (or whatever your target market would like)? You can hire an insurance company to oversee a dice game, perhaps where they spell out your name or something. It only costs the amount of the insurance and lots of people will hand over their name to be on your mailing list.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 4:49 PM on February 16, 2012


Advice I was given once on this subject was to make it as tall and as eye catching as possible, so that if you're way off in the back, people still see you when they walk into the room, so if a 20 ft robot would particularly fit you product(s) I'd say go for it!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 9:55 PM on February 16, 2012


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