It just takes a box
I am a big fan of guerrilla marketing and one of my most successful strategies has been to carry a box around convention halls. When I’m trying to promote a new game you’ll see me walking the halls and holding it proudly.
It’s not hidden under my arm but held in a way where it feels natural and anyone walking towards me can clearly see the cover.
This technique achieves several things:
- I’ve found it helps make me more approachable to people familiar with the game as it takes away any uncertainties about my identity.
- It gives people the opportunity to ask me “what’s that” rather than forcing me to ask people if they want to see my new game.
- Anyone unfamiliar with the game will get a flash of the cover, it probably won’t tell them anything but it will place it in the back of their mind for later. Meaning, at a later date when they see the cover again, they’ll already have a sense of familiarity without knowing why, making them much more likely to click something.
- Most importantly, it can get the attention of media and makes them more likely to interact. Afterall, anyone can see the games in the booths but has anyone else spotted this potential exclusive?
I most recently used this technique at Essen Spiel and made the Dice Tower news.
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Going back a few years to before The Isle of Cats was known (it was just 10 days after I announced it), I entered the hottest games at Origins and made several creators biggest surprise of the show lists.
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I believe walking the halls of Origins with The Isle of Cats and offering overviews to those who asked was one of the leading factors to the games success on Kickstarter.
If you’ve got a new game and you’re heading to a show, perhaps keeping it out of your bag and in your hands will work for you too!
Frank West is a gamer and designer based in Bristol, UK. He published his first board game, The City of Kings, in 2018 and now works on other games and organising events in the local area. His goal? To design and publish games focusing on immersive themes, fun mechanics and beautiful components. If you have any questions or would just like a chat, feel free to get in touch at any time!