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Gregory Micek

Showing Off At E3

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I posted this over at GarageGames and thought it might be of interest here as well. Has anyone here ever seriously considered taking their project to E3 to show it off? It may seem expensive, but it looks as though there are ways to keep the costs down. Very simple really. And for this we''re assuming that you would be in Kentia hall, thats downstairs. Although it runs the same price upstairs, the spaces are much larger. $23 per square foot. Booths come in incriments of 10ftx10ft sizes. So, the smallest booth you would get would be 100 square feet, for $2300. Split that up between two people and you''re not doing too bad really. I''ll skip getting a 10x20, because going to 20x20 has a nice benifit. If you get a 20x20 booth, your not walled in on three sides like the 10x10s. With a 20x20 booth you can get whats called an ''island''. An island is accessable from all sides, so it gives you a lot more exposure. It also means that you can have a significantly higher number of people that can share it without having anyone face the back. So, we have our 20x20 booth which costs us $9200. It would not be unrealistic to think that up to 16 people could easily share that space. So now we have 16 people with a decent sized booth each putting in less than $600 ($575 to be exact). Sure, there are other things to consider such as internet access cost ($400 for T1 speed for the entire convention, thats $25 a piece). Other things such as paying GES to carpet, furiniture rental and so on would have to be added in. Or would they? It is not a stretch to think that in this large group of people someone will have the connections to help provide furniture and other things. Even an arrangement with a local business or other company could probobly be arranged to help keep cost down. Now, keep in mind that simply getting a booth at E3 would not be enough to get much attention. Much ground work would need to be done (handing out propaganda and such), but that is to be expected. Just something to think about.

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It''s not a bad idea really, if you get enough people together to do it.

Keep in mind, though, that when you''re at E3 (and most other tradeshows) you HAVE to use their resources. So, no bringing in other furnituer. No bringing in hired help that they don''t supply, and you pay their prices. No bringing in external catering...you buy their food at what they decide to charge you. It''s a bit of a scam really...and not friendly to people without a lot of money. I''ve worked for companies that spent $500k to have their booth at E3 and it wasn''t anything special really.

R.

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I prefer to just lurk the floor, personally. Getting a booth isn''t too bad of an idea, but you''d better have some great stuff there, otherwise its just a waste of your money. E3 food is... well, unreasonably expensive. I walked to find a McDonald''s and burned off the extra fat on the trip back to the convention.

Charles Galyon

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Its actually a great idea!!!!

The problem is getting people together to do it, and as mentioned you really need to have those that have something to show.

I was just looking at getting a spot for the next E3, but I don''t expect that my group will have our products ready at that time yet.

But if this gets going, contact me and maybe we can get together on it.



Nexus Entertainment
The Turning Point of Gaming

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Greg,

Take into account that just because you have a booth doesn''t get you eyeballs. You will have to compete with major sound systems and flare of other booths. We are talking free stuff, booth babes, full bleed color advertisements, etc. The game you are showing better have enough buzz to overcome the shoe-string budget.

I would say, take into account what you want to accomplish by going there and having a booth. If you are looking for a publisher, you don''t need a booth. You just need to find the right people.

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quote:
Original post by Tacit
Keep in mind, though, that when you''re at E3 (and most other tradeshows) you HAVE to use their resources. So, no bringing in other furnituer. No bringing in hired help that they don''t supply, and you pay their prices. No bringing in external catering...you buy their food at what they decide to charge you. It''s a bit of a scam really...and not friendly to people without a lot of money. I''ve worked for companies that spent $500k to have their booth at E3 and it wasn''t anything special really.



You 100% correct, that is definately a concern. Within a week or so i should be getting my exhibitor packet which will give some more information on that. As for food, your right. Food inside the hall is expensive. Two things could be done about that. Bringing your own food in is something i''ve done every year. But, being an exhibitor would change that. We would have to see what the convention centers rules are on handing out food is. Especially if it is food they did not supply. The second idea does not provide for food inside, but still works. Anyone who has gone to E3 knows of the local food merchants who stalk around outside. People with hotdog carts and such (they are REALLY good too by the way). No doubt something could be arranged with them. Either a cupon system, or even having them just give out one of your flyers with every purchase. You''re most likely not reaching publishers with that little stunt, but definately media and other people who go there.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Nexus-
The problem is getting people together to do it, and as mentioned you really need to have those that have something to show.

I was just looking at getting a spot for the next E3, but I don''t expect that my group will have our products ready at that time yet.

But if this gets going, contact me and maybe we can get together on it.



Getting enough people is definately one of the major obstacles. There are some good places to look for people. The best way of course being the list of nominees for the Independent Games Festivel. Sure, one or two of them may get ''signed'' at GDC, but a vast majority will go right back to trying to get their stuff shown. They are obviously motivated, and have something to show. Then there are plenty of small studios that just dont have the resources to go.

As far as this year goes, yeah, it may be a little late to do it actually. But i''m going to put up a website after D.I.C.E. and GDC and plan for 2002 full steam.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Greg,

Take into account that just because you have a booth doesn''t get you eyeballs. You will have to compete with major sound systems and flare of other booths. We are talking free stuff, booth babes, full bleed color advertisements, etc. The game you are showing better have enough buzz to overcome the shoe-string budget.

I would say, take into account what you want to accomplish by going there and having a booth. If you are looking for a publisher, you don''t need a booth. You just need to find the right people.


No doubt, no doubt. The guy from the E3 Exhibitor place i was talking to yesterday was talking about that as well. He said that alot of people get lazy and think that just having a booth is enough, and that it isnt, especially when you have huge monster booths in other places.

I''m actually glad you brought this up, because there are alot of things that can be done to generate foot traffic. The food thing i mentioned earlier. A 1/3rd page ad in Game Developers runs a little over $1000 (color), in Develop magazine a half page spread costs $1,200(and it is a much bigger magazine as far as size goes. and frankly, its a better mag). Other, obvious, things include handing out stickers and propaganda and things like that on the main show floor and near the entrances. Also, you would be suprised how many people converge on booths with places to sit. Another thing to keep in mind is that Kentia hall is not like the West and Noth halls. Sure, its a bit more out of the way, but the booths there are much more conservative, you do not see booths in Kentia hall that have all the flash of the other two halls.

As far as what i would hope to accomplish goes, in my case it is fairly easy. Since the game we''re working on is web based, we''re not looking for publishers as much as we''re looking for press coverage, eyes, and buzz. Getting a booth may be a bit overboard, sure, but it would be a great story for at least one or two magazines/websites/newspapers. (When your a exhibitor, one person has access to the press room where the press gathers. you are allowed to give out flyers pertaining to your booth there).

Getting a booth definately is NOT enough. Alot of other things would need to be done. But overcoming the high cost of booth space is something that a group can do well. After that, it would be up to the individuals. And remember, if you have 16 people sharing a booth, thats 16 groups of people spreading the word.

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We have been doing it for 3 years now.

It is pretty cheap and easy to do...besides paying hotel and air...the tix to the event are free.

We walk around and hand out demos and giveaways and what not...last year was a big success.

Y'all should give it a shot...couldn't hurt

Buying a booth for it is not a good idea...you get last pickins...you have to wait for the other companies who have HAD booths in the past pick their spots first then you get to pick..that usually puts you in the basement where no one goes really.

It makes more sense to comb the floor and do giveaways.


Edited by - tkat on November 16, 2001 12:14:28 PM

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Pending deals with 3 major publishers and a deal with one for game development for PSOne and other consoles.

The deal does not start till Feb though as we have to show them something ANYTHING on a PSOne console.

See big publishers from what I was told ( and I dunno if it is true is is just what I was told) are moving more into console development as the PC market is too littered with crap..there were other reasons but I cannot remember them right now.

The company we are dealing with (and no I cannot say who) like us, they like our gung ho attitude to design and games in general. But they want to see something on a console...since we cannot afford a dev kit for any console other than PSOne, the first 2 games we will make for them will be....PSOne games.

How else did it work for us?

We found out how "credable" our first publisher wasn''t, we inked a deal with Interact, Madcatz, Stream Theory and a few other companies...this year is coming to a close and we got punched in the nose a few times...but 2002...that is the year of the Screamin Monkey.

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