With PAX prime on the horizon for Siege Sloth we thought it might be helpful to the indie community if we could take some time to list out all of the costs that we have come across when marketing at a convention of this size, specifically when on an indie budget.
A large poster can help convince people to wage through the crowds to play your game, but if it looks amateur or unpolished it can equally cause people to avoid your booth. Jack put a fair bit of time into designing a vectorised layout that adequately encapsulates the feel of the game while at the same time being visible across the show floor before Trev spent the weekend painting detail and colour over the vector shapes in order to meet our printing deadline.
We are lucky that the AIE incubator is paying for this poster but we have locally priced a similar A0 size poster to cost around $100.
Cost so far $100
At home I have a desk full of business cards that I’ve been given by indies while looking at their games. While it seems like a good marketing move I have found that at the end of a convention I had a pile of business cards and no idea what game each company was making. That’s why we made the decision that our company logo will be absent on the cards we will be giving out at PAX and they will instead feature only the game’s logo.
We were able to find an Australian printer for the cards and we have ordered 1000 to give out during PAX, this cost us $45
Cost so far $145
This is one of the things that indies often get right in our experience, with the only pitfall that we have seen being small start ups putting the logo for their company on their shirt instead of their game. Like the business cards we have found that until a company has a well known game (or series) no one cares what they are calling themselves.
Some advice from teams that went to PAX last year was pretty much summarised to DON’T HAVE A SHIRT THE SAME COLOUR AS THE PAX STAFF!
This was by far the most expensive piece of marketing material that we have bought to date at a combined cost of $500 to get 4 shirts for each of our team members, the shirts will be used for at least 3 conventions so they end up not costing too much when you work the numbers per convention. We did go with a custom coloured shirt that was harder to source and more expensive then a black or white counterpart but if money is very tight for GammaCon we just used iron on prints which only cost about $10 per pack and some cheap $5 shirts from a local department store, which we felt made us more approachable and helped us stand out a little when things got crowded.
Cost so far $645
Having a screen mount with the game name featured and some basic info like controls and where to connect with us online has been very helpful to us whenever we are showing the game at an event. In the past we have just printed a mount onto photo paper to save money but they did not stand up very well on their own so with 3 cons to go to in the near future we decided to splash some cash and pay $50 to have one printed onto corflute (a type of corrugated plastic).
While I have seen teams bring custom furniture that suits the game to dress up their booths we decided not to for this set. Though if it allowed printing along a your own tablecloth can make your booth stand out immensely beside other tables with whatever colour was provided by the venue. That is all that we have for PAX, we feel that it will make our booth stand out from the crowd but we will have to wait and see if we are correct.