Saturday, August 16, 2014

GenCon Overview

Since I am apparently incapable of sleeping in ...

GenCon as a demo person is - in large part - about the flow.

On Wednesday (Setup), we get to learn what the rest of the crew looks like and what they sound like and part of how they interact.

On Thursday (Day one), we learn their demo style and how they deal with the general public. We iron out kinks and make sure everyone is more-or-less on the same page.  As it's the slowest day, this is the day you want problems, because you learn how the crew handles the problems.

On Friday, we get to see how they deal with pressure. Not as much as Saturday, but it's good to see all of this in advance. Friday is usually my favorite day at the show, because there are always people in the booth for demos, but there aren't six million people waiting for more.

Saturday is Diamond Day. There are so many people on Saturday that the crew will be under constant pressure to perform. Really, it's like Friday turned up a couple of notches. A crew that does well on Friday will usually do well on Saturday.

By Sunday, the tide has turned again. People are already flying home, so the numbers are down.  And Sunday afternoon is teardown (which usually goes faster than setup because there are fewer boxes of games involved).

Sunday evening is the Team Dinner. Every year, Asmodee has treated us to a nice dinner as a "thank you" after the show.

This year, there have been some changes from previous years. For the better. For example, we have a room with a door where we can store our stuff. And we have a small cooler with water and Gatorade right in the demo area so that we can help stave off the inevitable loss of voice and keep our energy up.

So I don't have any in-depth thoughts about Friday and how it went. The team handled the pressure very well. We worked as a team to make sure everyone was covered and we watched for opportunities to help one another (and customers).

This is the first year in a very long time where I have only played games in the booth when one of the customers had to drop out to get to an event or something similar.

Also of note: Many many customers have told me, "I loved [GAME] from a few years ago, which is why we keep coming back. And you guys always have something fun for us to try." I hear variations on that all the time. It makes me happy.

Steph and I also have people who seek us out in the exhibit hall every year. Because they remember us from previous years and they trust our advice.

This year, by the was, the general advice is Abyss, but there are no duds in the booth. And we have a ton of new releases. I can't wait to drag them home and show off for the Wednesday crowd.

Speaking of: There are three members of my regular Wednesday group who are here. It's awesome, even if I haven't been able to demo with them, yet. I've had the chance to interact with them and point out the awesome in the booth.

Maybe tonight, we can drag them to Seekrit Dinner Hideout.

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