Indie Boothcraft

Many people don’t understand the effort it takes to market a game, let alone book, build, and run an exhibition booth. It’s grueling, tiring, passionate work. You’re on your feet for hours promoting a game that hasn’t even launched yet, building momentum for that big push that makes or breaks first-day sales.

Yet – there are booths that have no clue. The logo is hard to read. The demo is broken. There’s no actionable item for their visitors to take. They wasted $3,000 at best, and killed their biggest break at worst.

I decided to share trade-show knowledge with first-time exhibitors in hopes they could save time and money. My buddy Aaron, an experienced booth designer and illustrator, was looking for a collaborative design project for fun. After two days of concept, design, and development, we launched Indie Boothcraft.

I’ve promoted Organ Trail and Max Gentlemen with The Men Who Wear Many Hats at many conventions. Once we got two shows down, the rest came naturally. We knew what tactics didn’t work, how much energy to exert or conserve, and how to downplay the spiel when it looked like we were too eager. Lots of this is collaborating with teammates and being honest about the product. Indie Boothcraft makes that pretty clear.

There are hard lessons to learn while marketing a game. While the website doesn’t encompass them all, I hope it helps the next indie reflect on their public image. The booths that get this go the extra mile to stand out, and we pay tribute to them by maintaining a Showcase of postmortem exhibition articles.

  • Know someone who could use this knowledge? Please share Indie Boothcraft with them.
  • Have some great resources or booth roundups for the Showcase? Send us links!
  • Has the site helped you? Tell me about it! I often meet people and receive emails about how helpful this website was to their business.

When it comes to indies, paying it forward is the best way to contribute to the community. It makes my day hearing how Indie Boothcraft made a difference in a company’s promotional efforts. It’s been a joy to market and maintain as a side project, and I hope you think so too!