I just realized that I never did an Event Report for Gaymer X! What was I thinking???
Gaymer X was the first ever gaming convention specifically for LGBT folks, and was held in San Francisco on August 3rd and 4th, 2013. This was my first gaming convention ever as well, so I can't compare it to others. But I have been told that it was one of the friendliest conventions around. Everybody just got along. Even when there were glitches, it was just chalked up to being a new convention and happily tolerated. But on to reporting about the demoing...
I had the distinct pleasure of sharing the demo room with RJ Deckard and Kristin Looney herself. :o) The three of us were definitely kept busy the entire two days. We demo'd the brand new Fluxx: The Board Game A LOT, plus nearly every Fluxx deck there is, Seven Dragons, Are You the Traitor?, Chrononauts, Pink Hijinks, Treehouse, Pharaoh, Ice Dice, Zendo, and Caldera. I'm probably forgetting some, but you get the idea... we played everything! :o) The six-table demo room was always full to maximum capacity, with people standing when there weren't enough chairs and others playing on the floor in the hallway. Some players were familiar with Looney Labs and had come to try the games they didn't own. These players spent several hours in the room, coming back multiple times. These players often also brought along friends who were new to Looney Labs. Others came to the room looking for a different game, but ended up getting pulled in by the laughter and obvious fun people were having. I really have no idea how many people ended up playing Looney Labs games, but my guess would be around 200. In that entire time, I never heard anything but positive comments. In addition to demoing, I relieved the Gamescape sales team upstairs for lunch one day. I was there less than an hour and made approximately ten different sales, many of multiple games.
Looney Labs did two very right things, marketing-wise, in my opinion. First, they were major donors to the event, which allowed them to provide swag for the swag bags. They made an excellent decision to include both Fluxx 4.0 and Pink Hijinks in those bags, which went to all of the high-end donors to the event. These donations were by far the most impressive in the swag bags, and had the added benefit that many people had started playing those games upon arrival the night before. Therefore, they were already familiar with the Fluxx and pyramid mechanics when they entered the demo room. They may have never heard of Looney Labs before, but the swag bag games got them to come to the demo room and had them primed and ready to play more games. Genius marketing, if you ask me. :o)
The other great marketing idea was to hand out discount coupons in the demo room for the products being sold on the sales floor. These coupons not only offered a discount for buying games at the convention, but also served as raffle entries for free demo games. It got those in the demo room to go up to the sales floor, and those on the sales floor to come down to the demo room. Another genius idea!
I cannot say enough good things about my experiences at my first gaming convention. Everyone I met felt like an instant friend. I got to play all my favorite games, and with an actual Looney! I got a swag bag, plus several other gifts, including one of Kristin's famous tie dyed bandanas. Looney Labs, through great marketing and generosity, sold tons of games and introduced a lot of people to their products. And following the convention, I got to explore San Francisco. Life doesn't get much better than it did that weekend. :o)