I work for a university and during my lunch breaks, I make a point of leaving the office and going for a stroll through the campus. My walks end at the University Centre, a central hub for campus activity. Amongst the crowds of staff and students are tables with promoters for every group, cause, and event you can imagine. Law enforcement recruiters brush up against credit card sellers and Amnesty International representatives. What do all these groups vying for my attention have in common?
All have tables have some form of candy on them.
You remember the old adage “don’t take candy from strangers”. Forget that adage, it’s a stupid.
If you want a quick and easy way to attract wandering eyes to your booth, candy is the way to do it. Of course, nice signs, a promotional contest and a stellar game are great too, but there are times where you will find yourself at a convention with limited resources.
For this reason, as part of my convention bag I always bring a bowl and a bag of colorful candies. For example, when promoting Crop Cycle I use Candy Corn. Candy Corn fits the farming theme of the game and is bright enough to be seen from space.
Make sure the bowl is placed near the table edge that convention attendees will be on and don’t be stingy with sharing. I have seen people try to conserve candy by only offering it to those willing to play their game. In those situations I have to wonder how much the designer spent on those candies that they are willing to pass up potential interest and conversation with a passerby for a few candies. If your budget is being broken by your candy dish, buy cheaper candies!
If you haven’t guessed, my preference is to leave the candy dish open for convention attendees to help themselves. Aside from the occasional young child (or adult with the mind of small child) that will take candy and run away, most people won’t destroy your food stuffs without at least making small-talk. If you are unsure of what to do when someone asks what your booth is showcasing, a good place to start is to read my article on conversational hooks.
A food theme seems to be developing based on the last few articles. Coming up next though, I will be writing an article on convention preparation and developing a pre-convention checklist!
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