Tables are a scarce and valuable resource at conventions.
As the platform for budding game designers an promoters to showcase their games, convention managers know the value of these tables and charge accordingly.
Larger conventions can charge hundreds of dollars for you to set up a table, knowing that used correctly, you can get a lot of attention for your game.
This high cost conflicts with the budgets of many game designers…budgets that are somewhere in the $0 ballpark range.
One solution to the cost is table-sharing. The concept is exactly what it sounds like. You pay for half the table and another game designer/promoter pays for the other half. The benefits of having half a table include:
- Reduced Cost. Half a table costs less than a full table (theoretically half the cost, but some conventions use different math)
- If a number of people are at your table (even if it is for another game), this will help you through the Law of Gameplay Attraction.
- Networking: Unless other designer you are sharing a table with has the personality of a paper bag, they are going to take an interest in your game.
- Anyone who comes to the table will be exposed to your game. That is not to say you should be trying to pester players to try your game while they are in the middle of the another designer’s game, but the moment they are done, they are open for hook lines.
- The Security of having another designer/promoter to watch your stuff when you make a sprint to the bathroom.
- An opportunity for Cross-Promotion. For example, if I am sharing a table and my farming game (Crop Cycle) with a game promoter showcasing Street Fighter, I might come up with a phrase like:
“You have proven your might in the fields, now take it to the streets!”
Does the phrase make any sense?
Does it promise the two games offer a similar experience?
Does it get players finished with my game to look across the table to Street Fighter?
The benefits of table-sharing are numerous and the costs few. Though you have less space to work with, unless you are promoting Twilight Imperium or looking to use the table as a bed (in which case why are you at a convention?) you can make do with less.
But what about you? Have you tried out Table-sharing? Share your Success and/or Horror stories in the Comments below.
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