1. Budget!

    Most indies invest a bare minimum of $3,000 to show at a convention. How will you prioritize your spending? The checklist has some ideas to get you started.

  2. Pin down every detail

    Tackle your business details and responsibilities with your team. Make sure you're confident about launch dates, refund policies, game features, marketing direction, and promotional goals before spending your investment.

  3. Book your booth

    Every con announces, allots, and furnishes booths differently. Watch for deadlines. Consider add-ons like electricity, carpeting and Internet in your budget.

  4. Craft a Call to Action

    Decide on your main goal for the convention, whether it’s to build a mailing list, promote your Kickstater, or just sell copies of the game. Then give your visitors a clear way to act on that goal before you lose their attention.

  5. Prototype your booth space

    Seriously. Lay everything out to get a sense of space and flow, just like in Ocean’s Eleven. Test out non-standard booth configurations. Ask yourself how you’ll attract and chat with people, and where you’ll store everything, so you can make the most of every square foot.

  6. Consider a game demo

    Demos give con attendees the juicy visuals they crave, while also helping you showcase core gameplay, collect feedback, and user-test on multiple devices. If your game isn't playable yet, consider showing a 30-second looping video to hook visitors.

  7. Recruit assistants

    Your minions should be trustworthy, and well-versed in your product. Put their responsibilities in writing before traveling. Hammer out timetables and circulate contact information in advance to make sure everyone is on the same page when you arrive.

  8. Schedule press interviews

    Journalists are busy people. Some people get lucky and snag spontaneous interviews, but it doesn’t hurt to be proactive. Send email introductions before the con frenzy even starts. Butter up those journalists.

  9. Don't count on basic utilities

    It might sound ridiculous, but thousands of con-goers bombarding cell towers can make things pretty crazy. Be prepared to adjust your pitch to work without internet access, cell service, or even electricity.

  10. Protect your monitors

    Monitors weren't meant to travel. Ship that sucker, put it in carry-on luggage, or buy one on setup day, unless you have a tiny piece-of-shit monitor you’re actively looking to destroy. Don't trust baggage handlers with anything.

  11. Pack all the things

    Electronics require juice, protection, and output to larger screens. If you forget something, chances are good that other exhibitors forgot it too, and local supply will sell out by the time you realize it's missing. Label your equipment and pack the minor stuff ahead of time.

  12. Mentally prepare yourself

    You can't plan for everything. Be flexible with booth layout, anticipate a few bugs in the game, and hope your flight isn't cancelled. Exhibiting is a rollercoaster so get ready to take on a tough challenge.