The cover art for guerrilla convention marketing is by Jess Dreamer. You can support the artist here.
Is a convention booth outside your budget? Did you miss a crucial deadline? Have no fear! You too can enjoy the splendors of tabletop game demonstrations via these tips for guerrilla convention marketing.
Please note: This advice is at the discretion of the event organizers. Please be respectful.
Volunteer for a publisher who purchased a booth. Learn from their demonstration styles and sales techniques. Apply them to your demonstrations. Then, demo your game during open gaming times outside of your volunteer commitments. There will likely be some form of press (large and small) getting interviews from attendees. Do what you can to be spotlighted by these outlets. Most importantly, set up a device (laptop, iPad, etc.) which can collect emails, follow you on social media, and any number of useful online interactions to continue the conversation past the event.
Buy a ticket to the event. If possible, attempt to sponsor some portion of the event within your means. This gesture may take the form of a giveaway donation, brochure advertisement, charity work, or any number of opportunities to get your name out there. Talk with a marketing professional about building a modest online location-based advertisement. Demonstrate at open gaming tables as explained above.
Buy multiple tickets and solicit friends to help you demo your game. Ask the event organizers to broker a deal for you to split a booth with another vendor. If a vendor can spare the space, they should be happy to save some money. Alternatively, work with a graphic artist to design a thematic game mat for you to use at an open gaming table and you’ll nearly create your booth space. Invest in swag to attract players and be sure to include your URL on this. Convention badges are best, but pens and pins work as well. Use the advice in the above sections at larger investments, especially via an online location-based advertisement campaign and convention sponsorships.
Which guerrilla convention marketing tips have worked for you? What others have you tried (successfully or otherwise)?
Tell us in the comments below!