Last week I wrote about one single experience from Essen, providing a few visual titbits of what the more general feel of Spiel 2016 was for us. Today, I want to tell you about a new challenge we decided to rise up to this year: running two separate booths.
Just to confirm: yes, we had two separate booths this year, and for those of you who want to immediately ask why we simply did not go with a single big booth, I have two answers. Here’s the first one:
Unfortunately, Spiel is already jam-packed with exhibitors who like where they are, and even if they don’t, they are not leaving their space before they secure a better location. So, when booking a booth, we had to choose between trying to pursue a piece of floor big enough to fit all we had planned, and getting more space somewhere else. We chose the latter, as the former seemed nigh-impossible to achieve.
The second reason kind of grew out of the first one: we knew we could easily get more space in a different hall, and we knew that we would be trying to divide our bigger booth into two separate areas. So, we decided to simply go with what was offered as the available options and see how having two separate booths would feel.
The division I have just mentioned was planned so that we would have part of our space taken by NSKN Games, and part by Strawberry Studio. What Strawberry Studio? It’s our microgame and family game division, which we launched a few months ago. So, if you’ve heard about games like 3 Wishes or What’s Up, know that we are responsible for unleashing them into the world (and, in case of 3 Wishes, straight into Tom Vasel’s collection as well).
So, the decision was made rather quickly, and we ended up with an NSKN Games booth in Hall 1, and a Strawberry Studio booth at Hall 6. They weren’t exactly far away from each other, or that’s what we thought during the days everything was being set up, but when people filled the halls, it turned out that getting from one to the other was a bit more than a two-minute stroll.
We also wanted for more of our fans to know about Strawberry Studio. Sure, we created the division so that people expecting another Exodus or Simurgh did not think we’re getting all soft and casual, and we most certainly didn’t want somebody who fell in love with What’s Up to insta-buy another card game by NSKN Games thinking it’s automatically the same weight and depth (“Oh, this Mistfall looks lovely! I wonder if it also plays in less than 20 minutes”); but we did want the more omnivorous of you to be informed that the team you already know (and possibly like) is doing something very new.
After making an attempt to factor all of the above into our plans, we came up with a clear division between the two booths (in terms of games offered, and the overall look, feel and tone), and went off to print leaflets that would not only tell people of our games, but also provide a map that could guide you from one booth to the other. To top it off, we also created a nice little voucher system, which offered discounts at one booth, after you’ve made a purchase on the other, and we decided to offer people free Healing Potions (in the form of crystal clear water) to make their trek easier.
How did it all work? Well…
This year’s Spiel was by far the biggest for us yet. Two booths meant for the first time having to deal with establishing proper communication and cooperation between the two separate places our games, staff and (last but not least) our fans were, but the outcome turned out to be more than worth the extra effort. Plus, we got almost double the number of people enjoying our games, both the big ones like In the Name of Odin or Heart of the Mists, as well as the small ones: 3 Wishes and What’s Up.
Now we are back to regular work, and we are already making plans for the coming months, and for next week. To all of you who visited NSKN Games and Strawberry Studio: thank you for being there, it was a pleasure. And for those of you who did not have the chance: we hope to see you at a different convention, or at Spiel next year!