We were in Ottawa for CanGames over the Victoria Day long weekend, and let's just start by saying that it was amazing! We had a great time, made some amazing friends, and made some great connections. Let jump into the good, the bad, and the ugly...
- Old Friends
On the first day of the convention, on our way to our booth, we heard someone say, "I know you!". Back in March, we did a convention in Toronto and met two kids excited about the game. Unfortunately, they couldn't buy it at the time; and honestly, I never thought I would see any of them again. So, it was so exciting to run into one of them at CanGames. Throughout the weekend, he spent a lot of time at our booth, playing and keeping us entertained during the slow times. For that, we thank him a lot :)
- Size of the Booth
The booth at CanGames was massive. It was wonderful! For the first time, I didn't feel super cramped sitting at our table. It was 10' x 10', and our tables were 8'x3'. We were able to fit two tables in it! Seriously everyone, it was massive!
- WoOZ Wall (Wizard of Oz Wall)
This is a minor thing with a huge impact for us. All of the booths had a curtain behind that we could store things. This also became a safe place to keep inventory over night and just hang out in when you needed a break.
- Amount of Sales
All things considered, we made a lot of sales. This was one of our best conventions we've had. Thank you to everyone who supported us in these early days :)
- Taking time off
My friends tell me that I don't take time off or that I'm going to burn out. They'll be happy to know that I took an hour and a half off to go to parliament with my wife. It was so much fun and I'm really happy we did it.
- Didn't do my talk :)
I was scheduled to do a talk at 10 am on Saturday, which would have been fun but no one signed up. That's okay, I was pretty nervous about it anyway. Also, I was able to spend more time at the booth which was perfect because at the time I was supposed to do the talk, I did a demo that turned into a sale. So it all worked out.
- Shiny Charizard
Nothing too special, but I'm happy I got him.
- The Rain :(
It was raining when we caught our Charmanders. It reminded me about this
Takeaway: Pack extra socks and other clothing incase you get wet. It is very uncomfortable doing demos in wet clothing.
- Long demo
We had a demo that went on forever! I normally don't mind doing demos for as long as it takes for the player to understand and enjoy the game. But we had one person who came to our booth and just stayed for a very long time and at the end was angry at the end of it. It didn't feel really great for someone to play the game and walk away frustrated (at me or my team).
Takeaway: Sometimes you gotta have a way to politely tell people to leave. I haven't figured out how, but I will figure it out one day.
- Didn't get my follow up interview :(
When I had my talk cancelled I was offered the opportunity to do an interview instead. I was up for that, but it never happened. I don't know why there was no follow up, but I do know that half the ownership was on me. I should have got the interviewer's contact information :(
Takeaway: Make sure you got follow up information on everyone you interact with. Don't assume they'll follow up with you.
- Cost of trip
Doing a convention out of town is quite expensive. You need to rent a hotel or AirBnB, there is the expense of food, and then gas prices are so high. It's just the reality of the situation and there isn't a whole lot you can change about it.
Takeaway: Maybe try to bring some additional meals or any more food so that we don't need to buy out as much.
- We forgot our Square Tap
We made a huge mistake and forgot to bring our square point of sales devices. It was annoying and very unprofessional.
Takeaway: Make sure you have a checklist of everything you need to take with you and check it twice ;)
Overall, CanGames was amazing and a wonderful experience. I'm so happy we went. The people we met and befriended made the whole journey worth it. Sales and connections are always nice, it is really the people and the community who makes it all worth it.
Thank you to the whole CanGame team.