Whether you’re exhibiting at GDC Play or the Main Expo, a well-designed booth is a major contributor to your ROI, a.k.a., the level of exposure you achieve for your game. A booth that does it’s job not only attracts attendees and the press, it leaves a lasting impression. People who interact with well-designed booths learn more about your game on their own, as well as share what they learn with others. Below are five booths I felt did this well at GDC Play.
5 Well-Designed GDC Play Booths
Armed and Gelatinous
Who says you need to use the skirted table that comes with your GDC Play booth? Rob Howland, creator of couch co-oper Armed and Gelatinous, certainly didn’t think so. In fact, he got rid of his booth’s table completely to create a living room-esque space. With its turquoise shag rug, multicolored cushions and “end-of-the-aisle” location, this booth not only catches the eye, it beckons attendees to come in and play Armed and Gelatinous the way it’s intended: on the couch with your friend.
Phil the Pill
As cool as turning your booth into a living room sounds, it’s probably not the best way to demo mobile games. This is why Curious Media said no to sofas and shag carpets for its Phil the Pill booth. Instead, the company created and hung a large, vibrant banner on its back drape that both showcased Phil the Pill’s adorable art, as well as the game’s name. In addition, Curious Media took advantage of its table space by mounting a monitor, wrapped in a custom Phil the Pill frame, and pointed it toward the aisle for all to see the iPad’s gameplay.
There’s something to be said for a minimalistic, yet practical booth and Florian Faller and Adrian Stutz’s said it with their booth demoing Feist . Although simple, Feist’s banner did its job incredibly well: it caught your attention from afar with its beautiful game art, then pulled you in with an impressive list of awards. The clutter-free table was also incredibly inviting. That said, my one recommendation for this booth in the future would be a bigger screen–it was difficult to see gameplay without being right next to the table!
Planet of the Eyes
Trade shows are an incredibly busy time for attendees. Between meetings and lectures, it can be hard to find the time to enter a booth, talk to one of its employees and demo a game. If you’re on the run, taking a quick photo or grabbing some literature might be all you can manage. Cococucumber obviously understood this behavior and designed its Planet of the Eyes booth to accommodate it. Between the high, vertical signage and top-mounted TV screen which can be seen from across the aisle, as well as the takeaways left conveniently on its table top, Cococucumber accommodates everyone: those on the run and those who have time to explore.
It may seem unfair to compare this massive (and obviously more expensive) booth against the standard 6′ x 8′ tabletops, but I couldn’t help myself. The Good Mood Creators did so many things right with its Mekazoo booth that I had to give it a shoutout. Beyond the pull up banners that sandwich the booth, clearly identifying the game, is its backdrop. Instead of sticking to the standard black fabric, The Good Mood Creators further differentiated its booth with custom printed panels showcasing Mekazoo art. In addition, the company decided to forgo tables and mount monitors at eye level, allowing both players and passersby to experience Mekazoo’s gameplay. Every time I walked by this booth, it was packed.