Two weekends ago we participated in our very first convention for Forage Friends at GeekGirlCon in Seattle!
3 words: What. An. Experience.
It was the first time we really put ourselves out there in the public to promote our game, which was nerve-wracking but SO much fun. We learned a lot, met a bunch of awesome people, and got a mega confidence boost from all the compliments on our booth (more on that later).
Forage Friends IRL
Our creative director, Pri, and her fiancé Chris are Seattle natives, and GeekGirlCon regulars, but a few of us from the Forage Friends team traveled to the west coast be a part of the con. Oh, and did we mention it was also the first time meeting each other IRL?
Kei and his spouse, Melanie, flew in from TX and were incredibly helpful in setting up and welcoming con-goers to our booth.
Rachel and her friend, Erika, drove down from Canada and got straight to work making sure everything at the booth was running smoothly as well as mingling and networking with other exhibitors.
Andy flew in all the way from NY, fought off her jetlag, and kept our online fans in the know with constant updates on social.
It was so great to finally get together after almost 2 years working remotely to share what we've been creating. We also ran into one of our former writers, Jen. A tangible moment of pride for us all!
A true labor of love, our booth was arguably one of the coolest at GeekGirlCon.
The idea behind it was more immersive than a traditional booth and table situation. Instead, we designed it to be cozy and inviting, almost like a real-life garden. We created hedge walls and faux grass flooring, draped beautiful peony vines, and added accents of wood and ceramic for a cottage-core feel. The biggest draw, however, was our 7 ft tall paper peonies we got on Etsy. They definitely made people curious and doubled as a landmark to find us at the con!
Since the goal was to promote Forage Friends, we filled our booth with all of our new merch, including character teas, lotions, soaps, enamel pins, stickers, and art prints as well as in-game screens and our super cool neon sign. We even had hand-woven baskets from a local basket weaver to add to the aesthetic!
Our best seller ended up being our baked goods, inspired by Pri's family recipes. No surprise there -- we were happy to be an afternoon snack stop for con-goers' while chatting about the game and handing out cute brochures and discount cards.
Overall the booth was a major success that garnered tons of compliments and intrigue the entire weekend! If only you could've seen all of Pri's late nights designing, the entire team waking up early and working together to assemble it, and the look on people's faces when they walked by (and then inevitably got drawn in to learn more). WORTH IT.
GeekGirlCon put off all the positive vibes and we felt right at home surrounded by Seattle's diverse community of artists, makers, and cozy-cute enthusiasts. But, by far, the best part of GeekGirlCon was meeting new fans!
We absolutely loved having the chance to tell people what we were all about and watch their faces light up when they got excited about or inspired by Forage Friends. The idea of a game for mental and physical well-being with romanceable, gardening themed characters resonated with almost everyone, and being able to share personal stories and connect authentically is something we'll never forget.
Some of our favorite fan quotes:
"I came in thinking Miles was more my type.. but then I saw Braylon, and omg... omg.. he's just... SOOOO ATTRACTIVE."
"Is this a mobile game? MOM! I NEED A PHONE. I NEED THIS GAME!"
"Are all the characters romanceable? I'm poly anyway, so that's completely fine with me!"
"The bad boy? Give me the whole Miles suite. All of it."
"This is SO CUTE. I'll definitely be playing this game."
"I love the art. Can I get it tattooed?"
"Will there be...smooches?"
Did you meet us as GeekGirlCon? Let us know in the comments or tag us on social!
What We Learned
So, our first time tabling with Forage Friends was a blast and we learned a lot!
Caffeine-free tea was a hit. We completely sold out!
The booth needed waaaaay more set up and break-down time than we thought
Having extra hands on deck is vital but too many of us in the booth at once intimidated con-goers (we're not scary, we promise)
People really wanted to support us and buy some merch after hearing we're self-funded!
Proof of concept: We got tons of support from people who heard our stories. Most expressed that they wanted a game like this but couldn't find one. Some said "it feels like you're making this game just for me" or others said "This is the game I always wanted".
It warms our hearts knowing we're making something meaningful and that people are into it and want to support us. This whole experience inspired us more than ever, including members of our team who didn't attend the con.
We have a few more cons coming up before the end of the year and we can't wait to meet more potential foragers along the way:
As always, follow us on social @ForageFriends and sign up for our newsletter for updates!