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Spreading the Veiled Alliances Message at Silicon Valley Comic Con

posted Mar 21, 2016, 11:44 PM by Douglas Sun   [ updated Mar 21, 2016, 11:45 PM ]

Sleeping in this morning seems to have gotten me back up to speed after I got in late last night from spending the weekend in San Jose at the inaugural Silicon Valley Comic Con. Bushi-go got a table in the App Alley section of the exhibit hall to promote our Veiled Alliances app

While we have yet to weigh the benefits against the costs with an accountant’s precision, instinct tells me that we had a good show. Certainly, we got more people to download the app than we would have if we had just stayed home. When you’re indy, there’s no getting around the fact that you have to work obsessively hard to get your message out. Plus, it was a lot of fun just being there, even if we didn’t get away from our table enough to see much of the show,

Even without an exact accounting of how much we benefitted from exhibiting at the con, I can share a few lessons that I learned from it:

1) Yes, there are costs to doing a show. Besides the fee charged by the show (to SVCC’s credit, they kept the cost reasonable), there are travel costs and time spent. But you’re not going to plumb the true depths of your potential audience through advertising, blogs and social media alone. 

Bushi-go has run ads on all mobile platforms in support of Veiled Alliances, kept up a Facebook page and a Twitter feed. Kevin J. Anderson has supported us tirelessly through his blogs, social media and personal appearances. And yet not a one of the good people who stopped by our table — fans of Kevin’s work among them — had heard of us and our project,

I suspect that we have truly reached a point of information overload. Many (if not most) people

these days are so bombarded by messages in media both new and old that they have no choice but to tune out the vast majority of them. If you want to get your message across, the most effective way is a smile and a friendly word in person, in a dedicated space like a fan con.

2) What I just said notwithstanding, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have press and other media outlets pick up your message, because the successful ones will have dedicated followers who have chosen to treat them as wheat and not chaff. And you won’t meet up with those outlets sitting in your home office.

I had the pleasure of meeting Kenn Weeks of Wormhole Riders News Agency when he came by our table. Kim and I enjoyed recording an interview with him, and we very much appreciate the Tweet about us that he sent out on the spot. We have been in touch with Wormhole Riders for a while about publicizing our work, but it didn’t actually happen until we were at a con where Kenn was already there to cover the scene in general.

In addition, Kim did a couple of interviews while I was waiting in line to buy lunch (the food lines on Saturday were very long). So it seems that we reaped a windfall of publicity that we would not have gotten had we stayed home.

3) A couple of people who stopped by our table downloaded Veiled Alliances, watched the pilot episode overnight, then came back the next day just to tell us how much they had enjoyed it. Five-star reviews in app stores have more lasting value, but I will tell you that they do not compare to the shot in the arm that you get when someone tells you in person that he or she enjoyed something into which you have put so much effort. There isn’t a feeling like it.