In getting ready for showing my game Robit Riddle at GenCon 2015, I used these three rules to prepare for the unknown:
- Make the unknown known
- Go with the flow and a smile
- Work hard
Make the Unknown Known
Preparing for the unknown is the art of making what is unknown known. We live in a world with so much information at our fingertips there is almost no excuse for not preparing.
The obvious way to do this in our technology driven world is to find information online. I looked at industry websites, personal blogs, youtube videos, forums. Basically anything that Google would show me.
I tried to familiarize myself not just with logistics, but also the feel. Looking at pictures/videos of the location with and without people gave me a feel of the space. It is great to know administrative facts, but it is even better to get a sense of the experience.
Online is a very effective tool, but nothing is better than getting information directly from someone that has been there. I talk to friends that had gone before. We discussed how it was different from some other shows we had both been to. If you don’t have anyone that has experience, go back online and ask people there directly. Heck ask me :)
Go With the Flow and a Smile
There is no way you are going to get enough knowledge to cover everything; sometimes you will be going in blind. Whenever these situations happen, go into it with a smile. There is usually a helpful face just around the corner who is willing to help. You would be surprised how many people smile back even if they themselves are having a rough day.
I try to always stay in a positive place. I am no Mister Rogers, but he is a great role model for me. Staying positive is the outcome of staying in the moment. I focus on the good of what is happening around me. I try not to dwell on what I am not doing or the negative things that are happening.
Obviously saying is one thing, doing is another. It takes practice and hard work to achieve them. Even after working at getting the information I need, I still have to work hard at being flexible to unexpected changes or miss-information. Sometimes I fail, and after wallowing in misery for a bit, I pick myself back up and keep charging forward, hopefully in the right direction.