Look Under Your Seats!

I have a new bucket list goal: I want to tell people to look under their seats and find something awesome there.

I’ve never been in a crowd when this has happened, but I love the idea of this. It’s like a legacy game in real life: You get to unlock something special that’s been within your reach this whole time and you didn’t even know it.

I imagine this being a moment of delight for everyone who looks under their seat and finds something. The same thing should be under every seat, right? I guess you could have different people getting different things, but I think this particular surprise works best if everyone gets it. It’s a shared moment for the audience.

The question is: Where, who, and what? The event or location needs to be a place where I have hidden access to all of the seats in advance (and an opportunity to make sure the bottom of the seats aren’t disgusting). The people need to be those who will appreciate the gesture and will have fun with it. And the thing needs to be able to fit in an envelope (i.e., not a kitten), and it needs to be something most people will enjoy (yet thematically tied to me or my company).

Also, what’s the best timing to tell people to look under their seats? It doesn’t have to be a talk, but if it is, should it happen at the beginning, middle, or end?

I want to make this work. Any ideas? Have you ever been in an audience when this happened?

8 thoughts on “Look Under Your Seats!”

  1. I believe towards the end of the presentation would be best. Problem being that if you do it at the beginning there is no lead up to it, no explanation or something to tie the object to. Doing it during the middle and it could disrupt the flow and/or run the event long if your in a booked space or have to watch the time.

    What to give also depends on the situation, is this an entrepreneur/Kickstarter advice group your presenting to, or is this at a place like a gaming convention speaking to gamers?

    For entrepreneurs I am not really sure what I would do. As most things would be like a brochure, or a little mantra card, or something like that. But most people aren’t going to get excited about it, or from what I think you have in mind.

    Now this entirely biased, based on what I know how to do, and what I have experience in, and with gamers in mind. I have no clue how it would play out in things. But a little small house that was etched/made to look something like a Chaterstone building on a small wood card. Less than 2 inches high, like this: https://cartonus.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/cartonus-wooden-house-60mm.jpg

    At the same time it could be simple as a metaphor like gunning down the competition and putting small nerf guns under the seat, dollar store type, If I were doing something with Flick em up, this is what I’d do.

    • Sean: That’s a good question. I could see this happening at either type of event. Those are fun ideas for what to put under the seats!

  2. Beginning of a talk would distract people too much, end of one means you couldn’t use it within the talk at all so may feel gimmicky/lose people’s attention from what you were saying, so somewhere in the middle might work best?

    I could see, for a group of gamers or game designers, an array of promo items for your games working, which while violating your idea of giving people the same thing, would allow illustration of the pros/cons of trading mechanisms in games if that was something that was going to come up in the talk at all…

    …But… Considering you’ve tended to have a room rather than booth at gencon and run various events throughout the day… That kind of suggests an obvious time to do it (Though, again, timing.)

    • Stephen: That’s a good point about leaving a little time after the reveal to talk about what was under their seats. And you’re right, at Gen Con I have flexibility because we have the same conference room the entire time.

  3. The first opportunity that jumped to my mind is the board game event you’ve hosted in STL one per year for a few years (feel free to remove this comment if you think you might do that and want it to be a surprise).

    I didn’t read the other comments, so maybe someone else is already suggesting this. I’m not sure what I’d give, but I wouldn’t do it at the beginning…either at a key point (like the end of day 1) or toward the end overall…as long as everyone has a chair.

  4. Jamey,

    Definitely do so at the end, as has been mentioned already…just like when you’re giving a presentation, you don’t hand out material until you’re ready to discuss/describe it or you’ll lose your audience.

    I agree…definitely a Design Day, and it doesn’t need to be anything super expensive. Since you’re in St. Louis, a set of d6s, where the “1” or “6” has been replaced by the Arch.



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