E3 Adventures – Part One

The pre-show check list had gotten longer. The Gamer Grub Smores flavor, which took longer than I had hoped to develop the perfect taste, was behind schedule. Room bookings are always a nightmare since LA hotels oversell every year for E3 ( there is always the risk of being hosed ). E3 2010 was right around the corner and I was almost out of midnight oil.

Over the past months since we have been shipping Gamer Grub Pizza and PBJ, we learned a lot about some of the mistakes that we made and fixed them. Things smoothed out and Gamer Grub had found its place and identity. From a garage start-up to a growing brand, we were off the runway and had to get some altitude to clear the trees ahead. E3 2010 was going to be exciting since we were launching our newest flavors of Gamer Grub Smores and BBQ to the gaming community.

We had some great events planned to create some Gamer Grub buzz. About three months prior to the show, we were approached by the inventors of the Virtusphere and had to get a bigger booth so we could provide Virtusphere rides. I remembered seeing the Virtusphere on the “Shark Tank” and thought it was a cool idea. E3 management was able to bend some rules to get it all to work, thank you! We also had Danny PH3NOM Johnson attempting break his 9th Guinness World Record at our booth and had the press core all revved up to be witness.

The truck arrived at the convention center loading dock the afternoon before the event. The scene at E3 right before is basically like being on one of the lower levels of bee hive. The whole place looked like a nutty mess but at the same time, everyone knew what had to be done. In 12 hours, the place had to change from a Sanford and Sons garage sale of carpet, wire, 60 foot projector screens, speakers and more computing power than Virgin’s space program, into one of the biggest and high profile gaming events in the glitz capital of the world… L.A.

At the convention door… boom… security. “Papers Please!” said the guard. All of my documents were in order and then starts the adventure of getting union labor to transport the booth materials to the booth location. Good times. With everything finally placed, we started booth construction. Up went the scaffolding, flat screens hooked up and then back drops and counters were installed. Gamer Grub samples, stickers, shirts, bags, and the POP stand all placed per a previously designed layout… Argh! Where are the new packages for Smores and BBQ? They have not arrived yet. Not good..

The Virtusphere was another story and putting it together was quite something. You have to put its octagon panels together one by one to put together a sphere that is 10 feet in diameter; then hook up all the electronics and sensors, sync to the controllers, etc. The version that we had was mostly a prototype, therefore there were some parts and hacks that had to be built on the spot. More last minute trips to Radioshack. It got it all done, it was late.

Now to the hotel to see if our hotel rooms were still available and assemble the team for the opening of E3 2010.