Important Dates for Coffee Topic Sponsors
- Thur Apr 14, 2022: Scheduling closes for Protospiel Online April 2022 Coffee Topic slots
- Mon Apr 25, 2022: Deadline to submit sponsor info for posting in Discord #partners channel
- Fri-Sun Apr 29-May 1, 2022: Protospiel Online weekend
- Thur Jul 28, 2022: Scheduling closes for Protospiel Online August 2022 Coffee Topic slots
- Mon Aug 22, 2022: Deadline to submit sponsor info for posting in Discord #partners channel
- Fri-Sun Aug 26-28, 2022: Protospiel Online weekend
Once you find an available time block, purchase your sponsorship via the Add to Cart button, then book your time in our scheduling tool.
Would you like to generate some warm, qualified leads for your business?
One of the best ways to fast track new prospects on the “know, like, and trust” timeline is to talk with them face-to-face and voice-to-voice. Opportunities to do this in person can be hard to come by. Most online events like webinars or online summits don’t create opportunities for live, face-to-face conversation and tend to have a high-pressure “sales-y” vibe that can feel draining to both the business owner and the prospect.
Enter: Protospiel Online Coffee Topics!
Protospiel Online is a 3 day online convention with a focus on unscheduled board game playtesting and networking. It brings together like-minded people interested in the tabletop games industry. The experience is set up to encourage discovery and living in the moment with the people participating in the event at the same time as you.
While playtesting is and always will be the central focus of Protospiel Online, many attendees want to network and socialize between games or while they are taking a break for a meal. This is where our moderated Coffee Talk online space comes in. Here we host unscripted and unrecorded live drop-in conversations around a list of different focused “Coffee Topics.” It’s run inside a Discord voice channel where participants are encouraged but not required to show up on video. It also allows for screen-sharing.
Hosting a Coffee Topic is like a networking event spotlight on you, your business, and your expertise — all without having to prepare a presentation or leave the comfort of your home office. As attendees drop in and out of the Coffee Talk space, you can provide them with answers to their burning questions around your topic and give them some quick wins. They’ll love you for it!
We’ll include links to your business and offerings in the Coffee Topic schedule shared via email and as a permanent post in the #partners channel inside our event platform. The #partners channel only contains posts from event organizers, which keeps it uncluttered and makes it easy for past attendees to find your info the next time they need your services.
Check out the below FAQ for all the details!
- Talk live and unscripted with any attendees passing through the Coffee Talk space during your 2 hour block.
- Showcase your expertise and/or ask attendees questions to gain insight into what people are struggling with regarding your topic.
- Get your brand and up to 3 links listed on our Sponsors page under Coffee Talk Sponsors.
- We'll share your name and brand in all of our postings about the Coffee Topic schedule on our website, social media, and event Discord server.
- Our Coffee Topics schedule email announcement will link to your website.
- We'll compose a post in our Discord #partners channel that will include your brand in the Partners Scavenger Hunt for your sponsored event. This meta game encourages attendees both past and present to look through the #partners channel anew for each event.
- Gain access to sign on as an affiliate with us to earn a 20% commission on each badge, sponsorship, or hosted event sale you refer.
- Get a coupon for either 1 free Designer badge or any combo of 2 free Playtester, Publisher, or Press badges to allow you and up to one coffee topic co-host to attend the entire event with full attendee benefits. This includes:
- Listing in our Attendee Directory for the event you attend
- All the meta games and associated giveaway drawings
- Lots of opportunities to play unpublished board games you can't find in retail stores
- 3 days of open networking and socialization in the Coffee Talk space
- Check for an available time in our scheduling tool.
- If you find a time that works for you, use the "Add to Cart" button above to purchase this package.
- Upon completion of your purchase, you'll be directed to the Coffee Topic Sponsorship Details page. Here you'll find a link you can follow to sign on as an affiliate if you'd like.
- The Coffee Topic Sponsorship Details page also contains a questionnaire where you can let us know:
- the topic you want to cover
- the type of badge you'd like to attend under (Designer, Playtester, Publisher, or Press)
- whether or not you intend to participate live for your entire 2 hour block
- what you want us to share as your featured post in the Discord #partners channel
- your details for our Sponsors page listing
- Book your time in our scheduling tool.
- We'll use the email you provide through the scheduling tool to send you a coupon code for a free badge of the type you chose in your Sponsor Details submission.
- Visit our badges page to choose your badge type and redeem your coupon.
- After you redeem your badge purchase code, you'll get a prompt to provide badge registration information. Submit the registration form right away to gain instant access to the Discord server. This will ensure you'll have access to the section of the server where you'll host your topic when the scheduled slot comes up.
- You will not be able to find Coffee Talk Voice in the server when the convention isn't open. It will automagically appear at 12pm US Eastern Time on the first day of the convention. When it appears, it will be in the section called COFFEE TALK right above the #coffee-talk-schedule text channel.
- When it's time for your scheduled block, click the Discord voice channel called Coffee Talk Voice to enter the call.
Our attendees view Coffee Talk as a good place to pop into between playtests or while taking a break for a meal. A lot of the time, they don't want to stay in the channel for more than 30 minutes or so. It's important to the vibe we want to create around this space that visitors feel free to pop in at any time and leave whenever they are ready. With this in mind, these are our major guidelines for how to be a good host in this space:
- You will always have one of our trained moderator team with you who will aim to greet people by first name as they enter the channel. Feel free to join them in this practice -- or simply allow a pause in the conversation to allow the moderator to greet newcomers.
- Don't spend time preparing slides or scripted talks. You'll be likely to get interrupted, and newcomers may feel rude for interrupting or that it's a waste of time for them to stay if they've obviously missed the beginning of something prepared or polished.
- Depending on what kind of offering you want to promote, you may want to do live help sessions or demos of a product. For example, you may let a volunteer from the audience open up your software or tool and guide them through how to do something they have a question about. These types of demos can be very helpful for the volunteer and viewers alike. The only caveat is to remember your volunteer likely has multiple games they are hoping to test and people they are hoping to spend time with, so they'll likely appreciate a chance once every 10-15 minutes to say they've gotten enough help for now.
Our community is made up of about 80% board game designers and 20% playtesters. Many of those that get Playtester badges are interested in board game design themselves but are either taking a break from designing or don't design games that work well in an online simulated tabletop setting. On the whole, our community members tend to be creatives who struggle with similar things to fiction writers -- self-doubt, a resistance to promoting their creations, and an overabundance of ideas that make it difficult for them to take any one project over the finish line.
People outside of the board game industry often assume that board game designers and players are likely to have a competitive bent, but this is not necessarily the case. The more common motivations for gamers in our community are a love of making things, learning things, and figuring out difficult problems. They also tend to understand the need to prioritize social interactions, even if execution in this area is sometimes difficult for them.
Protospiel Online is on a mission to grow diversity, inclusion, and equity in the board game industry. We believe board game design and testing is the perfect place from which to influence this change. The population of members in our community from groups that have traditionally been marginalized in the board game industry such as women, LGBQIA+, and BIPOC currently hovers around 20% combined. We look forward to seeing this percentage grow over time.
Because the event is open 24 hours per day over a 3 day weekend, we can accommodate international English-speaking attendees. You can see the breakout of locations people have attended from in this post from our Board Game Geek Blog.
Our direct audience is around 400 and growing, with an average email open rate over 50%. Through social media connections, we are networked into audiences with a similar focus whose sizes range from 200 to about 10,000.
This has varied event to event. As of this time the fewest attendees we've had for the weekend was ~70 and the highest was ~130. We're getting better at staying visible through Twitch and Twitter, so we expect to see this number keep growing. We've designed our event setup for scalability and expect to be able to comfortably serve up to 800 people over the course of a convention weekend.
Since the event is designed to make it as easy as possible for attendees to come and go on their own schedule, there will be no specific expected headcount for people who will pass through Coffee Talk during your session. Popular topics in the past have had around 10-20 people pass through. There are usually no more than 10 people in the Coffee Talk channel at any one time.
Of course, if you want contact with more attendees than the count that ends up passing through during your Coffee Topic session, your badge will give you full access to attend other Coffee Topic sessions and/or play prototypes with as many people as you'd like.
Before writing off a 2 hour timeslot as too long to attend for the entire time, remember that this isn't your average Zoom meeting. Different people will come and go from the call. The conversation has a casual feel, and no one is expected to "be on." You'll have a moderator with you who can take care of customer service issues, so you'll be free to relax and focus on the conversation. They can also cover you if you need a quick breather for a snack or restroom break.
We do our best to make the space feel like the hotel bar at a board game convention, where people talk shop over drinks or snacks and grow friendships in the process. Many attendees report feeling refreshed after a visit to Coffee Talk. If you go all in and stay for the entire block, we expect you'll end up feeling the 2 hours flew by.
In the case that you can't make the scheduling work out to allow you to stay for the entire 2 hours, you are still welcome to purchase a sponsorship and choose whichever time block you can attend the largest portion of. Note, though, that the sponsorship price is the same no matter the amount of time you spend live in the channel. If you can't attend the entire block, we'll make note of this on the publicly available Coffee Topics schedule so you won't have to worry about disappointing attendees who were looking to connect at an unavailable time.