If you are reading this you must also love this holiday that sprung up out of freaking nowhere. For most game companies this is a time to strut your stuff and get promoting. Getting invited to somebody else's board game party is great!
Here is how to promote your game that you have been working on!
What??!?!?!?! Yep, you heard me. This is not the time or place to be promoting your game. Why? Because it's a bad idea!
When you are invited to a game before you pack up your prototype or that best selling game you have been promoting all this time think if that is why you were invited. If the person who invited you asked you to bring your game fine. Ignore this advice because it does not apply to you. Otherwise, read on so you don't become "That Guy". It's super easy to get caught up in the promotion of your creative projects. However, there is a time and a place for everything. A gaming party is not one of them. You will have plenty of time to promote/Test your game in the future
In our area, there is a guy who is always trying to promote his reskinned version of "Werewolf". Though the game itself is not bad it really is just another version of the party game. The problem is that every time someone brings up a new game to play this guy is the loudest and most aggressive. IF he gets his way the rest of the night is going to be spent playing this game. Where he spends a lot of time setting up and taking notes (Good Game Dev .... but this is Not his party) If not everyone wants to play "Again" he will take those people who wanted to play away from the party or leave the party early. Basically, he is not there to be social just promote his game. Either way, I'm not going to buy his game when it comes out. My experience with this guy has left a bad taste in my mouth and I'm not the only one.
IF you must promote your game the key is being humble. In the group that I play with they all know that I'm a game designer. When going to a party I do let others know that I'm going to be bringing my prototype and they are welcome to play. And that is it. Most of the time I get asked if I have my new game and everyone is happy if I say yes.
What is valuable is taking the time and playing other games. Take the time to have fun and get to know everyone else at the party. Be a gracious loser and a humble winner. Be clever and be social. The connections that you are going to be making during that time is invaluable. Remember you are not on the sales floor. You are there to build those connections. Later on, when your Kickstarter comes up those connections are more than likely to Back/Share/Promote your project.
Here is a great way to think of it. "Do I sound like that guy/gal who sells multi-Level-Marketing?" IF yes ... shut up.