What we expected and what we didn’t.
We expected good sales. We did not expect that we’d need to expand booth hours to sell pizzas for 14 hours a day. We expected people to be happy to see us. We did not expect them to yell “f*** yeah, Papa John’s!” every time they walked by. We expected to sell many individual slices of pizza. We did not expect to sell almost 4,000 ENTIRE pizzas. We expected to see a diverse array of people. But we were still glad to see the range of attendees validate our research – men and women, children and grandparents, every bit as conservative and every bit as wild as you could imagine. We knew that when we were talking to “gamers” we were talking to a slice of everyone, and now Papa John’s own operations team could see that, too.
Hearts and minds.
The total spend for the convention – placement, raffle prizes, booth fabrication, and everything else – was just over $30k. Total pizza sales for the convention were almost $50k. Via the raffle, we also collected nearly 2,000 email addresses with over 17,000 raffle entries. Some attendees, covetous of the HP OMEN X and working out the math, decided to buy a pizza’s worth of slices instead of a whole pizza for the reduced rate … just so they’d get more entries. It wasn’t about the money for them; it was about love of the game.
And that’s what it was for Papa John’s, too. We’re glad the QuakeCon experience more than paid for itself, but short-term profit was always the secondary goal. We wanted to announce our presence to the audience, and the positive sentiment we experienced was overwhelming. People shouted profane happiness at us, sure; others posed with Papa John’s workers for photos and one musician even serenaded us on acoustic guitar. Positive chatter about Papa John’s continued in the Discord for days after the show ended, entirely independent of us – we just sat and read what they had to say.
We wanted to tell the attendees of QuakeCon we see you, we know what you love, and we love it too, and they heard us. And most of all we got to have fun – the agency, the brand, and everyone who came to see us. There were a lot of ways to measure success for Papa John’s first true outing into the gaming world. But that’s the one that matters to us most.