The annual Game Developers Conference is the most important event of the year for many in the gaming industry, and we’re no different either. With nine brave Umbrians we conquered the expo halls quite literally, as you could find us at three different booths. Also a lot of meetings were held during the days, and tons of more casual get-togethers by nights. For regular conference attendees GDC is usually a week’s push, but the ones exhibiting start working on the show for months before. And that’s what we did too.
I believe we started really working on our GDC presence in October last year, which felt quite late to me, although we met all the necessary deadlines beautifully. We saved some time (and money) by using our booth from last year’s event, so only minor reconstructions were needed. Extra hours came in handy, as the amount of paperwork totally surprised me – there I were filling in applications and forms basically for everything from hired third party personnel to electricity and internet connection. Sometimes even twice.
By February I was doing GDC arrangements almost full time even though I outsourced everything I could. As I’m responsible for our PR and marketing, I did generic project management and took care of logistics, marketing materials and such. The team was working on three presentations to be held during the week and we also had two sponsor booths on top of our own, not to mention the two demos that kept the programmers extra busy. And we all had a lot of other stuff to do as well that couldn’t be ignored. I didn’t think about it then, but now it feels kinda amazing to look back for all the effort we put into one week’s event. One week’s!
And it didn’t stop there either, as we all had a lot of work to do at the expo as well. Sure you might have seen us sitting in meetings, having a presentation or talking to people and demonstrating our tech, but we also had to set up the booth just to see it getting dismantled few days after, and take care that everything works okay – in all three locations we had. I put out some small fires every now and then, but otherwise everything went well regardless the hectic time we were having, and we all left San Francisco with huge smiles on our faces.
We do attend a lot of shows throughout the year so I’m always working on something relating to those, but Game Developers Conference is a totally different beast being the biggest event for us. I mean, we did bring half of the company which rarely happens in other shows. As a first time GDC organizer I’m happy to see the event successfully behind us, but then again I’m also eager to start planning for next year’s presence. I already started by securing our booth location, so it’s pretty safe to say I will see you all next year at GDC17!
While we are waiting for the video from our talk with Eidos-Montréal, you can go and take a look of the slides we used.