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Digital, physical and hybrid fairs, attending fairs as a developer

Attending fairs as a developer is a must in your dev path. After COVID, game events and fairs are quite different but this doesn’t mean you have to miss this opportunity. There are other ways and events are still being organized with safety controls. In this article we’ll talk about everything you need to know to attend a game fair (online, hybrid or physical) if you are a developer. 

Attending fairs as a developer gives you the opportunity to network and discover your best publisher or outsourcing partner. Besides it’s a great opportunity to meet other people from the industry. That’s why it’s very important to pick the fair or event which best suits your development needs. Few of the most important business fairs for game developers are the following ones:

Nowadays there are three different ways of fair celebration: online (digital transformation of the event organization), physical (the traditional way implementing safety controls) and hybrid (providing online features and a physical interaction for some of their sections). Digital events will give you the opportunity to attend fairs with a cheaper cost. However you will have to make more effort on scheduling agenda and online communication. In the following article you will find some ideas to make the most of your event attendance.

Smartly pick the fair you want to attend

Some fairs are focused on business and some others on player experience. You must make the decision taking in consideration your attendance goal and the stage of your game. Are you looking for a publishing or outsourcing partner? Do you just want to network with other game industry companies? Do you want user experience and player’s feedback?

There is a fair for any kind of scope and there is a format which is more preferable. Maybe if you want to network and chat any of the formats are perfect for you. However, if you prefer to show your game to the players, you may prefer face-to-face. In the next point we’ll discuss how to reach players in both digital and physical. 

Attending fairs as a developer also means you must have something playable

Both in digital and physical fairs you can show your game. Many digital fairs provide tools to the developers to show their game to the public. This kind of exhibition has different results in physical or online. Still you can test your game, check playability and track player’s behaviour. Proactively ask them for feedback and difficulties, was their experience pleasant? Were they frustrated? What they would love to find in your game? Gather all those questions to upgrade your game to the maximum quality adapting it to the market experience.

An idea to overcome the face-to-face experience is asking your players to stream the demo you’re offering. You can formally contact them if they confirmed attendance or start a conversation through the official hashtag. That way you’ll have a bunch of people live commenting the game at the same time as you see the player behaviour. Attending fairs is not only focused on a fair but on the expanding conversation.

A player testing a game in a videogame convention. Events and fairs for videogames developers.

Your stand must stand out

Focusing on user experience, this will be different if you are digital, physical or hybrid. In online events talk to the organizer to check if they have any tool. Use streaming platforms and influential players to overcome the lack of contact with the final user. Attach a marketing campaign to your fair attendance and brainstorm over the key and empathic parts of your game.

If the event or fair is face-to-face, suit up your stand for the occasion. Use 3D printers for those emblematic elements in your game. Transform your stand, it must be a travel to your game atmosphere. Make the potential players feel interested for you, that’s a big covered step!

Meet people

This is the most important point. Fairs are a fun event for players and a network experience for developers. Check through the game fair hashtag which are the influencers, publishers, outsourcing companies attending the event and contact them.

Many digital events have a meet-to-match platform, join the club and make appointments. Don’t forget to use social media to ask for proactive appointments by others. Prepare a pitch about your game, maybe some memorable goodies,keys and talk about next steps. Maybe a meeting after the current event, think they’re talking with many other companies and you have genuine interest in them to be with you.

Finally, don’t forget to enjoy. Attending events as a game developer may be stressfull but you are doing this because you used to be part of those players! So, play other games, meet other developers and nourish your dev agenda. Not everything remains in the fair or event, remember to join parties and afterwork drinks. This will be the best opportunity to be yourself and make others aware they want to work with you.

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