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Top reasons why game developers should take part in exhibitions

by Jason Smith

Do you think a video game developer should attend trade shows? It may seem like a no-brainer for these companies since their entire audience is online. A new game can be promoted to those who are immersed in the digital world.

What if you discovered that trade shows are more than just showcasing your latest game or technology?  Exhibitions for video game developers are catalysts for growth, innovation, and connections.

From invaluable face-to-face interaction with potential customers and investors to a unique opportunity to analyze competitor strategies and industry trends, trade shows serve as game changers for game developers. Connecting directly with the audience, getting real-time feedback, and networking with industry peers is just the tip of the iceberg.

In this article, we will reveal the reasons why successful companies attend trade shows and conferences and pull back the curtain on how they manage to appear as monsters as we know them.

Gaming conferences. Statistics

According to Statista, the world market of video games is growing in arithmetic progress and in 10 years its volume will exceed the existing one by 3 times. This is one of the fastest growing markets, constantly showing positive dynamics. Besides, such shocks as the COVID-19 epidemic only pushed developers to even faster pace of new product development.

In a vacuum, it’s difficult to keep up with the pace of competitors’ development while staying on top of the latest developments in the market. Therefore, video game developers prefer to interact with their direct competitors as well as with their customers.

To this end, the developer community organizes and participates in various events where they can share their experiences, demonstrate new products, interact directly with gamers, and receive feedback. Game development companies have lists of online and offline must-attend events for game developers.

The number of visitors and participants is growing every year.

Gamers from all over the world tend to attend specialized exhibitions to experience new emotions and find new impressive novelties. They expect to see companies that are developing interesting games for them, and they interact directly with the gamer community, sharing experiences and impressions.

Developers have the opportunity to find partners, share experiences and get real feedback from their users.

Recommendations for effective participation in exhibitions

The participation of a game developer has at least several purposes:

  • Showcase new products
  • Analyze competitors’ products and strategies
  • Find contractors and partners
  • Consolidate its position among competitors
  • Get feedback from customers
  • Get in front of potential customers
  • Find employees.

How do you stand out in the diverse and colourful crowd that represents computer games? First and foremost is the size and design of your booth. Choosing the right exhibition booth construction company is crucial for game developers who want to make a name for themselves at trade shows.

For a company planning to exhibit at a trade show, it is important to consider certain points that are important at game shows:

  • Order ventilated furniture from your booth builder.
  • Intent should be stable and fast, which is often a problem for show organizers.
  • Order enough electricity, as you will need to plug in a lot of screens and other electrical equipment to allow visitors to interact with your product without hindrance.
  • Order lockers that can be locked so you don’t have to worry about the security of your equipment when the show closes.
  • Don’t forget to use ergonomic and comfortable chairs for attendees to play in your booth.
  • Consider the ergonomics of the screens as well, visitors should be comfortable looking at the crane for long periods of time.
  • Don’t forget about sound. A trade show is a noisy event. Think about quality headphones to keep visitors engaged.
  • The booth design should be bright and eye-catching.

You need to showcase interactive content. So, you need a booth builder with experience with interactive trade show content.

Also, focus on content creation and logistics of your equipment and materials to avoid last-minute hiccups.

The booth design and materials you choose for the show should reflect the innovation and dynamism of your product. Include interactive elements and live demonstrations that will engage attendees and allow them to experience the unique features of your game firsthand.

How to choose the right event for a video game developer to exhibit at

To determine the most appropriate events for your product and audience, research past conventions, understand the demographics they attract, and match them to your game’s niche. Look for events that highlight your game’s genre or technology.

When communicating with attendees and other exhibitors, be clear, engaging, and open to feedback. Train your team to give concise presentations, answer questions effectively, and collect contact information for follow-up. Remember that face-to-face interactions can leave a lasting impression and turn casual attendees into lifelong fans or potential business partners.

Opportunity for product demonstration

Fairs provide an unparalleled opportunity for game developers to showcase their products to a wider, more diverse audience. This exposure is critical to attracting attention, generating interest, and ultimately contributing to a game’s success. By showcasing your game in an environment filled with industry professionals, enthusiasts, and media, you greatly increase its visibility and the potential for valuable feedback and partnerships.

An outstanding example of a successful demo is the presentation of “Among Us” at various gaming conventions before its viral explosion in 2020. Originally released in 2018, it was the exposure through these events that helped maintain the game’s visibility and ultimately led to its widespread adoption. The hands-on experience offered at conventions allowed players to understand and appreciate the unique aspects of the game, contributing to its word-of-mouth growth.

An effective product demonstration at a trade show can take a game from obscurity to fame overnight.

Feedback from real users and professionals

Agreed, feedback on your product helps you push for excellence. Especially when it’s a product that affects people’s emotions and moods.

Direct communication with users and industry professionals at trade shows is invaluable for game developers, providing a unique opportunity to get honest feedback, opinions and suggestions. By communicating with the gaming community and industry professionals in real time, developers can gain a deeper understanding of their audience’s needs, preferences, and expectations. You’ll be able to gauge the emotional impact of your game and whether it’s meeting your customers’ expectations.

Speaking of tradeshows, developers can use a variety of tools and methods to effectively gather feedback, including tabletop surveys, which can be conducted digitally or on paper, and interactive demo sessions, where players experience the game firsthand. These sessions not only allow for immediate reactions and comments, but also facilitate a direct dialogue between developers and their audience.

In addition, feedback from fellow developers, publishers, and critics at such shows can provide unique insights to improve both the product and overall business strategy. Industry representatives often offer constructive criticism, point out potential areas for improvement, and suggest innovative solutions or opportunities for collaboration. Such interaction is critical to improving game mechanics, enhancing storylines, and fine-tuning marketing strategies, which ultimately contributes to the game’s success and the developer’s growth in the competitive gaming market.

Outside of the Expo, it is helpful to read forums where players share their opinions and discuss the pros and cons of games.

Networking and creating business contacts

Success stories abound: many developers have broken into the industry through contacts made at the show. For example, indie games have signed deals with publishers after impressing them with their demos at the show. In addition, developers form strong partnerships that start with a conversation at the booth and lead to collaborative projects that would not otherwise be possible.

Effective networking at trade shows requires preparation and a focused approach. Before attending a show, identify the key people and companies you want to network with and familiarize yourself with their work. Prepare a concise pitch highlighting your game’s unique aspects and potential value to their portfolio. During the event, be proactive in approaching these people, but communicate sincerely. Collect business cards and send personalized messages immediately after the show to strengthen the bond. Just imagine how much effort and people you’ll need to develop a network of partners, clients, contractors, and so on. And how long will it take? How do you get to the right person? It’s a headache for entire departments. And at the exhibition you can spend a few days, while it is going on, to gather all the necessary bases, communicate directly with the people, you are interested in and establish close relations with them. This alone will make all your efforts to participate in a specialized exhibition worthwhile.

These contacts can lead to collaborations, funding opportunities, and strategic partnerships critical to developing and distributing your game. It seems more straightforward than it is, but somehow, few do it.

In addition, using social media to announce your presence at the show and connect with other attendees can enhance your networking opportunities. Participating in panel discussions and seminars can also position you as a thought leader, attracting additional interest from potential partners.

By approaching networking strategically, game developers can maximize their opportunities at trade shows and turn brief meetings into fruitful business relationships that advance their projects and careers.

Brand awareness and promotion

It is not just the Internet that marketers use to build brand awareness. Even for game developers, trade shows are an important platform for brand awareness and promotion, offering a unique opportunity to make a lasting impression on potential customers and partners. We live in reality. What would happen if your customer, who always communicates with you online, suddenly met you in real life? The emotions they feel for your product will increase many times over.

And what about markets where your product is not yet known? For them, the show is the first door to enter. It is at a trade show that you can try your product live, and it is from here that a wave of admiration can come from the customer that will encourage others to try your new product.

At a trade show, a creative and memorable booth design, coupled with engaging demos, plays a crucial role in attracting attendees and setting your brand apart from the competition. Effective promotions such as exclusive game demos, contests, and giveaways can significantly increase interest and engagement with your product.

A great example of effective promotion is the use of themed photo booths or immersive experiences that reflect the universe of the game and encourage attendees to share their experiences on social media, extending brand visibility beyond the show floor.

Leveraging social media and press is critical to maximizing the impact of your exhibit. Strategies include announcing your presence at the show well in advance, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and engaging with users through live streaming and real-time updates. Engaging influencers and media to highlight your booth can also draw attention and traffic, further increasing brand awareness and creating a positive image within the gaming community and the industry at large.

By integrating these strategies, game developers can effectively use trade shows not only for direct interaction, but also as a powerful tool for brand development and promotion, setting the stage for future growth and success.

Review of innovations and industry trends

Visitors come to a gaming expo to meet their favorite characters live and in a more immersive way than at the table of a computer or console at home.

Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and cloud gaming are some of the latest trends that can deliver what your potential or existing customers are coming to your booth for.

These technologies are changing the gaming landscape and giving developers new ways to create immersive experiences. For example, VR and AR are opening doors to worlds where the lines between digital and physical blur, increasing player engagement through unprecedented immersion. The role of artificial intelligence in game development is growing, from creating more realistic NPCs to uniquely connecting game characters with the user. Cloud gaming allows high-quality games to be streamed to a wider audience without the need for expensive hardware.

The exhibit areas will also showcase the latest graphics engines and game development platforms, demonstrating advanced capabilities that enable the creation of more detailed and expansive worlds. Hardware innovations, such as advanced game consoles and VR headsets, offer new ways to experience games and push developers to explore new game design paradigms.

These innovations and trends not only inspire developers to create, but also foster deeper engagement with players, creating a more engaged and loyal community. As technology advances, game developers have the opportunity to push the boundaries of what is possible.

According to the latest statistics, there are approximately 3.09 billion active video game players worldwide. They are all potentially your customers.

In conclusion, exhibiting at trade shows provides game developers with an invaluable platform to showcase their work, network with industry peers, and learn about the latest trends and technologies. Such participation is essential to growing, innovating, and staying relevant in a rapidly evolving industry, making trade shows a key component of a game developer’s success strategy. If you’re not attending game developer events, it’s time to change your tactics!

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