Planning to attend some of the leading mobile gaming events this year?
But, you keep wondering how you can make the most of such occasions?
You’re not alone in this.
Luckily, we are experienced conference attendees. To help out everyone with slightly less experience, we’ve decided to create an extensive list of tips for game conferences.
Whether you’re about to attend your first gaming event or you’re unhappy with your earlier performance, these tips for game conferences will come in handy.
Let’s see how you can up your conference game before, during, and after the event!
Before the Event
The things you do before conferences are equally and maybe even more important than what you do at the venue.
Therefore, before the event begins, consider this list of preparation tips for game conferences.
1. Do Your Research
Want to get a general idea of what the event will look like and which companies are likely to attend it?
You can often find this out by checking out highlights from the previous edition of the event. These snippets usually showcase speakers, the venue, and attendees, giving you a general impression of the event.
2. Create an Action Plan
If you’re attending a large conference, you won’t be able to make it to every session, panel, or discussion — and that’s okay.
The point of attending a conference is not rushing around.
It should be about focusing on what interests you most.
Organizers typically roll out their conference schedule weeks before the event begins, giving you plenty of time to mark your favorites and plan your schedule.
3. Prioritize the Relevant
People attend mobile gaming conferences to network and learn.
Aside from that, you’ll probably go because you have some business missions you want to complete.
For example, if you’re a publisher, you probably want to meet up with prospective developers. If you’re an advertiser, you probably want to connect with studios looking to scale their games.
To achieve these goals, make sure to prioritize relevant meetups.
Therefore, don’t feel bad about passing on invites that are not the right fit for your business. Ideally, you can forward these requests to some of your industry contacts that might be interested in them.
4. Check out Networking Platforms
A lot of gaming conferences use matchmaking/networking platforms that make it easy to plan and set up meetings.
The most popular platform for this is MeetToMatch.
If an event uses this platform, all attendees will get notified to sign up for it approx. a week before the conference. After setting this up, you will be able to see the list of visitors, find the ones that match your business interests, and most importantly — request meetings.
5. Announce Your Arrival on Social Media
The best way to let people know you’re coming to an event is to spread the word about it on social media, i.e. LinkedIn and/or Twitter.
Your post should announce you’re attending the event, contain your location at the venue (e.g., booth) and encourage people to get in touch with you. For example, via MeetToMatch, LinkedIn, or email.
In most cases, people also create custom graphics that help capture attention and make it clear what the post is about.
Note: Do this at least a week before the event.
6. Prepare Your Promo Materials
If you’re exhibiting at a conference, you’ll need some promo materials like roll-up banners and business cards. Make sure you have these materials ready at least a couple of days before the event.
Also, consider bringing some freebies like stickers, badges, or candies. Because, well, people just love free stuff.
7. Practice Your Pitch
No promo material in the world can represent your business as well as you can.
Therefore, make sure to perfect your elevator pitch. Generally, your pitch should be short (20 seconds will do it) and make your unique selling proposition as clear as possible.
8. Plan Your Parties
Whenever there is a big game conference, there are usually also different parties and side events outside the official event.
You should be there.
These events are great opportunities to network and connect with industry peers in a casual setting.
Also, they are usually a lot of fun.
How do you find these parties?
We’ve got you covered. Follow MAF on Medium where we post a list of parties & events before every big event!
During the Event
Want to make yourself and your business look good on the venue?
Then make sure to follow these tips for game conferences while the event is in full swing.
1. Pitch and Listen
The time has come and you finally have the chance to pitch.
Don’t make this only about yourself. The people you’re talking to are probably going to give you some feedback, ask questions and maybe even suggest new ideas. In that kind of situation, it’s important you don’t come off as too defensive and show that you value their opinions.
2. Stay on Topic
While you’re in a meeting, try not to get too off-topic.
This can be a difficult task — especially if you and the other person share the same passions and enjoy talking about it.
But, you don’t want to end up talking about your favorite action games for hours…
The main reason you came to the conference is to talk business, and you should keep this in mind during your meetings and try to come back on track.
3. Use Each Chance to Learn
Game conferences are a unique opportunity to learn from the best.
It’s not every day that people from the leading game studios share their knowledge. To make the most out of this chance, make sure to:
- Attend speaker sessions
- Ask questions
- Engage in chat
- Ask for feedback
4. It’s Okay to Go to Another Session
Oftentimes, there are two or more events happening simultaneously.
When planning your schedule you will decide on one of them.
However, if you quickly realize that the event is not as exciting as you expected, it’s okay to head out and go to the other one.
Conference sessions are not mandatory college lectures — you have the right to choose what interests you most.
5. Don’t Pitch at All Times
You’re at the conference to promote your product or services, we get that.
But, please don’t oversell.
Not every conversation is a pitch opportunity. For example, if you’re attending a party at 8 pm and try to talk about your services, this will probably chase people away.
These kinds of events are great to network with people, and you can talk business on later occasions.
6. Note, Don’t Try to Remember
You’re in a session held by an amazing speaker and you think to yourself “Wow this is so interesting, I’m going to memorize all of it”.
Don’t count on this.
The chances are, you won’t recall half of it next week. To avoid this from happening, take notes of everything you want to remember.
7. Count Breaks in
You have planned a pretty busy day with a bunch of meetings and educational sessions?
Don’t forget to leave room for breaks.
This might sound obvious, but you don’t want to learn this lesson the hard way. Make sure to secure at least 10 minutes of free time to visit the restroom or eat something between meetings.
This is especially important if the venue is huge and you have to walk from one side to the other.
Yes, we know, another obvious one.
If you’re an extrovert, you probably don’t have a problem with socializing. But if you’re an introvert, you may find it difficult to meet new people. To help you with this, here are some conversation starters you can use with anyone:
- Have you attended this event before? Why did you choose this one?
- Did you happen to attend the X session?
- Which session did you like the most today?
- I can’t decide between the X and the Y session, which one do you think is better?
- Do you know if there is some kind of after-party today?
9. Read the Room
If you’re exhibiting at a conference, note this.
Some venues are small and low-key, while others are crowded and noisy. Whatever the context, make sure you act appropriately. There will be people around you, so it’s important you don’t invade their personal space and respect other exhibitors.
You don’t want to be that loud and annoying exhibitor everyone dislikes…
10. Don’t Go Too Wild at Parties
At afterparties, there will be free alcohol.
As tempting as this can be, take it easy on the jungle juice, especially if you are attending a multi-day event.
Also, during major events, there will be a lot of parties to choose from. You don’t have to attend them all — make sure you organize them according to your schedule. For example, don’t go to late parties if you have meetings in the morning.
After the Event
Our list of tips for game conferences doesn’t stop at the event itself.
What you do after the event matters too.
1. Connect on LinkedIn
Okay, so you’ve met a lot of interesting people at the event.
Once the event finishes, use the networking power of LinkedIn and connect with all the relevant contacts you’ve made.
2. Write a Follow-up
All connections are great, but some of them are more valuable than others.
If you talked to someone relevant to your business and you want to ensure they remember you, hit them with a quick follow-up.
It is very important that the follow-up isn’t generic, so here are some tips for writing a great post-conference follow-up:
- Introduce yourself
- Touch on some of the topics you discussed
- Say you’d like to keep in touch
- Adjust the tone of your message based on the nature of your conversation (casual vs. professional)
- If you’re going to use ChatGPT for this, “feed” it with as many details
3. Evaluate Your Accomplishments
Once the conference finishes and you’ve connected and followed up, it’s time for the aftermath.
Did the conference fulfill your expectations? Did you accomplish your goals? What went well and what didn’t?
Based on the answers to these questions, you can decide if you’ll visit this conference again, organize your event calendar, and fine-tune your conference strategy.
BONUS: A Tip from Massimo, a Conference Veteran
Wrapping Up on Tips for Game Conferences
That’s it, you’ve reached the very end of our list of tips for game conferences. If you’d like to add some of your own tips to the list, leave us a comment!
To help you organize your event calendar for the year, we’ve prepared a list of 30+ events that are worth visiting.
You can find it in the form of a list and a spreadsheet. Both contain all the details you need to organize your visit, so feel free to pick your favorite.