Game conference survival guide

Thursday 25.02.2016
If you are a game developer, graphic designer, sound designer, coder, producer, publisher etc. and you work in the gaming industry, the chances are that you will go to a gaming related conference at least once in your lifetime. I want to share with you this checklist that I made before I went to White Nights Helsinki '16 happening on February 12th. Maybe some of you find this useful!

Before you go

  • Read the conference programme
    Plan ahead which seminars and panel discussions you want to see.
  • What is your goal?
    Looking for distributor or people to work with? Arrange meetings with people. Most conferences have matchmaking tools to help you find right folks for you. 
  • What booths are there?
    Plan ahead which booths would be useful for you to visit.
  • Install conference app
    Most conferences have an app for visitors to connect and to keep up to date.
  • Remember toothbrush!

On location

  • Paper and pen
    This might sound old fashioned but at least for me, writing down things in a notebook is often more efficient than using electronic device to write things down. Many of the conferences provide notebook and pencils within check in bag but don't count on it. You might also want to take pictures of slides instead of writing them down.
  • The Power
    Most likely you are gonna use heavily your mobile devices, tablets and laptops. So if or when you run out of juice, keep your charger with you and locate a free power outlet. I have not yet visit a conference where there are places with enough power outlets where you could load your device(s). You can also keep extra batteries with you. 
  • The Party
    Most conferences have parties. These are the best places to meet new contacts and talk to different people. Just don't get too happy with the drinks or you might corrupt your precious brain data storage for the evening and ruin your performance the next day ;) 

Aftermath

When the trip is done you might want to take time to sum up your work. If you did not already connect with your new contacts in facebook, twitter and LinkedIn, do it now. Also, store received business cards with notes somewhere where you find them when you need them. It easy to forget, mix up faces and names and positions and companies and what you talked about.
Author: Ville Lähde