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December, 2004

I've written before (article #6) about conferences and trade shows. This fall I had a little whirlwind of such events: three conferences/shows in four weeks! So this article is to report on my findings about various topics of interest to the readers.

NOTE: This article was written in 2004. Keeping the links up to date is too much work. For up to date links, see the Game Biz Links page. E3, for example, changed drastically after the 2006 show. Nevertheless, the principles discussed herein still apply to today's shows and conferences.

KGC 2004 (Korean Games Conference)

CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment 2004 (Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association)

Montreal Game Summit

My speech at Montreal Game Summit

What and Why?

The benefit of such events varies depending on what stage of your career you're in, and what purpose you have in mind for attending, and how well you plan and prepare and follow up. And on what kind of event it is.

The Moral of the Story

  1. If you're a wannabe and can't afford to attend or otherwise can't get a pass to a conference or show: don't worry, be patient. Read about the event afterwards in trade publications (online or in print), and/or see if you can download the speeches from the event organizers' website. There'll be lots of other events you can attend.
  2. If you're in the industry and your employer offers you a chance to attend a conference or trade show: take it. Go. You'll be glad you did.
  3. If you're in the industry and your employer does not offer you a pass: then weigh the cost (and the vacation days) against the benefits for you. Usually, the main benefits for employed professionals are (1) knowledge gained from speaking sessions, (2) for a trade show like E3 or CTIA, the chance to look at competitive products - and (3) contacts, especially with potential employers who might hire you away from your current employer. This latter one explains why many employers don't pay for their employees to attend industry events.
  4. If you're a freelancer like me: it pays to go to as many events as you can manage.

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© 2004 Tom Sloper. All rights reserved. May not be re-published without written permission of the author.