There are two topics I would like to cover in this issue of the newsletter.
First one is a Game Conference Guide’s survey trying to discern how people have been attending events during the pandemic, and if our habits will change in the near future when live events are reintroduced to the calendar.
The second topic is tied to interesting math from 2020. Recently I revisited the data, cross referenced them with other lists and highlighted the shifts and volatility of the games event industry.
When will you attend a Live event?
It is time to put a theory “Show me the first live event and I will be there” to the test.
I would like to invite you all to participate in a survey exploring our habits, how we are attending events during pandemic, how were they affected by lockdowns and restrictions and if they will change once travelling and social gatherings are possible again.
This is a first-of-a-kind survey focusing on games industry events only, and it should take you about 3 - 5 minutes to answer all questions. The survey is completely anonymous and the results will be published next month which coincidentally is going to mark the 1st anniversary of the Game Conference Guide.
Please help to share the survey with colleagues, peers, friends and developers. The more submissions, the clearer picture we would see how the future of events will look like.
Events, more EVENTS
This is not another review of the year, but more of an extension of what you can see on the donut graphs everytime you visit the Game Conference Guide website. With the help of my friends, I combined data from three different lists. As a base I used the 2020 archive, another list was offered kindly by Wallace Poulter and third by Robert Zubek who is behind Gamedevelopment.events.
The goal was to see how many events survived the lockdowns and highlight that not all of them will return once the situation improves. I know, we have been hearing this for a year.
After cross-referencing and cleaning the data, I got a list of 226 events in total for 2020. From there I was looking at events which were delayed, pushed to 2021, moved, re-introduced and / or cancelled and new initiatives that popped up as an answer to lack of social gatherings.
The results do not need a long commentary:
In 2020 out of all 226 events, 23% never returned back; either they were postponed from the Spring to Fall and then cancelled (2%) or cancelled altogether when the restrictions were in place (21%).
This is a very troubling number especially from the perspective of a conference organizer it is not a pretty sight.
As a reaction to lockdowns and the restrictions to social gatherings, 36% of all events went digital during 2020 and they are still offering virtual experiences to this day.
We also saw the rise of completely new initiatives (23%) showing how fast the established brands are moving forward, and others were introduced to help the community with networking & getting the deals done.
All of these initiatives were digital.
Just a reminder, out of all events only 11% happened as planned, mostly at the beginning of the year during the first quarter with a handful of exceptions like ChinaJoy in July for example.
Out of those delayed from Spring to Fall with a plan to deliver a physical event, 7% returned with online offering.
In 2021 we won't be seeing that many cancellations or shifts, even though it is clear that the Fall / Winter will bring some changes in the formats. Switching to digital or moving the dates to 2022 are likely to be seen. Hybrid models are expected to slowly take over the banner from digital events based on vaccination plans and relaxing of the restrictions on social gatherings.
We will be revisiting this data set again in the future to compare 2020 and 2021 to see the shift from digital to live events.
With Q1 behind us, let's look at past three months of conferencing with interesting numbers:
More events happened during Q1 2021 than during the first 5 months of 2020
Number of events in Q1 2021 saw a 218% increase compared to Q1 2020
3 days (median 2 days) was the average lenght of a single event
25th of March was the busiest day with 5 events happening simultaneously
It would take you 158 days to attend every single one out of which you would have to sacrifice 36 weekend days.
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Did you know?
Game Conference Guide is:
Accessible to anyone on any device
Fully integrated calendar
Event deadlines and reminders
Daily updated database of events around the world
Free insights delivered to your inbox monthly
No payment wall
No registration necessary
Help make it better and most comprehensive tool for tracking games industry events by supporting it on Patreon.
Thank you for reading and supporting Game Conference Guide. Consider sharing it with your peers, colleagues and community.
Pavol Buday, curator of GCG
[Game Conference Guide is tracking games industry & game developers events, trade shows, festivals, conferences and events around the world.]