Year in Review - Events in 2021, ticket prices, trends
Game Conference Guide Insights - January 2022
We are entering the third year since pandemic changed how events are being attended, organized, and evaluated. I would like to start with a massive thank you to everyone, who visited Game Conference Guide during its existence, supported it by sharing, keeping me caffeinated via Patreon (yes, you can do it even now) and especially the amazing people who took the opportunity and partnered up by overtaking the website for a month. Thank you.
January starts very slow as usual. With Pocket Gamer London being pushed back by a whole month to February, there is a slight decrease in number of events compared to both 2020 and 2021. There are only three events scheduled this month. Fear not, this doesn’t mean we will have less events in 2022, or that the rest of the calendar will follow similar trends. We will have plenty of time to look at those during this year.
In this issue of the newsletter I want to look at the 2021 as a whole, give you more insights into how events were organized, number of events announced per month and show you interesting numbers like average ticket price.
[Game Conference Guide shares useful knowledge to everyone, and I do not want to charge for it. I feel you might want to support it.]
A short disclaimer to provide you more context to the numbers you can see below accompanied with graphs.
There have been a few changes in the curation process at Game Conference Guide. In 2021 I decided to include virtual showcases from major publishers and indie initiatives that were part of mega events like gamescom and E3. ComicCons, community driven & retro events are still not major focus, even though some staple events are being featured like GenCon Indy or MomoCon.
With introduction of Deadlines covering pitching sessions, showcases and awards, the main database is not featuring these events dedicated to recognition, awareness, and promotion. They have a separate table and are listed on the main page only if they are part of a bigger event. I am aware of this duality and working on a solution to have everything in one place.
Okay, let’s break down the events in 2021.
In general, during the whole 2021 we have seen tried and tested formulas (how to run an event) successfully deployed throughout the year without any major impact affecting the total number of events or how they are organized.
We have seen only 9 events cancelled (66% were consumer focused) compared to 21% of events in 2020. Announcements of events has been more consistent in 2021, only 16 out of 307 in total changed the format due to restrictions or fear of new variant emerging. Majority of them shifted from hybrid to virtual environment. To give you a bit more context, in 2020 only 11% of events out of 201 happened as planned (most of them before pandemic hit us fully), with 23% of them never to return during that year.
Event organizers have learned to move the dates around the calendar without the need to cancel it. During the year at least 55 changes has been recorded related both to format & date. For example, an event was announced as hybrid, but later was moved to virtual and postponed by a month. Take these insights with a grain of salt, some dates are moving silently without me noticing and recording it.
The only advice I can give you, is to check dates regurarly when planning to visit a country or send colleagues to participate. The database is being updated on a daily basis, as some of the dates are being announced as TBC (to be confirmed).
There has been another trend adopted, extending programming, or shortening the duration, usually by an extra day or two. Extension was made possible due to hosting physical activities on site, and (or) offering more time to network for those who are participating only virtually.
Delays of events were also not that dramatic as in 2020, some of them slipped to 2022 at the end of the year due to emergence of omicron variant. Majority were able to find new date and accommodate the changes in the format within a weeks.
On average 26 new events were announced per month with Q1 2021 recorded the biggest number of new announcements and updates; 34 per month on average. 102 in total new events were announced between January and March 2021.
In 2021 you could attend 136 B2B events (44% out of 307 in total) free of charge or have access to certain part of programming without spending a dime. For entry level tickets you have been paying on average $96 ($50 median) and $302 for the top experience ($159 median).
On the consumer events side, tickets were starting on average at $42 ($35 median) and you could spend as much as $85 ($76 median) for the top experience offered.
Average and median prices were counted by collecting ticket prices when the ticket sale started.
Game Conference Guide in review: 2021 Edition
Total number of events in 2021: 307 (increase by 53%)
Out of all events 74,5 % were digital (increase by 3%)
Only 3% of events (10 out of 307) were postponed or cancelled. Last year it was 23% out of all (201).
Most of cancelled events (5) were supposed to happen in October and November
The biggest number of events originated from EU (57%) followed by North America (34%).
United Kingdom contributed with the biggest number of events 34 (30 last year), followed by Germany 22 (13 last year).
Longest running events were: WN Conference - Eastern Europe (31 days) followed by WN Conference China (19 days) and Game Connection (14).
Busiest day of 2021 was Wednesday, 17th of November with 10 events happening simultaneously (in 2020 it was 13th of November with 11 events).
Median duration of a single event was 2 days (compared to 3 days in 2020), average duration was 3 days (compared to 4.1 last year)
If you would have decided to attend every single event in 2021 (except those that were cancelled) it would take you: 689 working days and 214 weekend days (compared to 551 working days and 155 weekend days in 2020).
In total you would be conferencing nonstop for almost 2 and a half years, 903 days to be exact an increase by 28% from 2020 with 706 days.
During the year, Game Conference Guide has seen:
419 entries in the calendar
112 entries on the Deadlines subpage
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maybe one of the 8 Patreons who is keeping me caffenaited (I am sure we can get this number higher by clicking on the button below).
PARTNER OF THE MONTH
ifairs, an all-in-one event platform
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Our key features are:
State of the art look and feel, which is incredibly easy to use
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Here is a short video, for you to get an impression of the look and feel from the ecarExpo event.
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Pavol Buday, curator of GCG
[Game Conference Guide is tracking games industry & game developers’ events, trade shows, festivals, conferences and events around the world.]