How to manage a busy Games Conference season

If you're feeling overwhelmed by all of the exciting games conferences coming up this year, we get it! Hopefully, we can give a bit of a better insight into how to decide which conferences are right for you to attend during this hectic season...

Like most companies, Skillsearch has an annual budget set aside for conferences. This is a generous budget, but it doesn't allow us to attend everything. In fact, if you did attend every event you could spend 3 months living out of a suitcase! So, we have to decide which conferences we should go to each year.

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For us, this comes down to a few key factors;

  • Networking
  • Speakers
  • Location
  • Price (Tickets and Travel)
  • Previous Success
  • Parties!

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Let's break these key factors down…

 

Networking

This is one of the main reasons for us to attend conferences. It's all about who do we get to meet up with – whether that be fresh faces or old friends.On the run-up to events, we ask everyone we know if they are attending and take the time out of the day to reach out to people that are listed as speakers or exhibitors, that we may have never met before

 

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  4. Speakers When considering the list of conferences, you should think about the ones that will educate and interest you. The list of speakers is usually published several months before the event takes place.
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  9. LocationObviously, local conferences will always be attractive, but there is also the temptation of going further afield. Last year, we attended Reboot in Dubrovnik, which was one of the best-organised conferences I have had the pleasure to go to. The location attracted people from places that we wouldn't have had the opportunity to work with in the past!
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  14. PriceTicket prices can vary dramatically. Some expos are free and some events tickets cost hundreds of pounds. Therefore, gauging the balance between the value gained from attending, and the cost of getting yourself in can be tricky!However, there are always options that mean you can keep the budget as low as possible, or even free! There are loads of opportunities to volunteer at conferences, which will mean that you can get a free pass, or if you are lucky enough to be a speaker you might even be provided with free tickets...
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  16. If you are a member of UKIE or TIGA it's always worth speaking to them prior to booking tickets as they will often be able to get members discounts.

 

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  6. Previous SuccessIt's simple – if it's tried and tested and has been great previously, we will continue to go!

 

 

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  4. PartiesWhenever I tell my wife about conferences, she thinks that they are all an excuse to throw one big party... Obviously, that's not the case, as they are incredibly useful for a ton of reasons... The best conference party, of course, is Play@Develop, which we will be hosting again this year on Wednesday 15th July.
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Rainbow Line

Follow @Skillsearch for updates and announcements on all our upcoming events and those which we'll be attending. 

This year you will find us at the following events;

Reboot, UnrealFest, EGX Rezzed, FMX, EGX, Gamescom, Unite, THU and Develop. Feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter if you're also attending any of these!

I'd also love to hear how other people decide which conference to go to so please get in touch!

If you'd like to know more about the games industry events going on this year, check out our most recent monthly games events blog here!

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Associate Director - Games and Interactive Giles Fenwick

Giles runs our Gaming & Interactive division and specialises in forming tight knit teams, whether that’s for a studio or in our office. He represented his county at rugby for every age group from 12 onwards which no doubt helped him to cultivate his excellent understanding of team dynamics. Giles is known for his warmth and willingness to take time to work through any issues that may arise, although make sure you don’t try and share his food as then you won’t be getting a warm welcome – Giles doesn’t share food!

View all Giles Fenwick's jobs

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