Gamers Are Everywhere
The video game industry has created an entire spectrum of multi-generational gamers. For those who are just learning about this fast paced industry, let’s consider a “gamer” as a person who enjoys interacting with video games in one way or another.
If you ask anyone, almost everyone has a hint of gamer in them. Even if someone initial says, “No, I’m not a gamer”, challenge that person by asking if they’ve ever enjoyed a retro video game, perhaps the latest game they’ve been playing on their mobile phone. Almost everyone will admit to a past or present interest in some form of gaming. This is the first generation to grow up with video games, which has created a more savvy and technology-oriented society overall.
The spectrum of what defines a gamer is wide with different interests, skill levels, ages, genders, and many other variables. With so many gamers, representing so many demographics, a video game element can enhance almost any event. Trade shows, team building experiences, VIP entertainment, educational or community-building events, and so many other gatherings can be showcased or simply enhanced by a well-managed video game event. This powerful collection of resources presented by the folks at Jet Set Studio, offers proven insight on the growing interest of incorporating video games into an event.
The Magnetism of Video Games
With the undeniable popularity of video games, why not capitalize on this widespread phenomenon to enhance your own event? Whether it is to attract attention to your corporate booth at an important trade show, offering a gaming element to bring an educational community together or injecting awesomeness into any other gathering – video games can be the difference maker.
The magnetism of video games can single-handily transform a standard event that people might expect, into something uniquely special that will ignite interest and substantially boost attendance and participation at your next event. Let gaming be the creative magnet that brings people together.
The timeline of your event development process is critical. Giving your team enough time to properly prepare for the event is often overlooked. On the flip side, over-extending the development timeline can lead to team members becoming burnt out.
To help show progress, while still giving your team the time to successfully implement a plan, setting milestone goals that the team can track will not only help keep people on task, but also give an important sense of accomplishment. Like many other forms of event management, 95% of the work is required before even the first attendee walks through the door, so keep track of your progress and help yourself methodically move forward.
The cost of top quality video game events is often underestimated. This does not mean that it has to be expensive, but building a budget to support this event or event enhancement, is important during in your conceptualization stage.
As you might expect, the more outsourced equipment, staff personnel, tournament organization, and travel expenses…the larger a budget may need to be. However, the bigger and better you want your event to be, the more of these costs become required and you’ll need to plan accordingly.
The range to add professional-level video gaming elements to events will always be hard to pin down because there can be so many variables, but $30 – $30,000 is a fair estimate. With this joke of a ballpark, we hope you’ll be able to better understand how your budget will be effected by the amount of internal resources you have, compared to the amount of outsourced work and resources you’ll need. It should be obvious, but just lay it all out there. The more your team is able to do, the more work you’ll have, but it will take less financial support to make your gaming event a success.
If your concept involves more than just a gaming station or two, hiring professionals may not be a bad idea. For the corporate-level events, the size of event may not even be an issue. Even with a small event idea, the professionalism, experience, and something many would refer to as “street cred”, may be too important or take up too much valuable time, not to outsource for the best overall result.
Allowing your team to enjoy a gaming element (and do what they’re paid to do instead of managing the event) also creates more value to the idea of hiring an outside team. This outsourcing approach not only shifts the workload of event planning responsibilities, but also gives the outsourced partner the chance to run your gaming element smoothly, while you and your team spend time on larger objectives. In so many of cases, it is actually more affordable for organizations to hire out the video game event management.
Whatever approach you determine for your own gaming event, establishing a budget to bring video games to life is a nice first step in the overall process of video game event management.
Assuming your event is not an online event only; selecting the venue for your event is also an important decision you must make early in the event development process.
If you’re planning an online event, you might want to consider skipping this section. Let’s be honest though, if you’re planning an online event, an end-goal is likely something surrounding a live video game event, right? So read on!
Many times selecting a venue is not even an option. Your company has a booth at the next big trade show or maybe the event is already scheduled? In these cases, the venue is not as much of an issue, but that does not mean you can’t plan effectively for the space you have to work with.
Trade show booths are an excellent example. When a company comes to a trade show to represent their brand, there is often a known space they have to work with. Unless you want to get lost in the crowd, even the smallest of spaces are carefully planned. Video gaming is becoming a unique way to maximize even small spaces and better achieve your visibility goals.
If you’re starting from a more development level and have plans of selecting a venue, here are a few things to be looking for:
Space – Depending on the amount of attendees, this is the basic question. How much space will you need and how will certain aspects within the space affect your conceived event? Too small will create a hot (and smelly) mess, while too much space can quickly dwarf the best of events.
Electric Specification – Gaming stations consume A LOT of power, FAST. The bigger the gaming element, the more power you will need. Looking for individualized electric circuits and ample electricity at a venue will eliminate any blackouts, which can really kill the vibe of your event. Also, knowing the power your equipment uses, can be helpful when you’re trying to determine the electrical specifications you require.
Gaming Area – Considering the selected space. How with the gaming stations be integrated and arranged? Will the gaming area give enough space for players, spectators, and still smooth foot traffic?
Location – If you’re thinking about a local gaming event, try and find a venue that has a recognizable location. This will make marketing the event easier and your community awareness greater.
Cost – When it comes down to the bottom dollar, you can’t spend all your money on a venue that’s out of your budget or doesn’t make sense for your event objectives.
Partnerships – Consider working with the venue to establish a win/win partnership. If you host more events, will the venue benefit more? Maybe there are other events you can bring the gaming element to?
Once you know the venue, it’s time to start looking more into the gaming side of your event. You’ve done your homework, so now let’s have some fun talking about the games you plan to share and how they need to connect to your demographic.
Video Game Divisions
Here are a few helpful thoughts on how to select the specific video game titles you plan to use at your gaming event.
From the trade show booth team looking for a game title to magnetize the masses, to a church event trying to find a game title that makes sense for the whole family; there really are too many video game titles available, not to find numerous directions that will make your event a success.
Along with individual game titles, new technology is always becoming available in the gaming industry. If it’s not the newest console, machine upgrade, or latest peripheral upgrade, there’s likely to be something else that will capture your crowd. With the new technologies, it will likely still come down to selecting a game to enjoy the new technologies with.
The age demographic is one of the first things to consider. An easy way to start, is to research how a video game is rated. Every video game has one of these rating.
You probably don’t want to entertain young children with a 4v4 first person shooter setup or bore an older crowd with childish games, so being aware of these ratings and the target age of your attendees. This will also be helpful if parental consent is required to maintain a good image with adults who allow their children to attend more mature-oriented events.
In the corporate world, age becomes less of an issue. The video game that may best fit your demographic could be focused more on a title’s replay ability. When you’re working with a large crowd and trying to stand out, a game title that allows the most people to play is important. When Guitar Hero was first becoming popular in 2007, this title was great because participants could enjoy a fun gaming experience in only a few minutes of playing a song.
If the event is geared towards a specific video game already, consider additional game titles that might also fit with your selected demographic and continue to enhance the event. A great example would be how shooter tournaments often offer a few of the top FPS (First Person Shooter) titles together, while a football video game might included titles from both pro and college levels.
Understanding the video game you plan to use and insuring that you have ample gaming equipment to run the chosen game title, is critical. A single gaming station may be perfect for one event, while 40 gaming stations may still not be enough for others! Different video game titles will force you to use your gaming equipment in different ways, so be aware of the online and offline capabilities of the games you’re considering.
A slightly more difficult variable to consider, is the region of the world your gaming event will be held. If your event is being held in the Midwest, a preferred video game may differ from an event in the East coast. Even more extreme examples would be what country your event is being held. Doing some additional research, by contacting local gaming centers will eat up a lot of time, but may be a good if you want to be sure.
When you select the right video games for your event, you’ll know when you hit attendance goals and/or the attendees are all enjoying their experience. You’ll also notice solid game selections, when you feels the benefits of a well ran event and accomplished expectations. Not every game choice is going to correct, so learn from mistakes you have and use resources that have had success in the past.
Select the best video game to fit your demographic and you’ll soon be considering the gaming equipment you’ll need. Luck for you, insight surrounding that topic is in the next primary section of resources here on Tournament Seeker! Let’s talk Preparation.
- Still want more? Perhaps this insight has solidified that you should partner with a professional firm who will take your ideas and turn them into gold. Lucky for you, Jet Set Studio is ready and waiting. Contact Us today.