Gamescom in Cologne is the largest games trade show in Europe with more than 335,000 visitors, 6,000 journalists and 700 exhibitors from 88 countries attending last year. It is the perfect place to showcase your new game.
We asked Lau Korsgaard from the Danish game studio KnapNok Games about his practical tips for attending Gamescom. Last year, he and his team were there to show their critically acclaimed game Affordable Space Adventures.
“It was the first time we had so-called fan engagement around Affordable Space Adventures – meeting “real” people interested in the game. It helped us hone how we spoke about the game and to experience what got players interested,” says Lau Korsgaard.
Fans need something to take home
It should be obvious, but we hadn’t thought about it. Fans need something to take home to remember your game. A piece of paper, flyers, badges, post cards – it doesn’t need to be expensive. We didn’t have anything and ended up drawing homemade flyers on black stickers which did create some social media hype, but it is not practical if you want to hand them out to even just a few thousand fans.
Prepare business cards for professional use
You don’t want to hand out business cards to the fans. However, they are definitely something you should have with you to hand out to journalists, publishers and other game developers.
Bigger is almost always better
At Gamescom you really need to think about competing for attention and if you have a booth you need to think a bit about the design of it. We had printed a two by one meter banner – and that felt small. It takes some big posters to stand out.
English is just fine
Even though Gamescom is in Cologne, you don’t need to be able to speak German. We don’t and it wasn’t a problem at all. If kids show up they are with their parents, and they usually understand English just fine.
Have a plan for lunch and toilet breaks
It is a good idea to have more than one person from your team at Gamescom, or you risk being stuck at your booth not being able to go to the toilet or get lunch. Make a plan for how you deal with these practical things and figure out where or how you get something to eat.
Take care of your throat
You will end up spending three or four days not just speaking but actually shouting to get heard over all the noise and loud music. You need to take care of your throat. Bring along some throat tablets and similar to keep your voice working.
Footwear to last all day
You will spend all day standing on your feet and that can be felt at the end of the day. Bring along some sensible foot footwear to make it though Gamescom.
Learn more about Gamescom 2015, 5-9 August in Cologne at www.gamescom-cologne.com.