5 Tips for a Successful Gaming Event
Gaming events are no different to any other event – all types of events will come with their own highs and lows. Knowing your audience (in terms of their likes/dislikes, or who they idolise, or size, etc.) can take some of the guesswork out, and help you plan your event more effectively.
This generation is obsessed with gaming. Publishers are always competing to produce upgraded games that are bigger, better, badder, and gaming events are no different. The youth of today have short attention spans and are very easily attracted to shiny, new things. So, if you are keen to host a successful gaming event, here are 5 simple tips for success:
1) Build Your Audience
Jump the gun and start planning an extremely large and expensive event, assess how big your audience is. Some games have mass but shallow followings, while some others have smaller but very loyal fandoms. Hence, there is no need to waste resources to build a very grand event when it’s potential cannot be fully realised and enjoyed. If you are unsure about how big a game’s following is, start with growing your local audience, and then you’ll have a small but strong support group to grow.
2) Set Goals & Benchmarks
Once you know you have an audience to cater your event to, determine what you want to achieve out of the event. The more specific your goal, the easier it will be to plan around. It could be anything from the number of attendees, to the number of partnerships established with game publishers. Simple benchmarks are sufficient in the early stages of your event, especially if you intend to extend your attendee list in the years to come. These goals should however be relevant metrics to evaluate if your event was successful. Being able to measure your goals will allow you to assess how efficiently you have utilised your resources, and these results are necessary to create projections and requests for sponsorship’s for any subsequent events.
3) Create Value & Incentives
Create value for your participants so that it’s not just a one-way exchange of value. Not everyone is motivated by material goods, so grand prizes of monetary value are obviously valuable and highly regarded, but incentives don’t always have to be financial – they could come in the form of recognition, gift bags, access to meet and greet key figures of the industry or just the opportunity to network with other people who share similar interests.
On top of that, give your potential game publishers and partners a solid reason to be a part of your event. Event sponsors usually need your event far less than you need them, so be generous with what you can offer if possible. These partners receive plenty of requests to sponsor prizes and events all the time, and they need a good reason to say ‘yes’ to you.
Sponsorship goes beyond gift bags and prizes. For sponsors who say no to sponsoring prizes, don’t give up on them just yet – they might be interested in being a part of the event in other ways. Most publishers have some demo copies of games, or even perfectly working copies of games that have suffered cosmetic damages to boxes; they can always contribute to your game library, instead of brand new sets for prizes. Other sponsors might be more interested in offering discount codes or special sale exclusives to your event. No matter how small their contribution is, every sponsor counts.
4) Value your Influencers
On top of advertising your event to as many social media platforms available to you, make use of gaming influencers to market your event. Advertising and marketing from corporations are always met with scepticism. Word-of-mouth is huge in the gaming industry, and recommendations from beloved influencers and trusted figures of the industry can go a long way to spread word of your event.
Reach out to influencers early so that they have more lead time to build hype and anticipation for your event, and incentivise their participation in drawing in the crowd and provide them with what they will need, within reason.
5) Build a Community
Gamers practically live on the internet, and they are often members of online social communities. Take some time to figure out what the demographic, psychographic and behavioural traits of your target audience are, and you may be able to build an online community of your own. Online communities are undeniably hard to build, as many potential audience members are already loyal to their own fandom. These online audiences can be leveraged to help garner more attendees to the events through these relevant online communities. Personalise experiences for them and find ways to make it worth their time to participate in your event.