Last week we launched our second Pocket Gamer Connects Digital online event - and it was incredible! Following up from its debut in April, the sequel surpassed all expectations with over 1,400 attendees from almost 680 companies signed up to connect with one another in digital meetings, as well as learning from over 200 expert speakers across 10 tracks.
Much like our live events and our first online conference, Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #2 was a truly global event, as we welcomed virtual visitors from 68 countries around the world. 68% of attendees were from the EMEA region, while 23% hailed from the Americas and 9% were from Asia. Over 70% of sign ups were game-makers, including developers, publishers and indies, alongside the investors, media, tool-makers, service companies, government organisations and academic institutions.
We themed the event around the art of publishing. As it's a core part of the industry, but not a simple matter, we wanted to highlight publishing’s importance in the industry by making extra available content ready for developers to learn from publishers, and publishers to learn from each other.
The event also saw the return of our fringe events in digital form; two Big Indie Pitches, the Journalist Bar, an Investor Connector and a Publisher SpeedMatch - all of which were packed. Of course there were some new features at the show, which we’re about to highlight now…
MeetToMatch meeting platform & Discord
This was one of the main areas we wanted to improve on for our second digital conference. We adopted the MeetToMatch meeting platform, a much trusted networking service from other industry events, and it absolutely went down a treat. This platform allowed greater functionality and more reliability for attendees, enabling them to conduct their meetings with no bumps along the way.
Efficient, reliable and user friendly, the MeetToMatch platform facilitated over 3,000 confirmed meetings, further highlighting how much our conferences connect the global games industry.
Alongside our meeting platform, we also opened up a Discord server which was available to all attendees of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #2. Nothing can replace bumping into new industry folk at a live event, but with our Discord server, we delivered that same feel as much as we could. Our chat rooms were buzzing with discussions on the talks taking place, general chatter amongst attendees, plus activity through the Journalist Bar and the IGDA Mentor Café (thanks to IGDA Finland for joining us once again).
Pocket Gamer Connects Careers Week
A new initiative was the Pocket Gamer Connects Careers week to support jobseekers who may have been impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis, as well as connect those who are looking to break into the games industry for the first time with recruiters.
There was a persistent digital jobs board where recruiters listed their openings, a virtual job fair in the event where we connected jobseekers with recruiters, coverage on PocketGamer.biz, mailouts to attendees with vacancies, and dedicated talks on recruitment.
Pocket Gamer Connects Careers Week will return with a raft of refinements in our continuing effort to support the games industry.
Post-event thoughts and moving forward
Steel Media CEO, Chris James, was understandably delighted about the event: “Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #2 was a tremendous success on every level, bringing together more delegates from more countries and adding in new features like the Careers Week recruitment activity, IGDA Mentor Café and Discord group for casual chat.
Coming up next is Blockchain Gamer LIVE! Digital in July, followed by Pocket Gamer LaunchPad
“When we launched the first Pocket Gamer Connects Digital back in April it was put together in a short space of time to fill a gap for networking and knowledge sharing. I didn't imagine we'd necessarily be running a second – I certainly didn't think it would be bigger and better on every metric! Huge plaudits are due to the awesome Steel Media team and sincere gratitude to our sponsors, speakers and delegates for coming together over a full week.
“Looking ahead, while I do think that physical events will return strongly at some point soon, I am delighted that we've captured so much of the content, value and spirit of Pocket Gamer Connects in this digital show, and provide something that is of genuine value to the games industry in what remains a challenging time. Suffice to say we will return with more digital events in the next few months, starting with Blockchain Gamer LIVE! and our consumer event Pocket Gamer LaunchPad in July.”
Special thank you to our sponsors: