The dust hasn't even settled on E3, but already it's time to think about the next major trade show.MCV catches up with project manager Tim Endres to find out what we can expect from Gamescom 2015
This Gamescom is the seventh. How would you evaluate the show's success thus far?
Gamescom is more than just a trade fair. It is the world's largest event for interactive entertainment. It is the only event in the world that has the right offer for all players who are involved in the international games industry.
The successful concept of Gamescom is based on four pillars: the business area, the entertainment area, the Gamescom city festival and the Game Developers Conference Europe. As such, Gamescom positions itself across the entire value chain with its different, individual platforms. With its wide spectrum of exhibits, it equally addresses developers, publishers, the trade and the consumers.
The whole of Cologne becomes the entertainment Mecca for a week: at the exhibition grounds and - thanks to the Gamescom city festival - also in Cologne's city centre.
Since moving to Cologne in 2009, Gamescom has been a real success story, and we've built on that success every year.
Gamescom began with a total of 458 exhibitors in 2009; last year‘s exhibitor figures were at 703. And the number of trade visitors has also increased year-on-year. In 2009, a total of 17,326 trade visitors used Gamescom as a business platform; by 2014, that number had risen to 31,500. Last year, a total of 335,500 visitors (including consumers) came to Gamescom, thereby confirming the fair's status as the leading European business platform and the world's biggest event for the games industry.
Gamescom has ten per cent more floor space this year. What is the extra room allowing you to do?
Due to the growing demand for exhibition space, the ‘biggest playground in the world' will span 180,000 square metres this year.An increase of exhibition space by 16,000 square metres compared to the previous year.
Both exhibition areas of Gamescom are being increased. The entertainment area is being expanded to include Hall 5.1. This means that the exhibition space of the entertainment area will be around 12,000 square metres larger.
The business area, which was formerly accommodated in Halls 4 and 5, is relocating to Halls 2, 3.2 and 4, whereby both floors of Halls 2 and 4 will be open. This means that the exhibition space in the business area is being expanded by a further 4,000 square metres.
The new hall layout leads to more efficient routes for the trade visitors. Up until now, there was one main corridor between both areas. This was located on the well-frequented central boulevard. In addition to this familiar corridor, in future there is going to be a second corridor, from the Piazza in the passage between Halls 3 and 4.
Furthermore, the West Entrance, which had already been used as the trade visitors' entrance in the past, is now positioned closer to the heart of the business area. Additional catering and lounge areas with entertainment value are intended to enhance the quality of stay.
What can we expect from the show this year?
All the indications for a successful Gamescom 2015 are very positive.
Many renowned companies from all sectors of the games industry have already taken advantage of the first application stage to register. In addition, the line-up will include eSports presentations from Wargaming and Turtle Entertainment, among others.
GAME Bundesverband (German Association for Games, Art, Media and Entertainment), Gaya, Marketpoint, Mifcom, Nvidia and Roccat will be using Gamescom 2015 as a business platform as well as a venue to showcase their new products.
Around 90 per cent of the planned gross exhibition space is now booked up. We are expecting a total of over 700 exhibitors from more than 40 countries.
Due to the strong participation by exhibitors and the very positive booking status, we can assume that Gamescom visitors will once again be treated to spectacular new products and concepts and exceptional product presentations. Gaming fans from all over the world will have the opportunity to test the industry's new products first-hand. Gamescom also offers the trade audience the world's largest business area for interactive entertainment software.
"At this year's Gamescom we are
expecting over 700 exhibitors
from more than 40 countries."
Tim Endres, Koelnmesse
Sony isn't holding a media briefing at Gamescom, instead moving its press conference to Paris Games Week. How do you think this will impact the show?
Gamescom has established itself as a fixed part of the industry and its persuasive unique concept means it's the only one of its kind in the world.
Of course, we accept Sony's decision not to hold an international press conference at Gamescom this year. This is because E3 and Gamescom are scheduled so close together. The organisation of Gamescom is decided jointly together with numerous committees, this also applies for the venue date.
The key factor taken into account when planning the venue date of Gamescom is when the highest possible amount of attention can be achieved. A venue date during the summer holidays in Germany and the majority of the European countries enables many visitors to attend Gamescom and is thus in line with the aim of attracting the highest possible amount of attention
Regarding the presence of Sony with a stand at Gamescom 2015, close negotiations are currently being held with Sony. In-line with previous years, Sony has reserved the corresponding amount of space.
Augmented and virtual reality headsets are finally coming consumers soon. What presence will this new tech have at Gamescom?
Generally speaking, Gamescom is a platform for new products and concepts and is thus used as a showcase for trends by the games industry. It can be assumed therefore that these trends will be showcased at Gamescom.
Precisely how and in what form VR and AR will be presented at the fair remains to be seen
and even we will have to wait until the exhibitors reveal their line-ups, so we are equally excited to see just what manifestation of VR and AR will be presented at Gamescom.
How are you attracting new visitors to the show?
One of the goals is to approach new attendees and target groups using a variety of activities.
One element is the identification and an even more targeted approach of top trade buyers
from trading companies across the whole of Europe. We are also pursuing this goal for Gamescom 2015.
In addition, we are presenting Gamescom as part of our international roadshow to those markets identified as important by our exhibitors.
Consistently important countries within Europe, the US, China and Korea, as well as important growth markets such as Brazil, are included in our ongoing internationalisation strategy.
Last year's Gamescom saw a slight decrease in attendance. Is this a concern?
No, definitely not. For Gamescom 2015, we are once again expecting a high number of visitors.
Ticket sales are healthy. As of mid-May we were sold out for Saturday private visitors.
In general, the total number of visitors alone is not important. The quality of visitors and their quality of stay also plays a prominent role.