Hendrik Lesser

“We will never fully go back to the old ways” – Hendrik Lesser on the European Games BizDev Gathering and the future of trade events

We caught up Hendrik Lesser, president of media partners European Games BizDev Gathering to learn more about the event, how it came about and what the future might hold for trade events. 

Why do you think there were so many events that would constantly happen for the games industry?

Over time, a lot of regional event initiatives supported by local/regional governments thought it would be a good idea to do an event. I believe though that many of these events tried to solve a challenge in a way too complicated way. The challenge being:  bringing small/startup companies together to learn and do business. Many of these efforts would have been better invested into subsidies for small companies to attend, for instance GDC, Gamescom etc. Some of them will fade away since online conferences now (to learn from each other) will not go away. There are some great focussed, and special events like Reboot Develop or others, but many other events just don’t really make a lot of sense.

From a remote control perspective, how important were all the physical events that would take place each year?

Pretty important if you need partners to succeed foremost, but also to exchange opinions, best practices, get inspired, and just have a good time with peers who share the passion for games and the games industry.

How did the alliance with MeetToMatch and Reboot come about?

The alliance is EGDF, rcp, reboot in its core. meettomatch is supporting with their system and helping wherever necessary, so they are essential as well. In the end, I thought about the challenges for us as rcp in regards to biz dev, and that quickly lead to the idea that creating this opportunity for way more people would be a win/win for everyone. Since I am also president of EGDF this came naturally, and my peers there didn’t need much convincing.

What will developers expect when they sign up for next week’s event?

Developers will be able to meet with more than 100 publishers and investors. Based on their profile, reputation, style of communication, they can expect to have great meetings to show the games they are working. Then ideally, a few weeks or months after the event, sign some deals. They get the opportunity to do this in a framework and with an easy to use matchmaking system.

Are you pleased with the response you’ve had?

I am culturally too influenced by American culture, so pleased doesn’t do this justice at all. I think it is freaking amazing! From starting 4-5 weeks ago with nothing to having roughly 400 attendees with that kind of support from associations from all over Europe and many established publishers and investors is just great. Furthermore, the significant number of matching development studios is incredible as well, so we are thrilled.

Do you think Covid-19 will have an impact on the events that we were all regularly attending and give us the chance to rethink how we organise them?

Definitely, we will never fully go back to the old ways. I expect hybrid concepts for events will happen, online and offline, more focussed physical ones and more. From that perspective, it is exciting. I attended GamesBeat, for example, the first time and enjoyed the content, which under normal circumstances, I would likely not have checked out.

MCV/Develop are an official media partner for the European Games Biz Dev Gathering, and you can register for EGBG here.

Article by Alex Boucher.

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