Following a record-breaking Gamescom 2015, MCV speaks to the event's project manager Tim Endres about what we can expect from this year's Cologne-based trade show.
This is the eighth Gamescom. How would you evaluate the show's performance so far?
Gamescom is a real success story. Since taking place in Cologne in 2009, it has been growing continuously in terms of numbers of exhibitors and visitors, as well as its size. In 2015, Gamescom ended with a record result across all key figures: around 345,000 visitors, including 33,200 trade visitors. With 806 companies from 45 countries, more exhibitors were represented than ever before. The show floor was expanded in 2015, and amounted to 193,000 square metres.
When one compares these figures to Gamescom 2009, it's a clear success: the number of exhibitors has grown 76 per cent, while trade visitor attendance has shot up 92 per cent. Worthy of special emphasis here is the above average growth in foreign attendees. 52 per cent of all trade visitors were from abroad; every second trade visitor to Gamescom comes from outside Germany. We are therefore the leading platform in Europe for the computer and video games industry.
What are your expectations for Gamescom 2016?
Interest in Gamescom has generally always been extremely high in past years. One indication of this is that, for example, in 2015 the day tickets for private visitors available for advance sale were already sold out three weeks prior to the start of Gamescom. We don't yet dare a forecast for 2016 at the present time. We generally don't make statements in advance about anticipated numbers of visitors, as the final number also still depends upon the admission of holders of afternoon tickets. We opened the Gamescom Ticket Shop, and the run on tickets hasn't let up since. We are therefore pleased that many trade visitors and gaming fans will once again be coming to Gamescom 2016.
Have you expanded the exhibition space as you did last year?
In 2015 we increased the size of the show floor by 14 per cent, to 193,000 square metres. This was necessary, as Gamescom is attracting more exhibitors and existing exhibitors have expanded their presence.
The expansion was organised in such a way that we will be able to address the requirements of existing and future exhibitors in the medium term. The area will thus remain at 193,000 square metres in 2016.
"We are aiming for a new record. We expect a total of well over 800 exhibitors from around 40 countries."
Tim Endres, Koelnmesse
Last year you expanded the business halls. What was the reception like to this?
We expanded the business halls by 4,000 square metres. That was a seven per cent increase on 2014. The reception from trade visitors and exhibitors was very positive. The relocation of the business area to Halls 2, 3.2 and 4, meant improved accessibility through the west entrance. The additional lounge areas resulting from the relocation of the business area also received a great response from trade visitors.
What can attendees expect from this year's Gamescom?
Year after year we work with our partners to make Gamescom even more attractive. In addition to a strong event programme, the many new products exhibitors are showing will attract gaming fans from all over the world. And here, starting with the early bird promotion on tickets, we can say that gaming fans from around the world, and of course the trade visitors, can once again look forward to top brands in Cologne.
We are on course for success and are aiming for a new record. We expect a total of well over 800 exhibitors from around 40 countries.
Due to strong participation from exhibitors and the number of bookings we have had, we can assume that Gamescom visitors will once again be treated to spectacular new products and concepts and exceptional product presentations. Attendees from around the world will then have the opportunity to try out the industry's new products live for the first time.
Gamescom also offers the trade audience Europe's leading business area for games. We are also excited to see what the exhibitors will present at Gamescom 2016. VR will certainly be one area of focus.