Twitch is a big deal, we all know that, and it’s getting bigger still. The service is increasingly looking to spread its reach beyond its staple Let’s Play and eSports streams, having introduced the IRL (in real life) category late last year. However, the biggest real-world manifestation of the service remains TwitchCon, which returns for its third outing on October 20th at a new location – Long Beach, California.
We talk to Krystal Herring, the event director of TwitchCon, about what’s new this year, and why your business should consider attending or exhibiting at the event.
What’s new for TwitchCon in 2017?
This year, our focus is on the content creator experience, while still celebrating all parts of the Twitch ecosystem. Attendees will have the opportunity to choose from more than 100 sessions, many of which will be designed to help content creators refine their craft, or they can visit the show floor to engage with the exhibitors. The line-up is still being developed and will be announced over time.
Some of the things we will be bringing back include Inclusivity City, an area designed to promote diversity and inclusivity, and our talent show. We will also be putting a bigger focus on emerging content since Twitch can continue to expand beyond gaming.
How does the event synergise with the platform?
From the very beginning, TwitchCon was designed to celebrate the culture and community of Twitch’s creators, viewers, and industry partners. It wasn’t about taking other gaming convention formats and slapping a Twitch logo on it. Instead, everything we did had to be relevant to our community, whether it was a panel, an exhibitor, a stage show, or even our parties, where the performers, like deadmau5, Darude, Steve Aoki, and T-Pain, all had Twitch channels.
TwitchCon is the Twitch platform in real life. Twitch is where people and groups representing a huge variety of interests and passions gather to watch, stream, and socialise together. From fighting games to food, speed-running to Sonic cosplay, charity drives to creative artists, and talk shows to Tekken – they all have devoted communities. And every creator and viewer has a unique story that they bring to the party. Imagine if we brought all of those groups and stories into one place to celebrate all that makes us unique, and also happens to bring us together. A place that every niche on Twitch could call their own. That’s what Twitch is. That’s what TwitchCon should be. The convention centre will be transformed into a deep dive into the people, stories, and groups that call Twitch ‘home’.
Why should a company consider exhibiting at the show?
Twitch has established itself as key destination for influencing purchasing decisions with actual data to back it up. With tens of thousands of attendees expected, a majority of which will most likely be content creators, this is the premiere event to bond with a community that is already playing a critical role in their businesses. In addition, the motivated army of influencers in attendance engages heavily with the exhibitors, sponsors, and attendees to create a massive swell of content and viewership on Twitch, providing a unique opportunity for our exhibiting partners to amplify their message in a more organic way.
What exhibitors do you have at present?
We are just starting to book, but keep an eye out for announcements closer to the show date. Based on conversations we have had, every major brand important to the Twitch community will make an effort to be there.
Are you still looking for partners or sponsors?
Yes. The TwitchCon event and sales teams have worked hard to create tailored opportunities and sponsorships that align with our community. Floor space applications have started for those looking to be a part of the expo floor. We also have a variety of sponsorships from presenting sponsors to super fun area activations, such as gaming areas, food trucks, parties and more. There is something for any company who is looking to be part of the show, or we can help craft something as well. Potential exhibitors can connect with us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is the show a useful place to better understand how Twitch can work for a brand?
TwitchCon is the perfect place for brands to interact directly with content creators and influencers. By working with Twitch, we can help ensure their presence is aligned with our community so they can maximise the opportunity. As testament, we had Repucom conduct a study last year to explore how brands at TwitchCon were considered by the community, which had amazing results. The study showed increased brand affinity, likelihood of purchase and referrals all in the 60 per cent to 70 per cent ranges, so our attendees are definitely acknowledging the folks who are investing time, money and resources to help support this show for them.
Do the workshops, sessions and panels cover the business side of Twitch, and are you still looking for speakers?
We have not released information on our tracks yet, but we will showcase an array of content from all areas of the Twitch community. We will have sessions that will be relevant to the creator, community and industry professional. We are also still accepting session submissions at www.twitch.submittable.com/submit.