We asked a host of industry experts for their advice on where to go and how to organise your time

Guide to GDC 2014: How to get the most out of the event

"Hotel lobbies are great for proper sit-downs, but for quick-and-dirty meetings and demos, sitting down in halls and corridors of Moscone can’t be matched."
David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies

"Spend some time on the show floor. Pick out the booths of interest in a first pass then do another pass and make sure you talk to the people on the booth since it’s easy to pass by an innovation which isn’t obvious from the booth display.

"Whatever discipline or interest group you’re from, whatever tools you use, do your best to find the related user groups or events and try to get along."
Philip Elderfield, Product Manager, Vicon

"Make sure you schedule meetings well in advance of the conference. Consider using GDC as the venue to launch new products and build interest towards release during the show. We’re looking forward to receiving feedback from our users about the new products we’re launching at the show."
Stefano Corazza, CEO, Mixamo

"Meet new people, see new vendors, new technology, and new presentations. Don’t just meet with past friends or current vendors because these meetings are often untimely and do not progress relationships. Go to new events and branch out.

"Also bring mailing labels so that you can jot down notes from your conversations with people you meet. You can then stick them to new business cards or flyers – with so many people to see, it’s hard to remember every conversation you have."
Pete Busch, Vice President of Business Development, Faceware Technologies

"Don’t just ‘wing it’. GDC is full of amazing distractions that make you forget why you’re there.

"Check the sessions and the exhibits you really want to see, and make a list of the most important ones. There is enough break time between sessions to see all the cool stuff, it just requires planning.

"Hydrate and pack snacks. You aren’t Superman or Wonder Woman, so take care of yourself. Lines get extra long at anything remotely close to the Moscone Center, and you don’t want to waste time instead of being at the show. And plan ahead, party animals."
Wesley Adams, Marketing Specialist, Autodesk

"Really boil down why you are going and what you want to get out of GDC – what is your success criteria? For example, we are really looking forward to seeing reactions to ACR Drift and showing the Chinese version of Auto Club Revolution, the first western racing game to be released in China.

"Ideally book about 60 per cent of your meetings, and leave about 40 per cent free for people you don’t know. It is the people you don’t know who will expand your business. Try to secure a meeting room in a hotel or a meeting room on a stand so people know where to come to find you.

"And the more you smell, the less you sell – really try not to overdo it on the beer and garlic front."
Darren Jobling, CEO, Eutechnyx

"The W hotel is a good spot to meet, but quite busy during GDC.

"The Museum of Modern Art has a great outside area on the street and right in a sunny spot – brilliant for catching up with people over a beer or a wine, as well as catching up on those emails.

"The Samovar Tea Lounge is also a great place for good food and, of course, a good cup of tea. Or coffee, if it’s been that kind of day."
Jude Ower, CEO, Playmob

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