[From the industry] Player1 Events appoints Neil Gaisford as new CEO

This is a press release posted in addition to our usual editorial content.

Neil Gaisford takes up the Chief Executive Officer’s role with Player1 Events (P1E) on August 15, just in time to experience his first Insomnia Gaming Festival, i69 at Birmingham’s NEC from August 26-29.

The incoming CEO has an impressive CV in the events space, with 20 years at Clarion Events; the last six of which were spent leading the retail technology, furniture, lifestyle and design divisions in the UK and China as managing director.
Neil Gaisford: “Esports and video gaming present a truly exciting opportunity for the live events space, so when I heard about the opportunity to join Player1 I jumped at the chance.

“What struck me most was the ambition and passion from the Player1 leadership team. Together with Craig’s deep sector knowledge, Supernova’s growing IP — and my experience in building leading events — we are excited about where we can take Insomnia and how we launch to new audiences beyond the UK.”

Insomnia is the UK’s most influential gaming event, and I’m confident that with this outstanding and experienced team we can continue to expand the event to greater highs and beyond, creating incredible new live gaming experiences and esports tournaments for fans and players everywhere.”

Craig Fletcher’s ascension to Executive Chairman will afford him a dual role: one where he’s able to spend more time reengaging with a community he’s known ever since founding the Insomnia Festivals and P1E predecessor, Multiplay. But also one that allows him greater focus on corporate development and solving for tomorrow. Craig also continues to work closely with Supernova — a private equity firm focused on discovering and developing the untapped potential of independent game studios and IPs across the globe.

Craig Fletcher: “When I joined Supernova, it was to save Insomnia for a community that calls it home. It means so much for those attending to come together, surrounded by like-minded people. Now that we have Player1 and Insomnia back on their feet, it’s time to bring in a big hitter with the experience to drive it to the next level. As exec chair, I’ll be focusing on helping guide the strategy, being an ambassador for the business, and the ‘keeper of the faith’ for the community. I’ll be on the lookout for wider opportunities to bring gamers together and share our passion for play.

“I’m really looking forward to working closely with Neil and, with his tremendous experience, taking the events to new heights and many new locations. With the first event since COVID back in April being a relaunch, i69 is set to really showcase us as being back and firing on all cylinders.”

Alongside our long-standing partnerships with the likes of Overclockers, Sneak Energy and Endpoint Esports, this year we’ll be welcoming Intel to the Insomnia Gaming Festival Expo; bringing with them a whole host of PC gaming technology — powering mini-tournaments, fastest lap competitions, the hottest games, and more.
i69 sees the return of the Creator Tavern, after a successful launch at i68. In a similar way to ‘finally going to the pub after months of Zoom calls’ i68 offered a community space for gamers to meet again (after many months of nothing but online gaming). Now i69 aims to do the same — only this time, bigger and better — accommodating all of our communities in a space where they can connect and create amazing experiences together.

We will also roll out “The Battle Royale Zone featuring Fall Guys”, a 60-seater arena for gamers to play full games of Fall Guys all in the same space; hopefully replete with some suitably creative outfits. On which note, our Cosplay Masquerade and Championship shows are now among the largest cosplay showcases in the UK.
i69 still includes our ever-popular meet & greets, with creators such as Seapeekay, Dangthatsalongname and the chaotic cast of the live D&D show Session Zero.

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