The inaugural Gamescom this August is proving to be an ambitious event, supported by everyone who is anyone in the industry – and open to all. But don’t just take our word for it. Here, Oliver Kuhrt of organiser Koelnmesse runs through the plans for the event…
In less than 50 days, Cologne’s trade fair centre Koelnmesse will be celebrating the world of interactive entertainment. A dazzling display awaits gamers, fans and families – both on the trade fair grounds and in the city.
Gamescom features the stars of a successful trade fair: namely, the exhibiting companies and partners of Gamescom. The industry’s new leading trade fair has already managed to bring all of the significant players on board. With Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony, the three platform owners are at the top of the list of exhibitors. In addition to other companies affiliated with our association partner the German Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software (the BIU), the industry’s entire value chain – from developers to publishers to major retail partners – will be completely represented in Cologne. Across 120,000 square metres of exhibition space, visitors to Gamescom will see the games industry’s entire thematic spectrum in Cologne – including PC and video games, as well as online and offline games.
A SHOW FOR THE TRADE…
It is two months before the start of the trade fair and we have currently received over 300 registrations from exhibitors.
I cannot yet predict the final number of companies that will be participating in the premiere of Gamescom on August 19th. However, one thing is already clear: Gamescom will quickly be the international event it was conceived to be.
The share of foreign companies participating in Gamescom is now already at around 40 per cent. International companies from 25 countries will be exhibiting. Major industry players from the USA, Canada, France, Great Britain, Japan, China and even Cyprus and Israel will be there.
Six individual countries – namely Canada, France, Italy, Taiwan, Thailand and the Netherlands, plus countries of Scandinavia together – will even be using pavilions to present themselves to their visitors and partners.
This high degree of internationalism two months before the start of the trade fair is proof that Cologne’s trade fair centre offers the ideal prerequisites for providing international momentum.
Prior to the trade show, trade visitors and retail partners can comfortably book their travel and accommodation online via Koelnmesse Service. Thanks to being optimally connected to European transportation routes and the Cologne/Bonn, Dsseldorf and Frankfurt airports, travelling to Cologne is quick and simple. It is even possible to travel directly to Cologne from abroad without changing planes or trains. We have almost 70 partner hotels, guaranteeing sufficient hotel capacities during the event.
On location in Cologne, the Business Centre – with its own entrance, direct access and parking spaces – also provides the ideal prerequisites for ‘business at its best’.
Exhibitors clearly agree: the high demand for exhibition space proves that this concept is successful. To meet the demand, we have opened two additional hall levels, proving the importance that the industry and retail partners are already assigning to Gamescom as a platform to do business.
…AND FOR CONSUMERS
For consumer action, events, entertainment and edutainment await them across 80,000 square metres of exhibition space. The spectacle will be immense both indoors and out.
With exhibitors like Nintendo, Sega, Namco Bandai, Bigben Interactive, Hama, Koch Media, Konami, Sony, Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Square Enix and Take Two – plus other e-sports, hardware and other online gaming firms like GOA, NcSoft and Funcom – gamers will find offers to suit them in every hall. Everyone from more casual to intensive gamers will find something that interests them. And in order to give visitors as much playing time as possible, we have also come up with so-called ‘gaming zones’ where it is possible to play non-stop.
In addition to the numerous highlights and innovations from exhibitors, Gamescom will become an experience for fans and families in the interactive world thanks to a spectacular supporting programme on the fairgrounds. These events include a case-modding championship, a world record attempt in cosplay, as well as sport and show highlights. And anyone who needs a break from all this entertainment can relax at the Gamescom beach in the outdoor area we have designed.
COMPETENCE AND COLLABORATION
One of the major topics being emphasised at Gamescom is, of course, the topic of youth protection in all its many facets. The ‘gamesCompetence’ area at the event is especially devoted to this issue.
When it comes to interactive media and properly dealing with it, young people and parents as well as educators and politics find themselves in a complex area of tension. As part of Gamescom, ‘gamesCompetence’ brings together the various target groups, gives them an opportunity to speak and invites them into the exhibition halls in special theme and dialogue areas.
August 20th is the highlight of gamesCompetence – on this day in Koelnmesse’s Congress Centre North we will run a special conference organised by the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, the city of Cologne, the Media Authority of NRW and the BIU. It is free of charge and open to everyone without registration. Through keynote speeches and presentations, it deals with all relevant aspects of modern computer gaming culture. The highlight will certainly be the political summit talk.
Gamescom would not have come about without one thing: such teamwork amongst the games industry. Which makes our city-wide games festival all the more special.
While Koelnmesse will be celebrating games from August 19th to 23rd, the wider Gamescom Festival will excite the dynamically growing target group of casual gamers plus core gamers.
We will begin this celebration with a performance by Die Toten Hosen, currently Germany’s most successful live band. This open-air concert is a genuine headline act for the festival’s opening.
In order to make sure fans can get from one place to the next quickly and easily, the festival organisers have decided to have a ‘festival of short distances’; so all the major outdoor events will take place in direct proximity to the exhibition, making it a busy and convenient show.
The GamescomCamp – the camping location for Gamescom – is nearby, and for the GameHotel event Microsoft is also inviting people to the roof of their headquarters on the other side of the Rhine. There are many other events and musical acts planned, too.
In all, I believe that it is clear that the trade fair centre of Colgone is now more than ready for the premiere of Gamescom – which will certainly become the industry’s new leading trade fair. Thanks to interesting topics, colourful images and emotions, Gamescom promises to be a truly dazzling event for both the public and media alike. I look forward to you being our guest in Cologne in August.