Gamescom 2017 is around the corner, and as such there are also two of our companies events we are involved in: devcom, the new successor to GDC Europe, including Respawn – Gathering of Game Developers (whereas I´ve been heading the program since the 2013, now in it´s 5th edition this year). As usual at our international conferences I have been in charge with the program planning, speaker selection and international partnerships. In case of devcom this comes with an extra-layer of involved parties and support systems, like the program- and strategic advisory board, brand owners and
more – which is normal when kicking-off a new brand connected to a huge event as gamescom and acting as an event agency. This means the program planning was happening within a predefined framework, concept and umbrella brand for the whole conference-structure of devcom, the devcom developer conference and also Respawn – Gathering of game developers.
At devcom itself I´ve been sharing the responsibility for the program with Frank Sliwka, head of devcom and external project lead for Aruba Events, international traveller and based out of Singapore for this project. Frank has a longstanding history in trade fairs and events, for example he has been involved in building and heading Games Convention in Leipzig (the predecessor to gamescom) and also has been heading GDC Europe until some 5 years ago, and so he brought his huge experience on large scale operations into the project to lead the whole endeavour.
Also on the program team is my good friend André Bernhardt again, Indie Advisor and freelance external program co-ordinator, with whom I´ve been curating many Indie Expo projects at Aruba during the recent 5 years, be it at Quo Vadis or be it at Respawn – Gathering of Game Developers.
Last but not least aboard again is of course the backbone of our program operations Martine Schumacher, Speaker Manager and Program Assistant, who is collecting all speaker details, organising the tech setups of our Calls (not limited to) and is in general the point of contact for almost everything except content for our speakers, though she is still studying at the University in Paderborn, soon TBA bachelor.
Speaking of students doing sizeable amounts of the work: Martine was also supported by Jay Zhao, who is usually assisting me on the international partnerships (which she also did), this time also supporting Martine on getting all session details ready and in shape online! Thx!
Since I want to focus on the structure of the program of devcom and Respawn in this article, I won´t go into full details on the whole team, but please give an applause also to my super enduring and awesome colleagues on all of our gamescom projects – not to forget to mention also our operations of the Gamescom Congress many of us are also involved with- : Lena Alter,Bilge Balci, Cristina Lamyon, Jessica Hackenbroch, Christian Herfurth, Veronika Maucher, Tristan Schulze and Stephan Reichart – supported by the external forces from Carsten Hoppe, Gunnar Lott, Jennifer Killham and many more. Thank you all for being awesome!
Context: Advisory Boards
Regarding content selection we have been supported tremendously by our Program Advisory Board, consisting of many renowned industry professional we´ve had the pleasure to work with over the recent years. The Program advisory board preselected all talks which came through the call for proposals and helped as well in reaching out to individual speakers to make the best program possible for the inauguration of devcom (including also many of the talks at Respawn).
Last, but definitely not least, we were happy to work within the general scope and concept of devcom as lined out by Frank Sliwka as advisor and project lead and our Managing Directors Stephan Reichart & Hans Ippisch. They were also part of and working in close exchange with the Strategic Advisory Board of devcom, consisting of representants of (in alphabetical order) Aruba Events, BIU, Computec, International Business Media and Koelnmesse.
If you are interested in the setup and strategy please find interviews with the project team here (in German) and, more recently here (in English).
So, devcom is only some days away from now, and it was a tough ride since January, especially since there wasn´t only devcom, but also our usually biggest event of the year: Quo Vadis, during gamesweek Berlin. Nevertheless I´m really proud what we achieved -given time, predefined concept and resources – so right now I´m very grateful for everybody who helped us in going on stage, in sponsoring us and especially for our super-endurable team. So look forward to a great line-up and an ever-crowded week of gamescom, devcom, Respawn, and yes, also the 20th edition of evoke!
Here is the timetable of Evoke:
And here is the program of devcom (including Respawn):