About Gamelab and networking
As I already mentioned in my previous post, we are (I am) attending Gamelab this week. This event is something I booked long time ago. Now, it might be not the best moment, as we are in a very critical phase. Finishing our website, our logo is still to be finished (you have some clues in this web), we have a speech next week presenting our start up project. We have to prepare the presentation and to practice it (practice makes perfect). We are still looking for someone to help us with the social network and we have to create hundred of concepts, 3D and props this month.
But, hey, this is one in a million opportunity for us to be in the middle of the greatest game developers. Well, not literally in the middle, but with them. Therefore, we would be able to learn from the big ones. This is something I did last year at the Gamescom and Devcom in Köln (Germany). Unfortunately this year, due to budget and agenda restriction, we are not visiting the Gamescom. Therefore, Barcelona Gamelab seems to be a great opportunity. High quality time, near enough and accesible for us. After this event, we are focusing in the production and kickstarter preparation. There is still 7 months for it, but times runs so fast.
So, now I would like to tell you how I have been preparing GAMELAB. There are two main axes for me: Indie Gamedev Conferences and networking.
I am focused in conferences related to Indie developpers. For sure I will assist to some mainstream and AAA ones, but I want to know how indies are doing. This is our fight. My tips for the event (globally speaking), and for the conferences are the following:
- Plan the conferences you think are the best ones (obvious) but don’t try to attend to everything.
- Plan some time to rest, and to chat around.
- Check speakers professional profiles. Follow them on twitter, instagram, etc.
- Arrive the day before to the city.
- Drink a good and dark coffee in he morning. It’s going to be a long week
- Arrive early in the morning. It is going to be fun, but it is still work. So the sooner the better. Get your acreditation and be ready.
- Drink another good coffee. Coffee is my favourite fuel.
- Take notes in an electronic format (Ipad). You will lose papers or notebooks. (at least I will)
- Ask questions. You have a great opportunity to talk to key players in the industry. And you can (you should) generate interesting debate about your question. Never be afraid about asking.
We have received many advices about practical and useful networking and I would like to share with you what I think are the most important to us:
- Have always business cards ready. This is something I always tell my colleagues. Many young people think this is not for them, as social network work somehow for the same purpose. But, hey, how do you expect them (me) to remind your name when you meet dozens of people at the same event. This has represented a pitfall for me this time. I had hundred of them, but guess what. We changed the company name few weeks ago and I forgot to order them. I will be telling you about the name change in a new post.
- Smile when talking to people. It’s not that hard and people like it. :-))
- Be nice and not aggressive when approaching someone. Tell them your name, shake hands and ask about him/her interest in the event.
- Call people by their name. Use it when starting a phrase. It will help you remember them. And you will please your listener. We love hearing our own name. They say it’s our favorite sound.
- Write some key information on people’s business card if possible. Don’t do it during the chat, but just after. I read somewhere that you shouldn’t do this but believe me, it is really practical when you go back home. If you do well, you will have useful information.
- Don’t talk too much about yourself. You better ask. Be interested in what other people do. Try to find out how you could help them. This tip is valid for all kind of networking. Specially in the internet.
- Say thank you. Always be polite. It’s free and it pays.
- If you find someone specially interesting, try to fix a date. Don’t stay on things like “I will call you”, “Let’s keep in touch”. Take out your agenda and propose a date. It could be in three months time, but at least it will be fixed.
What about the pitch?
You might be missing some points related about selling our game. Where is the popular elevator pitch? The thing is, we don’t want to say too much about our game, Ilekun, yet. Because there are still many open things. So I will be ready to explain the idea, but I am not doing the pitch itself. I hope you want to know more about it. So you can follow us in twittter and instagram and visit this blog regularly. At the end of the week, I will be telling you in a new post how well my tips worked for me 😉