In continuing to undertake activities as part of its 2018 theme of business development, UDEN took a booth at Game Connection Europe in Paris, France at the end of October. The goal was to raise the profile of Utah as a place where quality digital entertainment was created and to introduce Utah's talented creators of entertainment content and technology to a global audience, with the hope of creating new opportunities for everyone.
Were we successful? Well, in terms of raising the profile, the phrase we heard most was “You do that in Utah?”, second only to “Where is Utah?”. As for business opportunities, time will tell how much was created (the show only ended two days ago at the time of writing) — but there was a lot of interest.
The UDEN booth looked professional and was supported by a video showreel running at the booth as well as a shorter version running in rotation at monitors across the entire show floor — I have to say, that video was what got us most attention, it was highly visible.
We received a lot of positive feedback about our digital eBrochure - a business card that contained a 32Gb thumb-drive, which contained a searchable directory, links and the digital materials provided to us by UDEN members. We handed out most of the 50 we had prepared.
While we promoted the entire sector of digital entertainment in Utah, at the show we were featuring the work submitted by UDEN members who completed an application beforehand, as well as that of our generous sponsors, GrowTix, WildWorks, Spark XR and the Utah Film Commission.
About half of the three days was spent in meetings arranged prior to the event, with the other half in impromptu meetings where people dropped by the booth because they had seen the video, or where we had dropped by on other exhibitors’ booths. I also created a few short video blogs each day and shared these on social media (see links below).
The organizers told me they expected more than 3,000 attendees at the show. Mostly the other exhibitors were game developers, although there were service companies offering VFX, audio, localization, QA and middleware technologies too. A regular theme you will have heard at UDEN meetings is that community building and collaboration is the way to build economic success — and there were many other UDEN-like groups at the show, including trade groups from France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Finland, among others.
We always said this would be an experiment to see how useful it would be for our members. I believe these are absolutely the kind of things we have to do for our sector to succeed and am already being asked when and where for our next Trade Mission. Well, that’s up to UDEN members. This event took a lot of preparation, lost money and was only possible thanks to our generous sponsors. If we want to do more Trade Missions to other events, we need UDEN members to be prepared to make financial and time contributions. So - what do YOU think? Please let us know.