CASE HISTORY AND SAMPLE CLIPS
The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the largest annual gathering of professional video game developers, focusing on learning, inspiration, and networking. The event includes an expo, awards shows and a variety of tutorials, lectures, and roundtables by industry professionals on game-related topics covering programming, design, audio, production, business and management, and visual arts.
When CMP (now United Media) approached The Bohle Company to help grow attendance for the show though better media coverage and industry buzz, the 13 year old conference was perceived to be a “geek event” for programmers; only about 2,000 developers and a handful of hardcore enthusiast media attended.
• Create new positioning for the conference as “the place where you can see the games that will be hot in two years”
• Work with the producers of the show to promote the keynote speakers, expanded conference content and the various award programs
• Emphasize the health and growth of the game industry, its expansion from a niche market of male gamers into a main stream consumer product category
• Establish the conference director of the show as an expert on game industry economics and business trends, year round
• Take the conference director on the road each fall to meet face-to-face with national media to brief them on what could be learned at the next conference. Ie, why they needed to attend
• Isolate story angles for each important consumer, national news and business writers; feed them ideas ahead and when they arrived at the show
• Over the 6 years we handled GDC in its formative years, media attendance grew from under 10 reporters to more than 200 reporters, including Time, Newsweek, Wire, New York Times, AP, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC Nightly News, Knight Ritter papers, the Gannett News Service, dozens of daily newspapers and all local TV crews and the conference became the must attend event for the industry
• Conference attendance grew from 2,000 to 15,000 annually
• The exhibition hall became a major profit center
• The GDC became the flagship and most profitable conference of more than 10 shows owned by its parent, Think Media