Conferences are really great, I’ve gotten into them in a big way this past couple of years.
The number one thing about attending events is the opportunity to meet cool people and make new friends. I REALLY enjoy this. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, so surrounding yourself with like minded people who are on the same journey is extremely refreshing.
I’ve also use conferences as a way to jump start my knowledge in a new field.
And of course to stay up to date with industry trends and best practices.
Did I mention its also great fun and a way to travel the world (in a tax deductible way). Its my preferred reason for travel these days! 🙂
Below is a list of the conferences that I’m thinking of attending in 2017.
ICE Totally Gaming
When: 7-9 Feb 2017
Why: We are in the social casino niche, so this conference is a gambling specific conference with a huge expo showcasing the latest in casino trends. Its important for us to stay up to date and meet people in this specific sub-sector of our industry. Its also more relevant, closer to us and cheaper to get to than G2E (Global Gaming Expo) which takes place in Las Vegas, the North American alternative.
When: Feb 13th-14th
Why: Prague is a great city and while the professional content can be interesting, it is a good opportunity to combine business and pleasure. Although it’ll probably be a bit cold at this time of year!
GDC (Game Developers Conference)
When: Feb 27 – Mar 3 San Francisco
Where: San Francisco
Why: I’ve been attending GDC for the past couple of years. The hidden gems are the interactive sessions which encourage attendees to get to know each other. There are also a lot of parties and its a good way to meet old and new friends in the industry. The amount of content can be overwhelming, but I personally don’t focus on the content. All the lectures can be accessed online through the GDC Vault.
Traffic and Conversion Summit 2017
When: Mar 10-12
Where: San Diego
Why: Stay up to date with the latest online marketing trends, tips and tactics. It’s also a way for me to meet entrepreneurs who aren’t directly in my space (mobile games), which can lead to an interesting cross pollination of ideas.
Art of Charm Boot Camp
Possible Dates: Feb 7-11, Feb 28 – Mar 4, Mar 7-11, Mar 21-25
Where: Los Angeles
Why: I’m really not sure what I’ll get out of this, if anything. But I believe that working on my interpersonal skills can’t hurt, so I’m interested to try this. Plus I’ve already paid, so I’m kinda committed! Its also in a small group so could be a nice way to get to know some new people (especially if I can do the business version).
Tropical Think Tank
When: Mar 10-15
Where: Cebu, Phillipines.
Why: Possibly the last event ever, if the site is to be believed. This is an intimate gathering of around 40 entrepreneurs, organized by Chris Ducker. Big focus is on peer masterminds. Its also at a resort, which is great for a bit of R&R and getting to know the other attendees in a more personal capacity.
Global Mobile Game Conference
When: Mar 15th – 17th
Why: Seems like potentially quite a big conference, focus is on games.
Mobile Gaming Forum Asia
When: 11-12th April
Where: Hong Kong
Why: We are interested in getting to know the Asian (and particularly Chinese market) a bit better for a variety of reasons. So you’ll see a few Asian conferences in this list. Haven’t really heard of people who have attended the MGF conferences, not sure how good it is.
Bluecloud Hawaii Event
When: April 13-16th
Why: I attended the first ever event last year and had a BLAST. It was up there with one the the top experiences that I’ve had in my LIFE! That’s a pretty big statement! The reason that I enjoyed it so much was that as opposed to other conferences that I’ve attended, where most of the attendees are employees of companies, EVERYONE here was an entrepreneur (or entrepreneur in the making).
Casual Connect Asia
When: 16-18 May 2017
Why: Apart from the content, Casual Connect is known for its parties. We’ve been to Casual Connect Tel Aviv (our local) a couple of times and they were decent.
When: 16 – 18 May
Why: The Global Gaming Expo is the biggest event related to land based casino. This is the Asian counterpart of the Las Vegas Expo and should be a great place to get to know the industry in Asia and potentially make some interesting connections. Given the option to go to Casual Connect in Singapore or G2E Asia, G2E Asia would win hands down.
Mobile World Congress Shanghai
When: 28th June – 1st July
Why: This is the Asian spin-off of the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona. This seems like a really big event with potential for large exposure. Could be interesting to speak at (http://www.mwcshanghai.com/conference/become-a-speaker/)
Macau Gaming Show
When: ?November 2017
Why: This is a casino related conference. G2E Asia is probably the better alternative.
Freedom Fastlane Live
When: ? December 2017
Where: ? Austin, TX
Why: I follow Ryan Moran’s podcast and I really like his focus on BIG goals. He puts together an interesting line up of speakers. Its also a special conference in that pretty much everyone attending are entrepreneurs.
ChinaJoy / ?July / Shanghai / http://www.chinajoy.net/