Our 2023 Event Highlights
In the run-up to Pocket Gamer Connects London, six Raptors share their event highlights from the past year…
Raptor was born in an IRL vacuum, having built its initial success via the virtual world. Once international travel opened up again, I travelled the globe learning first-hand about each of the key events platforms. It’s been both exhilarating and tiring! 2023 was the year of getting Raptors out and about to games industry events here in the UK and overseas. It’s now a key directive for Raptor to be present at key events, support our client portfolio at the world’s most important games industry platforms, plus the chance to learn from the finest minds in the industry, and make new friends, thereby expanding our network.
My event of the year? Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki; it was emotional. I’m not sure I could work in biz dev and hit a couple of dozen shows a year, but the fact I don’t do that meant I could throw myself into the event and evening parties with a lot of excitement. I made one major misstep, which was securing about 7 ‘Chris [James] Dollars’ (drink tokens) at the official party, but holding on to them so long that they were no longer legal tender. Overall, it was great to spend time with our clients at ZBD, Sandsoft, SuperScale and Midjiwan, and meet loads of awesome people to catch up with next time.
The two standout events I had the great opportunity to attend this year were GDC and Gamescom. Nothing could prepare me for the scale and size of these weeklong shows. The consumer side of Gamescom in Cologne was something to behold! Meeting industry friends and clients who I'd previously only spoken with online was the highlight for me; chatting about gaming, work, life and everything in between was amazing. You get to learn so much more about the industry and the pioneering people within it when you attend in-person events. Outside of working during my weeks in San Francisco and Cologne this year, Rana and I got to go on a thrilling plane tour of The Bay Area, took in Cologne’s famous Cathedral and enjoyed a great Xsolla party from the top of KölnSKY. I’m thoroughly looking forward to attending future games industry events in 2024 with the Raptor team!
Going to trade shows and industry events has always been a blast for me! But, thanks to the pandemic, I've missed out on a few of them in the past couple of years. I love meeting new people, catching up with industry friends, and getting the scoop on what's new in the industry. In September, I attended the Mobidictum Conference and met the editorial team from Mobidictum in person after chatting with them online for so long. Plus, I got to socialise with some of our clients from Sandsoft and ZBD too. Raptor PR had this cool board where everyone could all pin their business cards, it was a great way to break the ice and make new connections. Our Founder and MD, Rana, was on a panel talking about "The audio ad advantage: Boosting your revenue," which was super insightful! Overall it was a great learning experience and fantastic way to make new friends in the industry.
Outside of work, I explored Istanbul's famous places like Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and the Galata Tower. I also checked out the Bosphorus riverfront and hit up some of the street markets where I discovered some amazing teas - so much fun!
I attended WASD X IGN and had a fantastic time. As someone who has been building industry friendships online for a few years, it was great to meet several faces in person. Speaking with developers and journalists first-hand reinforced the sheer volume of pitches they receive. While email conversations are of course essential, extended conversations over a meal gave me a great insight into the types of stories that most interest particular writers, as well as talking about hobbies such as theme parks and video games.
I visited as a nineteen-year-old, and the event had a great impact on me personally; a variety of attendees - including YouTubers I'd watched for years - complimented me on my career to date, which made me proud of the opportunities provided by Raptor. Of course, I have to mention the games on offer; Mark and I played some great titles, including Ghostrunner II!
I’m already quite fond of travelling. It’s been a part of my life since childhood, having travelled around Europe, mainly in the Mediterranean with Albania, Italy, and around Turkey. This year has already been packed full of adventures from going to America for the first time in January, exploring Los Angeles and visiting casinos in Vegas. Then in August, I made my first trip to Germany for Gamescom with a few mates.
Of all the gaming events, my favourite has to be EGX and I’m glad they made the venue change back to London in 2019. I'll never forget winning a Team Fight Tactics tournament my friend made me play in. EGX this year was the first time I attended as part of the industry and it was a pleasure being able to talk to the fantastic people there. Not to forget about Gamescom, it being an event I’ve wanted to attend for years now and finally going was amazing. Everything from the venue, atmosphere, playing games (and falling in love with Armoured Core 6: Fires of Rubicon) was eye-opening.
What's next for Raptor?
A merry band of Raptors will be visiting PGC London with our very own booth on January 22nd and 23rd. We'll have sweets, and maybe even a dinosaur or two. Will you be there? You won't want to miss it!