The almighty E3 Expo is upon us. Here are some pro-tips for the lucky few who get to attend the most important game industry trade show in the world:
1. Write everything down
Make sure someone takes copious notes during interviews. Every little detail, no matter how small, must be on paper. It will allow you not only to build a body of knowledge on each journalist (personal interests, beats) but also make following up after each meeting an easier task.
2. Have all your assets (trailers, screens, fact sheets) in a FTP server
DVD-ROMs are so 2002. The best way to give the press all those assets you’ve spent the last two months working non-stop on is an FTP server. On one end, some journalists are now taking tablets or netbooks without optical drives to meetings. At the same time, you can bet your golden coins that their hotel has high-speed broadband, more than fast enough for a few hundred megabytes.
3. Invest in power bars and good ol’ H2O
Trade shows are busy times for everyone involved, from clients to account executives. Avoid fainting spells with lots of water and many, many power bars. You can have them for lunch and dinner, but we usually recommend a hearty breakfast to start the day with enough gas in the tank.
4. Go to bed early
At the risk of sounding like our mothers, we must insist on at least 5 hours of sleep. Hopefully 6. Sleep deprivation will wreak havok with your memory and stamina. Now, if you add clubs and margaritas to the mix, you might approach zombiedom in a day or two, tops. Split your nights in partying and rest nights to keep things on an even-keel, so to speak.
5. If recording video interviews or podcast, scout for a quiet spot
Film school taught us that sound can make or break a picture. Your movie can look like El Mariachi and thrive, but bad sound will make it feel cheaper than straight-to-video monster features. It’s worth your time to find a quiet (or quieter) spot for podcast recordings and video interviews. The press outlet will thank you for it and people on the interwebs will actually understand what you’re saying.
6. Bring extra batteries
Both Android and iOS devices consume energy like ferocious beasts. Don’t assume that your phone will last a full day under load. If you have an Android phone, invest in spare batteries. No kidding, we have 3 of those at home, two of them always charged. If you own an iPhone, buy one of those battery extenders. There’s nothing worse than dead smartphone during a trade show.
7. Have tethering and portable wi-fi hotspots as Plan B
You can NEVER trust the following during a trade show: (1) the show floor’s Internet connection (2) your hotel’s network. That’s why you need to make sure your mobile provider offers tethering for you phone — in case there’s an “issue” with the hotel. Similarly, trade shows are known for having shoddy Internet and mobile connections. Overcrowding is to blame most of the time, but it doesn’t mean you need to suffer everyone else’s fate. Bring your own wi-fi hotspot and enjoy the peace of mind.
8. Be flexible
Things may change in the last minute. Journos can be late, the client can get stuck at a publisher meeting. Use technology to your advantage to keep the pace: text messages are great for last-minute rescheduling, for example. Go with the flow, but make sure to respond to journalists immediately. They are usually in a much tighter spot than you are.
9. Carry all your documents in your smartphone
Sorry iPhone owners, but this one is Android-specific. Use the mass storage capability of your phone to carry all your important files with you everywhere you go. We’ve been saved many times over by a spare copy of important documents. iPhone owners can rely on Dropbox but we still think local access is important. You heard it here first!
How about you? What are YOUR strategies for E3 survival?
Image credit (top): Rie H @ Flickr
Image credit: Android Central, Google
Memorial Day is near. We figured it was good opportunity to address weekends, holidays and PR, a topic often missing from the usual convos.
The First Rule: Don’t do it
The first rule is that you NEVER email/phone journalists during the weekend or immediately before and immediately after a holiday.
The Second Rule: Tricky Friday
Friday is where stories go to die. Friday afternoon might as well be Sunday — Friday morning is “dead” enough. If you’re trying to get something covered right before the weekend, you should have started pitching on Tuesday.
Anything you send out on Friday morning will show up on Friday night if some of your targets are in Europe, a clear infringement of Rule #1.
On the other hand, because Fridays are quiet, journos might have some time to talk. Assuming you have a scoop / exclusive and that you have a relationship with that journalist in particular, maybe they will be up for a quick chat. If you’re lucky.
Stick to Tuesdays and Thursdays for important announcements — why do you think there is such a thing as DVD Tuesday?
The Third Rule: Stay in Touch via Social Media
We said it on Quora that Twitter is a great place to be on Friday night. It’s true: exchanging tweets at 11:30 p.m. on a Friday night is an engrossing experience. Your personal and professional contacts are starting their weekend — they’re finally starting to relax and kick back.
Weekends and holidays are sacred, so make sure to treat them accordingly.
If you have any follow-up questions, feel free to use the Ask functionality on Tumblr or email us at leglevy ‘at’ gmail dot com.
Image credit: Carl Wycoff @ Flickr
Novy PR is new. Novy PR is different.
If you want mindless email distributions and boring press releases, look elsewhere. If you want creativity, passion, a deep understanding of game development and grit, you’re our kind of client. Together, we’ll change the world one game at a time. Together, we’re unbeatable.
Email leglevy ‘at’ gmail dot com for a battle plan.
Image credit: wheat_in_your_hair/Catherine @ Flickr
“The Mac App Store has allowed us to compete with much larger developers and reach out to a much broader audience than we could have ever imagined.
There no denying that app stores are great equalizers when compared to retail shelves. Nonetheless, what happens when customers need to choose between 300 thousand applications? Can we trace any parallels with the videogame crash of 1983?
iOS developers know how difficult it is to differentiate your game/app from hundreds of thousands of competitors — some free and most sold for $0.99.
source: the [a] list daily