You might be forgiven if you haven’t (yet) heard of the gaming editorial website, SideQuesting, but if you’ve attended E3 in recent years, there’s a much better chance chance you’ve heard of the “Big E3 2014 Party List”. This list has been building momentum over the last couple years, and as we at Events for Gamers love events and gaming, we had to dig a little deeper and find out more about SideQuesting and their up-and-coming party list for E3.
Events for Gamers: Dalibor, tell us about the SideQuesting site and what got you started on it — and more specifically, what motivated you to start building party and event lists for game events?
Dalibor Dimovski: Building SideQuesting was an interesting endeavor. I’d created and hosted websites across different industries and genres since 2001. I had written extensively about the automotive industry and my local community, and having always been a gamer I felt it was natural to jump into doing the same for my favorite hobby. As a fledgling games writer, SideQuesting became a spot for those interested in the industry to help improve their skillsets by sharing their written work, getting critiqued by the rest of the staff, and building our individual exposures.
I had also been involved in a lot of event promotion in the past, building lists for events, promotional materials, etc. When promoters began contacting us with invitations to events at PAX and E3, we decided to bring all that information together into one list and provide information to our readers. More than anything else, it was for us to keep track of what we had been planning on attending. It’s grown from there, considerably. We’re not even the first list — I know there have been E3 party lists to some extent as far back as the late 90s and there are plenty of others now as well — but we’ve somehow become one of the primary locations for the concept.
E4G: Which events do you current build party and event lists for, and which would you like to build lists for in the future?
Dimovski: Our first list was for E3, around 2011. We’ve added PAX and PAX East since then. GDC would be a natural fit. We don’t want to go too far beyond that, as we’re really only looking to build lists for industry events that we attend ourselves.
E4G: How many parties or events are usually sent to you with the idea in mind to be included in the list, versus the percentage that are usually discovered by your visitors or you and your staff?
Dimovski: I’d say that around 25-30% of parties & events are sent to us specifically to be placed on the list. The rest are found by scouring the web daily or through readers and Twitter.
E4G: Have you ever upset a marketer or promoter because of a party on your list they didn’t want included? If so, What did you learn from such an experience?
Dimovski: I wouldn’t say we’ve ever upset anyone, really. Some events don’t mention privacy when they’re first posted, so that makes it difficult to know which ones are and aren’t interested in being listed. It’s on us to understand when to draw the line on what to post. The last thing we want to happen is for a swarm of fans trying to attend a private event and creating chaos. This year we’ve taken a much more stringent stance on not posting private parties, going to the length of taking events off of our list if needed. It’s self-editing, more than anything else.
E4G: What can people expect to see from SideQuesting in the future, both as a site and as a go-to list for after-hours events in the game industry?
Dimovski: We’re going to continue helping young writers develop their talents, as many of our alumni have gone on to full time gigs at some of the largest outlets. That includes not only writing but also understanding of other aspects of content creation: video and social media, web development, and visuals. That includes creating things like the event lists, if needed. We’re going to be rolling out a much more web-friendly version of the website soon, which should make viewing and interacting with everything much easier.
E4G: Do you hope to be involved in creating or promoting a game industry event at some point?
Dimovski: We’ve already hosted a few small events and gatherings in the past, but our hope is to definitely create something again in the future.
E4G: Lastly, what is your overall view of E3 and its parties this year? Which E3 event are you most looking forward to attending?
Dimovski: I’m looking forward to E3. With the latest generation of consoles now here, this is going to be the first year to really see what they can do. At the same time, the industry is still in a recession, at least for dedicated gaming hardware. That probably explains why there aren’t as many huge events this year as their have been in years past. That being said, perhaps my age is starting to show when I say that I prefer smaller, more intimate events where I can talk to others and unwind rather than have loud, thumping music in my ears. That means I’m getting old, right? I’m getting old. 🙁
Speaking for myself, me too, Dalibor, It’s a sign we’ve walked the walk, not just talked the talk! Keep on checking the SideQuesting E3 party list for more last minute events, as E3 gets underway next week!