Following year seven of one of the most resilient game industry conferences, LOGIN 2013 –which Events for Gamers attended — we interviewed the conference’s owner and director, Seda Balci.
We discuss her views about the success of the conference, the foundation that led to this year’s event and where this conference might be going in the next year.
Events for Gamers: Seda, thank you for taking time to share your thoughts with Events for Gamers about the 2013 LOGIN Conference and more. For those who aren’t familiar with your background, could you share with us what brought you into the events and games industry?
Seda Balci: My event management background goes back to my high school years. It started with volunteering at big events and got more professional with hosting the May Festival of my college for 4 years. Then started hosting regular happy hours and pirate cruises and finally LOGIN Conference. I am just doing what I am passionate about. I grew up playing video games. When my passion and video games combined I think that is how I ended up at LOGIN Conference.
E4G: Overall how well do you feel LOGIN 2013 went this year? What were the bars you set for LOGIN 2013’s success, and do you feel you met and surpassed them?
Seda: I am getting great feedback from everyone. Venue, speaker list, speaking topics had bigger impact on the audience compared to last year. We did spend long hours choosing the best among all awesome proposals we got and I am very happy with the results. You learn something all the time. There is no limit learning in this business. Every year it will be better and better.
E4G: Was organizing LOGIN 2013 more of a challenge, or easier, in its second year in San Francisco — at a new venue?
Seda: The first year was the biggest challenge. Moving LOGIN from Seattle to San Francisco and announcing the owner change and new location took more time and put more pressure. I can say this year was less challenging. I like new venues and I like surprises. We might end up in a surprising venue in San Francisco next year!
E4G: What were the driving themes and topics you aimed for at LOGIN 2013?
Seda: We covered many topics this year. I did not choose a specific theme actually. I can say we covered mostly mobile subjects this year but we also had online gaming, data security, even gadgets. I like variety. Everyone who attended found something interesting for them and enjoyed a lot. That was the plan.
E4G: If you could do LOGIN 2013 over again with the same venues, speakers and themes, what aspects of the conference would you change?
Seda: I would not change anything. I loved what we had and 100% happy and satisfied with the results. It is time get ready for 2014’s LOGIN.
E4G: You have a lot of putting together organizing parties and cruises before you organized LOGIN, largely for the game industry among other tech sectors. What have you learned from organizing parties that’s helped you in your second year of organizing LOGIN?
Seda: I learned many important lessons. I don’t know if pages of notes would cover everything I’ve learned so far . I had the chance to meet great event organizers who gave me precious feedback and showed me the ropes. I also met industry leaders who I had great discussions on what’s going on in the industry nowadays, insider notes, what is hot in the industry and had great notes on what topics people would like to listen to or what they definitely don’t want to hear about it. Also having all these events built great friendships, which I am very grateful for.
E4G: San Francisco is blessed, or burdened (depending on your point of view), with an abundance of conferences and summits in social, mobile, the cloud and games in general. What do you feel distinguishes LOGIN overall as a brand from the many other events in the area?
Seda: I know, right? It is a little tough not getting lost between the big ones. Might be better having a little less in San Francisco as a conference owner of course, but we are in the heart of technology and gaming here… And San Francisco is lovely, so having many of them is normal. I actually like having many here in San Francisco sometimes. There are many greatly hosted and planned ones and I make sure I don’t miss them. What I believe is, if you have good content, doesn’t matter when or where you are hosting your event, or how many other conferences or events are going on, you’ll still have the perfect audience all the time.
E4G: I understand LOGIN 2014 is already being planned for next year. Can you share any of the plans you might have for LOGIN 2014?
Seda: It is in progress already. It was in progress while hosting 2013 LOGIN. For now, I can only say I like surprises as I mentioned earlier, so there will be surprises. San Francisco will have another successful LOGIN 2014. Stay tuned
E4G: Lastly, on the lighter side, what is your favorite part of planning a conference or an event?
Seda: I have many favorite parts actually. I like the brainstorming sessions with the speakers, which is a lot of fun. I am so lucky I had the best speakers in the world. Learned a lot from them as well I also like doing the actual design of the conference, from floor plan to agenda, from announcement timing to after parties.
It is a lot of fun and it makes you happy at the end for sure — as long as you love what you do, like I do.
E4G: Thank you, Seda. Events for Gamers looks forward to finding out more what you have planned for LOGIN 2014!