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15 Years of Events for Gamers

15 years, wow! Thank you so much, dear readers, for following Events for Gamers this long. When the site was first announced all the way back in 2008, there were only a handful of events that everyone in the industry would flock to each year. For conferences, Game Developer Conference in San Francisco (GDC) was (and still is for the most part) the main destination for B2B and networking interests. For conventions, PAX West and Gen Con were the main choices for B2C interests and at one-point E3 Expo dominated the B2B/B2C combo space. Not much else beyond those existed except for smaller niche local community gatherings.

Every year brings new events to the calendar with many surprising us in their innovativeness, while some others like E3 Expo, sadly, die off for one reason or another. There have been conferences in faraway tourist destinations around the globe, conventions that celebrate the colorful world of anime, and even board game events on cruise ships! That’s right, we’re starting to see over the last decade or so events on cruise ships. Sounds like an exciting adventure to us, so why not sign up for the next one you see in our calendar.

Even more recently since the pandemic we’ve seen hybrid and online events take hold. Granted, they existed in part before the pandemic, but the very idea had limits that are now being removed by advances in Internet technologies and software services (better webcams, faster Internet, chat services, etc.). Video conferencing software helped the most in bringing a community together in all the ways an on-site generally requires (without the sweaty smell and other side effects of being in a crowded room with thousands of other event goers).

While the unique wave of remote and hybrid events has died down quite a bit in 2023 (a trend we expect to see continue into 2024), they are not going away. There may be fewer of them overall from 2020-2022, but they are as sticky as remote work has become (disregarding mega corporations feeling insecure about remote work and forcing their teams back into the office).

How It All Started

In November 2008 we kicked off the “Game Events” forum calendar on vBulletin software. It was a clunky and buggy mess with only a few events listed (understandable as there were only a few events that existed at all back in the day), and no one visited the site but us… at least for those first few months. We didn’t care that no one visited because the entire reason it was created was sort of a selfish one – it was difficult for us to find information about events!

Websites back in 2008 didn’t make it easy to navigate from page to page without crashing the browser, causing eye strain from staring at a tiny CRT monitor, or they simply didn’t have the requisite information one was looking for. You had to dig to find what the event was all about sometimes. Even today, many event coordinators somehow don’t bother to list where the event is physically located (assuming of course it’s not a virtual event) or how much (if it’s not free) the event might cost. They will even sometimes brand the site so artsy-fartsy that they assume their genius of painting a single picture on the front page will be enough to know what the event is about. No, I don’t know what the event is about from a vague image, please post a mission statement or something more helpful!

The Name

Soon after the site got off the ground, we thought some more about the name and realized that it didn’t capture the idea that individuals were attending events as just an importance of a pillar of the site as the events themselves. After a hundred iterations later and consultation with dozens of friends, family, and game industry professionals, we settled upon the current name, Events for Gamers (or E4G for short, though we tend not to use this except in the logo). Some of the iterations for the name were “Game Conferences” (too specific to conferences), “Game Conventions” (just as specific as conferences), “Game Confs”, and many others that were either not specific enough, too specific, or didn’t quite capture a brand that Events for Gamers projects.

Its Core Purpose

At its core, Events for Gamers is about a collated game industry event calendar filled with details of upcoming conferences, conventions, festivals, parties, tournaments, and all sorts of peripheral or support related activities in the computer entertainment industry. Anyone can visit the site to search for information about a specific event they are expecting to come up in the next year or so while also browsing hundreds of other events they may never heard of but find worth attending.

Events for Gamers leans heavily toward conferences and B2B attendees, but close behind that is a wide range of conventions and festivals from classics like PAX, CES, Gen Con, to SXSW and similar events that have a little bit of everything for everyone. Conferences lead the pack because the site’s origins came from us interested in attending networking heavy events that were of a professional business nature. This was a fortunate happenstance as it provided a more manageable pool of events to list. Imagine the thousands of smaller board games, anime, and related conventions we’d have to list if the site was completely about consumer events!

Most importantly, if you are interested in using or supporting the site, our team doesn’t own or operate any of the events. Our sole purpose is to support events and foster a community around them.

Secondary Services

There are secondary services we offer as well, such as a news portal where this blog post resides, opportunities for events to partner with us to provide discounted or even free event passes, and we’re always at the ready to be supported by event organizers in attending their event to write all about it. Our hope is that the site will continue to grow and reach new audiences, provide new services for event goers, and be a mostly free and straightforward service that provides all you need out of the events you are interested in attending.

There’s so much more we can do and we’re desperate to hear from our visitors and fans! Tell us what you want out of the site and we’ll make it happen. Is it an increase in events listed to the thousands? We’ll find them. Is it more discounted ticket offers? We can make it rain ticket offers. Is it a free pony for everyone that visits the site? We… will raincheck that idea.

The Future of Events for Gamers

Events for Gamers came into existence due to a personal need, but it’s grown so much more than that since then. There are several key features that we’re sure our community would love to have. To name just a few:

– Free tickets to Events! This is a no-brainer. We’ve given out free tickets in the past and plan to ramp up the frequency in the future.

– More event interviews! We love talking with event coordinators, keynote speakers, and others around upcoming events. Expect to see a lot more of these starting in 2024.

– And just one of many more features to mention – direct commentary from our team! This will entail more blog posts such as this one but perhaps other formats as well.

A service is only as useful as those who use it – which is you all. All the above can’t be done by our current staff or finances, far from it. We spend hours a day adding events to the calendar and speaking to event coordinators, and so we’d love to get more help from the community in these areas. If you have an interest in writing articles or finding upcoming events, please contact us. We’d love to have you as part of the team!

Or, if you’d just like to provide thoughts on improving the site, we’d love to hear from you on what you want to get out of the event calendar, blog posts, special offers, groups like those on LinkedIn… or something else perhaps that you’d like to propose that we haven’t even thought about. Let us know and we’ll make it happen.

Thanks for being with us all these years!

Mathew Anderson, CEO/Founder of Events for Gamers


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