Dortmund / Zurich | 2. November 2020
gamescom: Digital experience for trade fairs and conferences in the age of COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic has been sweeping events such as trade fairs and conferences off of calendars all over the world. At the same time, the crisis can be a turning point for companies aiming to enhance their own digitalisation process, as was demonstrated clearly this year by gamescom 2020, the world’s biggest computer and video games trade fair. Rather than cancel the crowd magnet, organisers Koelnmesse and game – the German Games Industry Association moved the entire event online. The technical implementation of the online exhibition was en-trusted to adesso and its digital agency ARITHNEA – and the result is a blueprint for the entire trade fair sector in these difficult times.
Across the world, some ten million viewers from 180 countries were able to watch gamescom and its shows in real time over the course of four days. Over two million viewers simultaneously watched the gamescom: Opening Night Live event. 370 partners were integrated and showcased their games and new products.
This presented the technical team with a monumental task, which they mastered, ushering in thousands of visitors into the virtual exhibition centre via the gamescom now website. There were no problems with server overload or connectivity as the portal developed by adesso coped perfectly with the rush and performed impressively in terms of speed and stability, even during the periods of highest demand. This allowed the gamescom community to play together, celebrate and share their emotions just as much this year as in previous years.
adesso project manager and web experience manager Dr Frank Lindert described the extraordinary scope of the project: “We created a high-performance cloud-based portal architecture with a multi-platform approach that integrated a range of cloud services and was scalable so as to cope with the surge of visitors at peak times. The adesso-developed gamescom now website displayed the various forms of information and also guaranteed increased reach for partner offers. We used our own FirstSpirit CMS as a central hub for content management with interfaces to video streaming providers for presenting the videos.”
The introductory portal allowed visitors and journalists to check information about the exhibition schedule, register on the website, sign up for scheduled content and personalised services and generally navigate their way easily through a day at an online exhibition featuring information, videos, shows and workshops.
The opening show – also presented on gamescom now – became the “most-viewed digital event worldwide in the trade fair industry and one of the top three international event live streams in the games industry this year.” (Source: gamescom final report).
For the organisers, Koelnmesse and game – the German Games Industry Association, gamescom 2020 set new standards for the online trade show business in terms of concept and content as well as reach. “At Koelnmesse, we have been investing significantly in the digital expansion of our trade fairs for a number of years now,” says Tim Endres, Director of gamescom at Koelnmesse. “Given the current situation and natural affinity with the format among our community, organising gamescom 2020 as a digital event was definitely the right way to go. We wouldn’t have been able to implement the concept without our partners, and we are proud of how successfully we all worked as a team.” Christian Baur, Director of gamescom & Events at game – the German Games Industry Association, adds: “gamescom 2020 sends a strong signal in challenging times. In spite of the coronavirus pandemic and a relatively short planning phase, we were able to put together the world’s largest gaming event on a purely digital platform together with Koelnmesse, top exhibitors and our partners. I think we showed how much potential there is internationally. In 2021, we intend to turn gamescom into a successful hybrid event.”
In the Digital Experience division, adesso Group specialists (formerly digital agency ARITHNEA) help companies in the trade fair and events sector, and also elsewhere, develop optimised digital customer experiences (more information on Customer Experience Management by adesso is available at: https://dx.adesso.de)