Casual Connect Hamburg – Trip Report!
After a two week visit to Europe I’m now back in San Francisco and settling into my regular work habits once again. My recent business trip had me visiting company headquarters in Copenhagen for one week, then spending most of the second week in Germany attending Casual Connect Hamburg. The conference was great for us as an attending sponsor and for us as geeks in the game industry in general. We spent most of our time either attending to our sponsor table, having specific one-on-one meetings or enjoying lots of social time at various meet-ups and bar events. Through it all we managed to chat up a number of folks, including some existing users, lots of potential new users and a slew of people with various technology of interest to anyone using Unity. I have to offer my thanks to Luke Burtis and Jessica Tams of the Casual Games Association for putting on another fantastic conference!
Workin’ the Table
Our main focus at the conference was to work our sponsor table (we were a Silver sponsor for the event) as it’s a great opportunity to meet with and talk to a wide variety of people working in the casual games space. During three days of table duty we spoke to a number of existing users as well as lots of potential new users, all of that providing some great touching points on the community which I always enjoy. In addition to those folks we were able to talk to a number of people with related technologies or efforts that play into the developer community at large. Those included a few portal and publisher representatives as well as a number of folks offering various payment and transaction solutions, including in-game micro-transactions. I’ll draft up more information on what I learned there later, for now let’s stick with the high-level summary material, and of course a few photos…
Martin and Ricardo stop by the table
David and Joe prepare to start the day
Like all game industry conferences there was plenty of social time booked into the schedule! We started the week right by hanging out with a few friends in town, then each of the two conference nights featured planned events which we naturally attended. The first of those two events was the Real Games party held near the conference hall, it featured an open bar, food and a solid crowd. On the second night the conference organizers had the official party, but we broke from that and hosted a bit of a drinks and mingle on our own at a local Hamburg bar, the Zoé 2 / Sofabar. While our party was certainly nowhere near as large as the official party, it was great as we met with a smaller and more intimate crowd of folks specifically interested in Unity. In attendance were existing users like Martin and Ricardo, but also some potential new ones, folks from the local IGDA chapter and other well wishers and general friends. All told the week was fruitful on both a business and a personal front as I love getting together with folks and having a chance to know them on a personal level, not just via email/IMs/IRC/the forums.
Martin and I having a good time
Folks enjoying the night
So that puts a wrap on another great trip and conference experience, thanks to everyone that made it such a fantastic week!