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8 Networking Tips for Gaming Industry Events

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Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just entered the gaming world, networking can seem intimidating. But worry not, as we’ve gathered 8 essential networking tips for gaming events that can turn even the shyest developer into a networking pro. Especially if you’ve got a game you’re ready to promote or publish soon, you’ll find those insights super handy. Much of the advice in this article comes from a cool chat we had with Hernan Lopez, the man behind Epic Llama indie games studio. Don’t miss out our full chat with Hernan in a Gamedev Insights interview!

1. Select Your Quests Wisely & Balance Your Time

Not all events are created equal. Choose the ones that best align with your current objectives, whether that’s showcasing your game, recruiting fresh talents, or finding the perfect publisher for your brainchild. Balance your time between attending lectures and networking. You’re not there just to sit and listen, especially if there are video recordings of the talks. Use your time to connect and engage with others. Repeat after us: don’t use lectures as an excuse to avoid networking. 

Expanding the team is your main networking goal?

2. Practice Your Pitch

Whatever your goal is, honing your pitch before the event is essential. Don’t underestimate it, even if you consider yourself an ordinary attendee. You never know who you might cross paths with at the event. Take the time to craft a clear message that effectively communicates your personal or business goals and unique qualities. Practice delivering your pitch with friends, team members or even in front of the mirror. The more you practice, the more natural and impactful your pitch will become.

3. Learn to Listen, Especially If You’re Showcasing

Letting people play your game and give feedback? Just listen, note it down, and bite your tongue. It’s easy to feel defensive, but arguing with feedback can alienate the very people you’re seeking to connect with (moreover, this might make you seem hard to talk to, or worse, a troublemaker – a vibe that nobody wants at the after-party). No game is flawless in its initial stages. Remember Hernan’s advice: “you take notes and you shut your mouth“. Embrace feedback. It’s all part of the process.

4. Mix and Mingle

Planning some meetups in advance can be a big help, especially if you find it tricky to approach new people. But don’t stick just to the folks you already know, like it’s some high school reunion. Catch up with old friends, but also make new ones. You never know who you’ll meet. Btw. our 8Bit team will be at Digital Dragons in Cracow this May and we’d love to meet you there. Don’t be a stranger!

5. Party Smart

As Hernan says, “Go to the parties, one of the most important things about networking events is the party”. Networking doesn’t have to be all serious – let loose, make friends, and remember to have fun. But remember to keep a clear head to ensure you make the best impression and remember the connections you’ve made. Also, resist the urge to pitch your game at 1 am.

6. Craft Your Signature

Distinguish yourself from the crowd. Maybe it’s a funky business card, a catchphrase, or a standout T-shirt – a signature sign can set you apart. Hernan, for instance, is known for his on-stage magic tricks. He even pulled one off during our interview! Find what represents you and let it shine, making you more memorable. 

7. Network Efficiently

Leverage technology for networking. Use event apps or LinkedIn QR codes to manage new connections swiftly. What LinkedIn QR codes, you may ask? Now that’s a hidden gem and here is how to locate it: 

1. Open your LinkedIn app (double-check it’s up-to-date).

2. Tap the Search bar.

3. Notice the QR code icon on the right side of the Search bar. Tap it.

4. Once inside, you can either tap the ‘My code’ tab to display your own QR code or ‘Scan’ to connect with another LinkedIn member.

Networking tips for gaming industry events - use LinkedIn QR code generator for easier networking

8. Quest Givers

Don’t hesitate to ask for introductions. If there’s someone you’re keen on meeting, ask a mutual contact to play matchmaker. Most people enjoy the chance to connect others, and it’s a simple, non-intimidating way to get to know the key players. 

With these networking tips for gaming events in your inventory, you’re all set to navigate your next networking event like a pro. The gaming world is full of opportunities to connect, share, and grow. Whether you’re an indie dev, a AAA powerhouse, or an ambitious newcomer, mastering the art of networking can level up your game development journey. So ready your avatars, power-up your social skills, and see you at the next industry gathering!