If you work in the games industry, or are trying to become a part of it, Develop Brighton is the one event you cannot afford to miss!
Every year game developers flock to Brighton to attend Develop Conference, three days dedicated to everything game development. Including inspirational members of the gaming community sharing their knowledge and experiences alongside fantastic networking events and after parties, there is never a dull moment. So here is a little insight into why you should definitely be attending;
Talks at Develop Conference are spilt into different categories to help you decide what talks fit your particular interests. These include Art, Audio, Business, Coding, Design and Indie. There is also an Indie boot camp, aimed at those who want to develop their own Indie projects. The guys at Tandem also always secure a fantastic Keynote Speaker to kick off the conference. Past Keynote Speakers include Hideo Kojima and Andrew House!
With several events and parties held each evening from 6pm the only thing not accounted for is sleep – which a lot of developers view as a waste of valuable time at this event! A lot of the networking events go on until the early hours and the conference talks do start early, so make sure to rest when you can or continue to top up your caffeine levels if you are more hardcore! There are far too many evening activities for me to list her but I will mention the annual GamesAid Charity Poker Tournament on the Tuesday, the GamesIndustry.biz summer party on the Wednesday and the Develop Party in aid of Special Effect on the Thursday. All must be at events!
With so much going on it can be a little overwhelming to plan for Develop, especially if it’s your first time attending. Here are some tips to help you if attending this event –
- Do your research! This is a conference packed to the brim with talks, meet ups and parties, the guys at Tandem Events and their sponsors organise so much that you really can’t do everything. Look through the talk schedules and meet ups to make sure you’re getting the most from the conference and remember that some of the parties require you to book tickets beforehand so don’t miss out!
- Download the Develop App. It’s a fantastic resource for the event and includes a scoring system which shows how much people are interacting and a great way to find other people who work in your field. It also includes a list of events and talk timetables so you can plan your entire experience and show others what you are attending.
- Brighton is a lovely setting for an event, right on the beach with a lot of bars and restaurants. However this comes at a steep price and if you’re on a budget you need to check out hotels and parking well in advance. There are a lot of reasonably priced Fish & Chip shops, takeaways and local bars, some even right next door to the venue, but as the event is held in the Hilton expect drinks on site to be a little pricey….
- As already stated Brighton is a great setting, but the event is held in July so it will be hot! Drink plenty of water and if you plan on leaving the conferences and talks held throughout the day to wander outside bring sunscreen, glasses, a large floppy hat or whatever you desire to combat the sun! Also dress appropriately, I know it can be tempting to turn up in a shirt and tie for professionalism but it can be a little uncomfortable while running between talks in the heat. This goes double for heels.
- One of the main benefits of attending Develop are the Networking opportunities it provides. Make sure to bring business cards and your best mingling abilities! It’s easy to get a little nervous just going up and talking to people, especially if you don’t know anyone, but here are a few tips;
- Do your research beforehand, check who is going and join in on conversations on social media. This way you will also gain an idea of what area of gaming people are focused on and the ice will already be broken. Also use the Develop App, it really is amazing!
- Secondly attend the talks throughout the day and introduce yourself to the speakers and ask questions, sounds simple but it can be quite nerve racking! Remember that they are probably a lot more nervous speaking in front of a group and a few questions at the end will show that you were engaged in their talk.
- Finally check out the after parties; some are invite only but a lot are networking events held by gaming companies and other event sponsors. This is a chance to network in a more relaxed environment and make some friends as well as contacts. I personally recommend the Special Effect event, it’s one I make sure to attend every year, but they are all fantastic!
- Also if all else fails and you find yourself a little lost and overcome with shyness find that charming red haired girl from Dark Cleo Productions and she’ll be happy to give you a little help 😉
So hopefully now you are a little better prepared and looking forward to a few days of sun, gaming and feeling inspired thanks to the lovely team at Tandem Events, trust me you won’t regret it!
This year’s Develop Conference will be held on Tuesday 11th July – Thursday 13th July at the Hilton Hotel in Brighton. I’ll be attending the entire event so make sure you say hi and I can’t wait to see you all on the beaches of sunny Brighton!
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