Gamescom is back this year and it is planning to be a “Hybrid Event”. The largest Gaming Event in Europe is set to return this Summer as both a physical and digital event. The Digital event held last year in place of a physical event was deemed a great success but it is was never intended to be a replacement.
This Summer, the event organizers Koelnmesse hope to host Gamescom 2021 in Cologne once again as a physical event (with a digital event running alongside) so that attendees can try out all the latest and upcoming games. Of course, this all depends on whether the current global situation is stable enough so that Gamescom can be a safe environment with every health and safety protocol in place.
Should the COVID-19 Pandemic continue to threaten the event and pose a risk to those that could attend the event, a sole digital event will be held instead.
The full details in regards to Gamescom 2021 can be found in the official announcement below:
Gamescom 2021 planned as a hybrid event
Hybrid event with on-site and digital elements planned +++ Exhibitors can organise their participation flexibly +++ Safe trade fair experience with the tried and tested #B-SAFE4business concept +++ Community and industry desire the on-site experience in addition to a digital gamescom
With its purely digital concept, gamescom was able to celebrate immense success in 2020. Nevertheless, both the exhibitors as well as the visitors agree: In addition to the digital aspects, the possibility of trying out the latest games on-site and diving into the gaming world form an integral part of gamescom. This is why gamescom 2021 is going to be staged as a hybrid event and thus unite the best of both worlds, physical and digital.
The hybrid concept of gamescom 2021 encompasses the following physical and digital contents and formats:
- An entertainment area especially designed for a reduced amount of on-site visitors, which focuses on the testing of new games live on-site including a digital queue management system
- a further developed gamescom now as a central meeting point on the web for gaming fans from all over the globe
- gamescom shows familiar from previous years such as the gamescom: Opening Night Live or the gamescom studio
- An event arena that offers space for special programme items such as eSport competitions or cosplay shows
- A business area expanded to include Hall 11 in order to offer as many trade visitors optimal networking conditions also in 2021
- A first ever online B2B platform called “gamescom biz” that is based on the already tried and tested DMEXCO @home concept, which in addition to corporate and product presentations also offers lead tracking as well as extensive networking and matchmaking functions
The devcom and the gamescom congress are also planned both on-site and with digital elements in 2021. The developer conference devcom will once again offer a wide range of options for game developers on the topics game development, tech & tools, art & animation and diversity. The gamescom congress on the other hand serves as a think tank for digitalisation far beyond the games industry and addresses creative artists, teachers, politicians, scientists, journalists and industry representatives from all sectors.
Felix Falk, Managing Director of game – the Association of the German Games Industry e.V. and co-organiser of gamescom stated: “In late summer, we are striving to make an on-site gamescom event possible for the gaming fans again at last. We will hereby be placing a focus on the superfans and the on-site testing of the latest games this year. At the same time, gamescom 2021 will once again reach millions of people worldwide as a result of the further developed digital offers. The results of the community surveys confirm this concept, which we have developed in close cooperation with many of the most important exhibitors. Without doubt, the preparations for all people involved will be much more demanding than usual in the light of this special situation. But the enthusiasm of the gaming community definitely makes these efforts worthwhile!”
Oliver Frese, Chief Operating Officer of Koelnmesse: “Our aim is to offer the gaming fans on-site in Cologne and online all over the world a highly attractive platform and we are working flat out to achieve precisely that this year too. I am confident that we will be able to offer the visitors as well as the exhibitors of gamescom 2021 a safe and eventful trade fair experience with our safety concept, #B-SAFE4business that has already been tested at smaller events. At the same time, we will make use of the experiences we gained in the course of gamescom 2020 and other trade fairs such as the DMEXCO @home to effectively bring the fans, trade visitors and exhibitors together online for gamescom 2021. Because one thing is clear: Hybrid events will shape the future.”
Interested companies can present themselves in the listed formats at gamescom 2021 in both physical and digital form. Details on the participation options can be found on the following website:
Due to the safety concept and the resulting focus on gameplay stations, not all of the former exhibitors will be allowed to participate. Furthermore, the number of tickets available for gamescom 2021 will be significantly reduced. The start of the ticket sales is planned for May 2021.
Community wants a hybrid gamescom
Via a survey, Koelnmesse and game established that the community wants a hybrid gamescom. How strongly the fans are interested in physical components of gamescom 2021 became particularly clear:
- 92 percent of the respondents can “hardly wait to experience gamescom on-site again”
- 88 percent of the respondents would “feel safe at a gamescom in Cologne if good protective and hygiene measures are implemented”
- For 76 percent of the respondents “the best way of trying out new games is simply on-site at gamescom”
Safe at the fair grounds with #B-SAFE4business
In order to make the trade fair experience during the Corona pandemic as safe and successful as possible, Koelnmesse has developed a host of measures in accordance with the provisions of the corona protection ordinance of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia and in close coordination with the authorities in Cologne. These measures work together seamlessly and regulate the interaction at the fair grounds. These measures entail among others hygiene and distancing rules, regulations on stand construction as well as solutions that ensure a safe everyday trade fair routine such as digital management at the stands for instance.
Further information on #B-SAFE4business can be found on the following website: https://www.gamescom.global/besafe
Should pandemic-related developments make it impossible to stage an on-site event, gamescom will be held as a purely digital format again.