The international developer conference “devcom” is taking place for the first time in advance of and during gamescom 2017 (22 to 26 August), from 20 to 24 August. We talked with Stephan Reichart (Managing Director Aruba Events GmbH), Frank Sliwka (CEO International Business Media), Lars Vormann (Head of gamescom & Public Events BIU – Bundesverband Interaktive Unterhaltungssoftware), Tim Endres (Project Manager gamescom, Koelnmesse GmbH) and Hans Ippisch (Managing Director Aruba Events GmbH / Computec Media GmbH) about their ambitions plans and ideas.
What exactly is devcom about?
Stephan Reichart: Our goal for devcom was to create an overall concept which would take the present conference approach for developer expos a big step forward. Hence, devcom will offer new conference and networking elements, combine several events under one roof, and, for the first time, we will also offer exciting new elements at gamescom, like the gamescom keynotes or master classes.
Tim Endres: We’re convinced that with ‘devcom’ we present a top-level international developer conference and are thus able to offer our audience a certain added value. Since devcom is closely linked to gamescom in terms of concept and content and is integrated into the gamescom week 2017, we create synergies and strengthen gamescom’s position as Europe’s leading business platform of the games industry.
To what extent is devcom linked to gamescom?
Lars Vormann: ‘devcom’ is the next important step with regard to the continuous evolution of gamescom, with a worldwide unique concept. The goal of devcom is to build a bridge and correspond with gamescom in terms of topics and content a lot more than in previous years. The gamescom keynotes, for example, are to live up to gamescom’s reputation as the world’s biggest gaming expo from the beginning on. Hence, the gamescom public keynotes will feature the most high-profile speakers from the media and games world, while the gamescom business keynotes will be addressed directly to the devcom participants and also feature the biggest international visionaries of the games industry.
That sounds intriguing. Can you tell us more about the speakers yet?
Stephan Reichart: I’m afraid not. The next step will be to introduce our prominent advisory board, and then we will announce the first speakers. I can just tell you this much: The people who have already committed themselves to speak at the keynotes will set new highlights on a global level beyond the industry.
What role will Respawn play for devcom?
Stephan Reichart: Respawn is a key component of devcom and will continue to offer high-level talks, panel discussions and networking in a casual atmosphere at reasonable prices. For that reason, the event will be moved and held within close proximity to Congress Center East, so the other devcom events can easily be reached within just a few minutes’ walk, without having to take a shuttle.
What exactly are these ‘other events’?
Frank Sliwka: Besides Respawn, devcom will clearly focus on business topics. Our objective is to portray all relevant trends, learnings and discussions from our industry in diverse tracks. Accordingly, the spectrum of topics will portray all platforms from mobile to consoles, all trends from VR to Mixed Reality, diverse business models, international markets, exciting lessons learned, and much more. This will either take place in large track keynotes or, as usual, in classic lecture and panel discussions.
Stephan Reichart: Additionally, we’re planning to offer smaller, more intimate formats for the entire period of gamescom, like our master classes, lessons learned workshops or roundtables, where devcom participants can share information to relevant topics in a quiet and comfortable atmosphere.
What are the next steps?
Lars Vormann: In the past few weeks, we completed all basic tasks, so that we can now fully focus on the acquisition of partners and sponsors as well as on the content creation and the acquisition of speakers. For that reason, we will be visiting a lot of international, but also local events.
Stephan Reichart: Plus, the Call for Papers for devcom will start in a few days’ time, and we’re already looking forward to a lot of interesting submissions.
What’s the significance of devcom for Aruba Events GmbH?
Hans Ippisch: Obviously, this is one of the highlights in the history of Aruba Events, so in the last few months we thought a lot about how to best put it into practice. On the one hand, the Computec Media Group handles a number of important tasks with regard to the preparatory process, and we also promote the event via our diverse B2B media throughout the world. We’re also particularly happy about having Frank Sliwka on board, a top performer, who pulls the strings especially on an international level and pilots the boat.
About devcom 2017:
devcom is a newly conceived of developer conference at a top international level! devcom debuts on 20 August 2017 in Cologne, Germany. Consisting of a classic conference component with top themes of the developer scene and top international speakers, as well as summits, master classes, workshops and networking events, devcom represents a clear further development: in terms of content, the new developer conference is closely interlocked with gamescom and completely integrated into the gamescom week.
devcom (www.devcom.global) starts with the Respawn – Gathering of Developers (20/21 August). The developer event will also be integrated into the devcom space: it is moving into the Congress Centre West of the Cologne fair grounds. The Respawn will start as part of devcom with, among other things, an Indie Game Summit, a Newcomer Summit, as well as a new format, the Late Night Talks. After 22 August, the “gamescom business keynotes” and the “gamescom public keynotes” will take place in the context of devcom. The business keynotes, held by the most important minds of the international games and technology industry, as well as the biggest influencers, are oriented to the international trade public of gamescom. The public keynotes are set up as high-profile lectures from well-known personalities of the games and media branch, and are conceived of for private visitors
devcom 2017: The team
The organiser of devcom is the Aruba Events GmbH. As the organiser, it assumes the complete financial responsibility for devcom. The BIU, the German Trade Association of Interactive Entertainment Software, and Koelnmesse GmbH are the sponsors of devcom. Computec Media GmbH (incl. Making Games, gamesbusiness.de, golem.de, gamesworld.de) will closely accompany the conference as a media partner. Frank Sliwka, International Business Media, together with Stephan Reichart and the team from Aruba Events GmbH, will implement the project and provide support with important tasks.
The strategic orientation and content design of devcom is being assumed by two boards. The strategic advisory board, consisting of representatives of Aruba Events GmbH, International Business Media, of the BIU (Federal Association of Interactive Entertainment Software), sponsor of gamescom, and Koelnmesse GmbH, organiser of gamescom, defines the strategic orientation, the most important themes and speakers of special relevance in the interplay with gamescom.
The content advisory board is composed of individuals from various areas of game development and is responsible for the establishing of themes and contact with speakers, as well as for organisational points in the context of the conference, the summits or the workshops.