Develop is one of those events that really brings the UK games industry together. I look forward to my yearly trip to Brighton and have really missed it over the last few years, having been (pre covid!) every year since 2008.
These are my top tips for making the most of the event if you’re there to pitch your game or your business.
Whilst Develop has a meet2match system for meetings, many people attend and have meetings outside of the system, so you can’t rely on that as your only source for knowing who is attending. A lot of the UK games industry attends Develop, so think about who in the UK would be good to meet – developers, publishers, financiers, service providers etc, and reach out to them directly. Be willing to say hello to people in the Metropol lobby and bar area (or even outside if it’s warm enough). Often, you’ll find people who are waiting for their next meeting - but be respectful if they are busy or their meeting turns up!
Develop is one of my favourite events for catching up with and meeting new industry colleagues and friends. Leave time to hang out in the Hilton bar, the lobby, outside, the expo area, and the various networking events over the 3 days. Keep an eye on the evening and lunch time events, there are fringe events organised alongside Develop too – check out in particular the SpecialEffect party on the Thursday evening, and the GI.biz party on the Wednesday evening, you will need to get tickets for both in advance.
You’re going to meet a lot of people, and you’re going to need to explain what you do, and what you’re working on, a lot. So, make sure you are ready to explain it concisely and clearly, and know what your key points are. Have your pitch deck, and maybe your game ready to check out in meetings, or if someone asked for more info.
From finding out what someone who you’re going to meet looks like, to connecting with new contacts, or finding out about someone you just met, LinkedIn is a useful companion at any games event but particularly one where meetings are informal and often impromptu! And don’t forget your business cards…
Your goal might be to just catch up with people, it might be to get feedback on an idea or a pitch you’re working on, to find out what potential future partners are looking for, or you might be ready with your pitch and out to meet a publisher or financier to support your game – be clear what your goals are so you can measure success and can focus your time effectively.
For us, we’re a publisher of living games, so we’re attending to meet developers who are looking for a publishing partner, so reach out via www.fundamentally.games or [email protected] to setup a meeting.
Ella Romanos is founder of Fundamentally Games and on the Advisory Board for Develop:Brighton.
If you really want to have a good interface with the British game developer community then this is the place to come.
By coming to Develop what you get is the opportunity to network like you can’t in any other situation. Everyone knows everyone and it’s such a wonderful community feel.
Develop always gets put in the diary. There are many reasons to be here, not just the talks, but the networking, people exchanging ideas about where the industry is right now and where it’s going to. It’s pretty essential to be here I think.
Ian Livingstone, CBE
A lot of the opportunities that come from being here are speaking to other developers who are doing exactly the same thing as you. And there are some good parties – it’s very much a pleasurable work experience!
We are so lucky to have Develop here in the UK. It’s a unique event where you can come and discover new things with people who care passionately about video games. It’s a sea full of new ideas.
I really like Develop, I really like the intimacy of it and I love the location.. there’s a good diversity of talks going on so there hasn’t been a time when there’s nothing I want to see.
It’s really nice to see some of the younger people in our studio come to Develop, interact with other people in the dev community and make new contacts. I think it’s really important to learn from other people.
Develop is a really great way to network, it’s also great for going to talks and finding that little tip that you didn’t know before and thinking – oh I’ll bring that back to the team!
Develop is a very important place – it’s one of the few developer focussed conferences we have in Europe and that makes it very valuable.
Develop is the must-attend event for the games industry in the UK. It’s where we all come together and learn from each other. It’s the best way into the industry and it’s the best place to learn from your colleagues.
There are many ways you can be part of Develop:Brighton - including taking a booth in the Expo or choosing one of the many sponsorship opporunities during the event or at the Star Awards.Contact us now!