We went at the Svilupparty: this is a little sum up of our experience.
The last week I went in Bologna where the Svilupparty , one of the biggest game dev conventions in Italy, is held. Bologna is also the city where Giorgio, the other half of Maggese is now living. It was our first developers conference and we attended together two of its three days.
This experience made us aware of a lot of things that now I’ll share with you and that are valid also for other similar events:
Live the event at his full. Svilupparty was organized to end between the 6 and the 7 p.m. however there was the possibility to book a dinner reserved for the participants. This kind of things are the best because offer a relaxed atmosphere where to talk and to make public relations. Since Giorgio and I don’t see each other very often we took advantage of the occasion to hang out together, but having dinner on our own. Later we realized to have loose an occasion, especially because many of the participants already know each other, therefore it was more difficult to socialize in a group already formed outside of convivial moments. So for the next time we will try to do all the activities offered so to maximize our chances to meet interesting people and fellow developers. The real big thing isn’t the event in itself, but what there is around it.
Its better to have something to show. Probably this is pretty obvious, although we fully realized it only when we were there: if you haven’t anything to show, you are somehow disadvantaged. Indeed these kinds of meetings are made to show your stuff to get feedback and to let know to others that you exist. We had only three prototypes at early stage, so we went there just to watch the work of others. This was equally a good experience, since we were updated on what is around, although having something to show would helped us to get in touch with other people, and expand our public.
Not all the moments are the right ones for talk. In the two days where we were at Svilupparty we tried to talk with some people, organizers or keynote speakers and not always we succeeded. Sometimes is just a matter of luck, but usually it depends on you. The problem is that you have to get your own chance with determination, but at the same time you have to consider the moment. For instance we tried to talk with a game designer right after his speech and exactly before lunch time, he was kind enough to grant us some of his time although all of us were in a hurry to eat. Engaging him after lunch would have given us the chance to talk without rush. Same thing when we wanted to talk to the main organizer of the event, it was closing time and he had to do a lot of things so he gave us only a moment. On the other hand we had normal conversations with a bunch of developers on morning before the starting of the talks or after lunch.
These are just the three main things we learned, we hope to participate to the next conference taking part in all its parts and with a good project, in the meantime we go back to iterate our prototypes.