EGE: What went right, what went wrong, and how it’ll get better

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The Electronics and Games Expo that hit Cape Town this past weekend was a success – especially given that it was the first one, and that everything seemed so rushed and disorganised prior to it being confirmed just a month before it happened. It means that marketing for the event began unnaturally later than it should have. It all seemed like there were some behind-the-scenes hiccups, but it all went rather swimmingly. Or did it? We (and by we, I mean Marvin Cloete) shot a few questions off to the spokesperson for EGE, Zaid Kriel, tackling things like how the event went, how it might be improved and if it’ll return next year.

Were you happy with the turnout (especially considering the late marketing for the event?

We’re extremely pleased with the turnout. Numbers are unofficial, since we haven’t done a proper audit yet, but we ran out of armband passes on the Saturday. We allocated 5000 for each day of the expo, so that tells you something. We expected Friday to be the slowest day, which it was, but even on that day the turnout was higher than thought; we reckon over a thousand. Sunday drew a bigger crowd than Friday, but honestly, it was such hectic day with both COD: AW finals and the CS:GO finals happening that couldn’t pay attention to the size of the crowd.

Did everything go according to plan?

Mostly. Naturally there were hiccups. We lost internet for a bit on the Saturday morning, which delayed the start of the tournaments. And we had issues with the Dota 2 Exhibition match spectator stream on our big screen. The mouse handling the camera for the streaming pc had a mind of its own and wacked out the view. We fixed it eventually and the viewing public were very understanding. I’m sure that there were a number of issues that affected the tournaments as well that I’m not even aware of, but the guys at Zombiegamers, eHaven, Orena, Clan Connection and all the other tech wizards weathered them well. We also ran out of beverages on the Saturday, which I suppose is a problem you want to have. For the most part, everything we planned on doing got done.

Were there any surprises?

I don’t think we had any big surprises. I think the response from the public was the biggest surprise. Everyone involved believed EGE could work, but it still hits you when you see all these people charging in with these awed looks on their faces. Big smiles everywhere. Personally, the liquid nitrogen overclocking demonstration was the biggest surprise for me. That drew an audience to rival the DOTA 2 exhibition and it’s so weird because it’s just a guy generating benchmarks and then another guy pouring stuff every few minutes. But people love it. We invited people on stage to come see and they rushed on.

Did you see any immediate areas for improvement? Things you will do better or rather won’t do, etc

Definite there is room for improvement. We could have done better with our stage management. We should have tested streams to the main screen more thoroughly. Also the delay between the stream and the actual gameplay needs to be narrower. We had a situation with both the COD:AW finals and the CS:GO finals where the winning teams were cheering their victory before the spectators were cognizant of what was happening. And we’ll need to do more with exhibition placement. The Learn 3D stand, and I speak under correction, had the first public showing of the Oculus Rift. It drew massive crowds. The lines for it caused lots of congestion and made crowd mobility awkward. The most asked for thing from the attendees was a proper DOTA 2 tournament, so I guess we will have to do that. I think the biggest thing for us, though, would be to shift EGE to after E3 and that is something we working on. More lead time for marketing would be nice, as well. We are meeting later in the week to iron things like that out.

Would you consider the event a success, and if so, does this mean we’ll see you guys next year?

Considering the short amount of time we had to advertise and the turnout, yeah, I would say EGE was a success. I didn’t speak to all the exhibitors, but everyone I did speak to was very pleased and expressed a desire to return for another one. There were a few people that asked about how they could get a stand for next year already and that’s a very positive sign. I would be surprised if we didn’t do this again next year.

Did you go? Would you go next year if EGE were to return?

Pictures courtesy of The Artist Formerly Known As Rince

Last Updated: June 2, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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