Some significant shifts have occurred in the event landscape of the electronic entertainment industry this year as a mega show went mini and a
The industry’s mega-show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3, has evolved into a more targeted, smaller event. Until this year, the event had been held at the Los Angeles Convention Center and was open to the public. It featured a large trade show where attendees could sample some of the newest games and products, and it attracted about 60,000 attendees per year. This year, the Entertainment Software Association, the show’s sponsor and owner, changed course dramatically, limiting attendance to about 3,000 people and shifting the focus of the event.
The E3 Expo was created 12 years ago. Back then, the expo was more about establishing the video game industry and securing orders for the holiday season, ESA officials stated. But now, a smaller program that facilitates more personal dialogue with media, developers, retailers, and other key industry sources is preferable. “It is no longer necessary or efficient to have a single industry ‘mega show,’” stated former ESA president Douglas Lowenstein when he announced the new event last year. “By refocusing on a highly targeted event, we think we can do a better job of serving our members and the industry as a whole.” (This May, Mike Gallagher was hired as the new president of Washington, D.C.–based ESA, replacing Lowenstein.)
So, E3 morphed into the E3 Media and Business Summit, an invitation-only event for media, retailers, developers, industry leaders and executives, and even celebrities. The meeting was held July 11-13 in Santa Monica, Calif., at the Barker Hangar, a special events venue, with about 3,000 people in attendance. Instead of the trade show environment of the past, this was meeting-focused, with press events, demonstrations, and business meetings held at the special event venue and area hotels.
A new mega-event has been created to fill the void that the old E3 left and to satisfy the demand for a consumer show. The E for All Expo, which debuts October 18–21, is a trade show created for electronic and video game enthusiasts that will be open to the public as well as to media, buyers, and essentially the same people who used to attend E3. The show is owned and operated by IDG World Expo, Framingham, Mass., but it has been endorsed by ESA. It will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, site of the former E3 show.