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Confirmed: Leipzig GC is better than E3, exhibitors and visitors want to return

9:02 AM on 08.25.2008 // Nick Chester

While many in the industry bitched and moaned about this year's industry-only event E3 in event in Los Angeles, it seems that just about everyone loved the Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany. 

"The Games Convention will be back in Leipzig again in 2009," said Wolfgang Marzin, CEO at the Leipziger Messe GmbH. "The industry and visitors are giving us their clear support to continue with the fair in Leipzig." Marzin has also announced the dates of next year's show, August 19 through 23, so get your passports and beer hats ready.

In a survey of exhibitors polled at this year's convention, only 10% said "no" to wanting to return to the Leipziger Messe location. Of the 203,000 public visitors, 13.2% responded with "no," which likely has something to do with sauerkraut-related upset stomachs and booth babes giving them the brush-off.

If Eli Roth's Hostel freaked you out a bit, and you're not really interested in traveling, no worries. Leipziger Messe are considering taking Games Convention global -- beyond their reasonably successful Asian-market conventions -- most notably to the North American market. 

Looking for more numbers and Leipzig GC data? Hit the jump for the full "we're awesome, rah rah!" press release.

Games Industry Staying in Leipzig for 2009

Exhibitors and Trade Visitors Vote for the Traditional Venue for the Industry's European Benchmark Fair

Clear “yes” to Leipzig from Gamers

New Record: 203.000 Visitors Flocked to the Leipzig Exhibition Centre

“The GC – Games Convention will be back in Leipzig again in 2009”, as Wolfgang Marzin, CEO at the Leipziger Messe GmbH, has announced on the last day of Europe’s biggest games fair. “The industry and visitors are giving us their clear support to continue with the fair in Leipzig.” He named 19 to 23 August 2009 as the dates for the next GC – Games Convention.

In a representative survey carried out by the Leipzig Institut für Marktforschung, the vast majority from the games industry and of visitors voted to keep the GC – Games Convention at its traditional venue in Leipzig. To the question “Do you think there should be a GC in Leipzig in 2009?”, only ten per cent of exhibitors answered “no”. And out of the 14.600 trade visitors at the GC – Games Convention, only 13.2 per cent responded with “no”. *

Private visitors voted with a clear “yes”, with more than a third of them having travelled over 300 kilometres to be here: 82.1 per cent of them want a GC 2009 in Leipzig. “It’s a clear picture”, is how Messe boss Marzin described the outcome.

City Mayor Promises the Industry his Full Support

Burkhard Jung, mayor of Leipzig City, was pleased with the clear vote of confidence from the industry. “Anyone who has experienced the enthusiastic mood in the exhibition halls over the last seven years knows: this fair belongs in Leipzig.” Jung, who is also chairman of the board at Leipziger Messe GmbH, assured the games industry of his full support for the future. For example, four new hotels with 1,500 beds were to be built and would also be available in future for other trade show events. “The fairs and conferences in Leipzig are becoming increasingly international and attract more and more visitors. We’re pleased with this development. I completely agree with the governor of the Free State of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, that we will do everything to help this new cultural sector and the GC – Games Convention to achieve further success.”

The European benchmark fair for interactive entertainment, infotainment, edutainment and hardware was launched in 2002. Alongside the Tokyo Games Show, Leipzig’s GC – Games Convention is the biggest computer and video games fair in the world.

Next Level: GC global

At the same time, CEO Wolfgang Marzin announced that the GC – Games Convention will continue to expand its international portfolio. An off-shoot was started last year in Singapore in the shape of GC Asia, and was an immediate success for the industry. The second GC Asia is being held in four weeks’ time in Singapore from 18 to 20 September.

The GC could be adjusted to suit different markets, said Marzin. “The concept is flexible and the network of the global games industry permits us to be active at different locations. After the Southeast Asian Games Convention, we are now focusing on the North American market.”

New High Score for Europe’s Benchmark Fair: 203.000 Visitors

For the seventh time in succession, the GC – Games Convention ended in Leipzig on Sunday with a visitor record: over the past few days, 203.000 trade visitors and game fans have flocked to the biggest European fair for interactive entertainment, infotainment, edutainment and hardware. The Leipziger Messe saw record attendances from the start of this year’s GC – Games Convention. The number of exhibitors had risen from 503 to 547, the area occupied from 112,500 to 115,000 square metres, and the Games Convention had never been as international as it was this year: 234 companies came to Leipzig from other countries, compared to 189 in 2007.

The GC Business Center also chalked up big increases, having been expanded by a third to 40,000 square metres. Altogether 14.600 trade visitors were counted here (2007: 12,300).

The mood was very good among exhibitors in the GC Business Center: 74 per cent of exhibitors felt their participation was at least as good this year as it was last year. 87 per cent were happy with trade visitor volume in terms of numbers. And a total of 90 per cent stated they had achieved their own objectives.

Survey results in the exhibition halls were even more positive: 92 per cent of the 547 exhibitors said their targets had been achieved well or very well; this corresponds to last year’s level.

Media Reporting in 48 Countries

The international importance of Leipzig’s GC – Games Convention is also reflected in the media response: 3,800 journalists from 48 countries filed their reports from the games industry’s European platform (2007: 3,395 from 46 countries).

Video Games Live: Fantastic Prelude to the Fair

This year’s GC – Games Convention kicked off with a top-quality German premiere. At the Arena Leipzig, Video Games Live, the cult show from the USA, was received with wildly enthusiastic applause. Conducted by Jack Wall, the Video Games Live Symphony Orchestra and a powerfully-voiced choir played the best hits in computer and video game history, such as “Halo”, “Final Fantasy” and “Tomb Raider”. Parallel to the music, game scenes flashed across a giant screen, actors took on the roles of digital characters and the very brave could come on stage to test their skills in competition.

GC Freestyle Popular Among Young Visitors

A large number of young visitors also stayed the night again at the GC Freestyle gamer camp. When the fair closed, they saw out the day in the various chillout areas. On the four days of the GC, the organisers counted more than 4,000 overnight stays at the Leipzig Festwiese near the city centre. A survey showed this option was very welcome, with particular mention of the central location and the affordable prices.

Gaming in the Family

For the sixth time, the special GC family area invited beginners, parents, teachers and educationalists to find out about the wide range of child-appropriate games. The play arena was a first port of call this year. Every quarter of an hour, visitors could play against one another in direct duels or as teams and win attractive prizes. Those wanting a bit more peace and quiet could test out the latest children’s software in one of the five theme-based game zones. The GC family again attracted great interest: 77 per cent of all visitors to the fair were interested in this special section at the GC.

Careers Advice from GC Job & Career

There was particularly strong visitor interest in the new GC Job & Career section. A large number of school and college students and university graduates took the opportunity to find out about study courses in the GC Forum and from the exhibiting universities. On the Friday, the exhibiting companies provided their human resources officers to answer the young gamers’ questions.

The next GC – Games Convention will be from 19 to 23 August 2009 in Leipzig. It will again feature the GC Developers Conference GCDC, scheduled from 17 to 19 August.

Nick Chester, Former Editor-in-Chief (2011)
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