Everybody wants a piece of esports right now, but many non-endemic firms still don’t know how to navigate the vast landscape nor how to reach the key stakeholders involved.
Conveniently planned for just after Valentine’s Day, Reed Midem has organised the Esports BAR in Cannes (February 15-17) at which pre-arranged one to one meetings are the bread and butter.
We sat down with Stephane Gambetta, Strategy and New Development Director at Reed Midem to talk about their inaugural esports event and the company’s background.
ESI: Why have Reed Midem decided to launch into esports, and can you talk us through the idea behind the Esports BAR?
Stephane: We are constantly looking at the trends impacting the entertainment business. Whether for our big entertainment shows or for business development purposes. Two years ago we came across the esports sector and started doing a little digging.
We found the sector was growing and starting to expand beyond the circle of endemic players. We also saw several of our TV clients embarking on esports projects. So an expanding sector, many endemic stakeholders looking at broadening their business horizons, and many new entrants wanting a way in. With our core strengths focused on building effective business platforms, providing the right context for diverse industry players to meet and building bridges between business communities we thought we could help the sector level up with a dedicated b2b event.
ESI: Why do you see yourselves as well placed to host such an event?
Stephane: We are part of Reed Exhibitions; the world’s leading exhibition and conference organiser, and we have a 50 years history of helping notably entertainment businesses grow through international professional markets such as MIPCOM, MIPTV or MIDEM.
Our group also organises the PAX shows, the largest gaming events around the world, which attract the top influencers in the global gaming community.
As such we believe we have the unique strengths to successfully organise a marketplace of reference for the esports industry, notably we’ve expertise in serving complex rights markets, a trusted reputation for building effective, well organised and international events as well as access to strong media, brands and agency networks.
ESI: An impressive advisory board, including Fnatic Wouter Sleijffers, President of France Esports and CEO of ESWC Matthieu Dallon and more, how did they come to be involved? And moreover what is their role and level of input?
Stephane: During our research, we’ve been reaching out to many key people in the industry to better understand the needs of the sector. Most of the advisory team members are people we met at the time and who inspired the project so we naturally went back to them to propose a seat on our advisory team.
We are thrilled that so many renowned professionals have granted us their trust and accepted this role. We are still adding a few new members to make sure we cover key esports activities and territories and therein meet the primary needs of the sector as a whole.
The role of the advisory team is indeed really about accompanying and advising the team, whether on the format of the event or the people who should be there to make sure we provide the most productive esports matchmaking event possible. And of course all the advisors will be there in Cannes ready for business and networking!
ESI: In a world of Skype and Facetime, how much value is there left in face to face business discussions?
Stephane: A few years ago there was a lot of talk and speculation on how digital tools would kill the need for face to face.
It is now obvious that it is much to the contrary. You just need to look at the growing number of digital conferences and events as proof! Digital tools are taking all the hassle out of business planning and communications and reinforcing the value of face to face as a unique and powerful relationship builder. Business is about trust and there’s nothing like a face to face meeting, sharing a drink or discussing over dinner to create this relationship and trust. And this is even more powerful when you have all the key players in the same room at the same time!
This is our goal at Esports BAR. To provide the tools and services to take the hassle out of organising your agenda, your hotel, your food, and make sure you concentrate on what’s important; the business and the relationships.
ESI: Any other surprises attendees can expect in Cannes?
Stephane: We are putting all efforts to shape Esports BAR as an unparalleled effective business event. But we’re definitely working on a few surprises to make it a fun and enjoyable experience too. Stay tuned!
You can find out more about the the focused networking event and keep up to date with all the latest information on speakers and attendees here.