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Gamescom goes Asia

From October 2020, gamescom – the world's largest event for computer and video games – will also be represented in Southeast Asia. Whether it was Sony, Google or Facebook – last year, Mathias Küpper and his team were busy with one thing above all: sounding out the market. "We traveled through Southeast Asia to find out whether there was any interest in a gamescom in the region," says Küpper, Managing Director of the Koelnmesse subsidiary in Singapore. The answer from local developers, associations and media representatives? Yes. The first gamescom Asia will take place in Singapore in October 2020, as the location meets all the requirements. It has an interested government that would like to establish the country as a location for the video games industry. It has an airport that makes the trade fair easily accessible for regional and international visitors and exhibitors. And it has a local subsidiary of Koelnmesse – which makes organizing the trade fair much easier.

"Six colleagues in our team are involved in the planning, organization and implementation of gamescom Asia," says Küpper. At the same time, the colleagues also look after other trade fairs, and the division of tasks among the 34 employees is not that strict. "Because all our colleagues are responsible for mutliple tasks, time is a scarce commodity. This makes it all the more important for us to make intensive use of the experience of our gamescom colleagues from Cologne," says Küpper. In doing so, they are supported by Katharina Gründig Figueiroa, Global Brand Manager at Koelnmesse. "I form the bridge between the gamescom teams in Cologne and Singapore," says Gründig. "Together with my team, I manage the transfer of knowledge, offer support and ensure that all central regulations, such as the corporate design, are observed".

Cultural peculiarities

This is important, as it is already clear that gamescom Asia will differ from the leading trade fair in Cologne. "In Asia, other market players play a leading role," Gründig is aware. For example, "mobile gaming" and "multiplayer online games" are very strong in Asia, while consoles are still more important in Europe. On top of this are cultural differences in business and personal interactions. All this must be taken into account when organizing the trade fair.

"Nevertheless, we are adopting many components of the leading trade fair in Cologne," says Küpper. One of these is the distinction between the business and entertainment areas, i.e. the areas for trade and private visitors. "Because only a few trade fairs implement the separation as successfully as gamescom, we are taking a look at it in person this year," reports Küpper. He and his team will travel from Singapore to Cologne in August. The goal: To work together with colleagues to decide which elements can be implemented in Asia and how. Gründig is convinced: "For us, gamescom Asia is a great opportunity". Because with this trade fair, Koelnmesse is strengthening its competence in the global gaming industry and positioning itself in a highly digitalized market. It will also enable new links to be forged to exhibitors and visitors. "This creates synergies and potential from which everyone benefits. Whether it's through a growing number of exhibitors or exclusive special shows which present trends from the other region".