GC2008 sees “considerably more” exhibitor registration than last year

By Patrick Garratt
15 May 2008 13:37 GMT

Leipziger Messe put out a press release this morning claiming Games Convention this year is going to break all previous records, saying the company registration is well up on last year.

“With considerably more than 500 exhibitors (2007: 503 exhibitors), the fair organisers expect another record,” said the firm. “Interest is particularly strong among international game publishers and developers.”

The show runs from August 21-24 this year, potentially the last in Leipzig. The German gaming “authorities” have launched a new event – GAMESCom – which will be held in Cologne for the first time next year.

Leipziger Messe has already confirmed that it will hold a Games Convention event in Leipzig in 2009.

Press release after the link.

GC – Games Convention 2008 on Course for Success

– Even More Registrations for Europe’s Leading Games Fair Than Last Year
– Spectactular Game Music Concert at the Start of the Fair
– E-Sport Finals Bring the Best Gamers to Leipzig

Clear the stage for the biggest game show of the year: From 21 to 24 August 2008, the Leipzig Exhibition Centre hosts the seventh GC – Games Convention. With considerably more than 500 exhibitors (2007: 503 exhibitors), the fair organisers expect another record. Interest is particularly strong among international game publishers and developers. Around 115,000 square metres (gross) exhibition area is available in total for presentations at Europe’s benchmark fair for interactive entertainment, edutainment, infotainment and hardware. “Registration figures for the GC 2008 are already considerably higher than last year. This and the large number of foreign exhibitors underline the importance attributed to Leipzig’s GC – Games Convention as Europe’s benchmark fair for the games industry”, says Wolfgang Marzin, Leipziger Messe’s CEO.

For the first time, the layout concept of the GC – Games Convention sets up key focus areas, making it easier for visitors to find their way around. Software entertainment is offered to them in Halls 2, 3 and 5. Alongside console providers, this is where leading game publishers from Germany and abroad introduce the latest video and computer games. The organiser say that more than 250 World, European and German premieres can be tried out this year. Meanwhile, in Hall 4, it is all about hardware and accessories. “The division of the exhibition halls enables exhibiting companies to make even more individual appeals to visitors”, explains Peggy Schönbeck, project director, GC – Games Convention. The outdoor area will also be a play area, offering a variety of fun sport activities at the GC Beach-Club and featuring attractive exhibitor stands.

GC Business Center with New “Marketplace” Package Deal
The trade visitor area comes up with new features as well. As a direct response to the increased exhibitor demand the GC Business Center is much bigger this year and covers now a total area of 40,000 square metres (2007: 30,000 square metres). The Congress Center Leipzig (CCL), the entire Hall 1 and parts of Hall 2 are available to companies for their use in reaching agreement with their national and international business and trading partners and ordering for the important Christmas business.

Hall 2 is home to the Developers Village, where aspiring developer companies can present their innovative product ideas and set up initial contacts with games publishers. There are many international joint stands in the Developers Village, including from Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan and the UK.

Limitless service is offered by the new “Marketplace” option. The modular joint stand in Hall 1 is fully fitted out and features a modern design. Beside a shared info counter with competent staffers and an attractive meeting lounge area plus café bar, exhibitors are also offered a range of services such as catering, cleaning and security. “With the new all in ‘make-it-easy’ package, we cut down on administrative effort for our exhibitors, so that they can concentrate entirely on taking care of their business contacts”, says Peggy Schönbeck.

GC family with a New Look
Child-appropriate games and the facilitation of media literacy – these are the key focuses for the GC family 2008. The exhibition area in Hall 2 is a first port of call for beginners, parents, teachers and educationalists in search of information on age-appropriate media and their use. The new concept involves a division into three different areas. According to their specific positioning, exhibitors will be together in the sections “Children’s Software/Edutainment”, “Media World/Youth Protection” and “Application Software/Internet Security”.

The GC family programme links these three sections with plenty of information, fun and entertainment. Headlined “Level 1 – Learning to Play”, visitors can compete against one another interactively in the game arena. This involves edutainment and children’s software titles as well as the use of actual console games. A professional live commentary on the contest and the “Genre Show” provide useful information relating to each game. Five theme-based game zones are available to those who prefer peace and quiet to test out recommendable software for children and family, or standard learning games. Experienced media experts explain the various options and are ready to answer questions if needed.

The “Media Meeting Place” is new. In a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, representatives of media and youth protection are here to talk about their work. Visitors can glimpse behind the scenes of Germany’s youth protection system and put their questions on the issue of child-appropriate facilitation of media literacy.

Chilling Out in the Heart of Town: GC Freestyle
This year’s GC Freestyle has room for more than 5,000 tents. Just a few minutes on foot from the city centre, the open-air event on the festival ground at the main stadium has everything all gamers could wish for after a day at the show: the chance to chill out to relaxing DJ music, sweat out in the fun sports area or rock away in the city’s clubs. The fair is easily reached in 20 minutes by tram.

The all-in-one package costs 130 euros and includes a four-day ticket for the GC, four overnights at the GC Freestyle campsite, the use of the sanitation facilities at the campsite and free use of local public transport. Visitors coming to Leipzig for just a day can have a one-day ticket to the fair and one overnight stay at the campsite for 38 euros.

Classical plus Happening: Kicking off with a Musical Premiere
Time to listen and watch at the GC – Games Convention’s traditional game music concert on Wednesday, 20 August. Visitors can look forward to a very special premiere. After huge successes in the USA and the UK, the Video Games Live concert programme comes to Germany for the first time. The classic event transforms the Arena Leipzig into a multimedia concert hall and as it does so, it proclaims the start of the GC 2008 in Leipzig. Spectacular light effects, interactive game interludes and a top-class symphony orchestra with star pianist Martin Leung guarantee a fitting lead-in for the fair.

Lovers of classics are not the only ones to enjoy a treat. Scenes of the respective games are shown on a giant screen accompanied by the music. From crazy Pacman chases, clever Tetris twists and turns, or dangerous Myst voyages of discovery – Video Games Live takes the audience on a multimedia journey through time and the world of gaming. Tickets for the game music concert are available at all known advance sales outlets, from the ticket hotline + 49 (0) 1805-57 00 81 or from www.deag.de.

The Best of the Best: Prize Presentations at the GC
Visitors can experience a real glut of prizes at this year’s GC – Games Convention. It starts on the Thursday with presentation of the “Best of GC” awards. Games journalists make up an independent panel choosing the best GC new productions in different categories. Innovative remodelling of computers are in the spotlight for the fifth GC CasemodMasters (GCCM). On the Sunday at the fair, the most creative ideas will win awards in the categories “Casemods” (remodelled series production PC cases) and “Casecons” (completely self-produced casings).

Things hot up at the GC for fans of e-sport too. For the first time ever, the German final of the World Cyber Games is being held in Leipzig. Altogether 200 of the best German gamers compete for the national title and for a place in Germany’s selection. Another highlight is the final of the ESL European Nations Championship. Four national teams each compete for the European championship title in the disciplines Counter-Strike, Warcraft 3, FIFA 2008 and Counter-Strike:Source.

To Leipzig by Coach, by Rail or by Air
With six additional charter flights on offer, the GC – Games Convention is more accessible than ever before. Flights set off for Leipzig on 19 and 20 August from the key European airports Amsterdam, Helsinki, London/Luton, Munich, Paris/Le Bourget and Vienna. Return flights are available for either 21 or 22 August. Further information is available from Leipziger Messe Customer Services (Ms Sehr, +49 (0) 341 678 8954).

Deutsche Bahn AG is also ready for keen gamers. With its GC travel special, exhibitors and trade visitors can get to Leipzig quickly and easily from any DB railway station in Germany. And at a one-off special price: a return ticket to Leipzig costs only 99 euros 2nd class and 159 euros for 1st class travel. Tickets can be booked with Deutsche Bahn by phone on + 49 (0) 1805-31 3353, reference “Games Convention”.

Deutsche Bahn is again providing special trains for GC day trippers. On 21 August, GC fans can take a train from Munich to Leipzig, and on 23 August, a special train from Cologne helps long-distance travellers on their way to Leipzig. Trains arrive in Leipzig at about 11.00 a.m., returning at 7.00 p.m. Tickets including GC admission cost 79 euros from Munich and 69 euros from Cologne.

For the first time and together with “Connect GC”, the Leipziger Messe is also organising a blanket coverage coach service. In more than 30 German cities, coaches will be ready to travel to Leipzig on the Friday and Saturday of the fair. With no detours or stops on the way, they head straight for the games mecca, arriving by 10.00 a.m. at the latest. Whether or not coaches operate is up to the gamers: at least 50 bookings are needed for each journey. The price of the coach trip depends on the distance.

Detailed information on the various travel options is available on the website www.gc-germany.com.

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