Jessica Tams, director of Casual Connect: Belgrade is perfect location for our growthBY Zoja Kukic ON September 19
As Casual Connect, one of the biggest gaming conferences in the world which is happening for the first time this year in Belgrade, we talked with the director of Casual Games Association, Jessica Tams. This year in November Casual Connect for Eastern Europe is gathering more than 800 game development experts and lovers in Belgrade, capital of Serbia.
1. How did you decide to take Belgrade as a location to move Casual Connect to from Kyiv?
We have held a conference in Kyiv since 2006 and watched it grow bigger each year. To better accommodate our attendees that travel from all over the world, we looked for a place in Eastern Europe that would be able to support the constant growth of the conference and retain easy travel.
After much debate, we decided on the energetic city of Belgrade. It is a must-see location, is easily accessible, and the locals are very welcoming.
2. What is it that attracted you to Eastern Europe?
The goal of Casual Connect is to help foster a worldwide community that is able to deal with the ups and downs of the business. We want to provide the chance to meet and learn with others in the industry to anyone in the world.
Eastern Europe is an important region with many developers and publishers working on exciting projects. Casual Connect Eastern Europe started in 2006 along with our USA and Western European events. Casual Connect Asia debuted in 2012.
3. How difficult is to organize the conference after changing the location?
With the various details that need to be covered in order for a Casual Connect conference to take place, much of the planning takes place a year before the conference, and then is constantly refined as the conference dates approach.
While it can be challenging to change a conference’s location, this process is a testament to how great the community is. There are many companies and industry members who have offered their support to make the transition as smooth as possible.
4. What will be the main focus of Casual Connect in Belgrade?
The main theme of Casual Connect Eastern Europe is “Discovery.” During this event, our attendees have the opportunity to explore Belgrade, a place new to Casual Connect, as well as see new development talent and new games.
Together, we will be discovering what’s next on the horizon for game development.
5. What are your expectations from this event?
We are very excited for this event! We hope everyone enjoys the vibrant atmosphere of Belgrade, and the new energy it will instill. We expect over 800 industry professionals to be in attendance, and over 50 international speakers to hear from.
There will also be 50 up and coming indie developers presenting their work in the Indie Prize showcase. The third IDEA Showcase will also be in attendance, where established developers looking for international partners can present their recent projects.
6. For whom is CC Belgrade meant for and why would you say it is important for them to attend it?
Casual Connect Eastern Europe in Belgrade is meant for those involved in the video game industry on any level from all over the world, from indie teams to established companies. This is an opportunity to be able to meet with others in the industry and learn valuable information for their work and goals, allowing them to expand their business.
Many attendees have found a successful business partner while at the event as well. It is a great opportunity to meet so many potential clients and partners in one place.