We're exactly one week away from the start of GDC Summer, the first-ever entirely online Game Developers Conference, and there's a few things you can do to ensure you get the most out of your time at the event.
First off, if you haven't already, make sure to log into the GDC Summer virtual platform (all registered attendees should have received an invitation email) and start filling out your profile with details you want to share with your peers.
There are lots of opportunities to set up meetings, engage in group discussions, or message directly with other GDC Summer attendees, so it's critical that you advertise yourself and the remarkable work you do. If you'd prefer not to be contacted, you can remove details from your profile to stay private. And if you're looking to meet other attendees, make sure to search using relevant keywords (like "publisher" or "artist") to find relevant contacts!
Also, take advantage of the search filters while you're looking to make connections. When you're searching for contacts in the GDC Summer event platform, simply open up one of the several filter options and select the type(s) of people you’re looking for. You can find connections based on their job focus, company focus, time zone, whether they're available for portfolio review or mentorship, and more!
The more connections you make, the better the AI-driven matchmaking system incorporated into the GDC Summer event will get at recommending relevant contacts for you to meet. Once you find a great contact, you can send a connection request (remember to include a note so they can better assist you!) or suggest a time for a meeting and they will be instantly notified of your request.
Don't forget to build out your schedule in the "All Sessions" tab of the GDC Summer platform. This is key to getting the most out of the event, because when you register to attend a session it will be added to your schedule and you'll get a notification (which you can choose to turn off!) 10 minutes before the session starts.
You'll get a similar notification on your mobile device if you choose to download the GDC Mobile app on iOS or Android; once the app is updated it will sync with your GDC Summer profile to help you stay on top of your schedule while you're away from your desk.
When you're browsing the selection and see a session you're interested in attending, hit the calendar icon to add it directly to your schedule, or click on the title to see a full description of the talk. From each individual talk you'll also see a recommended list of other talks you might like, and a speaker bio you can click on to jump directly to the speaker's profile, where you can request to connect and propose available meeting times.
Also, figure out what you want to learn ahead of time, and come ready with relevant questions. This may sound obvious, but we just wanted to remind you that since GDC Summer is a condensed 3-day event taking place virtually, your opportunities to speak with speakers and fellow attendees may be limited by time zones and technology. You may be chatting via text first, or quickly stepping into the spotlight during a virtual group discussion, and you'll be more confident if you have clear questions and goals for what you want to get out of your time at the event.
Finally, make sure to block out plenty of time to attend! Unlike a traditional in-person GDC, this event will have extended hours to accommodate folks living in other time zones or under coronavirus-related time constraints. This year the event schedule goes from 6 AM to 8 AM Pacific every day; while nearly all GDC Summer content will be rewatchable on the platform (so don't worry about cramping your schedule to attend) whenever you like, there will be live conversation opportunities and community events you'll want to participate in!
In summary, here are some quick tips to make the most of this year's virtual GDC:
- Fill out your profile, so your next great connection can find you!
- Find relevant, interesting connections; don't overlook the AI-powered recommendations!
- Plan out your schedule ahead of time, online or in the mobile app, and set reminders.
- Think about what you want to learn, and come ready with concise questions.
- Block out time in your day to attend, and amid all your learning don't miss out on the fun opportunities to relax and unwind with fellow attendees!