The Challenge | An Engaging Virtual Experience
The External Development Summit (XDS) is the only annual, international games industry event with a primary focus on external development for art, animation, audio, co-development, QA and localization. The summit has gained a reputation for being the best platform for collaboration and innovation between industry professionals. While Brandlive has produced XDS for 7 years, 2020 presented a new challenge as the international pandemic made it impossible for an in-person gathering to take place. Brandlive had to reimagine the event in a new virtual world while maintaining the same collaborative environment and networking opportunities that XDS is known for. With over 550 attendees spread across 42 countries and 16 time zones worldwide, the virtual atmosphere would present new logistical challenges for Brandlive to overcome.
The Strategy | Perfecting Virtual Platforms
Brandlive knew that the key to delivering a successful virtual summit would come down to the careful selection of the event platform. In order to meet the needs of the international audience, speakers, and sponsors, it became apparent that an internally-developed custom conference platform was a necessity; hence XDS Connect was born. With this new platform, Brandlive was able to curate the perfect combination of passive and active entertainment with a combination of pre-recorded and live sessions to be delivered throughout the conference across multiple international time zones. The new platform also provided an opportunity for sponsors to create virtual exhibits and encouraged networking among attendees by allowing them to seamlessly set up business meetings and engage in dynamic social events. In order to reach our goal of engaging attendees, Brandlive sent out personalized Welcome Kits across the globe to each attendee complete with reaction paddles, name badges, cocktail kits, and a “How to Adapt” booklet.
The Impact | Delivering on Meaningful Connections
XDS Adapt was more successful than imagined and was able to deliver four days of non-stop content including 34 sessions, 14 table topics, 11 entertainment segments, and 3 social events. The programming captivated audiences with a total of 26,000+ hours of attendee usage on the XDS Connect platform and rave reviews from attendees. Brandlive was also able to reach its sponsorship objectives with a total of 16 exhibitors and 32 sponsors generating over $300K in sponsorship revenue for the event. On top of that, XDS was able to deliver on its mission of facilitating collaboration between industry professionals with a total of 2,000 business meetings hosted on the XDS platform throughout the summit.