The ESA just announced the new E3 Media and Business Summit, to be held July 11-13, 2007, in Santa Monica, California.
"The new E3Expo is first and foremost about getting business done," according to ESa President, Doug Lowenstein. "When we asked key audiences what they wanted in the new event, we heard that they wanted opportunities for high-level meetings in a business-like setting, to play games, network, and socialize, to see major company offerings while also preserving the sense of discovery that is so much a part of E3Expo, and to hear substantive presentations on the most important issues and trends facing the industry. We believe the event we have shaped will fulfill all those needs."
The new event will be invitation-only and will feature closed door meetings for "high level media" in hotel conference rooms, and a software showcase at a nearby hangar complex. There will be no consumer access, and it remains to be seen just exactly what "high level media" means, but I'm guessing blogs won't count.
We'll be following this one closely.
The entire press release reprinted below.
The new E3 Media and Business Summit will be held July 11-13, 2007, in Santa Monica, California, and will combine the best elements of the former trade show into a business event celebrating the video game industry's present and future, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today.
The centerpiece of the invitation-only, three-day event will be the opportunity for both ESA members and non-members to stage major press events, and to have intimate meetings in premier hotel suites and meeting rooms with media, retailers, developer partners, and other audiences. In addition, the nearby Barker Hangar will be converted into a software showcase where attendees will be able to casually test drive the featured video games planned for the coming holiday season and beyond.
"By combining suite-based meetings with the software showcase in a controlled and business-like environment, we believe we will successfully fulfill our primary objective of giving high-level media the best of all worlds -- the chance to engage in highly personal, one-on-one dialogue with leading game company executives, as well as the chance to demo games on their own time and to check out offerings from both the best known and emerging game publishers and developers," said Douglas Lowenstein, President of the ESA. "It will also provide an excellent opportunity for meetings with retailers, developers and other audiences."
The new E3Expo will also feature a daily luncheon conference session with top executives and/or analysts and a Serious Games showcase. In addition, ESA is exploring adding an independent games showcase and including the highly successful "Into The Pixel" video game art competition and exhibition. Finally, evenings will be a time for receptions and parties so participants can interact at the informal events that have been an E3Expo tradition.
"The new E3Expo is first and foremost about getting business done. When we asked key audiences what they wanted in the new event, we heard that they wanted opportunities for high-level meetings in a business-like setting, to play games, network, and socialize, to see major company offerings while also preserving the sense of discovery that is so much a part of E3Expo, and to hear substantive presentations on the most important issues and trends facing the industry," said Lowenstein. "We believe the event we have shaped will fulfill all those needs."
Lowenstein noted that all the hotels involved will be within easy walking distance of one another, and there will be a shuttle bus system to facilitate movement to the hotels and Barker Hangar, as well as to major off-site press conferences, such as those staged by the major console companies. "The new E3Expo event will be more personal, efficient and focused, and it will provide the top stakeholders who make games, sell games, and cover games streamlined access to the people and products they most need to see."
The Barker Hangar venue, a short drive from the hotels, will allow participating companies to showcase their games in standardized, turnkey displays areas ranging from 100 square feet to 400 square feet. All display areas will be developed by show management to ensure that the venue is staged efficiently.
As noted, the event will be open to ESA members and non members alike. Companies involved in console, PC, online, and mobile game publishing and developing, as well as makers of video game hardware and peripherals will be eligible to participate. Attendance at all events, meetings, and demonstrations will be by invitation only. Transportation between venues will be provided to event participants. ESA expects that event booking will be launched within the next 30 days.
The ESA is the U.S. association dedicated to serving the business and public affairs needs of the companies publishing interactive games for video game consoles, handheld devices, personal computers, and the Internet. ESA members collectively account for more than 90 percent of the $7 billion in entertainment software sales in the U.S. in 2005, and billions more in export sales of entertainment software.