Eight In-Person Industry Events we Attended This Year

In-person meetings and networking are all the way back now, and we’re lovin’ it.
Here’s an overview of several of the events we’ve been attending since June. It was literally an eventful period – and I’m not only writing because I love puns. Read on to find out why.

1. The Belgian Economic Mission to the USA – in Atlanta, New York, and Boston

As a Belgian-American company, this was an event we couldn’t miss: a delegation of Belgian officials, company leaders, and Her Royal Highness Princess Astrid of Belgium visited the cities of Atlanta, New York, and Boston, an learned about the American way of business. Part of the mission was a delegation of game developers visiting the Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII). Some visual impressions of the mission:

From top to bottom, pictures from the three locations visited during the Belgian Economic Mission: Atlanta, New York, and Boston. Top: Hanging out with other Belgian game developers and industry enthusiasts at a food court in Atlanta. Middle: Conversation Vint Cerf at Flanders House, a New Havener and also one of the two inventors of the TCP/IP protocol. Bottom: Evening reception at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

2. Serious Play Conference 2022 – in Orlando, Florida

It’s been since 2019 that we attended the Serious Play Conference in person – in 2020 we spoke at the event and also won a gold award together with the Yale play4REAL XR Lab for Invite Only VR, a vaping prevention game prototype, and in 2022 we did it again together with the play4REAL lab: InvestiDate, a game prototype aimed to empower black teen girls in dating situations, snatched a gold award.

InvestiDate is also covered on the Yale School of Medicine website and was previously shared exclusively with our newsletter audience through a video of the second iteration of the prototype.

It’s always fun to collect achievements and trophies – in games, but also in real life. We proudly present: our harvest from the 2022 and 2020 International Serious Play Awards.

Pleiadian System‘s CEO Fred Caserta and Bernard speaking about their collaboration on Fire Rescue VR in a hybrid in-person and online talk. Fire Rescue VR is a minimum viable product (MVP) prototype being developed by PreviewLabs for Pleiadian.

3. Hanging out in the PreviewLabs Office – in Wetteren, Belgium

PreviewLabs team members raising a glass of champagne to celebrate PreviewLabs’ newly found independence after a restructuring of the relationship with its former parent company, the Cronos Group.

Top: From left to right, PreviewLabs team members Bernard, Domien, Jerry, and Ewoud. Bottom: It’s not always fun and games at PreviewLabs. Sometimes we are serious, such as when playing a game of Age of Empires II during our weekly teambuilding activity – with our Argentinian colleague Lucas scratching his head as he is being defeated by the Belgians. An omen for the FIFA World Cup 2022?

4. GameDevCT Mixer – in West Haven, Connecticut

At PreviewLabs, we’ve always been big about the passion of game development, and enabling others to share in the joy and grow in their profession. After joining the board of the Flemish Games Association as Secretary in 2014 and becoming Chairman in 2016, PreviewLabs’ founder Bernard also founded Connecticut’s game industry association, GameDevCT, in 2018.

With the pandemic left behind us, game industry associations are also getting together in person again. Apart from the Connecticut Game Pitch Competition (covered here by the Connecticut Inside Investigator), it was the first time in a while for GameDevCT to attract a larger crowd – this time at the University of New Haven.

Local Connecticut game developers and students sharing about their work at the GameDevCT Mixer.

5. FLEGA Café – in Antwerp, Belgium

Game developers mingling is an international phenomenon, it turns out. Here are some shots from the FLEGA Café which we attended, and which was hosted by Cybernetic Walrus, an Antwerp based game company. Several new developers on the block who were present at the FLEGA Café obtained funding through the VAF Game Fund. The Flemish game industry IS thriving, with a growth from 65 to 110 game companies in the 2014 to 2021 period – according to numbers released earlier this month.

Flemish game developers talking about the state of their business and their projects at the FLEGA mixer.

6 & 7. IVRHA and AWE EU 2022 – in Lisbon, Portugal

The 4th Annual Virtual Reality and Healthcare Europe Symposium, organized by the International Virtual Reality Healthcare Association (IVRHA), as well as Augmented World Expo Europe 2022 (AWE) were two events organized in the same week in Lisbon.

Out of all events covered in this blog post, AWE was by far the most intense trade event – with almost thirty meetings in just two days; similar to what we described back in 2013 for one of the many editions of Game Connection, but then specific to the AR & VR industry.

Left: In this picture, taken at the rooftop party on top of the AWE expo hall, we have clockwise from the bottom left Asher Marks and Kimberly Hieftje of Yale XRPeds, yours truly, and Craig Herndon and James Watson of The Glimpse Group. Right: Bernard trying out Valkyrie Industries‘ workout app in which your muscles actually tense up when picking up virtual weights – through electronic stimulation. After an initial period of getting used to the effect, it feels quite convincing.

8. Pleiadian Systems at FIRE PRO Expo 2022 – at Foxwoods Casino, Connecticut

In October, our client Pleiadian Systems exhibited at FIRE PRO Expo 2022, a trade show for fire and emergency services. They also demonstrated the MVP we developed for their Fire Rescue VR project. In this project, up to four fire fighters train while being guided by an instructor who can monitor everything from a PC. For a rough idea of the project, see our a sneak peak video, distributed a few months ago through our mailing list.

It is great to see that outside of the games industry, people are also getting together to celebrate business, making exciting projects happen.

Left: Bernard trying out the Meta Quest Pro, shortly after its release. It’s quite similar to the Quest 2, but faster and allows for a color pass-through camera view, as opposed to the black and white view on the Quest 2. Right: Fred Caserta, CEO of Pleiadian Systems demoing the Fire Rescue VR prototype, with David Furtado, the company’s director of new business development wearing the VR headset.

Ready for Prototyping, as Always!

It’s been a real pleasure seeing everyone’s excitement at all of these events.

Here at PreviewLabs, we’re ready to capture this excitement and turn it into playable prototypes. Contact us to discuss prototyping for your projects.

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