For the first time in years, Gamescom live is back. Thousands of people are going to be making the trip down to Cologne. So we wanted to share some of our tips and tricks for getting the most out of Gamescom.
Our crew will be heading down this year. We have a booth, thanks to our friends at Servers.com. So if you’re in the area, make sure to pop by and say hello, or drop a time in our calendar. We’re in Hall 2.1, down aisle E, booth number 021.
1. Read up on the public transport
Unless you’re a frequent visitor to Cologne, we recommend looking up the public transport in the city. Plan your journey and put together a backup plan, just in case.
Cologne has trains, trams, and buses running throughout the day. Depending on where you’re staying, you might only need to get City or CityPlus tickets, and transport should be pretty straightforward. But if you’re bunking a bit further out, read up on what train lines and bus routes reach you and at what times.
Book taxis in advance
Being a city, there will be plenty of taxis to ferry you around. But expect delays on event days. Thousands of people will be ordering taxis to get to the venue, all at the same time. So book yours in advance to avoid being late – and if you can, buddy up with other attendees to save on the fare (and it’s better for the environment, of course).
Bike it, if you’re feeling brave
Cologne has a bike sharing scheme (similar to the Santander bikes in London). There are plenty of bike stops around the city and next to Koelnmesse. It could be easier and cheaper to get to and from the venue.
Here’s their official site. Read up on the rules, and register before you travel. And if you get some time, cycle along the Rhine.
2. Allow time between meetings
With only so much time in the day, it’s easy to try and cram in as many meetings as possible. But there are a couple of reasons why you may want to give yourself some breathing room.
First, Koelnmesse is huge
The venue is massive. With the crowds slowing you down, it can take 10 to 15 minutes to walk from one side of the building to the next. Familiarise yourself with the venue map and plan your day. Bring a packed lunch if you can. The food stands queue is always long, so you’ll spend almost your entire lunch break standing around.
Image source: borrowed from this article
Second, give yourself time to type up notes
You’re going to meet a lot of people and hopefully have a ton of meetings. And while those conversations may be fresh in your mind while you’re there, you could be scrambling to remember what you chatted about when you’re following up the next week.
Give yourself time to write meaningful notes. Try to leave each meeting with an action item. Future you will thank you. Notion is a great tool for taking notes and organising, but there are plenty of other platforms to help keep you organised.
3. Invest in a business card scanner
People still use business cards. It’s the quickest and easiest way to share details. So consider getting a business card scanner. It’ll save you time inputting your leads’ details to whatever CRM you’re using.
There are a few options online (just search for any basic business card scanner). If you’re organised, you can get an app and scan the cards as and when you get them, which saves you the hassle after the event.
4. Get out before the weekend
This year, Gamescom is opening up to the general public again, so the venue and town will be heaving. You can save yourself some travel issues if you get out before the weekend begins, as this is when it’ll be the busiest.
Or you can embrace it and join in on the fun. There are plenty of events and things to do on the weekend. Just expect it to be busy.
5. Book restaurants in advance,
It’s going to be busy this year. Book the restaurants in advance if you have any team or client dinners. Otherwise, you could wander the streets looking for a place to eat.
Here’s a list of places where you can reserve a table online. And if you happen to spot one by the river, definitely snap that up.
6. Remove your badge after the event
Cologne is a lovely city. But like in any city, theft is a reality. Wearing your event badge once you leave is a telltale sign that you’re a tourist. So pop it in your bag when you’re out of the venue. Try to take taxis when you can (especially late at night). And be aware of your surroundings.
7. Lastly, prepare for the heat
Any crowded event is usually on the warmer side. Over the next few weeks, we’re expecting to see a heatwave in Cologne. And with thousands of people making their way to Cologne, we’re predicting that it’s going to be a scorcher.
There’ll be plenty of water stations at the venue. But do what you can to prepare for the heat this year. Carrying water, wearing sunscreen, and even investing in an umbrella will help you this year.
Say hello to the team
We hope this has been a helpful guide for you. We’ve got some pretty big news to share, so we’d love to have a chat if you are heading down this year. Just pop a time in our diary, or drop by our booth. We’re in Hall 2.1, down aisle E, booth number 021. See you there.