A few months ago, Twitch, the popular streaming channel that sees more than 100 million viewers monthly, announced its very first convention, TwitchCon, which will take place on September 25 and 26 in San Francisco, California. At the show, attendees won’t just be able to brush elbows with their favorite streaming superstars – they’ll also learn a thing or two about streaming, while at the same time having some fun with games.
Twitch recently revealed the various activities that will take place at the show, including an Intel Gaming Lab with various PC favorites (including Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and League of Legends), an Education Zone where users can learn more about what it takes to run a successful Twitch channel; and a Charity Zone, featuring the likes of Operation Supply Drop, the American Red Cross and others, raising awareness for their causes.
Popular games will also be present at the show, including Capcom’s forthcoming Street Fighter V, Deep Silver’s Mighty No. 9 and Wargaming.net’s World of Warships, amongst others. Various partners and sponsors are on board, with plenty of things for attendees to take part in.
SVP of marketing Matthew DiPietro and director of global events Amy Brady recently chatted with [a]listdaily about the various partners taking part in TwitchCon, as well as expectations for the event.
What was behind the decision to bring streaming IRL with TwitchCon?
Matthew: At its heart, TwitchCon is a giant community meetup. Our broadcasters are always interested in ways they can improve their channels and grow their communities, while our viewers love to connect with their favorite personalities. By hosting our own convention, we are able to delve deep into every aspect of the broadcasting experience, while also making the event a giant meet-and-greet for community members on both sides of the camera.
What kind of Twitch personalities and celebrities can attendees expect at TwitchCon?
Matthew: A huge cross-section of Twitch Partners are attending TwitchCon. Many hundreds of them. That includes everybody from broadcasters who are professional highly skilled competitive players to entertainers who are successful based on their ability to connect and engage their viewers. There are also more casual broadcasters who do it simply for the love of the experience. We will have all kinds at TwitchCon, many of which will be involved in activities that allow their fans to interact with them, such as joining them on stream or playing a game together. Twitch fans are just as passionate as fans of other entertainment mediums from sports to Hollywood, so getting face time with their favorite broadcasters is a big part of the appeal.
Games will play a big part in the show, like Street Fighter V and World of Warships. But there’s also a section devoted to indie game developers, via the Indie Alley. Do you see indie releases gaining bigger exposure on Twitch as time goes on, along with the AAA titles?
Matthew: Twitch is a place for all games, period. I think you’d be surprised just how popular indie titles, as well as retro titles, are at any given time. One of the challenges indie developers face is that traditional media outlets tend to give recurring coverage primarily to games from the major publishers. With Twitch broadcasters, in addition to wanting to play the biggest new releases, many like to expose their viewers to smaller games that provide a unique viewing or social experience. As testament to the success of indies on Twitch, Ark: Survival Evolved was #5 on our most recent chart.
Where will people who can’t make the show be able to see everything online? Will a number of channels be available throughout the event?
Matthew: It’s TwitchCon! Stream all the things! All of the panels at TwitchCon will be live broadcast, with additional content being generated by exhibitors and some of our interactive areas. We are still working out the channel names, but there will be a hub that makes it easy to find everything that is live during the event.
There are a lot of companies participating in the event, like Intel, Tiltify, Razer, Arenanet and more. What are some interesting ways they will be using TwitchCon to reach this streaming audience?
Amy: Our vision from the start was that all brands being featured at TwitchCon had to have a component relevant to the Twitch community. Attendees can expect to experience everything from open gameplay sessions and giveaways all the way to full-blown entertainment productions and exclusive reveals and first looks, with some of the most popular broadcasters partnering with exhibitors. You will also see a common thread of Influencer programs and signup opportunities that will give broadcasters huge perks spanning game codes and items for viewer giveaways, exclusive access to developers and games for content, opportunities for early stressing rights, you name it!
Tell us more about The Education Zone, and how it will help streamers get the most out of their Twitch experience. How will Amazon associates contribute to it as well?
Amy: Since there are a lot of different elements that go into building a successful broadcast on our platform, The Education Zone was something extremely important for us when we were developing the programming for TwitchCon. We view this as one of the most important areas for anyone wants to get started in broadcasting or broadcasters who want to ensure they have all their bases covered. This will be where people can sit down and get hands-on experience with products and services, while learning tips and tricks from onsite experts. For broadcasters that can’t make it to the show, there will be a live broadcast from our Education Workshop.
The crown jewel of The Education Zone will be the Amazon Showcase which will give side-by-side product explorations from beginner all the way to advanced broadcaster setups. Amazon Affiliates will also be there to show broadcasters how easy it is to join the affiliate program and some cool tips and tricks on how to maximize revenue and exposure.
Charity plays a big part in TwitchCon as well with The Charity Zone. How did working with such great partners as the American Red Cross and Operation Supply Drop come together?
Amy: Twitch has become a popular platform for charities because of the socially conscious nature of both our broadcasting and viewing community. Because we encourage and support our users’ philanthropic endeavors, it was an easy decision to ensure we dedicated a part of TwitchCon to building awareness of some of the most prominent charities that tie in with gamers. Tiltify was one of the first charity programs to contact us for the show, and because they offer a product that other charity organizations can use, they were a perfect partner to sponsor The Charity Zone.
Finally, tell us more about the Purple Ticket promotion.
Matthew: We are offering up a pair of plane tickets, a hotel, and a VIP experience to a passionate Twitch fan based on their submission video. The blog post has all the details with some of the videos being aired during Twitch Weekly on Fridays at 1pm PT at www.twitch.tv/tv.
Tickets can still be purchased at the official TwitchCon page.