Gaming and technology conferences are a great place for consumers and enthusiasts to come and get a sneak peak on what’s cooking in the near future. It’s also an instrument for developers and companies alike to showcase the results of hard work and get the much needed media exposure.
Just like everyone else, these technology conferences also live off sponsorship deals, often agreed with various game and software development studios. But just how big are the marketing budgets of such companies? How much are they willing to spend on a conference that promotes not only them, but also everyone else participating, including their competitors?
Getting the big picture
We tried to get a general image on the sponsorship deals, as well as who are the biggest spenders in the gaming and technology industry. We looked not only at some past conferences around the globe, but at future ones too, trying to understand who supports which conference, over a one year period (from late 2014 until late 2015) and to what extent.
Unity was the only company with more than $100,000 spent, where both AdColony and StartApp spent more than $60,000 on various conferences. Even though there are events that haven’t disclosed the pricing of sponsorship deals, using only publicly available data, Unity spent a total of $135,000 over a one year period. With five conferences supported, Unity was also the most frequent sponsor, where AppsFlyer, StartApp and AdColony supported four.
The popularity of conferences can also be measured by the number of high paying sponsors willing to participate.
With such statistics, it’s plain to see that Casual Connect’s Amsterdam event (4-6 February 2015) was the biggest conference so far, attracting dozens of companies and having the biggest number of platinum sponsors (seven), out of 20 companies observed. Casual Connect’s San Francisco conference, planned for August 2015, comes as second best, with five companies willing to support the venue with platinum sponsorship deals.
Below is the table of top ten spenders in terms of marketing budget and the number of conferences attended. It’s important to notice that not all events share the prices for sponsorships, which is why these numbers are a (close) estimate.
|Company Name||Conferences Attended||Estimated Minimum Conference Budget|
Getting the data
In order to get the bigger picture on the spending in this industry, we had a look at some of the biggest, as well as smaller conferences all around the world. We looked at how many sponsors they had, how the sponsorship tiers have been established, and how much each tier costs.
Most of these events have a pdf price list file with different sponsorship tiers and prices for each tier, available for download at their website. So, for starters, we looked at five Casual Connect events.
Even though every conference has the same pricing method (Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze sponsorship deals), every conference has a different pricing.
The Belgrade event, which took place in November 2014, had a four-tier system: Platinum ($15,000), Gold ($6,000), Silver ($3,500), and Bronze ($2,000). The Amsterdam event was more expensive: Platinum was €20,000, Gold €10,000, Silver €3,500, and Bronze was €2,500.
Next one up will be in Singapore in May, and its prices match Belgrade ($15K, $6K, $3.5K, $2K). The Casual Connect event in San Francisco will take place in August, and in order to become a Platinum sponsor, each company must pay $30,000. Gold is $12,000, Silver is $5,000, and Bronze $3,000.
The Tel Aviv event, planned for fall of 2015, has no data yet.
The PGConnects conference in London, which took place in January 2015, had a three-tier system: Platinum ($40,000), Gold ($16,000), and Silver ($8,000).
The Winter Nights mobile game conference, taking place in February 2015 in St. Petersburg, Russia, is one of the most expensive conferences. It is organised on four tiers: Diamond ($50,000), Platinum ($15,000), Gold (10,000), and Silver ($5,000).
Aside from these conferences, we also analyzed the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco and Cologne, the GlobalMGF (Mobile Games Forum) events in Asia (Hong Kong), and Europe (London), all of which decided not to publicly display the prices of their sponsorship deals.
The Global Mobile Internet Conferences in the Silicon Valley, Bangalore and Beijing had very little or none information about their sponsors on their respective websites, and when reached out to, decided not to reply.
The biggest gaming show, The Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, has a list of sponsors, but no prices.
Crunching the numbers
We looked at a total of ten conferences, spanning from November 2014 to November 2015, and every one of them has tens, some twenty and more sponsors.
We tried not to get lost in the forest of sponsors, so we focused on 20 companies we thought were the most relevant and / or most present in the monetization landscape of the mobile gaming industry. So we paid special attention to Chartboost, Appsflyer, StartApp, TUNE, AdMob, NativeX, Vungle, RevMob, HeyZap, Flurry, AdColony, Unity, Playhaven, TapJoy, Supersonic Ads, SponsorPay, NextPeer, MoPub, PaymentWall, Inneractive and Fortumo.
Unlike Unity, AdColony and StartApp, which are fairly present in the world of conferences, companies like Inneractive, Playhaven, Flurry, or HeyZap have not been seen as sponsors at any of the examined conferences. It’s very important to stress that these numbers might not represent the exact budgets of the companies involved, nor the exact prices of different sponsorship deals. The numbers and data presented here are based on publicly available information and represent non-confirmed, estimation-only budgets.
The source data we collected is available in this Google Spreadsheet.