Just by taking a quick look at the online eSports community, you’ll find pros, streamers, casual gamers, game developers, tech brands, artists, and cosplayers. All these people in one place for a live event? There’ll be a lot going on. Here’s some tips for hosting a great live eSports event:
Offer Year-Round Events
There’s dozens of video games that are played professionally, and there is no designated eSports season as there is in traditional sports. That means you can host eSports events all year long and fill gaps in your venue’s event calendar.
Yes, digital is important for eSports, even at a live event! Fans and players alike love to live-tweet and share photos to their Instagram stories during the action! From simply creating a hashtag for your event to offering device charging stations or photo-op space, your guests will snap pictures and share their experience online—with the bonus of generating a buzz for your venue.
Going one step further, upgrading your venue’s seating with USB power allows fans to keep their devices going without leaving their seat and missing any of the action.
Embrace Esports Fandom
You’ve seen sports super fans—those who own every championship t-shirt and paint their face in their team’s colors for game day. eSports fans are no different! Embrace the rich fandom of the eSports community at your live event. Whether it’s a league tournament, a gaming convention, or a small local watch party, fans will show up in their best eSports gear and costumes. Encourage and embrace fans’ creativity. The photo-op space and event hashtag will be especially important for boosting your venue as cosplayers love a space for unique photos.
Revamp Your Shop & Concessions
Beyond the stellar outfits, consider bringing eSports fandom into your venue through the concessions stand, such as:
- Themed concessions, like snacks, sandwiches, or cocktails inspired by game characters or teams
- Offering other gamer favorites, like Mountain Dew’s Game Fuel energy drink
- Selling event merch like t-shirts, posters, or mouse pads
Looking for eSports-specific merch? Look no further than your local gaming or pop culture store. Selling merchandise table space to local shops or artists brings in additional revenue for your venue while giving fans something unique and supporting small, local businesses.
Depending on the size of your event, and especially if you secure an official league event, you may be able to sell official merch or get freebies from game developers. Even small freebies like branded keychains, lanyards, or beanies are prized items for eSports fans (but who doesn’t love something free?).
eSports is an area that is only going to continue to grow as games get even better and more and more people tune in to watch. Engaging with the eSports community gives you an opportunity as a venue to offer more events year-round that bring quite a bit of fanfare with them, which will only draw more people in over time.