From Facebook Gaming to Oculus to Magic: The Gathering, TTG Supports 20+ Activations at PAX East in Boston

For passionate gamers, there’s no other convention that celebrates gaming and its culture better than the various iterations of PAX held across the globe. For gaming fans on the east coast and beyond, PAX East in Boston is a must attend event. It’s also the place where The Trade Group facilitated more than 20 client activations in 2019­. In fact, TTG pulled off one of its most impressive showings at a PAX event ever, with four stunning custom booths and 17 on-floor activations. TTG achieved this accomplishment despite the fact that 2019 represented an “ebb” year in the cycle of game production, with many big-name game developers choosing not to attend the show.

Massive custom booths with live streaming, gaming stations, VR pods, gaming arena, ‘pyro’ and more!

The Trade Group was honored to partner with some of the biggest names in video gaming, live streaming and virtual reality at PAX East. Here’s how TTG helped Facebook Gaming, Oculus and Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering make a big splash in 2019.

Facebook Gaming shines a spotlight on Oculus VR and Instagram

As Facebook Gaming enters its second year on the live streaming front, the company turned to TTG once again to manage its global gaming show programs. For PAX East, Facebook grew its presence by 30 percent compared to 2018—expanding from a 50’x60’ booth to a 50’x80’ booth and allotting more space for the company’s associated brands, Oculus and Instagram.

According to Neeshu Hajra, VP of Business Development at TTG, the new booth represents an organic evolution both in terms of client needs and design aesthetic. As he explains, “Facebook Gaming’s brand identity has grown to be very well recognized in the gaming community. Much of that is due to the architectural styles we developed hand and hand with the client.”

While Both Oculus and Instagram have a larger presence in the booth this year—four Oculus VR demo pods and three Instagram pods—the live streamer’s stage and Creator’s Lounge were preserved because they play a key role in the overall experience. Lighting was also featured prominently in the new design, including many intricate lighting elements and controllable lighting grids above the Oculus pods.

“We were honored to be involved with this magnificent activation. It looked fantastic and several people from Facebook remarked that it was the best stand they’ve done with TTG. That means a lot because we did some pretty major things for them last year at Gamescom and the Thailand Games Show,” Hajra says.

Two BONUS Oculus Activations: 10 demo pods and a content stage

Oculus was releasing a brand new piece of technology, so the company really stepped up its presence at PAX East—its largest presence at PAX to date. They did so with two booths: A 50’x80’ space adjacent to Facebook Gaming and a 50’x50’ content-based stage.

The 50’x80’ booth catered to consumers and included 10 demo pods where people could try out the new hardware while playing different games—dancing, fantasy, etc.—based on their interests. TTG utilized one-way graphics in the pods, a technology that uses perforated graphics that allow people in the interior of the room to see the graphics with the VR technology, while attendees outside could watch the person doing the VR experience.

The 50’x50’ content-based broadcasting stage was built across the aisle. It was used by influencers and was open to the public at certain times. Says Hajra, “From the stage, influencers could live broadcast online. It was a great way to show how Oculus and VR could be used similar to what you would do in an esports type capacity.”

Wizards of the Coast – Magic: The Gathering arena

Distributed by Wizards of the Coast, Magic: The Gathering is one of the most prolific collectible and digital card games ever created. For PAX East, the client tasked TTG with handling every single aspect involved in constructing an arena where several rounds of game play and a championship tournament featuring the digital card game would be held. This included design, fabricating, installation, broadcasting, tournament operations and more.

Wizards of the Coast was one of the biggest activations TTG handled at PAX East, and it was truly a turnkey, white glove solution. The TTG team literally handled 100 percent of the activation, including ancillary needs like hotel accommodations and catering. TTG even installed cold spark cannons on the stage to safely simulate pyrotechnics. This special touch was one of many spectacular elements that added polish and a wow factor that people could feel onsite and online.

According to Hajra, “Everything was created with the highest quality of fabrication. The space was specifically designed with the broadcast in mind, from the shape of arena to the orientation of the player desks to the location of the shoutcaster and analyst stages. We even included DMX lighting controls on backlit elements to add depth, which looked great on camera and in person. The fact that TTG handled both the physical build and the broadcast allowed us to create a seamless experience for fans both onsite and watching at home on stream.”

Four BIG name activations wow fans at PAX East

TTG’s 17 on-floor client activations dominated the Expo Hall

Along with facilitating the four major custom activations, TTG was on the scene in the Expo Hall to support several clients from all over the globe. Following are a few highlights of the on-floor activations TTG handled at PAX East.

1C Publishing: The Russian software developer and video game publisher opted for a sleek booth constructed entirely of lightweight tension fabric.

505 Games: The Italian video game publisher let its games do the talking with several gaming stations and a sleek, tension fabric backwall.

Corsair: The electronics manufacturer impressed with two booths at the event. The 30’x50’ space featured custom flooring, custom LED lighted product demo counters and interactive gaming and demo stations. The space also had custom tension fabric hanging design elements, retail display section and the show’s largest LED screen at 20 feet wide. Corsair’s 10’x30’ space behind the larger booth included virtual reality demos and a storage room with light box graphics.

Daedalic Entertainment: The German video game developer came to play with 23 gaming stations. Fans could play their favorite games on a choice of PC, Xbox and PlayStation.

Fangamer: Fans looking for gaming T-shirts, pins, plushies and more could stop by Fangamer’s 20’x30’ METALLI® rental display, which included a retail area stocked with tchotchkes galore and a handy storage room.

Kongregate: The mobile, PC and console publisher and gaming portal company invited fans into play at several gaming stations accented by a tension fabric backwall.

Krafton: The South Korean video game developer responsible for the popular game PUBG opted for a 10’x30’ METALLI rental display featuring PC and Nintendo Switch gaming stations.

Private Division: Fans couldn’t miss the NYC-based video game publisher’s lobby sponsorship booth with its life-sized Kerbal character from the Kerbal Space Program. TTG’s scenic department brought the in-game character to life for a photo opp fans loved.

Rebellion: The British game developer known for Sniper Elite and Alien vs. Predator titles brought in gaming stations and used a tension fabric backwall in its space.

ReedPOP: The PAX East event producer turned to TTG to bring its Esports caster to life in the PAX arena.

Sold Out Sales and Marketing: The UK video game publisher took an effective approach with its 10’x10’ SEG fabric graphic backwall with two mounted video monitors.

Sony Music Entertainment: The music conglomerate and video game publisher opted for a 10’x20’ custom rental booth featuring SEG fabric graphics. Fans could come in and check out virtual reality demos, along with laptop and Nintendo Switch gaming stations.

Twitch and Discover Card: TTG’s long-time live streaming client Twitch went with a 10’x20’ booth in partnership with Discover Card its live streaming partner for the event. The space featured a fun green screen photo opp.

What’s PAX East without a party?

TTG helps Perfect World Games entertain influencers at an offsite mixer

Want to throw a fun little mixer for 125 or more of your favorite influencers and vendor partners? That’s what Chinese video game developer Perfect World Games asked TTG’s Kathy Lee-Fung to coordinate. She was responsible for tracking down an appropriate venue for the event and found the perfect spot, Publico, a Boston bistro and garden with a relaxed, loungey feel.

According to Lee-Fung, “The client wanted everything to be very relaxed because there’s so much going on at PAX. Plus, with the big Facebook party happening a little later that evening, this was a nice place for people to land after the show and mix and mingle with the developer teams that were there for Perfect World.”

Along with a light menu of stationed and passed hors d’oeuvres, the mixer offered an open bar that included three game-themed cocktails. Guests also had fun with the photo booth TTG supplied, which offered printed photos and emailed animated gifs.

Need fresh ideas for an exhibit, experience or after party at an upcoming event?

We would love to learn more! To speak with one of the trade show, broadcast, video game and live event experts at The Trade Group, just give us a call at 800-343-2005 or visit www.tradegroup.com for additional insight.

PAX East 2019

About: PAX East is one of several PAX conventions in the U.S. and Australia that celebrate gaming and the culture surrounding it. Penny Arcade founded the original PAX near Seattle in 2004 and later partnered with Reed Exhibitions as the convention grew.

Location: PAX East is held in Boston, Mass. every spring. Other PAX events are held in Seattle, San Antonio and Melbourne, Australia.

Fun Fact: While PAX events draw upwards of 70,000 attendees today, the first PAX launched with 1,337 people pre-registering.

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