The world’s largest fighting game event turns to TTG for general services contractor and exhibitor services support
When organizers of the Evo Championship Series needed a resource to handle general contractor and exhibitor services duties for its 2017 esports event in Las Vegas, they reached out to The Trade Group for help.
Evo is the largest and longest-running fighting game tournament in the world. Gamers of all abilities and ages 12 to 30 attend the event to compete or cheer on their favorite players. Competitive tournaments at Evo include popular games such as StreetFighter V, Super Smash Brothers (Melee and WiiU Tekken 7), Injustice 2 and others.
The main goal for the 2017 event was to create a more robust experience with plenty of excitement and activities for attendees. Evo organizers also wanted to provide space for more vendors, exhibitors and activities, since the event had outgrown its prior venue, Westgate Casino and Resort, due to burgeoning attendance.
At the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Evo had plenty of space to accommodate the large tournament arena with six stages, a new exhibit hall where plenty of swag and collectibles were available and even a space called Artist’s Alley, where artists could sell paintings, drawings and other works of art featuring popular street fighters and other game related themes.
Putting on a bigger, better gaming event meant finding a partner with esports expertise
While Evo has been hosting fighting game tournaments for more than 10 years, the 2017 event at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas would be their biggest, splashiest and most elaborate U.S. event ever.
Evo knew The Trade Group had helped plan and execute esports tournaments and events like DreamHack, TwitchCon and others – so they reached out to us for help.
With a short lead time, TTG’s esports pros pulled out all of the stops
The folks from Evo initially contacted The Trade Group less than three weeks prior to the event going live, so our esports pros had to work fast.
Fortunately, The Trade Group maintains solid alliances with a variety of reliable service providers, venues and union representatives in Las Vegas, which helped expedite the coordination of event services, materials and labor for the event.
The Trade Group also has extensive experience working directly with exhibitors as well as planning and executing trade shows – so coordinating all aspects and activities related to the exhibition space was definitely in our wheelhouse.
What Evo asked us to do and how we did it
To simplify the process – on both the general services and exhibitor services sides – Evo representatives, service providers, union reps and exhibitors were directed to one point of contact for the event – The Trade Group’s Event & Exhibitor Services Manager, Miriam Wagliardo.
On the ground in Las Vegas, Wagliardo was joined by Project Manager Gordon Jacober, VP of Business Development Neeshu Hajra and Business Development Rep Jeremy Crase. The team’s primary responsibilities for Evo included:
Since this would be the first time Evo included a full-blown exhibition at its tournament, they relied heavily on our team to coordinate every aspect associated with the exhibition – from acting as liaison to ensuring everything ran smoothly while exhibitors moved in and moved out. A total of 52 companies exhibited at the show.
Exhibition Hall Management
The Trade Group arranged for the rental, set up and removal of all of the tables, chairs, pipes and drapes and carpeting as well as janitorial services for the exhibitor quarters. The team also oversaw the laborers and I&D timelines to ensure move in and move out stayed on schedule.
As general services contractor we oversaw the docks where freight and materials were offloaded and loaded to ensure the exhibitors’ assets and rented items for the exhibition hall could be moved efficiently into and out of their designated spaces.
Labor and Service Provider Coordination
From electricians to general laborers to truck drivers, our team coordinated all of the labor involved with the installation and dismantle of the show. We also worked directly with service providers like PSAV – the stage and lighting vendor – to ensure the tournament space was installed and dismantled on schedule.
Happy client + delighted attendees = Successful event!
While Wagliardo admits she didn’t get much sleep during Evo, she really enjoyed working with the event organizers and meeting attendees of all ages. She was also pleased everything ran smoothly – even with a tight timeline.
As she explains, “The client was extremely ecstatic with how the event turned out and the exhibitors were happy with the exhibition. I even had a group of kids come up to me, who said, ‘Thank you so much for doing this for us!’ They even gave me side hugs, which was so sweet!”
Wagliardo even received feedback from one parent who said, “I love bringing my kid to these shows – all day, every day – because I know where he is and that he’s not getting into trouble.”
Click the image to view the EVO Case Study PDF