Conferences I Have Known
"I grabbed a drink and wandered over to chat with EA's Doug Church. In one corner, the then-phenomenal Guitar Hero was on. I crossed the room to introduce myself to Moledina, and because I cared about such things, began to ask a series of questions, tantamount to 'So what's it like being a conference director?'
"Moledina paused, looked at the ceiling, and began, 'I don't know how to put this,' and instantly I thought that this would be the most profound comment on the nature of conferences, as they related to life and the universe, 'but I'm going to have to ask you to leave,' he said."
N. Evan Van Zelfden recounts his experiences at (almost) every game convention ever held.
This is a real interesting read to me, but mostly because I come from a background that is in a small part related. I carry with me over a decade's worth of experience in the anime convention organization "field", and while there are many, many differences between these and the gaming conferences described in the article there are definitely similarities. There's the same level of interest at the "industry" side of these conventions, a slight bit less of the exclusivity mostly because the industry itself is in a plateau/decline, but from the organizers' side, the same level of dedication, work, and of course, dramatics.
The article definitely highlights industry and professional events, and if you have any experience with attending or helping at a fan-run event you can see that there are clear and present differences. Still, there are things you hear at any event, like interesting anecdotes about parties, industry information, and if you're an organizer, fubars - which make for some of the best stories to tell at 2 am in the morning at the hotel bar.
I do think, regardless, that events themselves can benefit from media coverage in most cases, but it is sad that the "'do not drink' on the paint can" idea has to be subscribed to some of the events, because the lowest common denominator may have taken advantage of their access and abused it.