Gamespace, mega organizer of videogame conventions & events in Athens, Greece, talks to us about Digital Expo, Digital Universe, its other events, Cosplay and more!
TURNING FANTASY INTO REALITY !
Gamespace! 6,5 years! 11 videogames themed events in Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece! Among them the big famed videogames and technology convention Digital Expo! Of course, Cosplay included among their contents!
Starting on September 24, 2014, in cooperation with Inspot, 3 Cosplay Parties are hosted in Athens and one in Thessaloniki! On April 5, 2015, in cooperation with Techmaniacs and New York College, the huge videogames and technology convention Digital Universe follows next in Athens! After 3 events, the next step is taken, the famed Digital Expo in Athens!
Every September, from 2017 until now ( with the exception of 2020 due to the pandemic ), 20.000+ people gather for 2 days at Peristeri Convention Center in Athens for the top videogames and technology convention Digital Expo! Videogames, eSports, VR, indies, technology, exhibitions, PCs, consoles, dozens of youtubers, influencers, artists, stores and generally whatever a gamer desires, are there!
Needless to say, our favourite Cosplay being among them, with Digital Expo in Athens gathering the 4th highest number of Cosplays in Greece ( and 3rd highest in Athens ) during its 2 day run, reaching 280 Cosplays during its last event, Digital Expo 2019!
Multiple speeches, presentations, workshops, tournaments, shows and much more, create a very extensive program, not giving the public any chance to get bored even for a moment, and bringing an experience to life comparable to respective huge videogame and technology conventions abroad! Among them, the Cosplay Shows and Cosplay Workshops one can watch during the event’s 2 day run! The Cosplay Alley at Digital Expo provides the opportunity to check out the work of various cosplayers, while at the same time, Cosplayers//GR was present until its last event with its own booth, providing a Cosplay Photo / Video Booth, Cosplay Photo Albums / Galleries & Videos, Cosplay Repair Station, Cosplay Materials Presentation, Giveaways, Freebies and Cosplayer Luggage Storage! The set is completed by free admission and gift bags for all Cosplayers!
Among all those events, some “firsts” related to Cosplay couldn’t be missing during all those years of course!
The 1st Cosplay Alley in Athens and Greece, at Digital Universe #3!
Let’s talk about everything with George Kourakos, one of the organizers of Digital Expo!
– By the organizers of Digital Expo and owners of GameSpace: George Kourakos, Michael Sigalas & John Mantalovas
Find Gamespace on the following media! Page - Facebook - Group - Youtube - Twitter - Instagram Page - Facebook - Twitter - Instagram Check out the organizer's profile and events, with all their info and thousands of photos & videos, on our website, HERE!
AT THE PEAK OF GAMING & TECHNOLOGY !
1) Tell us a few words about Gamespace! What do we need to know about you?
Gamespace started its activities in the gaming scene in 2013, and acted initially as a website about gaming news and reviews of new titles. We quickly expanded into other areas of digital entertainment, related to eSports, such as streaming, tournament organising and event organising. Today, eSports takes center stage as our main activity, while besides organising events related to them, we additionally actively participate in events with our own eSports teams.
2) Tell us a few words about Digital Expo, its history and content! When and how did it start? What themes is it about? Are those themes based on the organizers’ personal interests, and if so, when did you start taking an interest in each of them, before your first event?
The foundations for Digital Expo were laid with the first Digital Universe in April 2015, with the event changing venue, and moving to the Peristeri Exhibition Center, under a new name, in 2017. From the beginning, the goal was to create an event that would combine digital entertainment, eSports and technology with education. These subjects remain the main themes of the event, and are covered through tournaments, technology company booths and educational presentations and seminars. At the same time, we expand on them with the addition of extra activities, such as live shows by influencers, artists, anime, cosplay and fan art booths, card games, retro computers and consoles, activities related to game development, Greek startups presence etc.
3) What led you to proceed with organizing Digital Expo? How long and what exactly did it take until the first event was possible? How did you move on from events at internet cafes to Digital Universe and then Digital Expo? How does Digital Expo differ compared to your previous events? What can one find there and how do you think it differs from other events of similar type or theme?
After three years of activity, mainly online, and hosting events on a smaller scale such as cosplay parties at internet cafes, we realized the need to create a meeting place for all those involved in digital entertainment and technology, where they would be able to get in touch with new technologies and gaming titles. The response to Digital Universe was big, and after increasing the number of days from one to two and later to three, it was clear that the next step would be to upgrade the event, by hosting it in an exhibition space that would give it the necessary flexibility for its continuous development. This became a reality with the first Digital Expo in 2017, at the Peristeri Exhibition Center. We wouldn’t have reached this point without our previous activities and establishment of relationships and collaborations with other entities in the scene. What makes Digital Expo stand out, is giving the same weight and attention to detail towards all the themes mentioned, treating each one of them as a main part of the event, and expanding them every year. At the same time, the event grows with new activities and has always something new to offer every year.
4) What was the biggest, but also the most difficult Digital Expo you have done so far? What defines them as such?
Each year has its own difficulties. As a startup company, it’s very difficult covering the event’s expenses every year and at the same time organizing it. We never stop evolving, while the requirements keep growing and we want to keep getting better. Therefore, from the smallest problem to the biggest one, we are ready to make each Digital Expo even better than the previous one.
5) How much effort, time and money does it usually take to set up Digital Expo? What is the usual preparation plan that you follow?
The preparation period of the event starts exactly on the next day after the closure of the previous one. This is especially important, since we want our partners to realise that we are ready for next year immediately, showing on our part confidence in our product, which is the event itself. The final stretch is usually the last four months, where we practically start advertising, setting up the place, going through sponsorship processes and so on. The reason of Digital Expo’s success is a good presentation and a well-structured idea.
6) How did you feel during the first Digital Universe and the first Digital Expo and how after their end? Describe this experience to us.
The emotions were many, I would say. Digital Universe was a huge crash test for us, where we wanted to see where we are going next. I remember myself, crying with joy at the end, having so many visitors, and with people congratulating us. On the other hand, Digital Expo raised people’s expectations a lot, and ours as well, but each time keeps being special and, at the same time, exceptional. The end of the first Digital Expo signified the transition from a local event, Digital Universe, to something much bigger, so we gave it our best and the result was beyond our expectations.
7) What’s your opinion, in proportion to Greece’s size, about the size and level of the audience of the scene towards which Digital Expo is addressed?
Our event is the only one in Greece that focuses on so many areas, which we mentioned earlier. They all have their own special audience. Every year the numbers are really impressive, I would say, and after one point it doesn’t even make sense mentioning how many visitors we had. Watching a space of 6500 square meters fill up is not something negligible, let alone people not stopping to come during the event’s 2 days. So, our goal is to be able to collect as many smiles as possible in the future, rather than measure and compare the resonance of each scene, in Greece or abroad.
8) Are you satisfied with the people’s response to Digital Expo during all these years, as well as with the number of Cosplays attending?
We are totally satisfied, while all cosplayers, with no exceptions, enter our event for free. Not just them, but an assistant with each of them too. Which event would be willing to lose ticket revenue, while being visited by that many cosplayers every time? And yet, Digital Expo gives this special opportunity to young and old to show their creativity and attend for free. We hope that every year the number of cosplayers in Greece will keep growing and that they’ll support Digital Expo, as well as other events.
9) When and why did you decide to include Cosplay in Digital Expo’s themes? What more do you think does the presence of Cosplays provide to Digital Expo?
Cosplay was one of the first activities and subjects we wanted to include among our event’s themes. The unique audience and at the same time the Cosplay community, gave a different feeling to our convention. So our goal was not just to provide entertainment to fans of gaming and technology, but also a show through cosplayers – artists’ special creations.
10) What can one find related to Cosplay at Digital Expo? Are there any specific activities and events related to it? Do you think they are sufficient or is there something more that you would like to provide regarding Cosplay? Do you think that Cosplay as a theme will continue to be a key part of Digital Expo for a long time?
Digital Expo’s Cosplay section, or Fantasy World as we call it internally, has a lot of room for improvement at our event. Moreover, all these years we have tried many different activities at Digital Expo, whether being special contests or booths of the well-known Cosplay Alley. Digital Expo supports all artists – cosplayers, paying special attention both in their placement on site, as well as their activities. For us, every part of Digital Expo matters, as well as everyone who actively participates in it, like cosplayers.
11) Is there a long term goal or personal dream you want to achieve through Digital Expo?
Digital Expo aims to give smiles to people. We don’t have grandiose plans, since our steps are slow and steady during all these years. Certainly, feedback we receive from collaborators, sponsors, guests and people every time is what make us better. Literally, we must take into account that Digital Expo is the biggest festival in Greece in its field. Filling more than 6500 square meters in the Peristeri Exhibition Center, while giving our best every year.
12) Is there any important or funny experience that happened during Digital Expo that you will never forget?
I would say there are many, starting from our first steps as Digital Universe, through our transition to Digital Expo. Of course, what always remains in the end, is the satisfaction that we achieved our goal to always be ourselves. Digital Expo is not an event by individuals, but by a group. People are what “makes” Digital Expo and from the beginning during its preparation until the end, laughter is part of it. For me, from 2013 until today, the experiences with people, the acquaintances, and the result of the convention even more, always fill my heart for a whole year, until the next event.
13) What is the first thing you would tell to someone who seriously considers visiting Digital Expo for the first time? And what can he expect to see there in the future?
We don’t need to say anything basically, since the result of advertisement, the guests, the exhibitors and the warmth our event creates give answers to every query by themselves. The only thing I could mention is that no one left without being filled with joy and having fun at our event. So, we are waiting for all of you, every time, starting from the beginning.
14) Is there anything last you would like to share with our readers?
Digital Expo is something special for us, which is something we transmit towards the people. As an organization and as a company in general, we want people to see us as something accessible and friendly. I would like to give a separate piece of advice to everyone regarding conventions worldwide, which clearly has to do with the opinions we form about each convention. Essentially, I wish for everyone to support conventions taking place both in Greece and abroad individually, in their own way, and to contribute on their part towards their better realization. Some good advice is much better than bad criticism!
Digital Expo’s family and its organizers invite you to come and live through this special experience, starting every time from the beginning.
EVENTS BY GAMESPACE ! INFO, PHOTOS & VIDEOS !
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