Engage 2011

Engage! Conference and Expo® 2011 took place February 15-16, 2011 at the Javits Convention Center in New York City. Engage provides companies the critical information they need to reach kids and youth through digital technologies.

Engage! provides insight into the latest strategies, technologies and techniques. We bring an incredible amount of brain power together under one roof. The show is a ‘must-attend’ event for entertainment and media companies looking to compete in the digital space.

After months of pre-planning we are pleased to announce that Engage! 2012 is moving from New York to Los Angeles in 2012.  Yes, that is correct, we’re leaving behind the cold, dreary winter of New York City for the spring in Los Angeles. Please mark your calendars for April 25-26, 2012.

Engage! will take place at the Pasadena Convention Center, in their newly built ballroom facilities, just up the road from interactive divisions of major movie studios and inland from video game powerhouses and toy companies.  Engage will tap into all that Hollywood and LA has to offer within the relative peacefulness and beauty of Pasadena.

Make sure you bookmark the official site of Engage 2012 here at http://engage2012.engagedigital.com/


Time for us to pack everything up and head to New York.  The city is busy:  Fashion Week, Toy Fair and Engage all going on at the same time. I hope you have your hotel booked.  Please remember Toy Fair will be running shuttle bus transportation from their numerous hotels.  This shuttle service is free to Engage attendees.  Dress warm.  It’s cold in NY, according to Yahoo weather.  Any questions regarding navigating the Javits center? Please review these details:  The Javits floorplan is here.  Engage floorplan can be found here.  There are a number of food options at Javits.  If you require wireless please review Javits wireless options here. We are closing online registration tonight at 10pm eastern.  Badge pick up starts at 8am on Sunday morning. Onsite registration will also be available beginning Sunday morning at 8am.  See you in NYC.


Now you can download a full version of the conference program.  Grab your copy here (1.5 mb PDF file).  It includes Keynotes, Sponsors, Schedule at a Glance, Expanded Schedule, Speaker Biographies, Exhibitor and Sponsor Profiles, Show Map and Expo Floorplan.  Download it to your PC, iPad, phone, or other mobile device so you have it handy. Print versions will be available at the registration desk onsite.


Parrot North America executive, Christian Coly will discuss the vision and development of the AR.Drone, a quadricopter controlled via an iPhone/iPad or iPod touch in a case study entitled: Parrot AR.Drone: The Convergence of Gaming and Reality. He’ll show early examples of augmented reality games that provide a glimpse into the possibilities for how augmented reality will impact the toy industry and video game industry. Augmented reality presents unique opportunities for the gaming community to continue moving families off of the couch and even outside to reinvigorate play. Christian speaks February 16, 2011, 3:45 – 4:45 pm in Room 5 as a part of the Digital Monetization Strategies track.  If you have not already registered for Engage you should do so now.  Online Registration closes on February 11th.


Virtual worlds will generate $3.9 billion globally in revenue from subscription fees, in-game virtual goods sales, and third-party marketing by the end of 2011, forecasts a Virtual Worlds: 2011 And Beyond, the  latest report from consulting firm KZero.  The report has been released exclusively to registered attendees of the upcoming Engage! Expo (Feb. 15-16 in NYC).  KZero forecasts that by the year end 2011, there will be around 500 virtual worlds in existence. This is up from 85 in 2008, 150 by the end of 2009 and just of 300 in 2010 (including enterprise worlds). [more details]


John Smedley, President of Sony Online Entertainment (SOE), is joining the Engage line up to share his insight in what it takes to create new and innovative gameplay experiences with today’s massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). Smedley, aka “Smed,” has more than a decade of experience in the interactive entertainment industry, including positions with ATG, Knight Technologies and five years with Sony Online Entertainment as Director of Development. SOE is know for such titles as the recently released DC Universe Online as well as such games as EverQuest, Star Wars Galaxies and the kids game Free Realms. Smed session Tomorrow’s Online World: Creating New & Innovative Gameplay Experiences in an Evolving Digital World takes place February 16, 2011, 2:30 – 3:00 pm in Room 3.  His presentation is a part of our Social Games, Casual MMO’s and Virtual Worlds track.


Every year for the past three years now we have invited a group of kids to come to Engage and discuss what what is on their minds, what they think fun is, where they are spending their money (and their parents). This informal focus group – How Digital Changes Play – Hear What Kids Say –  is put together by the wonderful Jorian Clarke, CEO of Circle1Network.  Each year she does a fantastic job moderating and interviewing the kids.  This year we are taking questions in advance of the show.  This is your opportunity to find out what is on kids radar and what they are looking for in the next generation of digital and traditional toys. Get free research on your important questions. Have a question for the kids?  Send it to melissa.goodin @ circle1network.com .  We will choose five questions and ask a large sample of kids and then have our kid panel at the show share with you the results using kid speak to explain to you why and what kids say.  The session – part of our Digital Kids – Business Strategies track –  takes place February 16, 2011, 3:45 – 4:45 pm in Room 1. Jorian Clarke, CEO, Circle1Network will be moderating and interviewing the kids.


21 days to go to Engage Expo and we’re still packing the program (6 tracks / 54 sessions) with phenomenal speaker additions.  What can we say, we want to make sure attendees gain the deepest insight possible. Over the weekend we added the following experts to the speakers roster. Check the track out for details.


The most successful kids entertainment properties of the future will have online experiences at their core, rather than a TV show or film. Join Mind Candy CEO, Michael Acton Smith as he discusses how they have expanded the Moshi Monsters property from the web into a wide ranging transmedia property that now encompasses, iPhone apps, books, trading cards, toys, magazines and video games.
Michael Acton Smith, CEO, Mind Candy


Game designers have known for years how to incent and motivate participation.  They do it through a process called Gamification. This year’s Engage is please to present a full 1 day track on Gamification, taking place Wednesday, February 15th. You need to drive consumer participation, because participation is what builds lasting relationships, brand affinity, and brand loyalty. There is no better model for driving participation than the lean-forward, drive to achieve that’s embodied in gaming. The Gamification track at Engage provides details on how to incorporate gamification into your product development and marketing strategy.  Check it out.