I went to the Twitch Community Event #TwitchLDN (aka Party on the Pitch) this year. Here’s some thoughts on how it went and how I think it could improve.
On arrival at Twickenham stadium, it was hard to find the actual entrance. On Friday the meetup had been through the main entrance, where Google Maps points you and which is easy to find. But that wasn’t the case here, with the entrance off down one side of the stadium – and not signposted! I had to ask a security guard, and if he hadn’t been there I might still be looking.
After almost 90 minutes of travel, that’s something I could’ve really done without. Why no signs, guys? There are enough fences and lamp posts that sticking up a couple of arrows would have been super useful! But hey, I made it.
First of all, it was awesome to meet up with a bunch of people that I’ve known from the Green Man Gaming community for years! Everyone was just as cool in person as they always have been online. On top of that, I also met some people I haven’t spoken to much (if at all) but definitely know their names from The Internet 🙂
The only downside to this is that the place felt like it was divided into sections, with everyone who knew people splitting off into their own groups. Some people were definitely mingling as well, but I don’t have the confidence to do that IRL!
Stuff To Do
My main negative with the whole experience was the lack of stuff to actually do once you were there. Nobody was coordinating stuff indoors to try and encourage mixing. The music being played by the DJs was somehow both annoying and uninteresting. The food and drink selection was good though.
But here’s what I think they could (should?) have done.
First of all, as an official Twitch event why not have a Twitch Sings live room? If Twitch wants to push the brand, an event with drinks is a great place to introduce people to it. I’d definitely have gone up to sing something, and I’m sure the people I was with would too.
There was also a strict “no IRL streaming” ban in place, which seems weird. At first I thought it was to stop people appearing on camera when they don’t want to. But looking at it now I feel like this was a PR thing. The fact we’d all split into cliques wouldn’t look great on camera. But if you’re taking people away from (potentially) a day’s stream and therefore views/income, while also making them pay money to get there, you could at least have added a couple of stream-friendly rooms where we could all go and hang out. They could even have made it a big deal and used it as promotion.
None of these things were total deal-breakers, and I think we all had a good time, but come 10:30pm a lot of people had obviously decided to call it a night. Considering closing time wasn’t until 11:30pm (and I expected to continue drinking into the night) something obviously wasn’t keeping people around.
But hey, if the organisers want to get in touch for next year, I’m available for consulation! 🙂