Applications for #OhayoIGS 2024 will open later this year!
The applications for #OhayoIGS 2024 will open up this summer.
Input your email address below for a one-time reminder when the form goes live!
Changes in 2023:
- New space. In 2023, the #OhayoIGS will be moving to the Union D+E space on the Hyatt second floor; this location housed the Registration space in 2022. This placement gives us the most space we’ve ever had, all in one room. This will circumvent many issues we’ve had in the past with being split between multiple spaces. We will also be next door to PC Gaming, just down the hall from Console Gaming and the Extra Life charity installation, and around the corner from Tabletop Gaming.
- Branding. While our new location is in a more “central area” than any space we’ve had before, we still expect some attendees to have a little trouble finding us. We’re working with the rest of the Gaming department to emphasize our position with new banners and generally improved wayfinding throughout the con. Getting attendees at large to read maps is truly an evergreen mission.
- Ribbons. The addition so big, it gets its own page! We are hoping to make the #OhayoIGS a hotspot for finding badge ribbons in 2023 and beyond. Please see this page for more information on this new way to reach a dedicated group of attendees.
- Incentives. As regular #OhayoIGS developers will know, we put a lot of effort into giving attendees a reason to play every game in the showcase. We’ve given out prizes like badge ribbons, lanyards, buttons, art trading card packs, and more.
Over the years, we’ve commissioned some amazing pieces of art as our primary attendee incentive: a deluxe double-sided art print, free to any attendee who completes their full Demo Passport.
What you can expect at Ohayocon:
- Fresh eyes and perspectives. Our attendees are, primarily, anime fans. While we definitely have a healthy population of “Gamers” (and the crossover is obviously huge between those groups), many of our attendees simply will not attend gaming-specific events. This means you won’t see many repeat customers from gaming-specific events like Origins or GDEX. It has also been made clear to us that Ohayocon attendees generally express more interest in story, visual design, and diverse representation than attendees at gaming-specific events.
- Engagement. We’re proud to say that historically, you’d be hard pressed to ever spot an empty demo space in the #OhayoIGS. Despite not being the “main event” of Ohayocon, we pull standing-room-only crowds from open to close, every single day. Our “Demo Passport” program debuted in 2019 to encourage attendees to play more games than they might otherwise through prize giveaways. The Passport was cited in over 60% of developer feedback specifically as a positive addition that resulted in increased engagement.
- Shiny trophies. The 2019 #OhayoIGS debuted the Indie Gaming Showcase Awards, featuring both attendee-voted and judged awards. In select years since 2019, we have been lucky enough to award one developer the GDEX Golden Ticket, which entitles the winner to a free booth at the next GDEX, the Midwest’s own game development expo. Fun fact: to date, our own Golden Ticket winners have gone on to win 3 GDEX Best in Show Awards. We know how to pick ’em!
Check out what developers had to say about the #OhayoIGS in past feedback forms:
“I was pleasantly surprised by how much activity there was in the room and I got a ton of great feedback on my game. Plus, getting there and getting checked in was super easy with the instructions Griffin sent out. Overall a very worthwhile experience!”digital developer
“I’m starting to think the “niche adjacent” cons are better to go to than the board game focused ones. By far, the best experience I’ve had at a con.”tabletop developer
“One of the best indie game showcases because of the passport system – if you’re in the middle of development, IGS is great for stress testing games.”digital developer
“Great community vibe. This showcase is evolving very quickly each year and it’s so exciting to see Ohayocon doing more to support our local independent creators.”tabletop developer
“It’s my favorite event and my team goes to a lot of them each year, big and small.”digital developer
“The Award Ceremony and Voting System were brilliant ideas to boost engagement from attendees.”tabletop developer
“Great job with the demo passport. Had a ton of people stop by and check out the game. Saw people run into certain issues that they didn’t run into at previous conventions/expos. Good feedback.”digital developer
We love collaborating with developers to make the #OhayoIGS special!
We like to work closely with our developers to create new and unique experiences for our attendees. At past #OhayoIGS events, we’ve helped launch new products, expansions, promo cards, game modes, and tournaments from our developers. The 2020 #OhayoIGS was extra special because we got to debut Ohayocon’s own Lindsay Howard as a character in Galatune!
We also worked with Galatune to create a branded promo card the year prior, free with any purchase at their booth. We’ll let their lead developer tell you his experience:
“Gaming with Ohayocon has been a blast! They are incredibly supportive of our local indie game community and they’ve helped Galatune make lots of new friends and strong game sales .”Adam Wik, Galatune
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