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Toys and Online  |  Online Games & Virtual Worlds  |  Virtual Goods  |  Technology Platforms  |  At-A-Glance

Online Games and Virtual Worlds - Track Schedule

Online games and virtual worlds provide the ultimate in user engagement. Whether it is flash games on a web site, a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) or a 2D or 3D virtual world, users stick around longer and build a relationship with the game, world or brand. Content owners and brands can leverage this engagement and monetize users. This track provides the latest techniques for keeping users coming back to online games and virtual worlds. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

8:00 am
9:00 am

Registration for Expo and Conference Attendees
Networking Breakfast - Conference Attendees Only

9:00 am
10:00 am

Keynote:  The Evolution of Entertainment, A Toy's Place
Will Wright, Founder and Chief Executive, Stupid Fun Club
Creator of Spore and The Sims

Will Wright's presentation will will look at toys, play, and the product development process from a new perspective going forward. Through his SimCity, The Sims, and Spore game franchises created at Electronic Arts, Will generated over $1 billion dollars of value. At Stupid Fun Club, a design studio Will maintained throughout his career as chief designer at Maxis Studios and Electronic Arts, advanced toy designs are among Will's primary focus. 

10:00 am
10:15 am

Networking and Exhibit Hall Break

10:15 am
11:15 am

Virtual Worlds and Games by the Numbers: A Look at Market Research
Understand the market opportunities for brands online by drilling down on the numbers, the demographics, and the trends. Who is playing online, which properties and online activities are the stickiest, and what monetization models are driving the lion's share of revenues? This session will present new data that will help you identify the trends driving online worlds today -- and help you develop essential strategy for your company going forward.
Anita Frazier, Industry Analyst, Toys & Video Games, NPD Group
Nic Mitham, CEO, KZero Worldswide
Michael Cai, Vice President of Video Games, Interpret
Barry Gilbert, VP & Research Director, Strategy Analytics

11:15 am
12:00 pm

Monetization Strategies: What's Working Today
The old business models are out. No longer can one rely solely on a bricks and mortar retail channel, a subscription model online, or banner ads to drive revenue. But what are the new ways that businesses are monetizing customers online? What are the options and how are customers reacting? How do kids, youth and even parents today approach spending -- what increments are best, what pay options work, how do payment strategies stack up? This session will compare and contrast proven ways to monetize an engaged customer: subscriptions, virtual goods, premium services, ads, and microtransactions will be among the strategies discusses.
Teemu Huuhtanen, Executive VP, Sulake Corp., President, North America, Sulake Inc.
Guy Bendov, Head of Business Development and Marketing, Shidonni LTD
Michael Gold, CEO, Electrotank
John Cahill, President & CEO, Meez
Michael Cai, Vice President of Video Games, Interpret (moderator)

12:00 pm
1:00 pm
 

Lunch and Exhibit Hall Break

1:00 pm
2:00 pm

Keynote:  Lane Merrifield
                Executive Vice President, Disney Online Studios
                Co-Founder and General Manager, Club Penguin

Since Club Penguin's inception, Lane has led the management, operations and business strategy for Club Penguin out of the studio’s headquarters in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. In addition to Club Penguin, Lane also oversees the development for all of The Walt Disney Company’s virtual worlds including Disney's Toontown Online, Disney Fairies Pixie Hollow, Pirates of the Caribbean Online and the upcoming Disney/Pixar The World of Cars Online.
2:00 pm
2:30 pm
Networking and Exhibit Hall Break
2:30 pm
3:30 pm

Tapping into the Emotional Triggers of Consumers
Kids and teens who grow up online -- playing in virtual worlds, texting, emailing, creating and uploading videos -- no longer see a difference between playing online or off. Today's continuous play patterns mean a seamless continuum between the room and the screen. And whether its plastic or pixels, so long as an emotional connection can be made between the consumer and the play mechanic, share of time and share of wallet will follow. This session will look at consumers from a psychographic perspective to discover how their plugged-in lifestyle, increasing need to customize and add personalization, and desire to connect with strong characters and story both influences and is influenced by their personalities, values, and attitudes -- and, ultimately, how those factors determine what we all want to get out of play.
Nicole Lazzaro, Founder and President, XEODesign, Inc. (moderator)
Nathan Pearce, Director of Skunkworks, Sony Online Entertainment
Susan Wu, CEO & Co-Founder, ohai
Mattias Miksche, CEO, Stardoll

3:30 pm
4:30 pm

Adapting to Customers' Preferences and Business Needs:
Best Practices for Keeping Your Online World Running, After You've Launched
Going digital has its benefits, chief among them the ability to adapt to user preferences and changing business needs, even after your product has launched. But instrumenting a game -- implementing changes to the play mechanic, managing a game or virtual world's reward system and difficulty level, adding partners, and even changing a pricing strategy -- is a relatively unknown area of product management. In the traditional toy world, once the product has shipped, little change is possible. With your online product, going live is just the mid-point in a product's lifespan. Sony Online Entertainment will reveal the nuances of collecting player metrics, data mining, and other areas of online analytics as well as customer communication strategies, resulting in a step-by-step approach to maintaining and improving a live online game. Understand the second, third, and fourth chance you get with online and make the most of the web's ability to instrument your customer's online experience as well as your company’s ongoing revenue streams.
Laralyn McWilliams, Creative Director, Free Realms, Sony Online Entertainment

4:30 pm
6:00 pm

Conference Reception - Conference Attendees Only

 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

8:00 am
9:00 am

Registration for Expo and Conference Attendees
Networking Breakfast - Conference Attendees Only

9:00 am
10:00 am

Keynote:  Natalie Hornsby
                VP of Marketing
                Cepia LLC - Creators of Zhu Zhu Pets

How does a brand new toy go from obscurity to phenomenon in half a year? As the Vice President of Marketing at Cepia, the company that makes the toy, 24-year-old Natalie has been the driving force behind the marketing and branding of Zhu Zhu Pets.

10:00 am
10:15 am

Networking and Exhibit Hall Break

10:15 am
11:15 am

Engaging Through Narration, Character Development, and Story
Understanding the art of storytelling is the first step toward developing a blockbuster hit among kids and tweens -- in any medium. But knowing what stories resonate, which character traits secure traction, and how the narrative arts can elevate a ho-hum property into a full-on hit is the province of only a select few. This session will present a panel of storytelling experts who understand the touch points that motivate kids and tweens to stay engaged, why kids develop loyalty and ongoing connections with in-game characters, what feature-set elements are essential to developing an online property with legs.
Sherry Gunther, Founder, Masher Media, MyMiniPeeps
Jordan Weisman, CEO and Founder, Smith and Tinker
Sam Lewis, System Design, ZeniMax Online Studios
Warren Buckleitner, Publisher, Children’s Technology Review (moderator)

11:15 am
12:00 pm

Television and Online: Giving a Successful TV Brand its Virtual World Legs
Virtual worlds allow animators, production houses, and networks the opportunity to create interactive iterations of their franchises and more fully engage fans. This immersion in a narrative environment online extends and solidifies brands, and speaks to kids in what is fast becoming their new common language -- the language of interactivity and virtual worlds. This session will explore these new creative models, the business relationships that support those models, new revenue opportunities that surround online properties, and what elements are needed to create a successful brand extension into the digital realm.
Amy Pritchard, CEO, Metaverse Mod Squad (moderator)
Jeffrey Fleishman, Assistant VP, Business Development, Sesame Workshop
Matt Cullen, Marketing Manager, National Football League
Minard Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer, Six Degrees Games, Inc.
Daniel Buelhoff, Head of Business Development & Community Management, sMeet

12:00 pm
1:00 pm
 

Lunch and Exhibit Hall Break

1:00 pm
2:00 pm

Keynote:  Tor Sirset
                Vice President of Marketing Girls/Preschool
                Bandai America Incorporated

Bandai is expanding its dominance in the boys market to the girls category. Core to that effort is the integration of online elements into the majority of these toys. Core to that effort is the integration of online elements into the majority of these toys. In an engaging onstage interview, Tor Sirset will discuss the strategy behind this rollout and how the Internet plays an increasingly important role in the crafting and marketing of toys.

2:00 pm
2:30 pm
Networking and Exhibit Hall Break
2:30 pm
3:30 pm

Success Case Study
Two special case studies analyze business partnerships between toy manufacturers and online game companies

LEGO/NetDevil - LEGO Universe
NetDevil and LEGO provide a look the collaboration required to create LEGO Universe.
Mark Hansen, Director of Business Development, LEGO Group & Project Lead,
LEGO Universe
Ryan Seabury, Creative Director, LEGO Universe & Founder, NetDevil

3:30 pm
4:30 pm

Safety in Online Worlds: How the Federal Trade Commission Sees It
In March of 2009, Congress mandated that the Federal Trade Commission study the types of content available in online virtual worlds -- paying close attention to explicit sexual and violent content -- and the mechanisms those worlds use to manage access by minors. In this unique session, the Commission's senior most attorney assigned to the 2009 Virtual Worlds Report to Congress will present results and discuss the agency's recommendations for strengthening access controls to virtual worlds while allowing free expression to flourish online. This first-ever analysis of virtual worlds by the FTC will be discussed by senior attorney Phyllis H. Marcus who heads the Commission's children's privacy program and is responsible for enforcing the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Marcus expects this session to be the first detailed public reveal of her division's nine-month study of virtual world content. She will present data, offer recommendations, and participate in a lively one-on-one interview with virtual world child safety advocate and online community activist Izzy Neis.
Phyllis H. Marcus, senior attorney, Div of Advertising Practices, FTC's COPPA lead
Izzy Neis, Senior Community Safety Lead, Gazillion Entertainment

4:30 pm
5:00 pm

Conference Concludes
Networking and Exhibit Hall

Tracks:

ar ar Schedule At-A-Glance

ar Toys and Online
ar Online Games & Virtual Worlds
ar Virtual Goods
ar Technology Platforms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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