Tuesday, August 11, 2015

November 2014, My First BlizzCon as a Blizzard Employee

Blaugust day 11

Seven months after BlizzCon 2013 ended, I started work at Blizzard Entertainment. A month or so later I got my employee ticket for the 2014 convention. I was excited to see the difference between BlizzCon as a general attendee and as an employee.

Few things I noticed right away:

  1. I got to pick up my badge and goody bag on campus.
  2. I got to go in to the convention hall early.
  3. My badge had an awesome "Blizzard 2014" bar on it.
One of the most profound differences was during the opening ceremony. I knew everything that was going to be shown and had to hide it from my friends that came out from Arizona. Before the Overwatch reveal my legs were bouncing and I had the biggest shit-eating grin. Once the ceremony ended, however, I had a bit of work to do.

You see, I'd been tasked with updating our support site with Breaking News and an article about the Overwatch beta. These items had been in the works for months. Now all I had to do was sprint to the GM booth, commandeer a PC, and mark them live.

Done.

PHEW! Now I can enjoy the show...after a smoke break.

I've since quit, but smoking at BlizzCon in 2014 was an amazing time. That little black bar on my badge started many conversations out in the smoking sections. I talked to long-time fans, new fans, a father of a fan that wanted more than anything to work at Blizzard when he was older, and many other people that I never would have talked to before. On top of that I met other employees that work in different departments. Suddenly I had gotten the BlizzCon experience I'd wanted the previous year.

I also got to spend time at the aforementioned GM booth when I needed to get off my feet for a bit. No taking tickets for me, but I did get to talk with friends and co-workers while interacting with the people waiting in line. It was a little bit of PR for CS, in a way.

Eventually BlizzCon 2014 had to come to an end, but this time I only had to drive 30 minutes to get back home. I can honestly say that attending as an employee was 100 times better than as a general attendee.

BlizzCon 2015 is a few months away, and this year is proving to be another new adventure. Not only do I plan on working a shift there, but I'll be attending with my girlfriend who is a well known member of the Blizzard community. What will this mean for this year's Con? Only time will tell!

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