Premiere of Hamburg’s first community convention enthusiastic gamers, fans and exhibitors
Polaris, Hamburg’s first community convention, made a brilliant debut: From the 28th to the 30th. October, around 10,000 guests had fun with the varied and interactive program, in which they could not only gamble together, meet their favorite creators and dust off prizes, but also dance K-Pop, collect stickers and meet other community members. In addition, around 1 million people watched the Polaris program and that of its stars via stream. Audiences, creators and exhibitors inspired Polaris, so everyone will be happy that the event will go into the next round next year.
Fans of modern pop culture got their money’s worth in five different areas: In the Neo Taki Area, the focus was on Japan and Asia, including Ninotaku’s fully attended quizzes and interesting interviews on the subject of anime. Fans of eSports and other gaming challenges could show what they can do in the speedrun and retro corner as well as at tournaments in the Cyberdome. The German content creator scene was also represented and heated up the audience with its stage shows. Under the eyes of around 1,000 enthusiastic spectators at the same time, the most fantastic costumes of the event on the big 28 BLACK stage were chosen in the cosplay contest by a top-class jury, including cosplay star Maul Cosplay and Farbenfuchs. Around 6,000 were in the stream at the same time. Silivren prevailed with the radiant self-design Elune the Moon Goddess by Cinderys Art. On the Palux cooking stage, the more than 200 (2,000 live in the stream) viewers crowded at cooking shows with Sturmwaffel, DoktorFroid, Reeze and Papaplatte. Friends of Tabletop became as happy as retro fans who could look for treasures at the retro flea market on Sunday. Talented artists such as Shinnosuke Uchida showed what is possible with pen, paper or graphic tablet and exhibited their creations in Valdhaym. In the sandbox, some of the most interesting upcoming games could also be tried out, including titles from Nintendo, Daedalic or Wired Productions. Especially on Sunday, many families came with children and discovered exciting new worlds.
A great success was the interactive app of Polaris: visitors could scan stickers throughout the event with the unique app, make friends and unlock physical rewards in five different teams. “More than 7,000 fans played our Polaris game on site,” says Wolf Lang, CEO of the event and game developer company Super Crowd from Hamburg. “We are pleased that this world first was so well received by fans of Polaris. Through the app, more than 25,000 friendships were made, 100,000 stickers were collected, and 3,000 prizes were won by our partners and exhibitors. Among other things, 200 Mario coffee cups at Nintendo or 100 One Piece Film: Red – Festival Kits at Crunchyroll. The overall victory went to the player Jona with an incredible level of 127. The first ten players received prizes worth €8,000 through our partners Valve, Nintendo, Shure and Adept.”
Visitors were particularly active on social media. Through the in-house channels alone, over 50,000 accounts were reached, with more than 500 stories from fans and a lot of positive feedback on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter. Throughout the entire term, around one million viewers watched the show program of Polaris and its partners in the livestream. In addition to the five content stages, this also included the Acer streaming area in the Munchi market. The entire live stream can still be watched on Twitch.
The creators are also convinced of the Polaris: “I really liked the Polaris; the mood was so positive and beautiful, the stage program was great and I noticed that this was also very well received by people,” says artist Lara Loft. “And I think the fact that the fair is still in Hamburg is mega as a native Northern Lights! Finally there is such an event in the north!”
“That was a great start for a new trade fair. Wherever you heard, there were consistently enthusiastic comments from exhibitors and guests. As a Hamburg trade fair and congress, we are particularly pleased that we have obviously hit a nerve with the Polaris Convention. We are highly satisfied. These were three literally colorful days with many impressions and an audience that we have never been able to welcome in this number at our exhibition center. In addition, we were able to place an event that fits Hamburg as one of the leading games locations in Europe, says Bernd Aufderheide, Chairman of the Management Board of Hamburg Messe und Congress. “The Polaris premiere definitely makes you want more. Preparations for the next Polaris are now starting with us.”
The next round of Polaris is already planned for autumn 2023.
About the Polaris Convention:
The Polaris Convention is a community event that makes the topics of games, creators, eSports, Japanese pop culture, but also cosplay and artists accessible to a wide audience. As organizers, the Hamburg Messe and Congress work together with Super Crowd to create a series of eSports tournaments, a mobile game matching the convention and a program on the streaming website Twitch in addition to the three-day community convention.