Incredibly, we finally got gate-crashed, so before I tell you the story, let me say that in 2022 we’re going to put up a couple of our friends from the rugby team here in Vilnius to prevent similar stories in the future.
During the reception dinner, there was a person who called themselves “a former counsel at Sony” that moved from London to Vilnius. He promised to send me an email with the introduction, to ask for the registration to the main event. That email never came through! He also said that he’s staying with the hotel, but the hotel said they have no such guest. What was it? I don’t know! My biggest fear was that some laptop may get stolen, but thankfully everything remained safe. Either way, this was some strange turn of events.
Every year, we reject about a hundred applications for “lack of industry experience or recommendations”. Basically, if Paul Gardner says “the community will benefit from meeting this person”, it’s a stamp of approval. Samewise, if it’s an in-house counsel at a credible games company who works for longer than a few months. But then we also have applications from people who say they do “games industry work”, yet then cannot come up with any recommendations – you see a list of well-known games studios, but get no response when asking “so who at these companies we can talk to, about your work?”.
So this year, for the first time, someone who has been politely refused registration just boarded the plane and sneaked into the Summit without a badge. Unbelievable? Or just ignorant of the rules. As park rangers in the US say when you ask them if you can take a nice-looking stone home: “and what if every visitor would do this, son?” Having the community that is relevant to the industry is at the heart of the experience, so we escorted the gate-crasher out and blacklisted the firm.
On the last day of the event, a person showed up and started pitching their legal startup to me and a few others. After some minutes, none of us could understand it, despite being told of the many PhD holders that work on this project. Having politely refused the pitch, I thought that’s the end of it… but actually, no! This person now is on LinkedIn, sending InMails to pretty much every counsel from the Summit’s attendee list, asking for a call and offering a side-job. I mean, perhaps in the end that startup would lift off (though I have my doubts), but cold-emailing people with “hey, I crashed your Summit last week, can I have 20 minutes of your time and rack your brains for my benefit” is a very unappealing proposition.
Anyways, we’re totally getting the rugby guys for 2022, because while all these cases are kind of fun, they’re also stealing everyone’s time.