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  • Writer's pictureAshSaidHi

TwitchCon 2023 Las Vegas!

This article was originally written for https://agentannk.com/. It appears in issue 66 of the Dank Zine which you can purchase here. Thanks Ann for letting me contribute to your Zine!


For this story, I will take you on an adventure to fabulous Las Vegas, where I attended TwitchCon!! It was one of the best weekends ever. I got to meet friends, host really cool panels, and see the gorgeous neon lights of lovely Las Vegas. So strap in for a story about sequins, slot machines, and streaming during Twitch's biggest party of the year!


TwitchCon Welcome Screen at the Entrance
TwitchCon Welcome Screen at the Entrance

TwitchCon Las Vegas 2023 took place from October 20th through the 22nd, with the partner party on the 19th. This was the first year the show was held in Las Vegas. In previous years, TwitchCon North America was held in California, most recently in San Diego. The change for this year reportedly happened because the venue in San Diego was already booked, so Twitch had to pick an alternate location. The event was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in the West Hall. The layout for the floor was spacious and well-organized. The show featured brands like Corsair, Logitech, Streamlabs, Shure, AT&T, Doritos, and many others in the gaming space. GDQx had a huge theater where people would float in and out watching the lineup of speedrunners each day.



There was a section where you could experiment with art by following a Bob Ross-style painting tutorial. I saw a table for building legos, and every day, people would combine their builds in one massive sculpture-like creation. There was an enormous space for meet and greets with your favorite streamers, which was well organized through the TwitchCon app. I even saw an arcade on the expo floor for us retro fans! There were multiple panel rooms and spaces for workshops like improv classes, painting, Zumba, cupcake decorating, or whatever tickled your fancy. There was an Artist Alley that featured over 100 artists, and I made sure to support my favorites. Lastly, there were the big stages for the opening and closing ceremonies, game shows, and Twitch Rivals competitions. There was something for everyone to see and do.


I arrived in Vegas on Wednesday before the con started. I settled in and ventured out to check out the city. It was my first time in Vegas, and I wanted to see the sights before the show started. I knew once TwitchCon began, it would be a packed schedule. If you are going to a con like this, get there a day early to stock up on snacks and essentials and meet up with friends. I have never been inside a casino, so I visited a few like the MGM, Luxor, Tropicana, New York New York, and others. I also had no idea Vegas was so close to the mountains. It was a gorgeous sight to behold, and all weekend, I woke up early to catch the sunrise above the mountains.


On Wednesday, I met a few wonderful people like John Matrix and Finamenon. We even went to the Neon Museum, which was undoubtedly a highlight of the trip. At the Neon Museum, we saw a superb light show highlighting the history of Las Vegas and its casinos. My favorite was this huge sign of a cowboy with a silly mustache.



On Thursday, I picked up my badge during the day and did a quick photoshoot with a super-talented photographer. Then, I had to return to the convention center for host training at GDQx. The training was informative; it would be my first in-person event with GDQ, so I listened closely because I had much to learn. After training was over, I made my way to the TwitchCon shop. Partners get exclusive access to the shop a day early to fill up on exclusive TwitchCon 2023 swag, so I bought a few shirts, an awesome limited-edition cowboy hat, and pins. I returned to my hotel to prepare for the partner party. This is Vegas, so I had to turn up the glitz! The partner party was held at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. The food was delicious, and we could bowl all night. It was the first time I met RetroIslandGaming, ThatGirlJoey, MiddleAgedStream, Premier Two, and many other awesome people. After partying and laughing to my heart's content, I returned to my room to rest. I needed to be ready for the first day of the show!



Ash in business attire taking a selfie
Ash is ready for the show!

I woke up ahead of my alarm on Friday because I was so amped. I slipped on my carefully crafted outfit and jumped in an Uber. I had early access to the show floor because I was hired to host a gameshow at the Prime Video booth. I had the time of my life on stage hyping people up during interactive events like a superhero costume design with toilet paper, flip cup, and trivia. The games we played were so ridiculous and awesome. After that, I ate a quick bite and ran over to my first hosting session for GDQx. I got to meet DanaCrysalis, and I even saw RIG in the crowd! Seeing people I knew in the audience and backstage was encouraging (especially on my nerves). After my hosting session, I ran to the Pink Gorilla booth to pick up a few cool retro games from Cody (aka DSKoopa on Twitch).



I closed out my Friday evening by hosting a panel called "Unleash your Inner Retro Gamer," it was all about how to stream retro games on Twitch. My amazing panelists were Monistreams, GeneralAndrews, JRocTheGod, and Finamenon. They all knocked the session out of the park. I saw many familiar faces in the audience, making me feel like we accomplished something extraordinary. We hung back to chat with people in the audience and answer additional questions. After that session, day one of the show floor was officially over, and it was time to party at Area 15. Area 15 was incredible. It was part dance club, rave, art installation, concert venue, and arcade. I visited a few art installations that had interactive elements and super playful ways to view and experience the art. They even had indoor zip-lining (which I regrettably did not participate in) I recommend visiting if you are ever in the area because it is unforgettable.



Saturday was another busy day, hosting two panels and attending meetings. I also visited the partner lounge to catch up and chat with many peers. The magic of TwitchCon is getting to speak in person with people we spend hours watching online. Getting to chit-chat over lunch, chop it up over video games, share streaming tips, or just vibe with people are some of the best things about attending. You better understand people, their personalities, and how they view their craft through meeting IRL. We can learn from each other and have a good time. I would not have wanted to be anywhere else that weekend. Did I also forget to mention it was my birthday that Saturday? I got to celebrate with all my friends, and it made it the best birthday yet. I feel super lucky I got to share that moment with everyone.



Sunday was finally here (and I was desperately trying to stave off the early onset of con blues). It was the last day and one of the busiest for me. I hosted two more panels and closed out GDQx. We raised 35K for Able Gamers, which was an incredible feat. I also had the chance to walk around the show floor and see some people before the show ended. I got to run into Nutty, an influential and talented creator who focuses on building resources for streamers.



Overall, TwitchCon is an event any broadcaster should attend at least once. I built unforgettable memories and bonds at TwitchCon. It is also crucial because TwitchCon is a contact point for us to speak with Twitch employees and give them direct feedback. It is also a great place to meet with people who run fantastic groups like the Twitch Unity Guilds.


AshSaidHi in front of the POG Lizard Statue at TwitchCon Las Vegas
AshSaidPog

Whether you are there to further develop your craft by attending panels, meeting people to build your network, or hanging with friends, there is something at TwitchCon for anyone. I hope to see you at the next one. Thanks for reading, and until next time, stay awesome!!


My Twitch Ambassador Buddies
My Twitch Ambassador Buddies

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