The ADAC Sim Racing Expo will feature a new area this year to help content creators and journalists work from the virtual racing gathering.
The event – which showcases the latest developments from sim racing companies and partners – is now in its fifth year, and has moved to a new semi-permanent home in Dortmund’s Messe having relocated last year to Nuremberg from the Nürburgring.
Running from 13th-15th October, the 2023 edition will be the first to take place in the new venue – which features eight halls – as part of a new five-year deal. The expo itself takes up two of these halls, with over 17,000 square metres of sim racing companies exhibiting their products.
The larger venue also means that the event’s organisers can themselves expand what they offer to the tens of thousands expected to attend; among whom are some of the discipline’s biggest media personalities.
Speaking to the Final Stint Podcast, Head of SimRacing for organisers cowana Marketing, Danny Giusa, revealed that a new ‘content creator zone’ would be established, to help journalists, streamers, film-makers, podcasters and social media influencers better cover the event for their audiences.
“We had two weeks of deep meetings and project planning, and I can’t get into too much detail about these kinds of things, but there’s a ‘content creator area’ where we make sure creators can do their work at the Expo,” explained Giusa.
“We had huge feedback from the community, creators, and even people there, asking why we didn’t do something for the content creators, even somewhere they could chill out a bit away from the public.
“Content creators are a huge part of the scene, especially in sim racing, and we had huge reach through them on YouTube [last year]. The thing is that we need to give something back to people who are doing that – whether it’s content creators, press or even just generally people who do something on the Expo.”
It’s one of a number of changes for 2023, including the new venue, and a higher ticket price.
A three-day ticket for this year’s event will set punters back €58 (£51.16/$66.22) and a day ticket costs €24.50 (£21.61/$26.28). By comparison, a weekend ticket for the 2022 event was €44, a day ticket cost €18, while in 2021 a day ticket cost as little as €8.
However, Giusa defended the increased prices on the podcast, saying that costs have increased, as well as promising an improved stage programme for 2023.
“I can tell you one thing: I saw someone who was quite open and quite negative about that,” said Giusa.
“I find it funny that these kinds of people are, in this case, very vocal about the price, when they haven’t paid for a ticket for the Expo.
“The price is higher than last year, that’s the truth. I can come with the stuff about the prices of electricity and oil, and also the location, are rising, and typically exhibition prices rise by five per cent year-on-year.
“The next thing is that we need to worry about a ticketing system. We partnered with Eventim, and if you look at a weekend ticket, five or six euros is going to that, which of course adds up to the ticket prices.
“But it’s something we need to do to offer a platform.
“I get the criticism and I’m aware of it, and I think they’re valid to say it. But if you see the last Expo, nobody complained at any point about the ticket price, and it’s not too big of a difference this year.
“I want to be very clear, we are not making millions. If that were the case I would really like to get you a private jet!
“We are not making, in the last few years, money out of the SimExpo. The price that we set on the ticket is the lower margin we can set because we also don’t know how many people will come.
“We have the opportunity to serve up to 40,000 people at the new venue. The ticket price has its cost, I know, but it’s not like we’re trying to take money off people or take it out of their pockets.”
The Final Stint Podcast focuses on endurance racing, both real and virtual, and has featured guests such as Bruno Spengler, Charlie Eastwood, Josh Rogers and Tommy Ostgaard. You can find it on Spotify and Google Podcasts.