Interview with organizer M. Hennerici
Gaming and racing event ADAC SimRacing Expo to celebrate its fifth anniversary in new and innovative ways this coming September
This September, the ADAC SimRacing Expo is going to celebrate its fifth anniversary in style – and with a special edition of the reknown gaming and racing event. Between September 14 and 16, the organizers will put together the most diverse event so far. Their goal: to present all facets of real and virtual racing at Germany's legendary Nürburgring race track. Organizer and race car driver Marc Hennerici talks about the attractions planned for 2018.
Half a decade is quite a milestone: this year, the ADAC SimRacing Expo opens its doors for the fifth time. In the past few years it has shown how real and virtual racing can live together in perfect harmony. And the initial goal – to utilize the Blancpain GT Series to introduce racing fans to sim racing – has been achieved in a most successful way. What technical innovations can fans look forward to in 2018?
Marc Hennerici: Both eSports and the ADAC SimRacing Expo are booming – and our event calendar is showing this with both diversity and variety. For starters, we are going to host two eSports highlights once again: the ADAC SimRacing Trophy and the ADAC Digital GT500. Furthermore, we are going to have slot car tracks and a huge area for gaming exhibitors for maximum racing entertainment – and all of these are quite affordable when compared to professional simulators. We're especially proud of a new addition to our event: the ring°arena with a show floor that measures 4,000 m²! This is where the official warm-up of the Euro Touring Series world cup will take place – Europe's most important RC car competition. And because there is so much to see and to do, we are going to open the Expo for three instead of just two days, starting on Friday instead of Saturday.
These changes seem to reflect on the new website and logo, too. What's the idea behind the new design? And why is ADAC featured so prominently in the name of the Expo now?
Marc Hennerici: What has started five years ago with rather moderate resources has turned into a phenomenal success story. That's why on the one hand we have higher expectations when it comes to the quality of the Expo. On the other hand, the sheer organization of the event has become so complex and multi-faceted that we have asked marketing agency co|wana to support us. This has led to a completely new, much more professionalized concept. You can see the first results of this concept in this year's event schedule: a schedule that's more diverse than ever before, with thematically grouped presentations at the ring°boulevard and the new public face of the event. The new website is one example, the new logo with the integration of our patron ADAC is another. The new name and the unified design are stepping stones on our way to further strengthen the brand awareness of the ADAC SimRacing Expo – and we are thankful that ADAC has signaled its full commitment to walk this way with us together.
You have mentioned higher expectations when it comes to the quality of the ADAC SimRacing Expo. Can you tell us a bit about how these expectations will be reflected at the actual event?
Marc Hennerici: First of all, this year's ADAC SimRacing Expo will be more structured than ever before. We are going to have specific, continuous areas for sim racers, gamers, slot car fans and model makers. We are going to unify the exhibitors' booth concepts to feature a common theme throughout the whole event. We are going to have a vastly improved stage area that will be even bigger than our video wall – which has already been one of the world's biggest. In numbers, we are talking about a stage that's 50 meters wide, last year, the stage ended after eight meters! We also recognize the importance of live streaming: we have received so much positive feedback last year that in 2018 we are going to stream in two languages simultaneously for the first time – in German and in English. And we are expecting up to 300,000 new viewers thanks to that. Our „Battle of the Ring“ will be a definite media highlight: for a TV production, we are staging a contest between four celebrities. All of them will have to test their skills in real, simulated, slot car and RC car racing events. Oh, and did I mention that the ADAC SimRacing Expo won't charge its visitors a single cent for any of this?
„Battle of the Ring“ will be a highlight for sure. Let's talk about two more: the simulation contests ADAC SimRacing Trophy and ADAC Digital GT500. Are these two eSports events just for nerds? Or are they serious competitions?
Marc Hennerici: Anyone who has a chance to do so should try out one of these ultra-modern simulators. My fellow race car drivers and I are using them to prepare for our own races. Which of course only works if simulation and reality are a match. Which they are: time and again, successful sim racers such as Florian Strauss are mastering the transition from the simulator to the actual race track. And let's not forget that eSports is a topic for today's media, too – and rightfully so: ran eSports is covering virtual competitions on TV channels Sat1 and ProSieben Maxx. Furthermore, today even professional sports and racing teams with a long-standing history are founding their own eSports department. That's why the ADAC SimRacing Expo is the perfect professional platform for sim racers from all around the world to compete with one another.
About ADAC Mittelrhein e.V.:
With more than 700,000 members, automobile club ADAC Mittelrhein e.V. includes the geographical regions around Koblenz and Trier as well as Main – the state capital of Rhineland-Palatinate – and parts of Rhenish Hesse. A hundred-percent subsidiary of ADAC Mittelrhein e.V., FW Freizeit- und Wirtschaftsdienst GmbH is the organizer of the ADAC SimRacing Expo, one of the world's biggest virtual motorsport gaming exhibits.
About co|wana GmbH:
Based in Fürth, co|wana GmbH is an experienced full-service marketing agency with many years of experience in the electronic entertainment industry. This year, co|wana has been chosen to be one of the partners responsible for organizing the ADAC SimRacing Expo 2018. Other clients of co|wana are Bethesda Softworks, Red Bull and Cooler Master. In addition, co|wana is working in trade fair construction: with its sister company media|lounge GmbH, one of the company's flagship projects is a joint booth measuring 1,000 m² at gamescom in Cologne, Germany.
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