Six months before, we had run into challenges right away. The first website I made for the event was hosted on Glitch and wouldn't reliably load in China. We needed a way for people to sign up and get updates, but quickly realized that the usual go-tos such as Eventbrite and email lists weren't an option. In the end, the solution wasn’t to find a Chinese version of Eventbrite, but to instead lean on WeChat. We created a WeChat group to organize and communicate with attendees, and did all of our marketing through local WeChat groups connected to STEAMhead. Instead of a website, we distributed a PDF translated into both Mandarin and English.
We had no idea how many of our sign-ups would actually make it to the event. Many participants were coming from Hong Kong and this was mid-November, the height of government response to the ongoing protests. We ended up having 35 people join with an amazing diversity of backgrounds, including teachers, game developers, musicians, and others. We included brainstorming sessions, icebreakers, and a Saturday morning tour of the Shenzhen Electronics Market, the world’s largest, to get components for games.
The event ended with five finished games, a community arcade night, and amazing conversations about the nexus of making and education.