2023 AGENDA


Sunday, August 20, 2023

Time: 12:00 - 5:00 pm CST

Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City Royals @ Wrigley Rooftops

For those who want a more social atmosphere during a Cubs game, including all-inclusive food and drinks, then this is the right place for you! Enjoy one of the many social areas, which include an air-conditioned bar, open-air shaded seating, stadium seats for watching the game, and a sundeck with wonderful views of the city. Tickets are not guaranteed and are on a first come first serve basis, limited tickets are available. This off-site event is not included in the conference ticket.


Monday, August 21, 2023

Time: 1:30 - 5:00 pm CST

Check-in Opens

Pick up your badge and welcome packet, and learn about things to do around Chicago!

Time: 2:00 - 3:00 pm CST

ESTA Member Townhall

ESTA Members, we invite you to share your ideas on how ESTA can best serve our industry in 2024. This open forum is the place for questions, suggestions, and discussion on all things ESTA and how we can best serve our members.

Time: 3:00 - 3:15 pm CST

Welcome from the Chair

Our Board Chair, John Davidson, ESTA Founder, Megan Van Petten, welcome our attendees, panelists, and sponsors to the 2-day conference, as we cover the latest news on the topics covered in the event, participate in various networking sessions, and listen to chosen contenders present their business ideas in our Open Mic Elevator Pitch competition.

Time: 3:15 - 4:00 pm CST

The State of Esports and Gaming

Hear from a leading esports analytics company on trends from 2023 and predictions for the industry in 2024.

Time: 4:00 - 5:00 pm CST

Purposeful Speed Networking

Identify and connect with potential clients and partners for your business. This networking session will feature different groups for participants to choose from: one for job seekers/employers, and another for B2B networking from endemic and non-endemic businesses.

Time: 5:00 - 5:30 pm CST

Quick Pitch

Are you signed up for the ESTA Open Mic Elevator Pitch Competition? This is the perfect opportunity to highlight your idea in front of a live audience. One lucky wild card winner will be chosen to present on Tuesday's competition!

Time: 5:30 - 6:30 pm CST

Committee Sessions

Our Education, Research & Data, and Regulation Committees will host sessions focusing on their respective missions. Guests will have the options to choose which event to attend. 

Time: 6:30 - 7:30 pm CST

Welcome Networking Reception

Join your fellow attendees and exhibitors for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, with a side of networking in the esports and gaming industry!


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Time: 8:00 - 9:00 am CST

Networking Breakfast Hour

Enjoy light breakfast and networking as we launch the Conference.

Time: 9:00 - 9:15 am CST

EsportsNext Introductions

Our Board Chair, John Davidson, ESTA Founder, Megan Van Petten welcome our attendees, panelists, and sponsors.

Time: 9:15 - 10:00 am CST

Business Outlook on Esports and Gaming

Join us for a discussion on investment and the financial state of the industry, as well as an outlook on the Metaverse and how web3 developments may impact the esports and gaming industries. 

Time: 10:00 - 11:00 am CST

Panel: The View from Game Developers

Hear from game developers on what challenges and successes are facing game launches. Learn about trends from players, how diversity and inclusion initiatives are being implemented in gaming, new marketing techniques, and more. 

Time: 11:00 - 12:00 pm CST 

Pecha Kucha Presentations

We're spicing it up with Pecha Kucha presentations! Each speaker will go through 20 slides, with each slide explained in 20 seconds or less. This is followed by a short Q&A session. These snappy presentations will be a way to cover events and tournaments, mental health, and much, much more while keeping guests on their feet and engaged. 

Time: 12:00 - 12:45 pm CST

Lunch and Networking Break

Time: 12:45 am - 1:45 pm CST

Open Mic Elevator Pitch Competition

Do you have an innovative idea, product, service, or social enterprise solution? Are you looking to grow and scale your business in the esports industry? Then the Open Mic Elevator Pitch Competition is the perfect opportunity to submit your idea for the chance to present it to a crowd of industry professionals. Open to ESTA members and conference attendees.

Time: 1:45 - 2:45 pm CST

Panel: The Opportunity in Scholastic Esports

We've seen a huge interest in scholastic esports, and involvement from some of the biggest companies in the world. What are the challenges and opportunities to bringing esports into schools, and why are companies looking to support these programs? 

Time: 2:45 - 3:45 pm CST

Panel: Team Leadership in Esports

Join us to hear from team executives from around the esports industry. Panelists will discuss the different aspects of running an esports team, and 2024 team goals. 

Time: 3:45 - 4:30 pm CST

Awards Presentation

We will be announcing our Open Mic Elevator Pitch Competition winner, as well as the winners for Game Changer of the year and Member of the Year. 

Time: 4:30 - 5:00 pm CST

Closing Remarks

Time: 5:00 - 7:00 pm CST

ESTA Happy Hour

Join us for Happy Hour, as we come together in discussion to share a beverage and stories about you, your experience with our conference, share highlights, ask questions. Take advantage of the opportunity to network, meet your fellow attendees and speakers, discuss the panels you have viewed, and find out more about ESTA!