As an independent video game online-media writer person, nothing is more exhilarating, exciting and nerve-wracking than applying for your first convention media badge. I mean, YOU think you’re good enough to qualify as media, but what if it turns out you’re not? It’s like putting your balls out on the chopping block — you submit your best work and attach the most eloquent cover letter you’ve ever written. You read, re-read and then re-re-read your email and then read it again while your mouse pointer hovers over the “send” button. Okay — everything looks good…aaaaaaand then you read everything again.
Then, with one eye closed, you click “send”. And then the rush of adrenaline begins, and you proceed stare at your inbox for the next hour, hoping to receive an email confirming your admittance. But the evening passes without receiving anything. Before you know it, days have passed. Weeks. Still no word — but everywhere you look, people are boasting about their acceptance into the same convention you applied to. Why haven’t you heard anything back?! GRAWWWGHHH!!!
Welcome to the life of media registration, people! Doesn’t it sound glorious?!
What I described above is exactly what I went through while applying for my BlondeNerd E3 media badge. Granted, I was quite nervous while applying for my first PAX Prime media badge under BlondeNerd, but it doesn’t compare to the anxiety I felt applying for a E3 media badge. We all know E3 is the big-daddy of ’em all, and a lot of people think of E3 as being the “proving grounds” — if you get accepted, you’re legit. If not, you still have some serious work to do.
I’ve attended E3 the past few years under Vagary.TV, which is the hosting provider of a video game podcast I’m a part of. But this year I wanted to stand on my own legs and gain admittance with my OWN credentials. Y’know, I wanted to feel warm and fuzzy about myself — so, I applied in early January before setting off on a week-long cruise. And while I always try to avoid my email while on vacation, every now and then I would take a quick peek at my inbox from the comfort of the ship to see if the E3 media team had responded to my request. Nothing ever came.
Finally, though, on the last day of the cruise I received the following email:
Guys, my heart sank. Here I was on the last day of this BEAUTIFUL cruise and I was delivered this blow. My mood tanked, but I tried my best to keep a happy face on for those around me because A) I didn’t want to talk about it B) I was kind of embarrassed that I was denied and C) It would be difficult to explain why a convention like E3 meant so much to me. So, I kept quiet. But I read and re-read that denial email wracking my brain as to why I was denied. I mean, on paper I met all of the criteria.
Well, kiddos, something you’ll learn about me is that I don’t like taking “no” for an answer unless I’m provided with legitimate reasoning. And when it came to E3, I felt like I wasn’t provided with a legitimate reason for denial. I applied again. I attached screen shots from Google Analytics that clearly depicted my monthly traffic. I sent in recent articles. I re-attached my cover letter. I wrote a long-ass email that explained what I did on my blog, and why I thought I should be approved.
About two and a half weeks later I received an email which informed me I had been denied again. As you can probably imagine, I was not a very happy camper. I was frustrated. What really frustrated me though was that it was a mirror email to the denial letter I had received weeks prior.
While I had been waiting for that unfortunate email, I learned a lot of people were experiencing the same frustrations as I was — they were being denied but weren’t exactly sure as to why. But while most people ho-hummed, slumped their shoulders and sulked away I continued to dig. I wanted to know WHY I was being denied and what I could to do fix it. So I phone-stalked those poor E3 media registration folk (sorry guys!) until I finally got a hold of someone. I ended up speaking to this incredibly nice woman and within 15 seconds she revealed the answer to a question I had been stewing over for the past three months:
In their eyes, Google Analytics is NOT an acceptable form of monthly traffic reporting.
I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. That was IT? In any case, I could have laughed or cried all I wanted, but the fact remained I had to register my ass on another traffic reporting website. I chose Quantcast (E3 accepts numbers from Quantcast, Compete or Alexa), registered my website and played a month-long waiting game during which I anxiously watched my traffic numbers accrue.
As of last night, an entire month of traffic data had pulled through, and needless to say the first thing I did this morning was call the registration team.
I feel like I should be doing cartwheels right now, but am SO exhausted from this entire shindig I don’t have it in me. But somewhere deep inside my body I’m having a goddamn rave.
SO. What lessons did we learn today?
- The E3 Media Registration team is swamped. S-w-a-m-p-e-d. If you meet all criteria and are being denied, give ’em a call. They’ll hear you out and offer you advice.
- Get your ass registered on Quantcast. Compete is expensive as you-kn0w-what, and Quantcast is free. (I’m not sure how accurate the website is, but I suppose you use what you gotta use!)
- Don’t give up! Apply early enough so you give yourself some breathing room. I mean, it took me three months get approved.
Wisdom. I haz bestowed it.
Good luck! <3