The Montreal International Games Summit is a few weeks away. The biggest video game industry event in North America will take place at Palais des congrès from November 15th to 17th. Are you curious about MIGS? Should you attend it?

What is MIGS anyway?

Unlike Comiccon or Fan Expo which are entertainment and consumer focused, MIGS is an industry event. Instead of celebrity panels, they are conferences with influencers and key members of the gaming world, and instead of a vendor’s’ section, there’s a trade show floor. MIGS is the event that really gets into the nitty-gritty of the gaming industry. The summit isn’t about quantity but really about quality: a smaller but very well focused offering of conferences and activities. Who should attend? Everyone and anyone who is passionate about games: students, developers, creators, scholars, etc.

I loved my experience at MIGS14 and am looking forward to this year’s edition. If you’re thinking of attending, I have 5 good reasons to do so.

1. The Conferences

This is your chance to drink from the fountain of knowledge from all walks of game creators.

MIGS14 was kicked off by Brandon Beck of Riot Games who shared with an eager audience the lessons his team learned from League of Legends’ success. This year, Ian Livingstone, regarded as one of the founding fathers of the UK gaming industry, will share his experiences launching Games Workshop, writing Fighting Fantasy and his work with Domark, Eidos, Midoki and Playdemic.

Leah Hoyer, Narrative Director at ArenaNet giving a conference at MIGS14.

Leah Hoyer, Narrative Director at ArenaNet, giving a conference at MIGS14. Photo © Catherine Smith-Desbiens / Girls on Games

The sessions and master classes at MIGS are diverse and touch every aspect of the industry from mobile to console, from indie productions to AAA titles: art, audio, programming, business practices, community management, etc. All given by amazing game makers that are eager to share their learnings with the attendees.

2. To Network

This is your chance to shake hands with key members of the industry. Speakers take questions during their talks. The Expo Zone is chock full of entrepreneurs who can’t wait to share their ideas with you. There’s a Business Lounge to facilitate meetings and MIGS organises lunches, cocktails and other activities to encourage networking and business development.

3. To Meet Recruiters

If you want to work in the video game industry, MIGS the place to be. Aside from the networking aspect mentioned above, many studios will have recruiters on-site. Bring your resumé, exchange LinkedIn contacts and be ready for a quick on-site interview. This year, MIGS and are offering 200 free admissions to job seekers. You can register here.

Applicants at the Espresso Jobs booth during MIGS 2014 © Catherine Smith-Desbiens / Girls on Games

Applicants at the Espresso Jobs booth during MIGS 2014 © Catherine Smith-Desbiens / Girls on Games

4. To Explore The Expo Zone

This is isn’t your typical convention floor. As MIGS is an industry event, exhibitors are ready to go in-depth when presenting their projects. Not only you’ll get hands on with all types of game demos, you’ll learn about services you didn’t know were available. For example, last year I met representative of the company that provides game servers for many online games, one of them being Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. I also tried the Oculus Rift for the first time. I was honestly pleasantly surprised by the Expo Zone’s offering.

MIGS attendant takes on the Server Challenge II © Catherine Smith-Desbiens / Girls on Games

MIGS attendant takes on the Server Challenge II © Catherine Smith-Desbiens / Girls on Games

5. To Get Inspired and Motivated

If you read all 4 previous points, it’s pretty clear that MIGS is a great event to attend to replenish your creative juices. The summit offers many activities beyond the conferences, master classes, Expo Zone and Business Lounge. There’s the Best of Future Talent inviting students to showcase their projects during a special event in the Expo Zone. There are also great contests to take part in: the Concept Art Contest where artistic talent will be exhibited at the Palais during the event and the Soundtrack Contest to find the audio stamp that will brand this year’s edition of MIGS!

Need more?

If you want to know what it’s like to attend MIGS, you can check out my article on 5 key things I learned at MIGS14. For more information on the Montreal International Game Summit, visit

Disclaimer: This article was written as part of Girls on Games’ official media partnership with MIGS.