Friday, December 4, 2020
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM (EST)

Networking in Exhibit Hall

9:05 AM - 9:10 AM (EST)

Welcoming Remarks

9:10 AM - 9:45 AM (EST)

Opening Keynote: Esports is More Than a Game: Building an Online Engaged Community

Lori Bajorek is president of the National Esports Association. In her keynote speech she will share first-hand experiences and how the National Esports Association (NEA) is committed to building an online engaged community focused on education, as well as diversity and inclusion. During her 12-year tenure in esports Lori has helped pave the way for women in esports and student gamers with disabilities, while promoting a healthy gaming lifestyle beyond the game and encouraging students to play with a purpose. Esports is the great equalizer, whereas all students can be involved in this community, working as a team, building self-esteem and confidence regardless of physical ability or social acceptability. Lori will share real-life examples of success stories and advise how esports can play a key role in our current educational challenges, as our students learn in a virtual world.

9:50 AM - 10:05 AM (EST)

Esports Technology: Hardware, Infrastructure & Games

This session will cover the technology needed to equip a college or K-12 esports program. You’ll explore the types of gaming stations available, networking, and peripherals that enhance the level of play for the esports athlete and team. In addition, you’ll learn how to design a practice and competition space that can easily expand as the K-12’s esports program grows, what games to play, how to purchase them, and what support is needed.

10:10 AM - 11:00 AM (EST)

How to Get Started with Esports

More and more schools are realizing the benefits to having their students participate in varsity-level esports events, but don’t know how to get started. This session covers what you need to know to get your school competing — from finding the right league to working with AV integrators to build a proper esports arena for your district or university.

11:10 AM - 12:00 PM (EST)

Esports in Higher Ed: Making Your Campus Stand Out

This panel will showcase examples of the most cutting-edge esports arenas in higher education and take you through the process of how they got there.

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM (EST)

Exhibit Hall Break

12:45 PM - 1:00 PM (EST)

Afternoon Keynote: Understanding the Injury and Health Profiles of Esports Players

Traditional sports medicine has a long history of research related to the best practices needed to keep players healthy and protected from injuries. But when the New York Institute of Technology launched an esports program, Dr. Hallie Zwibel, the university’s athletic doctor, realized there was very little research about how to protect esports players from physical and mental injuries. His team began surveying players and esports squads at colleges across the country and found that many players were not following simple healthy guidelines such as regular movement, adequate hydration, and good sleep habits. They discovered that the sedentary nature of playing esports resulted in obesity (two thirds of esports players are obese), as well as back and neck pain, shoulder and wrist pain, and eye fatigue. In this keynote, Dr. Zwibel will present tips and best practices to help players and coaches better understand how to minimize the physical (and mental) injuries that can result from esports.

1:00 PM - 1:50 PM (EST)

Best Tech for Dynamic Esports

This panel will discuss how to build the needed infrastructure for an esports league, your arena, and you team during COVID.

1:50 PM - 2:30 PM (EST)

Exhibit Hall Break

2:40 PM - 3:30 PM (EST)

Enhancing the Audience Experience with 'Next Reality' Technology

Today the physical experience is no longer separate from the virtual one—we are now living in a hybrid environment, and it’s time to enhance the experiences of live audiences while simultaneously engaging with those that are remote. Diving into the hot topics of AR and VR and producing content for the digital open world, experts will discuss the evolving future of the esports market. Participants will walk away with an understanding of trends and predictions for the market, how the esports audience compares to other traditional markets, and lessons learned from concepts and examples of esports deployments.

3:40 PM - 4:30 PM (EST)

Keeping Students Connected Through Esports: Building Community and Culture in Virtual and Hybrid Learning Environments

Esports provides a perfect opportunity for students to build community and friendships, play, and learn in a hybrid model or even completely virtually. In this session, we’ll provide guidance to schools and CBOs on how they can plan for an uncertain school year ahead which may include traditional face-to-face, hybrid, and virtual club interactions. You’ll also hear how esports are a great way to support Social Emotional Learning, and develop important career skills.

4:30 PM - 4:45 PM (EST)

Wrap-Up/Passport to Prizes

Join us as we wrap-up of the day’s programming, along with prize giveaways, courtesy of our group of sponsors. All registered attendees are eligible, with winners selected randomly from a group that demonstrates the most active engagement with sponsors and programming.

4:45 PM - 5:15 PM (EST)

Networking & Happy Hour