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A Note From Event Director Stephenie Hawkins on GDC 2024 Safety

For the past few years, I've been honored to serve as Event Director of the Game Developers Conference. I love the community we've built, the organizations we've partnered with, and the city we call home. Bringing game developers together every year fills me with joy and pride.

Your safety is important to me, as is the safety of everybody joining us for GDC 2024. We celebrate our community's diversity, and we have many programs dedicated to uplifting marginalized voices. All our attendees, sponsors, volunteers, speakers, media, exhibitors, and other participants have the right to feel welcome, treated equally, and honored for their unique contributions to the industry. 

That assertion builds the foundation of our GDC Code of Conduct, which we highly encourage all participants to read before attending. 

Anyone who violates our Code of Conduct, or engages in any type of unacceptable behavior, is subject to immediate and decisive response from conference organizers. If someone's behavior is unacceptable and they're asked to stop, they're expected to comply immediately. Otherwise, they risk further action—including possible expulsion from the conference without warning or refund. 

If you see or experience behavior that you feel is unacceptable, there are several ways you can let us know so we can address it right away. You can call our Safety Helpline at +1-925-852-4361, which is staffed 24/7 from now until April 5. You can flag any security personnel, or Conference Associate (wearing bright pink shirts). You can head to our Show Office at Room 105, South Hall, where you will always find staff members willing to help. If you prefer, you can email me personally at Stephenie Hawkins, or my colleague Katie Tirschel, Event Delivery Director. I am here for you, anytime you need me. 

I also wanted to take a moment to highlight some of our programs and initiatives designed to help you feel safe and comfortable at GDC 2024. For more on our Health and Safety guidelines, please head here

This year, we've introduced our brand-new GDC Travel Together program, which provides opportunities for attendees to find travel companions and groups for getting to and from the Moscone Center. As I talked with our community over the past year, one thing I heard over and over from our advisors and attendees alike was how their favorite part of GDC is the random encounters. Meeting old friends (and making new ones) while walking to the hotel, standing in line for coffee, or hanging out in Yerba Buena Gardens. GDC Travel Together is designed to give attendees an outlet to facilitate those connections in a communal environment. 

The Union Square Alliance also provides walking escorts for GDC attendees staying near the convention center. You can call member services at +1-415-781-4456 to request a walking escort. Please allow 30 minutes. There will be San Francisco police officers and Welcome Ambassadors stationed around the Moscone Center region as well as throughout the city. 

We have special events for after-hours get-togethers—all of which have GDC security presence and staff members present. This includes the Xsolla Game Night on Tuesday, March 19 from 6:00-9:30pm, where you can "go analog" with Mattel classics like UNO, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, and more. Make sure to register beforehand (link here). We also have the 2024 IGF Awards and Game Developers Choice Awards on Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30pm, with a special performance from the Live Audience RPG band Extra Lives at 5:30pm

Please remember that any after-hours parties or get-togethers, unless hosted by Informa Tech, are not official GDC events and will not have GDC security or staff present—but if you see or experience anything at these events, please call our hotline (staffed 24/7) at +1-925-852-4361.

We want to come together, to honor those who've built this industry and support the next generation taking games into the future. I want to thank you for being part of our family, and I am happy to personally welcome you—and everything that makes you you—to the 2024 Game Developers Conference.

GDC returns to San Francisco this March 18-22, 2024—and registration is open. For more information, be sure to visit our website and follow the #GDC2024 hashtag on social media.

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