TwitchCon Does San Diego: Jenn’s Picks

Want to know what’s good in San Diego during your trip for TwitchCon? OP Group has some ideas! We’ve picked our personal favorite spots in the area to eat, drink, and hang out in San Diego.

San Diego Sailing Tours

Distance from convention: 4.1 miles – 15 minutes – $8 Uber

Feel the sun on your face and the wind at your back during these tours of San Diego Harbor. Enjoy daytime or sunset sails with wine, craft beer, and great snacks.




Distance from convention: 0.6 miles – 10 minutes – Walkable

The best Mexican street food is within walking distance of the convention! Puesto knows the true meaning of fresh with hand-made tortillas, scratch salsas, all-natural meats, sustainable seafood and local greens.



Polite Provisions

Distance from convention: 6.1 miles – 20 minutes – $10 Uber

A speakeasy feel with handcrafted cocktails (made with over 50+ types of bitters!) Polite Provisions is on a mission to spread the “art of the cocktail” to everyone who walks in their doors. Hungry? Enjoy a bite at their sister property, Soda & Swine, next door.



Pacific Shores

Distance from convention: 10 miles – 17 minutes – $12 Uber

Dimly lit 1960’s dive bar, complete with psychedelic octopus seductress murals. Enjoy a stiff drink, pool tables, and all of the blacklight art you never thought you needed.



The Pearl Hotel

Distance from convention: 7.7 miles – 15 minutes – $10 Uber

A shag lounge, pool cabanas, and happy hour eats make for a chill hangout spot. The relaxing bar scene highlights 10 craft beers on tap, an eclectic wine list, and super-signature cocktails.



Personal Recommendations: Omeed | Jenn | Skyla | Mel | Downtown Destinations

TwitchCon Does San Diego: Omeed’s Picks

Want to know what’s good in San Diego during your trip for TwitchCon? OP Group has some ideas! We’ve picked our personal favorite spots in the area to eat, drink, and hang out in San Diego.

Enigma HQ

Distance from convention: 1.3 miles – 7 minutes – $5 Uber

This unique escape room was designed by Brian Hacker – poker player, MtG player, and card game designer. Using story-based puzzles, cinematics, and physical environments, this escape room is unlike any other.



Sushi Ota

Distance from convention: 10.3 miles – 15 minutes – $12 Uber

Considered one of the best sushi restaurants in San Diego, you’ll definitely want to make a reservation to check this place out. Omeed recommends ordering omakase – and if you don’t know what that is, prepare for a surprise.



Seven Grand

Distance from convention: 5 miles – 15 minutes – $10 Uber

Seven Grand (and its speakeasy, Bar Three Piece) has the best scotch selection in town. Get classy with a fancy cigar, while you enjoy the company of every type of hipster.



Red Fox Room

Distance from convention: 5 miles – 15 minutes – $10 Uber

This dive bar has a long and storied history. It was built in Surrey in the 1500s, and was transported to the United States in 1926 at the whims of a budding actress. Expect dim lighting, questionable piano playing, and strong drinks.



The Shout House

Distance from convention: 0.5 miles – 10 minutes – Walkable

Dueling pianists let tips drive the playlist. It’s like Twitch in bar form! The people watching alone is worth the small cover charge on weekends.



Personal Recommendations: Omeed | Jenn | Skyla | Mel | Downtown Destinations

TwitchCon Does San Diego: Skyla’s Picks

Want to know what’s good in San Diego during your trip for TwitchCon? OP Group has some ideas! We’ve picked our personal favorite spots in the area to eat, drink, and hang out in San Diego.

Belmont Park

Distance from convention: 10.4 miles – 18 minutes – $13 Uber

Belmont Park is the heart of Mission Beach, where you’ll find laser tag, an arcade, ziplines, and even a roller coaster! Enjoy an incredible view of the ocean while eating rooftop sushi, or take on the surf challenge at the wave house.



Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens

Distance from convention: 7.1 miles – 15 minutes – $9 Uber

Stone Brewing is known for their hoppy IPAs so if beers are your jam, don’t pass this one up. Wind down your evening outside by the firepits with some great food and a flight of local brews.




Distance from convention: 6 miles – 11 minutes – $8 Uber

Open every hour that alcohol can be served in San Diego (6AM – 2AM), this is the dive bar you’re looking for. Enjoy a game of pool, dim lighting, and karaoke that starts nightly at 9!



Lucha Libre

Distance from convention: 4.9 miles – 12 minutes – $9 Uber

One step inside Lucha Libre and you’ll see that this is unlike any taco shop you’ve ever been to. They take the luchador theme to the next level, complete with wrestling ring. Make this the place you go for a California Burrito. (There are 2 locations – Skyla recommends the one on University Ave.)



Coin-op Game Room

Distance from convention: 4.9 miles – 12 minutes – $9 Uber

A trip to Coin-op like being a kid again, with all the perks of adulthood. Great craft beer, nerdy-themed mixed drinks, fun food, and over 30 classic arcade games. Skyla recommends the deep fried oreos and the Kong’s Barrel punch bowl. Bring friends.



Personal Recommendations: Mel | Downtown Destinations

TwitchCon Does San Diego: Mel’s Picks

Want to know what’s good in San Diego during your trip for TwitchCon? OP Group has some ideas! We’ve picked our personal favorite spots in the area to eat, drink, and hang out in San Diego.

Buona Forchetta

Distance from convention: 3.6 miles – 11 minutes – $7 Uber

Treat yourself to a special night out and fantastic Italian food at Buona Forchetta. Serving true, authentic Neapolitan wood fired pizza and fresh daily specials, using locally sourced ingredients.



PB Shore Club

Distance from convention: 12.7 miles – 21 minutes – $16 Uber

No matter where you are in PB Shore Club, you’ll be treated to a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy California surf culture in a casual atmosphere, where the party is always going.


Hamilton’s Tavern

Distance from convention: 3.9 miles – 11 minutes – $7 Uber

Tap handles line the ceiling of this “Beer Drinker’s Bar”. The owners of Hamilton’s Tavern also own a local brewery, and heavily promote the San Diego beer scene. Pool tables, great music, and tasty pub grub.




Distance from convention: 4.8 miles – 12 minutes – $7 Uber

Don’t be fooled – Babycakes isn’t ONLY an amazing cupcake shop. They are eclectic dessert destination with a bar, dance floor, and a totally unique experience. Located in the Hillcrest neighborhood, Babycakes is LGBTQ friendly.



Hello Birdie

Distance from convention: 4.9 miles – 12 minutes – $10 Uber

Relax with a mini day spa trip before TwitchCon! Mel recommends a mani-pedi and if you’re feeling adventurous, get some eyelash extensions! And absolutely book an appointment.



Other Recommendations: Downtown Destinations

TwitchCon Does San Diego: Downtown Destinations

Want to know what’s good in Downtown San Diego during your trip for TwitchCon? OP Group has some ideas! We’ve picked our favorite spots in Gaslamp to eat, drink, and hang out.

Hodad’s Burgers

Distance from convention: 0.9 miles – 20 minutes

Hodad’s is the story of a local favorite burger shop turned “overnight sensation”, thanks to an appearance on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. While this downtown spot isn’t their original location (you’ll need to go a few miles away to Ocean Beach for that), this is still considered one of the best burgers in San Diego.



Donut Bar

Distance from convention: 0.9 miles – 20 minutes

Donut Bar also found fame through a TV show spot, and they haven’t slowed down since. Their creative donut flavors rotate daily, and should be enough for any sweet tooth – from french toast donuts, to butter beer flavor, to the Homer special, you won’t be disappointed. Be sure to get here early!



Quad AleHouse

Distance from convention: 0.6 miles – 13 minutes

“Beer Study Hall” – If you’re looking for somewhere that’s a bit quieter than the normal downtown scene, but has good beer and pub food, Quad AleHouse fits the bill. They have an extensive draft and bottle list, good playlists, and a chill atmosphere.



The Lion’s Share

Distance from convention: 0.6 miles – 13 minutes

With a food menu built around exotic meats, The Lion’s Share is always a unique and eclectic experience. Think “carnivore hipster” – antelope sausage, bison burgers, and over 40 specialty craft cocktails.




Distance from convention: 0.4 miles – 7 minutes

Great for both a quick Happy Hour (every day!) and an upscale dining experience, Bice delivers quality, locally sourced Italian food with delightful service. Consider this your “fancy dinner” for TwitchCon 😉



Convention Scheduling Tips for Broadcasters

Convention season – one of the most fun, and most stressful, times of the year for broadcasters and influencers.

Whether you’re going to one convention or ten, here are some tips to remember when you’re scheduling appointments.

unnamed-300x1881. Create a shared spreadsheet and calendar (and actually share them!)

Compile a spreadsheet of booths, games, and panels you absolutely don’t want to miss. Every time you schedule an appointment, put it on your calendar with the time, point of contact, and location. Share these documents with your mods, managers, and other support team staff.

tEREUy1vSfuSu8LzTop3_IMG_2538-300x2002. Set schedule reminders
Conventions are hectic for everyone – it is important to be considerate of others’ time, and be punctual for your appointments. Using that shared calendar, set up email and text reminders. You can also create alarms on your phone, just for backup.


pax2010_3_b.1341526329-300x2003. Schedule time between appointments
Give yourself at least 30 minutes to walk between appointments. You may need longer if you think you’re going to run into fans! Also remember to schedule a lunch block every day – if you’re planning on waiting in a food line, you may need 90 minutes.


Evixdg2-300x2514. Save your files offline
Cell reception isn’t always reliable at conventions. Save all important documents offline (in the form of screenshots or notes on your phone). This includes plane tickets, hotel confirmation, convention center maps, your schedule, and party tickets.


images5. Get the contact details for your booth rep
After you’ve got an appointment locked in, get the phone number for the person you’re scheduling with. If you’re running late or have other questions, it is often easier to text someone at a show than it is to email them.


We’ll be headed to PAX West soon, so be sure to follow us on Twitter for all of the latest convention news. logo

OP Group – @op_group
Omeed Dariani (President) – @omeed
Jenn Dariani (COO) – @JDariani
Skyla Grimes (Account Manager) – @skylatron
Mel M. (Account Manager) – @rawrsnacks

On Our Way to PAX East 2016


Convention season has officially kicked off (does it ever really end, though?), and OP Group is headed to PAX East! Here’s where you can find us and our clients at the show.


urlPre-Show MIT Lecture
Thursday Apr 21 6:00PM – 7:00PM

Join OP Group’s CEO Omeed Dariani, and popular variety streamer Ellohime, as they talk about e-sports, the gaming industry, and the business of streaming.


Dropped Frames Live from BostonUntitled-1
Friday Apr 22 6:00PM – 7:00PM

Dropped Frames is back for their fourth PAX panel with itmeJP, CohhCarnage, and Ezekiel_III. Join the three streamers as they talk about their PAX experiences, games they’ve played so far, and whatever shenanigans the three have been up to during the weekend.

Untitled2The Real Waifus of Twitch
Saturday Apr 23 11:30AM – 12:30PM

Join us for stories, laughs, and life advice as we get an unfiltered look at the lives of streamers from the people that know them best: their significant others. Featuring Kora (Ellohime’s fiance), Mel (MrHappy1227’s girlfriend), and RustlingRose (partnered livestreamer and CobaltStreak’s girlfriend).

panel_480Save my Stream
Sunday Apr 24 3:00PM – 4:00PM

A group of experienced content creators will review questions from streamers who are trying to figure out what’s going wrong with their shows. Expect real advice and straight talk as we see whether or not these streams can be saved! Featuring CobaltStreak, GassyMexican, and Sevadus.

Meet & Greets

slack-imgsMeet your favorite streamers at the Twitch booth!

The New Game Plus team [CohhCarnage, Ezekiel_III, TangentGaming, EatMyDiction1, FuturemanGaming, Bikeman, Anthony_Kongphan, and Ellohime] will have their Meet & Greet on Sunday from 2:00PM – 3:30PM. Then, CobaltStreak will be meeting fans from 4:00PM – 5:30PM.


Gameplay, Tournaments, and More!

ellotourney_360Whether it is shoutcasting a game tournament or participating in one, you can catch some awesome streamers at various events every day of the convention.

While Ellohime shoutcasts the Overwatch tournament, you can also see TangentGaming go head to head with other streamers in Dungeon Boss and PJ Saltan. Looking for some gameplay? lolrenaynay and Angry Joe are going to defend the universe at the Battleborn booth. Or, get your fill of more competitive action as Ellohime and TangentGaming shoutcast ARK: Survival of the Fittest.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter for all of the latest from the convention, and we’ll see you in Boston! logo

OP Group – @op_group
Omeed Dariani (CEO) – @omeed
Jenn Dariani (Director of Operations) – @JDariani
Skyla Grimes (Account Manager) – @skylatron
Mel M. (Account Manager) – @rawrsnacks

Taking Over PAX South

800px-PAX_SouthWondering where to find the OP Group at PAX South? We’ve organized a few panels for fans and fellow livestreamers, covering everything from fun to fundamentals. Safe travels & we hope to see you there!


Influencer Relations: Significant Others in the Public Eye
Saturday 6:30 PM, Falcon Theater.
Even the healthiest relationships are stressed in the public eye. Come hear CobaltStreak, RustlingRose, and SeriousGaming’s Alan & Victoria offer advice for gamer & streamer couples of all levels of on how to stay happy & healthy in love.

The Ethics of Livestreaming
Sunday 10:30 AM, Armadillo Theater.
Watch leaders from the content creation and sponsorship worlds will debate controversial ethical issues in streaming. Featuring CohhCarnage and Ellohime.

Unlocked: Behind the Stream
Sunday 3:30 PM, Falcon Theater.
In this “Ask Me Anything” style peek behind the scenes, four of Twitch’s top personalities will share the secrets of their success. Featuring CohhCarnage, Ellohime, Towelliee, and CobaltStreak.

But Wait, There’s More!

Beyond the panels we’ve organized, our clients and staff are featured in a couple additional panels you may want to check out!

Dropped Frames LIVE
Friday 5 PM, Falcon Theater.
Dropped Frames is back for their third PAX panel with itmeJP, CohhCarnage, and Ezekiel_III. Join the three streamers as they talk about their PAX experiences, games they’ve played so far, and whatever shenanigans the three have been up to.

The Line in the Sand FTP vs PTW
Friday 11:30 AM, Cactus Theater.
This panel assembles fearless & opinionated folks from the game industry to debate where the line is between Free-to-Play and Pay-to-Win. Featuring OP Group Founder Omeed Dariani.

We’ll also be hosting a number of informal events and meet-ups throughout PAX South. Make sure to follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute information on meetup and happy hour locations!


PAX South Business Strategy Do’s & Don’ts

pntcy7bfetl4le45okgnYou’ve bought the tickets, booked your hotel, you’re on the invite list for all the good parties … but what do you do when you actually show up?

For most streamers, conventions are first and foremost a business event. Even though part of the show will be about socializing, it’s important to have a game plan. Your goals will vary based on recent obstacles or opportunities you’ve had, but following these do’s & don’ts will help you make the most of your PAX South experience.

Do: Write out goals for yourself.
Try and create a few goals in each of three categories: networking (getting to know more streamers & channel support), prospecting (finding potential business partners), and education (finding answers to your questions about the industry & streaming.) If you enjoy gamifying life goals, consider writing up a scavenger hunt for yourself (“get 10 business cards from game developers”, “get invited to a company event”, “meet 5 community managers”, etc.), or assign & track XP for specific achievements with the goal of leveling by convention end.

Don’t: Be overly specific.
It’s easy to fail if your goals are too narrow. You can’t dictate who will be where at what time, or where your conversations will go. For example, instead of “get XYZ company to sponsor my stream at $500 a month”, a more realistic goal would be “identify 3 potential sponsors who seem to be working with streamers my size.”


Do: Keep tabs on your obligations and general schedule.
Make sure you have a list of your obligations in the format that works best for you and that you also have a backup. Considering how quickly phone batteries die at conventions, a handwritten schedule in your phone case is a great option. Try to also put together a general plan of where you’ll be morning, afternoon & evening each day. By doing this ahead of time you can make sure you’re not neglecting any aspect of the convention you want to experience.

IMG_9581.1331852013Don’t: Overschedule yourself.
The show is only 72 hours long. It can be tempting to “go go go” the whole time. Remember to schedule some quiet time to unwind. Take a 15-minute coffee break on your own or with a friend. Write notes on what you’ve just seen or who you’ve just interacted with. Keep in mind that when the convention is over, you’ll go home and hop right back into broadcasting. You need to pace yourself and avoid getting overwhelmed.


Do: Work your friends network to the fullest – and do your best to help out your friends.
Talk about what companies you’re interested in connecting with and who you’ve been chatting with. Connect your friends with people they want to meet and ask them to do the same for you. While you should be protective of information about contracts you’re negotiating, it doesn’t serve you to keep these first-level business contacts secret. Being seen as a helper, not a hoarder, of relationships will go a long way toward impressing potential business partners.

Don’t: Be afraid to introduce yourself to people you admire.
In the business world, many relationships that start out as somewhat awkward partnership discussions wind up being lifelong friendships. Be friendly, but be respectful of peoples’ time. Understand that even an awkward conversation sets the stage for a more positive interaction the next time you see the person


Do: Save every business card.
business-card-943997_640You can go through later and sort out which ones you were just taking to be polite and which are worth following up on. Your memory can’t be trusted on this, so its important to take business cards from anyone you can, and have one place where you store them all and can go through them when you get home – even if that one place is “thrown in the bottom of the suitcase.”

Don’t: Delay following up.
Streamers lose out when they delay follow-up in order to write elaborate follow-up emails. A few sentences is fine, it doesn’t need to be a masterpiece. Tell them it was nice to meet them and mention the situation you met them in. Tell them you look forward to discussing possible ways to partner or that you look forward to hearing more about how you might help build community for their game (whichever is more applicable to the situation.) Wish them a good rest of the week and leave them with an indication of the best way to contact you. Keep it simple, and don’t delay.

Keep in mind – shows are supposed to be fun. Enjoy it, take it in, meet some people and get some business done!

Additional Resources:
Need advice on what to pack or how to network? Here are some additional resources to help your convention planning.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 of Kiraeyl’s blog on convention planning.

Justin Wong’s reddit thread gives more detail on the “how to’s” of networking.

Precious Kitten’s guides on how to pack for Pax Prime and TwitchCon also apply to Pax South.

OP Group is invading PAX Prime 2015!

(Well, at the very least, we’ll be taking up a few seats at the bar.)

PAX-Prime-Logo2015 has overwhelmingly been the Year of Livestreaming. Not only has it taken off as an entertainment medium, but also a viable career path on the ever-changing internet. From the announcement of TwitchCon, to multi-million dollar e-sports tournments, there is no better time to be in this budding industry. This is the ground floor! #hype

If you’re an upcoming streamer or just interested in what this space has to offer, we’d like to recommend a few panels during your trip to PAX Prime:

Dropped Frames: An Evening with Twitch Streamers!
Saturday: 9-10PM
CohhCarnage, itmeJP, Ezekiel_III, and other awesome people will be talking about all things streaming related. A must-see for anyone interested in livestreaming and the Twitch community!

Women in Geek Media
Sunday: 11AM-12PM
Being a woman on the internet can still present hardships. Hang out with a bunch of amazing content creators to talk about how they overcome difficulties, why they keep creating, and how you can get started.

Omnia Presents: How To Build an Audience
Sunday: 6-7PM
So you want to make content, but how do people see it? How do you build your identity in a sea of budding creators? Get some advice from a few of the biggest names on YouTube.

Make Stuff for the Internet!
Sunday: 7:30PM-8:30PM
An open discussion on how some of the largest channels on YouTube got their start, and insight on posting online content for a living.

Mindcrack: Creating Group Content
Sunday: 12-1PM
Join the Mindcrack crew as they explain how they worked together to coordinate content and find a diverse audience via their videos and streams.

The Far Future of Gaming
Sunday: 1-2PM
What do the next five years hold for video games? What about the next 30, or the next 100? A discussion about what is driving and holding back this industry, and where it may go in the future.

The OPG crew will be around PAX, attending panels, walking the show floor, and hitting up parties all weekend. If you’re a livestreamer, YouTuber, or other awesome content creator, we’d love to talk to you. Follow us on Twitter for updates on where we are at and how to find us.

We also invite you to DM or tweet at any of us if you’d like to meet up!

OP Group: @op_group
Omeed Dariani (Founder): @omeed
Moblord (Strategic Consultant): @moblordTV
Skyla Grimes (Account Manager): @skylatron