A small family business in the West of Ireland has been selected by global gaming giants Microsoft and Mojang as an official events partner for Minecraft community events.

O’Brien Event Management was established by mum-of-three Lisa O’Brien, who was inspired to run conventions for fans of Minecraft after witnessing her own children’s obsession with the game.

Her company is now one of only three companies worldwide to be certified as an official Minecraft community events partner.

Speaking to the Galway Advertiser, Ms. O’Brien said “being selected by Microsoft and Mojang as an official events partner for Minecraft community events is a huge honour. We are the only partner company in Ireland.

“Having this status will allow us display official Minecraft graphics at our future events, offering fans an even better and more immersive experience. It will also enable us to strengthen our relationships with the global Minecraft community, including those who produce the maps used by Minecraft players when they bring in Microsoft educations to explain the powers of Minecraft to event attendees.

“Becoming an official partner will help hugely in continuing to grow our event, attracting world-class participants and sponsors, and ensuring we’re the No. 1 event for Minecraft fans in Ireland and beyond.”

Ms O’Brien ran her first “MineVention” event in Galway in December 2014. The 1,500 tickets for the event sold out in just nine hours and, since then, she has run an additional 20 MineVention events and workshops in 10 locations nationwide. Over 35,000 people have attended her events.

Tickets for Ireland’s next MineVention event are on sale now. The event will take place in Dublin’s RDS on 14th and 15th April. Tickets start from €15 and are available through Ticketmaster.

“When we started out in 2014, we had no idea of the demand that was out there from Minecraft fans. Parents had their children literally begging them to get tickets to our events.

“The support we’ve received from the Minecraft community and attendees has been overwhelming. We attribute our success to being responsive and keeping it real: we’re a small company and we personally deal with all aspects of the event – from programming, marketing and ticketing to email enquiries and social media.

“We take all feedback on board, and we implement changes and improvements all the time in response to what we’re hearing from Minecraft fans. We’ve also built up excellent relationships with Minecraft content creators: we’ve had some of the most high-profile people in the global Minecraft community attending and participating in our events.”

Minecraft is one of the most popular computer games ever developed, selling over 122 million copies since it launched in 2009.

Its popularity is so great that a community of professional YouTubers has emerged – gamers who make a living from posting videos of themselves online playing Minecraft.

The attendance of these professional gamers at the various events over the years has been one of the most popular elements of MineVention, says Lisa O’Brien.

“The ‘meet and greets’ with YouTubers have been hugely successful,” she says. “However, there’s a lot more than that to our events. We also have Minecraft VR, Education in Minecraft, gaming tournaments, ‘Build Battle’ stages, games, and arts and crafts.

“We’ve partnered with Autism Action to make sure our events are accessible and welcoming for children with autism and, in 2018, we’re introducing lots of new elements, including the chance to play on new maps built by Mojang’s MarketPlace and to visit our streaming zone to see how it all works. The fact that we’re now an official Minecraft partner means our 2018 event will be the best yet.”

O’Brien Event Management is based in Portumna, Co. Galway, and employs four people alongside Ms. O’Brien, with plans to recruit a further three staff-members in the coming year.

Further information about MineVention 2018 is available at www.minevention.com

Portumna company selected by Microsoft and Mojang as official Minecraft events partner