Ah, sunny and warm Barcelona. Returning to this lovely city for the Barcelona Affiliate Conference (BAC) is always high on everyone’s list, making BAC one of the must-attend iGaming affiliate shows of the year. The vibe at BAC 2014 is fun, friendly and casual, exactly what we would expect from an expertly run iGaming Business affiliate event.
While we’re still in Barcelona, the BAC venue has moved to a different part of the city, familiar to some as EiG’s former location from many years back, beside the beach and moments from the infamous Hilton Hotel. Feedback on this move has been excellent so far.
Alex Pratt of iGaming Business talked on a special promotion his team ran this year with the intent of attracting more new affiliates to BAC, much to the operators’ delight. As a result, a group of new affiliates were treated to complimentary hotel rooms, intros to each other and intros to key affiliate managers, creating a less daunting environment to those who are new to the iGaming affiliate industry family.
This year the expo hall has been split up into two areas, one larger area for iGaming affiliate programs and a smaller area for the Binary Options and Forex booths. Most of the foot traffic has been concentrated in the iGaming area, especially around the booths offering open bars and other goodies.
iAffiliates have built a booth from scratch exerting a feeling of “welcome” to delegates passing by. Ray Hay of iAffiliates explained that his team took special care in choosing the right colors, music, backdrop, seating options, food and drink to foster that welcoming feeling.
The opportunity to win some cold, hard cash also presented itself in the form of an iAffiliates cash booth. This promotion allowed affiliates to step inside the booth and grab all the cash they could- literally- within twenty or so seconds. One affiliate even walked away with $140! Hay explained the purpose of this promotion was to send the message affiliates will earn good money with iAffiliates and that the program enjoys paying out.
A few booths down, Intercasino touted its upcoming 18th birthday, making them the oldest online gambling casino in existence. Peter Marcus, CMO of Intertain Group, the company that owns Intercasino (along with Costa Bingo and in the near future Vera & John), explained his team is using the BAC as an opportunity to share a few updates and celebrate an important birthday.
Marcus comes from a rich background in iGaming, having worked for Intercasino in the past and previously serving as CMO for Cryptologic, COO for William Hill and UK Managing Director for Betfair. He’s delighted to be back with Intercasino and has managed to recruit five of the old team back as well, “new/old management” he calls it.
This new/old team will be launching a new website in December and Marcus explained its all about customization – “choosing the games you want to see, not what we want to show you”, he said.
Seeing as the big one-eight is coming up, Intercasino created a special video for their booth featuring promotions from their past, a treat iGaming industry old timers have especially enjoyed. Intercasino has also sponsored the official BAC closing party and Marcus revealed we can expect a nostalgic theme complete with a red carpet and midgets. In short, don’t miss this one- it should be good:
What: Intercasino 18th Birthday Party
Date: Saturday, 25 October
Location: Suite 191, Carrer D’aribau, 191, 08021, Barcelona
Along with all the fun today came some learning opportunities as well, with sessions dedicated to how affiliates can generate more traffic.
Black Hat SEO Panelist Bastian Grimm shared his top tip for affiliates who are trying to defend themselves from black hat SEO techniques: focus on monitoring your link profiles- don’t worry so much about what other affiliates are doing, its more effective to keep close tabs on your links.
Alex Moss of Firecask delivered a presentation on tips and tricks to increase visitors and conversion, unsurprisingly a popular session today.
Some of the tips shared are as follows:
-Use fixed navigation so the user does not have to scroll.
-Use tweet deck for interacting with users – its quick and cheap.
-Reply to tweets quickly so users know a human is on the back end of the site- this creates trust.
-Google+ is useful because the community is there- contribute to those communities. Have a Google Hangout on air- make it public.
-offer unique discount codes so you can determine the each code’s performance.
-Take advantage of Reddit – place links within subReddits, but be careful not to spam.
-Use “buffer” to schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, great for international target audience and time changes.
-Use seasonality to your advantage- take the WSOP as an example, use the content released around the event and add your own take on it.
-Make sure contact forms are working and make sure you get back to users. Gravity forms are good if you’re using wordpress.
-Live chat- use Olark (its free), integrate through Skype or Google Chat.