The iGaming industry notoriously does not like change and 2018 has brought on plenty of changes thus far, including the conference schedule. Today I wanted to discuss why I think the changes Clarion has made to their iGaming conference schedule, in particular the debut of “iGB Live!”, was a smart move and how attending this event will benefit your industry knowledge and networking goals.
I came up with the idea for this week’s column as I was browsing the iGB Live! website with a colleague – upon first glance its felt almost overwhelming with all the changes, so I wanted to break it down for you. In actuality, the session structure has been simplified from the previous iGaming Super Shows and the choices are less intimidating to navigate once you familiarize yourself with the new website layout.
For those of you who don’t know, iGB Live! is a combination of the iGaming Super Show, EiG and the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference (AAC), officially crowning iGB Live! as the largest gathering for iGaming professionals of the year. 2018 has already brought on changes and surprises, such as the implementation of the dreaded GDPR, the repeal of PASPA and the explosion of blockchain technology and ICOs.
Enter iGB Live!, an opportunity to learn about and discuss everything that’s going on in our world while having some fun at the same time. Its true the event’s dates in mid-July might fall in the middle of your vacation, but I assure you Amsterdam, the location of iGB Live!, is piquing at this time of year. Perhaps you should consider taking a pre or post event mini-vacation there!?
In any event, after familiarizing myself with the iGB Live! website and reaching out to some of Clarion’s finest, here are 5 elements of the event you may want to take advantage of.
AAC SEO Sessions on Steroids
iGB’s affiliate conferences are always packed with valuable SEO sessions for both affiliates and operators, delivered by leaders of companies specializing in iGaming SEO. Michael Caselli of iGaming Business has injected change into the SEO sessions for iGB Live!’s AAC with the help of SEO legend Marcus Tandler, signing up highly regarded SEO speakers from Europe and the USA.
“I’ve taken this opportunity to refresh the content and format of the conference, which includes adding SEO surgeries to the agenda and introducing sessions that are based on unique, commissioned research, not available at any other show”, Caselli shared.
“Our unique research-based sessions decipher data gathered throughout the 2018 world cup and analyse what the industry giants had done during that period in both Search and in PPC”, he added.
“iGB Live! HQ” Unveiled
One of the most innovative elements of iGB Live! includes the event’s “HQ”, in other words, a paid-for only section of the event with sessions, private meeting rooms and networking opportunities targeted towards senior professionals in the iGaming space.
“In the HQ, which is our exclusive executive networking area, we have several new initiatives. These include bespoke, targeted meet and greets in the ‘Hive’ during sessions of wine, cheese or whiskey tasting; debates in the ‘Council’ where the most controversial topics in iGaming will be debated; the ‘Elevator’ where the latest technology and products will be launched; and the ‘Boardroom’ where four world-class speakers from outside iGaming come and deliver four keynote talks”, explained Caselli.
The team behind iGB Live! understand executives have packed schedules and are likely unable to dedicate an entire day to sessions, so the format from previous executive events has been changed entirely.
“The idea is that by bringing in a small number of highly inspirational speakers, we can provide four valuable and memorable sessions, while freeing up the rest of the day for busy executives to visit the exhibition and conduct business. With speakers from NASDAQ, The Blackstone Group, National Sports Leagues and the world of Crypto currencies, we are sure that these sessions will contribute not just to the professional development of attendees, but to their personal development as well”, Caselli shared.
Additional iGB Live! Tracks
In addition to the AAC and iGB Live! HQ session tracks, the event will feature Clarion’s IMGL Masterclass, sessions and speakers dedicated to gaming law education and the Start-up Launch Pad, one of the highlights of past EiGs. Taking place the day before iGB Live!’s main event commencement, the Alternative Lotteries Forum (ALF) will address issues faced by lottery messenger and secondary lottery industries, the only gathering of its kind.
The introduction of “Crypto Live”
Crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin Cash and blockchain technology in general continue to mesmerize the iGaming space and as a result, iGB Live! has added blockchain sessions to their HQ and will be introducing a brand new dedicated crypto element to the event this year.
“Another new feature is Crypto Live, a platform for crypto currency-based or blockchain-based businesses to explain their business or product to potential advisors, investors, customers and suppliers from iGaming. Crypto Live will showcase the forefront of iGaming innovation and will be welcoming pre and post ICO crypt businesses”, Caselli revealed.
Dedicated and Unrivaled Networking Opps
While this is nothing new for the fine folks at iGB/Clarion, I cannot publish a piece on iGB Live! without mentioning the plethora of quality networking events and parties that are available to all attendees. Here’s a summary of what to expect in terms of official parties and please don’t forget how much work goes into organizing a party…hug your organizers, they need it!
Tuesday, July 17: opening drinks & opening party
Wednesday, July 18: separate Bingo, Sports Betting and VIP B2B drinks followed by an official party for everyone
Thursday, July 19: closing party @ the nostalgic Euro Pub
Friday, July 20: unwind drinks before jetting off