The inaugural iGB Live! opened its doors today, the first day of a two-day conference and expo held at the RAI Amsterdam. iGB Live! is a combination of the iGaming Super Show, the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference and EiG, officially making this annual event the biggest conference and expo of the year for the online gambling industry.
Over 5000 professionals are expected to attend, coming from all over the world and representing every sector, everything from operators to affiliates, suppliers, regulators, media, crypto and more.
The expo floor was packed with booths to explore, food and drink freebies, branded giveaways, models and most importantly, plenty of people. iGB Live HQ, the VIP conference area, served up bespoke sessions to inspire innovative thinking and provided a welcomed chill-out and meeting area for those who sprung for the passes.
iGB Live HQ was home to today’s eSports Debate, a session dedicated to operators who are interested in launching an eSports offering considering the sector’s proven and projected exponential growth. Panelist and Pinnacle CEO Paris Smith warned operators to be sure they have done their homework before launching an offering as eSports players are a tight-knit community and will not be fooled by a half-baked product.
“Don’t underestimate the players. They are extremely intelligent they are very educated and to be genuine is the key. So today in the panel people were asking how do you get into the market and I think the best answer is be genuine because as soon as you start to be tricky, clever, they’re going to sense it before you start”, Smith advised.
As one of the pioneers in the wagering on eSports space, Pinnacle hit iGB Live! this year with a booth promoting their new b2b solution for eSports.
“We have ‘Pinnacle Solution’ which we’re very excited about. It’s a really neat way for exciting operators rather than taking the risk and trying to build it themselves to start with, they can at least get a feel for their clients or if they have the capability to market it out. We have an API iframe that’s become very, very popular. Its been really nice to see the traffic at the stand that we have”, Smith shared with CalvinAyre.com.
Quite a bit of buzz was generated today on the expo floor when exhibitor LeoVegas welcomed their German Sport Ambassador, former footballer Lothar Matthäus, to their stand. Excited fans lined up to take a photo with the legend and he shared a few words with CalvinAyre.com on his relationship with LeoVegas and his impression of iGB Live! 2018.
“I am happy to be an ambassador for LeoVegas, we work together and this is important in a team when you like to make the right results”, Matthäus said.
“I think the energy is beautiful here because this is not a typical fair, this is something powerful here. And I think this is dependent of the business. The business is powerful and everybody would like to do something like this in business, they like to bet. I was the same, betting a lot when I was younger, now I don’t so much, but for this I think I’m a good ambassador for LeoVegas because I was doing this betting not all my life, but a long, long time”, he added.
Super Affiliate Better Collective secured a big booth at iGB Live this year, complete with several private meeting rooms to discuss new and existing deals with potential and current partners. Co-Founder Jesper Søgaard confirmed Better Collective are still actively on the look-out for acquisitions and said iGB Live! serves as a key location to entertain pitches from interested parties.
Since its launch in 2002, Better Collective has grown from a two-man show to a sports betting focused company with a number of brands under its massive umbrella. On the radar screen for Better Collective includes the regulated US market, especially considering they already have a presence in the US to some degree.
“We’ve had the [New Jersey] license since 2014, but that’s a casino license and since we are primarily focused on sports betting, its just now becoming really interesting for us”, Søgaard told CalvinAyre.com.
“I think it will take some time before that market becomes very profitable for the operators as well as affiliates but we need to get in now, we need to get a strong position now in the states that are regulated now or next year and we’re just doing the work for that. We have a lot of US traffic already and we can monetize that gradually when the states start to regulate. Its a very exciting opportunity”, he added.
Today’s AAC sessions featured a series of SEO tips and tricks, all executed with a fresh point of view by experts hand-picked by Michael Caselli of iGaming Business. Laura Crimmons of Silverthorn Agency delivered today’s one hour “PR and link building surgery”, a presentation full of practical link building examples and advice for online gambling companies.
While the importance of link building in today’s SEO strategy has been debated, Crimmons believes the practice is still very much relevant, at least for now.
“[Links] are definitely still important in 2018, whether they will still be important in years to come, I think we’re going to gradually see the end of links being important. But definitely right now. You can look at any ranking study and there are 10s, if not 100s, published every year. Links always come out either on top or somewhere near the top” she said.
“Its not about the links themselves, its about traffic driving links which means its not just any link we can get, what we’re actually looking for is links from high trafficked sites and when we think about where can links from high traffic sites we generally think of the media, so media publications, journalists, newspapers, their online sites, so they’re the kind of links that count in 2018”, Crimmons added.