Coming up November 10, 11 and 12, iGaming NEXT is set to unveil the second edition of their flagship event of the year, but instead of hosting senior level iGaming professionals in Malta, the team will host 5,000+ professionals online.
iGaming NEXT Online- the Adventure of Change is one of many digital events to appear on our 2020 calendar, yet the organizers are confident they have something new to offer iGaming professionals.
“We tried to do our event a little bit differently in the sense that we have a completely fresh agenda with some really, really cool names on board”, revealed Pierre Lindh, Co-Founder and Managing Director of iGaming NEXT.
Each day the event runs for roughly four and a half hours with a business focus on day 1, a marketing focus on day 2 and an HR focus on day 3.
“I’m really excited, it’s really different, its free to attend, it’s very focused on the content and the interactivity of the platform. Being able to discuss the topics live as they happen with the other delegates is something we prioritize a lot”, Lindh shared.
“I think we have something special, I think we have something different that really solidifies what a digital event can be”, he added.
Lindh and his team have had a baptism by fire in digital events, having executed their first digital conference in early May and adding more to their calendar as the year has gone on. Since the onset of COVID, they’ve been studying the behavior and appetite of iGaming professionals for online events, making adjustments to their digital offerings along the way.
While there is talk within the iGaming industry of “digital event fatigue” and that there are simply too many digital events on the agenda, Lindh does not agree.
“I think that’s completely not true, actually. I think the problem is not that people are tired of digital events, I think the problem is that we haven’t found the right format for them”, he pointed out.
“If we can just think about it from taking a step back and just forgetting how things have been done in the past – how things have been done in-person – and ask ourselves, what is the optimal concept for digital events from scratch? What can we take from a digital event that works better than in-person and just build it from scratch?”, Lindh questioned.
“Then I think that its definitely possible to create concepts that are relevant, that people actually want”, he added.
In their quest for constantly engaging iGaming professionals in fresh content, Lindh and team have established a popular weekly podcast that allows for a deeper dive into hot topics and personalities in our space, they have launched a monthly digital “mini-event” known as “Power Hour” and a finally, their flagship iGaming NEXT digital conference which includes a more robust agenda.
Like Lindh and his team, all of the conference organizers in our space have had to switch to digital events literally overnight, but they are also faced with another challenge. Planning for in-person events that may or not happen in 2020 is nothing short of a nightmare, as none of us know how long the pandemic will last and restrictions vary by region, changing by the minute.
“I think creating an organization now that is pandemic-proof in a way is pivotal for the survival of conference organizers”, said Lindh.
“You cannot just wait for things to become better or just assume that next year things will be ok. And that’s something that we have focused a lot on in our organization since the very, very first day”, he revealed.
“How can we change our organization or develop our organization so that we can keep ourselves afloat and we can create a new arm in our business that can carry our company basically”, Lindh added.
Its not only the event platform that organizers have had to change. Adjusting their revenue streams to current times is essential as pre-COVID event organizers made the bulk of their money from booth space and other sponsorships that don’t rake in the same amount of cash in a digital format.
“We cannot just feel sorry for ourselves, or we cannot just rely on the government saving us or think like that, no one owes us anything… we have to just take whatever is getting thrown at us and adjust to it.”, said Lindh.
As of now, iGaming NEXT is planning their flagship event for next year at the end of October in Malta, but as Lindh says, they are “planning cautiously” because the future of in-person events is terribly uncertain.
“We’ll continue to work on our digital products and we’ll continue to develop our company and to do new, cool digital products and trying to do whatever we can to find value, how we can expose our partners and give them a voice to the industry and stuff like that”, he said.
“Don’t assume or think that someone is going to save you, we have to save ourselves”, Lindh added.