Dear friends, as we continue and pave to road of the Eastern and Central European Gambling market, who’s to say we can’t mix fun with business? This is why we conducted this exclusive interview with Alex Pratt, the Head of Business at iGaming Business. I would like to take this chance to say “Thank you Alex!“, for answering our 101 questions. It’s a rare opportunity to interview someone and ask them over 100 questions in an interview. So, here goes, one of our greatest interviews.
EEG: Who is Alex Pratt?
Hard one. In business, someone who loves iGaming and the people who work within it. At home, a person who is super passionate about family.
EEG: What does iGB stand for?
EEG: What is your position at iGB?
I head up the company as well as our sport division, which produces magazines, data and research for the business of sport.
EEG: Do you like what you do?
Love it! I am coming up to my 11th year and we have grown from one magazine that came out 4 x a year to a business that has several magazines, directories, events, and data products. More exciting is the fact we have so many more ideas to implement…. Watch this space!
EEG: Are you running a marathon in May?
Yes…. Well at least I will be attempting to… All in aid of MS. Anyone that wants to sponsor me click here https://www.justgiving.com/Alex-Pratt
EEG: How is training going?
EEG: What is the next upcoming affiliate conference?
AAC is next which will be taking place in Amsterdam June 23rd – 25th
EEG: What does the initials AAC stand for?
Amsterdam Affiliate Conference
EEG: What does iGSS mean?
The iGaming Super Show – This is basically an umbrella brand for all the events that take place in Amsterdam including the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference.
EEG: How many shows are there embedded in the iGaming Super Show?
For 2015 we have eight events. The Amsterdam Affiliate Conference, the Financial partners Expo, the IMGL Master Class, the iGaming Executive Conference, the Player Acquisition Conference, the Payment Solutions Summit, Gaming in Holland, and Betting Trends and Strategies (BeTS).
EEG: Who is Michael Caselli?
He is our Editor-in –Chief and has been in the industry pretty much since it started. He is also a great guy and someone that is truly unique!
EEG: Are there many affiliates going to the event?
Amsterdam is the home of affiliate events and not only an excellent city but one that is easy to get so yes we expect a lot in attendance.
EEG: How many?
At least 1,200.
EEG: Do you think it’s going to be a success?
I am truly excited about the event and really believe it will be success. It has grown year on year and people lover Amsterdam in June plus we are introducing lots of new features to grow it further.
EEG: Is BAC moving?
EEG: By the way, what does BAC mean?
Originally Barcelona Affiliate Conference, then Budapest Affiliate Conference and then back to Barcelona…. For some reason our October event keeps staying in cities with a B.
EEG: Where is BAC going to be held this year?
Berlin – So oddly a B again!
EEG: When is it going to be organized?
It taking place at the same time of the year Oct 22nd – 25th
EEG: Do you speak german?
EEG: Do you have a dog?
EEG: How long have you been in the industry?
11 years in September! My first week in the job was Vegas, I couldn’t ask for a better introduction
EEG: Do you have any future plans?
To get bigger and better.
EEG: Are there going to be many speakers at the AAC?
Over 100 and many of these you will have never seen at a gaming conference. Amsterdam always has the best speakers.
EEG: How about stands?
Because of the combined events the expo floor is huge and ranges from finance brands like 24Option to gaming guys like William Hill through to suppliers like Microgaming and Playtech.
EEG: Do the affiliates enjoy their time at such events?
Hugely – Our feedback os always in the vast majority positive and if it isn’t we will make sure we get in touch and not make that mistake again.
Mixing business with pleasure
EEG: Do you expect affiliates coming from each part of the world?
Our delegates come from all over the world – Its genuinely a global event.
EEG: How many countries are you expecting delegates from?
EEG: Do you have a cat?
I know you will hate this answer but no and never would.
EEG: How is iGSS rated among the industry?
It’s now 6 years old and has taken a huge amount of work to get it to where it is but it’s now at a stage where its building momentum rapidly and gathering a lot of attention across the sector. It’s the biggest gathering of iGaming people.
EEG: Who can attend the AAC?
Anyone that works or is interested in the business of iGaming.
EEG: Is it free?
Six of the events are free apart. Two are not, the Player Acqusition Conference because we pay for a lot of high level non sector speakers and the executive conference as this is an approval only event for C-Level executives.
EEG: Where is it being held?
The Amsterdam Rai
Europaplein11, 1078 GZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
EEG: How can people get there?
Fly, train, run, swim, bike, drive, skip or walk. Amsterdam is super easy to get to and great value wherever you are bested.
EEG: How many days is it running?
The event runs for 4 days with the Gaming in Holland conference, networking events and welcome drinks on day one, the exhibition and conferences on days 2 and 3, and a networking event on day 4.
EEG: Are there going to be wild parties?
There is going to be LOADS – This time we have something for everyone from sponsored dinners to drinks to activities to massive wild parties… There will literally be a networking event to suit all tastes.
EEG: Do you smoke?
No not for years – E-cigs or Nicorette gum for me.
EEG: Are there many sponsors for the show?
We would expect around 30-50 sponsors on top of the exhibitors.
EEG: Is it hard to register for the event?
No super easy – Simpky click register on any of the event sites and add your details.
EEG: Have you ever smoked cannabis?
I never inhaled
EEG: Is there a brochure for the event?
Yes you can download the current one here http://www.igamingsupershow.com/news/igaming-super-show-brochure-now-available.
EEG: Do you like our website?
Love it – The Eastern and Central European market needed your product and great to see someone doing it.
EEG: Who is Shona Odonnell?
She is the person that makes everything happen literally! Also know as our Head of Operations.
EEG: Can affiliates gain knowledge of the latest SEO techniques at the event?
Definitely – BUT they have to pay attention and listen whether this is in the conference or networking sessions. People always assume no one gives secrets away but they do, you just have to listen.
EEG: Are there going to be Welcome Drinks?
EEG: Where? Where?
They will be at our official Hotel the Novotel at 3pm.
EEG: Why on earth did you choose Amsterdam?
Firstly it’s the original city where gaming affiliate events were held. Secondly its an amazing city with something for everyone. Thirdly its super easy to get to from anywhere in the world. And finally its pretty unique!
EEG: Are people dancing at the parties?
If that’s what you call dancing!
EEG: Is the iGaming industry good or bad?
It’s the good, bad and ugly bit mostly good.
Be sure to book you place for the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference which will be held on the 23rd – 26th June 2015 at RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre and remember, there is Free admission for ALL delegates!
EEG: You’ve answered 50 questions by now, was it hard?
Yes, my fingers are hurting!
EEG: Would you like to continue?
Anything for you.
EEG: Where does Alex come from?
From an area called the fens in the UK – We are famous for having webbed feet!!
EEG: Are you british?
EEG: Are you sure your not Italian?
EEG: Would you like to change your name to Alessandro Pratto?
Almost – I like Alessandro Prattelli more.
EEG: Do you think the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference is going to be a huge success?
EEG: Have you ever travelled to Eastern Europe?
EEG: Did you like it?
Some of my favourite cities in the world are in Eastern Europe.
EEG: What are iGaming Business Affiliate Events’s intention for new emerging markets in Eastern Europe?
We are actually planning an event soon in Eastern Europe – I can’t say much now but hopefully we will announce it soon.
EEG: Do you think the upcoming changes in the Dutch law on gambling is going to have a good impact?
Regulation always has different effects on different people – For some it will be great, for others not so good. Overall though I think regulation is good for the sector as long as its done properly.
EEG: That is what Gaming in Holland is all about, isn’t it?
This is an event that takes place the day before our exhibition and conference and is dedicated to the Dutch iGaming sector.
EEG: What is BETS?
It stands for Betting Trends and Strategies. It’s an event within the iGaming Supershow purely devoted to the sports betting market with its own dedicated conference and networking event.
EEG: What sort of attendees are at BETS?
We attract everyone from the sector including operators, suppliers and affiliates specializing in this increasingly important sector.
How about that Financial Partners Expo?
This is a show within the Super Show dedicated to the online financial trading sector including FX, binary options, CFDs and financial spread betting.
EEG: It has been around for years, hasn’t?
Just over a year, we launched in Jan 2014 with over 600 people attending the first one.
EEG: How many brokers usually attend the Financial Partners EXPO?
We tend to have around 30 exhibitors and another 30 more brokers attending. The market potential is huge though, especially once they start embracing performance marketing.
EEG: The Payment Solutions Summit include is dedicated for the payments sector. What is the usually agenda at this Summit?
Getting payments in and out is fundamentally one of the most important component of our sector and this conference provided education around this covering the most advanced technology, industry developments and legal issues.
In addition this year we will be introducing a payments industry dinner at the Supper club where professionals in the payments industry can network in one of the coolest restaurants in Amsterdam.
EEG: We’ve mentioned 4 conferences from the iGaming Super Show by now, which are the ones I’ve forgot about?
You also have the Player Acquisition Strategies event, which is an event for marketing professionals where we bring in speakers who you only ever see at TED or speakers that actually share genuine take home strategies.
Next, you have the iGaming Executive Conference, which is an approval only event for C-Level executives. This is where we bring together around 50-60 CEOs from the various operators in the market into a closed-door environment to network and learn from each other and our speakers.
EEG: Beside AAC, which is free, which is the list of conferences that have a cost for attending?
You already asked this. Just the Player Acquisition Conference and iGaming Executibe Conference are paid for.
EEG: Are you going to enjoy this event as usually?
Yep – Can’t wait, this is my favorite as it brings together the entire sector
EEG: What are your future plans?
The iGaming sector is full of opportunities and options and as such we have a huge list of ideas of what to do next but need to make sure we choose the right one and do it in the right way. So… for the moment I am going to keep stum but keep an eye as we will be launching new products as well as improving existing ones this year.
EEG: Can you name a couple of new markets that your company shall be focusing on in the next period?
North America is still extremely important to us in the long-term and we are the only company that has actually put in local infrastructure as well as launching a number of products there so we will continue to focus there.
Secondly the financial trading sector is extremely exciting for us. This is a young industry with big player values and limited knowledge around acquisition so we can transfer a lot of gaming experience into it.
EEG: Do you like soccer?
Sometimes but not my favorite sport.
EEG: Which is your favourite team?
EEG: I remember meeting you in Budapest a couple of years ago and you had pack of instant goulash, have you enjoyed it?
Yes, love it when I can get it!
EEG: Who is to be contacted in case of quotes to exhibit at the iGaming Super Show?
Speak to James King on James.firstname.lastname@example.org – He heads up all our business development and will know who best to help.
EEG: Is there a floor plan available that can be previewed?
Indeed, just email James or myself.
EEG: Do you encourage new affiliate programs to attend the AAC?
Simply because everyone they meet will be a new source of traffic for them so the ROI they generate can be gigantic. My one piece of advice is don’t blow your budget on one event, some affiliates will promote you straight away bit many others want to see you last the test of time before they risk their precious traffic on you.
EEG: Are there any recruitment companies that are attending the iGaming Super Show?
Yes we always have a lot, which you can find on the networking app. In the past Betting Jobs and Pentasia have also exhibited or sponsored.
EEG: Who are your loyal sponsors and wouldn’t ever consider not sponsoring your events?
The vast majority of our exhibitors and sponsors book every single show, and have been doing so for years. Probably the most loyal is EGO who have been the silver sponsor since we launched 9 years ago and have done every event since including smaller events like Australia and France.
EEG: Are there going to be many prizes given away at the AAC?
I hope so – Usually there are tons!
EEG: Where can affiliates or delegates register?
EEG: What does the registration process involve?
Simply adding your information and you will be sorted.
EEG: Where can delegates accommodate themselves?
If you go to https://rai.onpeak.com/e/IGSS15/2#hotels all the information is there.
EEG: Is there an official hotel for the event, which one?
Yes it’s the Novotel like last year which is just 10 minutes walk from the venue.
EEG: What is the growth rate of delegates attending the iGaming Super Show, year by year if possible?
I am doing this interview on a plane to Vegas so would need to check but I would say roughly 15-20% average although the last two years have been a lot bigger.
EEG: What about networking? Is the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference a great chance to network?
For Amsterdam we have more networking opportunities than we have ever had before. Not only are we planning some amazing parties we will also be missing this with niche drinks like our Sports betting drinks sponsored by OpenBet or our Bingo industry drinks sponsored by WhichBingo.co.uk. We are also introducing networking dinners for specific people such as the payments and the marketing industry.
EEG: Is the networking app going to be available this year as well?
Yes, it will be available shortly.
EEG: Is there a positive feedback on the networking tool?
Great feedback. People seem to love it.
EEG: Is there any negative feedback coming from the users?
Just from the people that want to use the tool to spam so in a way that’s good!
EEG: How about food? Is there going to be an included dinner at the iGaming Super Show?
There will be food throughout the show and obviously outside the venue too. Make sure you get some Bitten Balls, (sp) – These are an amazing Dutch delicacy.
EEG: What is your favourite food?
Japanese – I love it!
EEG: Have you ever had a problem with an allergic attendee? Calling the ambulance and everything?
Don’t think so unless they kept it a secret! We are careful to be mindful of people’s food needs from allergies to religion.
EEG: So, you can say that the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference the food is safe?
I hope so – Definitely something I am not worried about.
EEG: Are there going to be any celebrities attending the iGaming Super Show?
Definitely – We have a possible one already who is HUGE – Its not confirmed yet but if it happens it will be an amazing piece of news.
EEG: Was this interview hard to do?
Extremely – I am knackered now!
EEG: Was is fun?
EEG: Are you going to do it again?
Anything for EEG.
EEG: See you there?(AAC)
Not if I see you first!
Why BLUE MIND brings calm and distruptive thinking to the gambling industry?
In the ever evolving and fast-growing gambling industry, not only C-level but all employees are overexposed to visual and mind stress, facing challenging projects in a short time, suffering the overstimulation caused by desktop screens and multiple screens. So, how to mitigate the frantic days while working in the gambling industry? BtoBet chose to have its head office in Malta not only for the favorable gambling legislation, but also for the therapeutic power of water which, when in close proximity, has been proven to transmit calm and connectivity between people, to increase innovation and insight. Living and working in Malta, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, is undoubtedly a big plus.
Since ancient times, humans have ascribed healing and transformational properties to water. In early Rome, baths were an important part of cultural life, a place where citizens went to find relaxation and to connect with others in a calming setting. Rivers have long been seen as sacred places, and in a number of different spiritual contexts, water has symbolized rebirth, spiritual cleansing and salvation.
Today, we still turn to water for a sense of calm and clarity. Our affinity to water is even reflected in the near-universal attraction to the colour blue. The marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols believes that we all have a “blue mind”; water can heal the mind and the body, and helps to tap into a calmer and creative state of being.
In this regard, Sabrina Solda’ CMO of BtoBet expressed her vision about “blue mind”.
To discover more, read the entire blog here:
“Finding the blue mind is important to improve the quality of our lives. It brings 3 main benefits to human beings: first of all, contact with water allows us to give our brains a rest from our everyday stressing life, constantly bombarded with sensory stimuli, whether from our devices, home, office and expos. This is especially true in our hectic sportsbook and gambling industry. How many of you are feeling the same? Monitoring player’s actions, betting odds, accepting risks, fixing player’s requests, watching new gaming content, being in conferences surrounded by the sound of slots and visual overstimulation, not to mention the virtual reality games.”
She personally admitted: “When my brain definitely needs downtime, being surrounded by water gives my brain and my senses a rest from overstimulation. The sound of water is far simpler than the sound of voices or the sound of music or the sound of a city. And the visual input is simplified, too.”
Sabrina added: “Secondly, when you have that simplified, quieter ‘blue’ space, your brain is better at a different set of processes, in fact water can induce a meditative state. Though we may not be conscious of it, water could be inducing a mildly meditative state of calm focus and gentle awareness. In fact, being in a mindful state — in which the brain is relaxed but focused —the mind and body benefits include lower stress levels, relief from mild anxiety, pain and depression, improved mental clarity and focus, and better sleep quality. The third benefit of the proximity to water is that it can inspire us to be more compassionate and connected with the rest of the world around us and more creative. In the restful, contemplative state associated with observing or interacting with water, it’s common to experience feelings of awe which creates a strong connection to something beyond ourselves, to the vastness of nature. This feeling of awe can increase our capacity for connection and empathy.”
Sabrina also underlined:
“If you are not as lucky as I am, that I chose and managed to live and work by the sea, do not despair! Also hopping in the shower can be a great way to trigger ideas when our brains are in a creative rut. In our always-busy, screen-saturated lives, we don’t give our minds much of a chance to rest and wander freely. We need to activate a default network to let the best insights and ideas come up instead of leaving them stuck while sitting at our computers, desperately searching for the solution. Unquestionably, since I have been living in Malta, my BLUE MIND DEVELOPED, quickly and constantly.”
Commenting on her decision to live in Malta, she concluded:
“Walking by the sea to go to BtoBet headquarters every morning, and contemplating the blue colour of the magnificent Mediterranean Sea, brings me the “Eureka” moment — the insight or solution “feels like it drops out of the sea and into my head.”
BtoBet is a pioneer in new technologies for iGaming operators and the betting industry by using technological intelligence as its main base for its products. It offers unique, customisable, secure and flexible cloud based systems delivering unprecedented capabilities to drive sportsbook and iGaming business. BtoBet has offices in Macedonia, Italy and Malta. The Technical team of the company is in Skopie and has an ever-growing team of developers. BtoBet’s dynamic Sportsbook team operates from Rome, whilst Malta hosts the commercial and marketing centre.
Ebbe Groes: Interview for EEGaming
EEGaming: First, let me thank you for doing this interview. It means a lot to have such a highly ranked professional’s interview among our list of persons we have interviewed during our period of existence. I know the year is not over yet, however looking back at 2016, what were the key developments for you and EveryMatrix?
Ebbe Groes: You’re most welcome, I am happy to respond to your questions and to be able to reflect upon our company’s evolution.
From a commercial point of view, from the start of the year our number of clients grew by more than 30 new and established operators, which is a sign that we can serve large operators on the market with the same success.
We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to re-write all our main products; the sports, casino and payments solutions are almost ready to showcase and some of the new modules are already live. Rewriting a large complex application is very time-consuming and can be a bit frustrating at times since you have to maintain the old application as well. 2016 was a year like that, but we’re now close to completion, gearing up sales and seeing the results starting to appear commercially as well. I’m a firm believer in continuous re-investment into software and pretty proud of where we’re going at the moment.
Some early results? Well, our sportsbook solution is now able to deliver more than 25,000 live events per month. Our casino product has kept its top position in the industry as the best casino platform with 4,000 games and constantly new features added.
2016 also brought the biggest brand yet signed by EveryMatrix, one I hope to announce before ICE. But stay tuned! We’ve expanded our sales team, both with product specialists within casino and sports, and with a new Commercial Director. We made great efforts to bring account managers closer to sales team members and make sure things move faster for our clients.
EEGaming: Are the current laws and regulations which have been implemented and somehow forced on software providers helping business or are they slowing it down?
Ebbe Groes: First thing to notice is that legislations differ quite a lot, both in terms of financial and technical requirements. There’s an obvious and legitimate desire to create tax revenues from our sector which we should respect – along with desires to improve players’ protection. So overall we welcome this development. It will overall help grow the market and ensure a level playing field.
I am also happy and appreciative for some of the technical requirements imposed upon us from various regulators as they can serve to reduce fraud, chargebacks and other maladies of our industry.
This doesn’t mean that things can’t be improved and my largest concerns would be the failure to properly protect license holders against competition from non-licensed providers and the occasional countries putting up massive back taxes or entry fees, essentially pushing some companies towards remaining in the grey zone.
EEGaming: A company of the size of EveryMatrix can’t stand still for too long, it must bring new technology and innovations. What are the little secrets that help EveryMatrix in innovating yet again?
Ebbe Groes: It’s not only that we can’t stand still for too long, but we cannot afford to do that.
In the online gaming industry change is constant and every major player is aware that technology and innovation are necessary elements for any company that wants to advance.
Our approach to technological innovation has been influenced by our clients’ demands and requirements, so using the latest technology in bringing the best products into the market comes as a natural element in delivering better services for players.
So, that would be our little secret: Listen to your clients and recognize the great suggestions that will help proper further growth. This way, the right kind of demanding client can help you for years to come and one should actively seek such clients, even at the expense of others that might bring higher revenues in the short term.
While big parts of our product development are fueled by visionary product developers in EveryMatrix, I can point to a couple of areas from our last couple of years that would not have been nearly as good without demanding and knowledgeable clients.
One is the huge role of API driven development. We’re today probably the most advanced provider in the world when it comes to what you can build yourself around an EveryMatrix solution. We can split up the products and modules allowing clients to add, in-house or from others, exactly what they need, typically around user experience with front end and CRM as the key areas.
The other is our Asian-focused agent management system, which keeps being improved at a quite impressive speed on the back of client requests.
EEGaming: Are there any standards that you follow in order to access new markets?
Ebbe Groes: In general, we’re blessed with being quite flexible in our approach, being privately held, able to invest when we wish without having to keep to certain profit targets, and owned by management.
When it comes to new markets, be it in terms of products or geographies, we seek to only enter when we believe that we can make a difference and be a key player. This is one reason we’re not targeting Africa and the Americas in 2016 and probably 2017 as well. Doing Europe and Asia is quite sufficient. Each area comes with its own demands and we can’t be the best everywhere, yet.
EEGaming: What about expansion? There is definitely a plan for that, but tell us, what are the important steps and what are the things that need to be avoided?
Ebbe Groes: We’ve by and large grown organically. Fast but without (large) mergers and acquisitions. This gives a quite harmonious organization, a staff that I’m proud of working with and whom I truly feel buy into our company’s vision and goals.
Still, as we’ve grown it’s become harder to maintain the entrepreneurial spirit of the past. Key people don’t scale, including myself and my co-founder Stian Hornsletten, and that forces more thinking into organization. Of course, hiring smartly into middle management is one way but we believe it is not enough.
In 2016 we took the quite radical decision to aim for splitting up our company in virtual sub-companies, each with their own management team. So, a CEO, CTO, COO, head of sales, account manager, support for our sports product, OddsMatrix. This management team can focus fully on their product, technically, operationally, commercially, aiming to make it – stand alone – the best it can be, taking control and competing against the best in the business. We did the same for Casino, for Payments and the other solutions.
It’s still early, but overall I feel it was a move that is paying off handsomely – and will do so even more as we progress and gain experience with this. I think the only other alternative would have been to give up some of the business areas and focus purely on one or two products, as for instance Evolution and Kambi are doing.
I believe this split into verticals is what will allow us to yet again double and re-double our size, both in terms of revenues and even to handle well the continuous growth of staff.
EEGaming: Do you have any products that will soon be released?
Ebbe Groes: We have more than one, I’m happy to say. But if I should mention our biggest investment, biggest gamble even, it’s our new payments company MoneyMatrix.
MoneyMatrix is a brand-new payment processing platform that encompasses new technologies and security protocols to keep customer financial details safe. The new payment solution is PCI DSS Level 1 Compliant, including full control of transactions, better risk management and detailed reporting. It’s built upon a combination of our own experience and that of the highly competent people we brought on board for this. MoneyMatrix will hold a payment service provider licence from the Malta Financial Service Authority which allows us to contract for payments alone large clients within and outside the gaming industry, fully detached technically and commercially from our platform, sports, and casino business. It’s a strong team, a remarkable product and I personally can’t wait for the ICE 2017 unveiling!
EEGaming: How’s the feedback regarding the current products?
Ebbe Groes: Feedback for a software company can be measured in signed deals and volumes going through the platform. With that measuring stick, we are happy. I like our industry for many reasons. One of them is that there’s a quite good correlation between quality and success. Hype doesn’t last for too long, the actors are too smart, too well-informed for that.
But hey, industry appreciation is nice too. So, we’re glad to notice a series of positive signals from the industry, such as securing White Label Partner of the Year at the EGR B2B Awards 2016 in London and “Best Sports betting software provider based on Open Business Relationship” and “Best casino software provider based on Open Business Relationship” awards at CEEGC 2016 in Budapest.
EEGaming: If you could choose one celebrity to promote any of your products, who would you choose and why?
Ebbe Groes: Denise Coates, the Bet365 founder and chief exec, whom I respect immensely for the product, company, and results. EveryMatrix is a B2B company and I can’t think of anyone whose endorsement would carry more weight with decision makers in our industry. So, go home Messi and Murray, and give me Denis Coates for my celeb promoter!
Interview with Shona ODonnell
Since we keep getting newer audiences that don’t exactly know what the Berlin Affiliate Conference is about, we would like to ask you, who is this conference addressed to?
Shona ODonnell: Berlin Affiliate Conference (BAC2016) is the biggest autumn event for affiliates and introducing brokers in the online gambling and retail finance sectors. It is a great opportunity to meet with the industry, find out what is happening, learn new skills, develop new business relationships, expanded existing relationships and of course have a fun doing this as you meet with affiliates, operators and suppliers in this exciting and dynamic industry.
If you are an affiliate or an operator in this market you simply cannot afford to miss this event.
In 2015 you’ve moved from Barcelona to Berlin. What has changed in this period of time and what was the outcome of this move?
Shona ODonnell: Our move to Berlin was hugely positive and well received by the industry as a whole. The move was based on industry feedback that people wanted to go to a new city, you spoke and we listened. BAC 2015 was the biggest event we have ever hosted in the autumn and we expect it to be eclipsed this year as we see figures on registrations up 10% YoY.
What will 2016 edition offer us?
Shona ODonnell: An even bigger version of 2015! We have now outgrown the hall so we’ve had to be very creative with the space we have. We are just in the final stages of confirming our party venues and we ‘ll be announcing some exciting sponsors in the next week or two so keep your eyes on the BAC website.
We also have a number of new speakers that we haven’t seen at events before as we really want to offer our delegates something valuable to take home and apply to the businesses they work in.
Suppose I’m just a simple affiliate that wants to join this conference. How do I get in and what can I find inside?
Shona ODonnell: It’s really easy and it’s free for affiliates and introducing brokers, just register at http://www.igbaffiliate.com/events/berlinaffiliateconference/registration and we will confirm your affiliate status and send you your eticket via email. We make a promise that our iGB Affiliate events are free for affiliates and they only way we can do this is by checking each and every registration, so please understand if we ask you for a some more information to let you attend the event for free.
Once inside you’ll find all of the leading operators in the space, two conference rooms, two free bars (15.00-18.00), lots of activities happening on the different stands and lots of great give aways. If it’s your first time attending, do let us know and we’ll do the best to help you meet the right people as we know it can be overwhelming. It’s also really helpful to use the event app to booking the conference sessions you want to see and to book in those all-important meetings.
What can you tell us about the sponsors of this conference?
Shona ODonnell: We are delighted to welcome back our premium sponsors William Hill, 888.com, EGO.com and iAffiliates. In addition to this we have Buffalo Partners providing the free lunch for our delegates and we are very happy to welcome Media Skunk as our thought leader. Registration is sponsored by TipBet, NetHive are sponsoring the bar and WPN are back as welcome drinks sponsors to get things kicked off. We are extremely grateful to all of our amazing sponsors and exhibitors, of whom there are too many to mention here, we simply couldn’t do it without them.
What is the main subject that will dominate this year’s conference and why do you think it’s important?
Shona ODonnell: The conference has two central themes. We open on day one with a look at the German market and what has happened there in the last 12 months since we last visited. Then we have a focus on SEO as we know this is one of the most popular topics. I am very excited that we have Bastian Grimm speaking, he is an incredible SEO. In each session we will focus on one area of learning so that it provides practical solutions that will have a real impact. On day two we have a really interesting selection of presentations and panels all focused on innovation. I think it will provide real food for thought. In particular we have a dragons den session where new innovations will be showcases and questioned by both the moderator and the audience.
Any thoughts about the next year’s conference? Or better yet, where do you hope to get until next year’s conference?
Shona ODonnell: For next year’s event we are working on the space as the hall we are currently using is too small! So we are looking at where BAC can fit in 2017. But before that we have LAC which is our biggest event by far and this year promises to be very, very exciting indeed. LAC will be taking place in February and we expect it to grow significantly and provide even more business opportunities than ever before.
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