What characterizes the igaming industry is the permeability of change, that is the very fast rate at which things change and evolve from a technology and regulatory point of view. Laws are always evolving:
1. Laws of the land, such as new regulated markets, AML, KYC, VAT at the point of consumption, license fees for Affiliates (as with Romania) or EU-wide updated anti-spam laws… the cob web is endless.
2. Laws by stalwarts Google, Facebook and others, including, but not limited to the new Panda and Penguin updates,
All these shifts make it relevant for affiliates, operators, suppliers, regulators, start-ups and investors to meet all the necessary stakeholders and stay up to date as often as possible.
In addition, it is a widely acknowledged fact that a lot of business is done over a glass of wine, rather than behind the office desk. Wining and dining goes a long way in this industry. Hence the need for both large shows as well as more intimate gatherings pave the way for business to flourish.
We have realized that affiliates not only do business with operators, but they are also doing business between themselves as well as with providers. Barriers to entry are diminishing, making it easier for affiliates to become operators.
Based on my last few years’ experience, what follows is some advice to affiliates attending any of the upcoming shows:
1. Prepare. Prepare: Nothing quite shouts “waste of time and money” like going to a conference unprepared. Go through the delegate list, download the networking app (if there is one), make a list of people you wish to meet, get on the phone, skype and email and set some important meetings at the show, at the hotel lobby over a glass of wine or a pleasant dinne
2. Eat and drink well: As obvious as it may sound, excessive drinking may not be the ideal way to maximise your time at the expo. You may think that drinking for hours on end with one operator will build that long-lasting relationship – but likelihood you’re only fooling yourself, the company you’re working for, or your own business. Do not overdo it, at least the very first night of the conference.
3. Stack up on business cards: network, network, network! Even if you may feel that the person across you is not that relevant to your business today, likelihood is that you’ll cross bridges at some point in the future. It is a remarkably small industry. Collect their business cards and do follow up with a personalized note, referring to a particular moment you shared together, be it serious or fun. Avoid spammy, copy-paste messages.
4. Attend the top conference sessions: most shows include a series of conferences. Go through the list of topics and make time to attend one or two sessions. Likelihood is you’ll be sharing room with like-minded people with same interests – another opportunity for networking itself
5. Easy on social media: posting endless pictures of partying at a conference may not give the best impression! Balance things out with relevant posts from the conference itself. Take a note of every inspiring encounter, every quote, speaker you meet. The amount of people you meet may be overwhelming, hence the need to take notes as you go. Write a short note on each business card you collect – if you’re the type to head back to the office with a pile of business cards, likelihood is that you won’t remember each and every encounter. Leaving a note on each card will help trigger a reminder of what the discussion was about.
Choose wisely and enjoy making money at some of the best conferences worldwide!
Author: Eman Pulis, Managing Director of SiGMA.