Launching an online casino means becoming part of the huge industry named iGaming. This global gaming community brings together casino operators, players, software providers and game developers, jurisdictional and financial authorities, bloggers and marketing specialists from all over the world. All these people speak different languages but regularly meet online and interact to have the giant machine moving, but once in a while they also meet each other in person. Online gaming events cater to their needs and make a perfect platform for the global gatherings.
What gaming events can you visit?
There are numerous shows, conferences and exhibitions going throughout the year which bring under one roof all shareholders of the land-based and online gaming market. While pursuing one common goal – networking – these events differ in certain aspects. Since participation in a show takes time and a certain part of the marketing budget, an operator who is just entering the industry should learn the specifics of each event to figure out those which are definitely worth attending. Here is a brief overview of the major gaming shows and some tips which will help an operator take the most out of them.
First of all, let’s make a simple classification of the events devoted to gaming.
1) International and regional events. Certain shows and exhibitions are international. They play host to people and companies from all over the world and cover global issues of the gaming business. The best example would be ICE Totally Gaming in London. Regional exhibitions, on the contrary, are more focused on the gaming issues in a certain part of the world. The example is WrB Africa which provides a channel into the African gaming market with its internal regulation and hosts leading operators based in East, West and Central Africa, iGaming Asia Congress in Macao, or Russian Gaming Week. If you are targeting a specific region and want to expand your knowledge about the peculiarities of the local industry, you may consider visiting one of these events. Otherwise, it makes sense to start with international conferences to cover a wider segment of potential partners and get the most out of the networking.
2) Gaming software and game content oriented shows and marketing oriented affiliate conferences. The example of the first type is the iGB Live! Amsterdam, the place where you see the world leading providers of the software for online casinos and all top-class game developers. They have glamorous stands, make shows to present new slots and throw parties after the show opening hours. Affiliate conferences, such as the London or Amsterdam affiliate conferences, are platforms for meeting the world’s best marketing maestros. Professional affiliates and affiliate programs welcome casino operators at their stands and offer best deals.
3) Events devoted to particular topics. Examples include Mobile Games Forum in London or Betting Trends Forum in Moscow, and general events which cover all up-to-date topics and burning issues of gaming. The first ones provide a deep insight into a particular sphere of gaming and are rather targeted at experienced operators who want to explore some new area, whereas general events are perfect for the industry newcomers providing a great opportunity to get an overall impression of the market.
Most popular gaming events
Here is a list of the most popular iGaming events which are definitely worth attending either as an exhibitor or at least as a visitor.
1. ICE Totally Gaming taking place in February in London. ICE remains the world’s most comprehensive and visited gaming conference (with a record attendance of over 28,000 people in 2017). It covers both land-based and online casino sectors, offers a great variety of panels and seminars with up-to-the minute industry news, and gathers all major market players on one floor. Visiting this event is an absolute must for us at SoftSwiss, too: we build a stand there every year.
2. The London Affiliate Conference. Following ICE and taking place in the same premises (ExCel London), the conference is a perfect opportunity to learn about the latest marketing trends in iGaming and present your brand to the affiliates – people playing the key role in the promotion of an online casino.
3. iGB Live! in Amsterdam, taking place in July, is a well-known show in the iGaming market featuring 9 events devoted to payment processing, player acquisition, jurisdictional issues, sports betting, finance and affiliate marketing. This show has seen some good growth in attendance over the recent years and is the successor to the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference, the Berlin Affiliate Conference and Excellence in Gaming (EiG).
4. Global Gaming Expo Asia (G2E Asia), taking place in Macau in May, is a major platform for the Asian businessmen in the iGaming sphere. Since Asia is one of the most rapidly growing markets, it attracts leading software providers, game developers, casino operators and marketing specialists from all over the world. If you are planning to explore this market, G2E Asia would be a good starting point.
5. SiGMA, taking place in November in Malta. The event is completely international as it brings together the shareholders of the global iGaming ecosystem from all over the world, from the operators of land-based casinos and betting shops to established online casino owners to start ups. Regulators, marketing professionals and affiliates are also there, so there’s a whole lot of space for networking.
What to do at iGaming events
Once the list of iGaming events is ready, you need to prepare for the show and create a to-do list. The opportunities are really vast and here are just a few:
Present your own brand. Put a stand and bring your best sales professionals to show the best of your online casino.
Meet software providers and game developers. If you are still looking for a software platform or want to establish personal contact to the providers of gaming content, such shows are a perfect place to find your trusted IT partners.
Learn about the latest trends in the iGaming sphere: mobile casino, Bitcoin gambling, innovative game design, etc. Learn about the up-to-date situation in the regulation of iGaming, discover peculiarities in each particular region, meet representatives of various gaming jurisdictions personally.
Discover new trends in marketing and advertising, see which type of promotion could work best for your online casino.
Meet affiliates and make deals with them.
Meet payment system providers, learn their terms and conditions and see with whom you can work to make payment processing in your casino more efficient.
Attend seminars and panels devoted to the topics you are most interested in. Or even become a speaker at one of the panels and share your vision of the issue.
Network! Like in every industry, the more people you know, the better your business goes. Don’t ignore the parties after the exhibition official opening hours. The atmosphere at such events is usually nice and friendly, so you can find yourself talking to C-level executives in quite a relaxed manner.
With the right choice of the iGaming show, certain investments into the presentation of your own company and a lot of stamina (because events are just as tiring as they are exciting), you will come home with a baggage of new information to think about, leads to process, partners to collaborate with, and marketing ideas to bring into live.