The ICE exhibition can be a daunting place for even the most battle hardened of industry conference-goers. So, how do you go about best managing your time and getting the most out of the annual industry pilgrimage to the ExCeL?
As this year’s ICE moves into focus, we caught up with Conall McSorley, Business Development Director for gbet – a leading technology supplier in Europe and the US, with major brands like GVC and the New York Racing Association as existing customers.
McSorley, whose company will be promoting its industry-leading solution for platform, sportsbook, exchange and Tote/ADW, outlined his key dos and don’ts for ‘breaking’ the ICE, including keeping an open mind and carrying out key research ahead of time.
- Come to ICE with an open mind. You may have a long standing relationship with a technology supplier, but technology is constantly evolving and adapting to challenges around regulation, product and function. It is a cliché, but a truism, that as an operator if you are not moving forward, you are falling behind. What does your business want to achieve in the next two years, is your current technology supplier the right partner to help you realise those objectives?
- Think like an end user before the event even starts. Ask yourself, what is your company’s USP to the end user? What is it that brings them to your site? Or perhaps, what is lacking in your offering that is causing them to leave and not return?
- Be aware of your current technology supplier’s limitations, and speak with alternative tech suppliers with those specific issues as your checklist. A migration to a different platform is only justified if it will make your business more competitive and profitable.
- Speak to colleagues internally within your organisation, especially in IT and Operations. Find out what projects and strategies they are failing to execute because of limitations of the technology supplier. Try to visit ICE with a tech savvy colleague, who may well have an entirely different approach to supplier evaluation.
- Do your research ahead of time on companies you want to see and try and schedule meetings. Remember, some companies like gbet for example will not have a stand, but will have private meeting rooms for presentations around the main exhibition floor.
- Remember the open mind? It’s very easy at ICE with all the noise and the razzamatazz to get sucked into the “biggest must be best” mentality i.e. the largest stand must belong to the best business who must have the best technology. Businesses spend fortunes at ICE on branding and marketing (and hospitality), to convey to delegates that precise message. However, you will discover that some suppliers are forced to spend heavily on marketing because they are lacking in core function.
- Don’t spend too much time indulging in hospitality with existing suppliers. They already have your business, they want to keep it. The more time you are spending with them, the less time you are evaluating the alternatives and building that business case for migration your bosses will thank you for.
- Don’t play fast and loose with the timings of meetings; if you said 11, be there, otherwise you are having a knock on effect on your hosts schedule as well. If you cannot make a meeting, it really is only decent to communicate that to your host, and reschedule for a more convenient time.
gbet will be hosting prospective clients for all three days of ICE. If you would like to book a private meeting, please contact Conall on firstname.lastname@example.org