The 13th EiG will take place at the Arena Berlin during the week commencing Monday October 20, 2014. This year’s conference will focus on current concerns within gambling/igaming and incoming future factors that will impact the industry’s value chain.
Ahead of future legislation/regulations entering the European igaming market, and with industry concerns regarding innovations and industry technology capabilities, EIG Berlin will feature in-depth analysis and expert gaming speaker and panel sessions in what will be the most important EIG Conference ever!
Team SBC caught up with Silvia Peneva Programme Manager iGaming at Clarion Events, to discuss this years agenda and the importance of EIG Berlin’s guiding theme – Present (Think 2014) and The Future (Think 2024)
SBC: Hi Silvia, great to catch up again. You have gone through a lengthy consultation process with the industry and have embarked on a re-branding of EiG to ‘Excellence in iGaming’ with the backing of an Industry Advisory Board. Explain this repositioning of the event and what you are aiming to achieve with the re-launch and the shift to Berlin.
Silvia: The needs of our industry are paramount to every event we organise. We value the industry’s voice and following last year’s event we embarked on a structured feedback process which led to the establishment of the Industry Advisory Board, featuring key names from the supplier and operator worlds to further advise on the content, structure and changes needed to maintain and further the success of EiG.
Excellence in iGaming reflects the fact that the iGaming industry is now a global phenomenon. The European element remains of course a very important focus, but we are also inviting the industries beyond Europe to attend and use EiG as the global platform for learning about iGaming business from whatever perspective interests them.
The pricing of EiG is one of the biggest changes this year. The one-price-for-all campaign now means that attendees get access to everything on offer at EiG, including the high-level learning content, for one price – starting at 499 Euros. Importantly, the value of the content has not only maintained its traditionally high standard but has improved as we now have the input from the Advisory Board.
The content at EiG is now structured to allow attendees the freedom to build their agenda around their preferred way of learning. Take for example someone interested in the sportsbetting theme. This attendee has the choice to learn by attending a Microscope focus group on current sportsbetting topics alongside a niche group of people who have exactly the same interests as him/her. Or they can choose to attend a dedicated sportsbetting speed meet event to engage with all those who attended the same sessions. If they prefer seeing products then they can choose to attend dedicated product premieres with key exhibitors highlighting sportsbetting solutions.
Of course, they can also choose to attend all featured sportsbetting content, be it focused on exploring the show floor, thinking alongside leading experts or meeting new people.
This year more than ever we have focused our attention, following the consultation with the Industry Advisory Board, on inviting leaders from outside the gaming industry to share their insight on common challenges and to breathe in fresh thinking and spur new ideas in the gaming sector.
Berlin was by far the most popular choice of city by the industry following the consultation. With this move we are aiming to tap into the progressive and dynamic tech start-up community based in Berlin alongside the investment community and the massive traditional gaming industry of Germany. The difficult regulatory context of the German market is another reason for the move. We are drawing in the regulatory authorities from the 16 German Laender and aiming to create a networking and educational platform for iGaming awareness based in the heart of the German market.
The venue, Arena Berlin, is also an important change being a much more intimate and flexible space in comparison to a traditional exhibition venue.
SBC: For this year’s EiG you have chosen to focus on the present (Think 2014) and the future (Think 2024) of gambling. Why did you choose these themes and contexts for the learning content at EiG 2014?
Silvia: The lack of structured and dedicated focus on the future of the gaming industry stood out as a clear concern amongst the Advisory Board members. And indeed, no other event is better placed than EiG to tackle this gap in the market. The more exclusive and intimate environment provided by EiG gives attendees enough time to have their meetings but also to take the time to really Think about the key factors, such as disruptive technologies, which will affect them personally as well as their businesses over the coming years. Moreover, planning and strategizing for these changes needs to start in the present in order to be successful in the future.
Present challenges are of course an on-going concern amongst our audience and EiG will continue to feature the very best speakers who have something new to say on the key issues faced by the industry today.
SBC: With regards to the present of iGaming, your team is in constant contact with key stakeholders within the iGaming framework, what concerns have come to the forefront of the iGaming agenda in 2014?
Silvia: Broadly speaking, sportsbetting, understanding players and tracing their digital footsteps, targeted and personalised marketing campaigns, the adaptation of content to new channels, the regulation and reputation of the industry, diversifying product offerings and standing out from the crowd of operators and suppliers amongst others.
SBC: When discussing the industry in 2024, this can become a broad subject matter to cover. What key facets have you chosen to focus on and how will they be debated at EiG 2014?
Silvia: The topics include disruptive technologies and innovation, research and development, understanding the psychology of the player/consumer, the increasingly popular term ‘hybrid gaming’, the future of gaming content and the tackling of the reputation of the industry. The guest speakers selected to address these themes are highly experienced and renowned in their fields and have concrete information and expertise to share with gaming professionals.
EiG’s learning content is dominated by Outside-In sessions focused around a particular theme. The Outside-In ‘blocks of sessions’ if you will, feature a Talk from an outside industry expert, followed by a Discuss session between the speaker and senior level members of the gaming industry to determine the applicability of the ideas to iGaming, followed by a speed meet session whereby all those who attended the sessions will have the opportunity to meet one another and discuss the content.
We are also very excited to launch in the run-up to EiG a digital group of industry contributors on the topic of ‘future scenario’ planning. Being a strategic tool for thinking about the future, regularly used in the Banking and Finance Industries, this will permit our industry to add structure to their thinking about factors which influence the future. Attendees at EiG will have the opportunity to contribute their thoughts on the subject at during the physical meeting of the Future Scenarios group during EiG.
SBC: As a regular, must-attend fixture in the gambling events calendar, EiG places a high emphasis on bringing outside industry thought and strategy to gaming industry delegates. Why has this become a key element of EiG and what can gambling/iGaming learn from other industries?
Silvia: Our research with the industry shows that attendees aren’t drawn to hearing from the same speakers over and over again unless they have something new to add to a particular debate. Inviting outside industry experts who face and address similar challenges to those faced by iGaming professionals has always been highlighted in our research as an opportunity to learn something new and to gain new perspectives on recurring challenges. It is one of the signature marks of EiG spanning its 13 year history.
SBC: You have also placed a strong emphasis on content build-up to the show; can you explain why this is important and how gambling operators can benefit from this service?
Silvia: We are aiming to turn EiG into the culmination of a much longer-term engagement process which begins with the launch of the show in June. Digital engagement can take place across 365 days with EiG being the physical, annual meeting point for the industry whereby meetings are held, structured networking with topic specific audiences is integrated within the content agenda, and key issues from the future and present are discussed in person with exclusive speakers.
We will be featuring digital content on the EiG website and through social media tools as well as offering our audience to engage with the ‘future scenarios’ debate through the new mobile app we are launching for EiG. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to engage with the debate, not only strategic senior level executives. Moreover, the debate will be open to the entire industry, not only those registered to attend EiG.
An example of digital content we are working on at the moment is a List.ly list of all up-and-coming iGaming start-ups to be contributed to and shared with the whole industry. Check it out and add your start-up or add start-ups you think are cool here: http://list.ly/list/LEg-trendiest-igaming-start-ups
The new mobile app for EiG, which will turn into the umbrella app for all our events including ICE Totally Gaming (so you don’t need to download different apps all the time!) will permit registered attendees to log in to EiG and locate people in advance of the show and personalise their content preferences and networking for the show.
SBC: Finally what do you want EiG delegates to take away from the conference?
- Thoughts and ideas about 2024
- Solutions and different perspectives on current challenges
- New product ideas
- New contacts
- Successful and fruitful discussions with existing contacts
To find out more about EiG, stay tuned and visit the newly launched www.eigexpo.com .
Silvia Peneva Programme Manager iGaming at Clarion Events