Jelena Kuzmanov, product owner at Danish affiliate Better Collective, attended the recent Slot Summit in Bucharest on behalf of SBC News. Find out what she thought about Clarion‘s latest gaming event.
SBC: This was the first Slot Summit – how do you feel it went?
Great! As you pointed out – this was our first time there and it was very clear from the start that this seminar won’t be like the ones we’re used to visit. Although most of the talks were related to the land-based casinos, we have learned a great deal of information that anyone working with gambling would benefit from. The seminar offered us a fresh perspective on the products we’re working with daily. We were, in a way, forced to take a step back and take a look at the industry’s core. This was very fortunate for us, because, due to the nature of the world of land-based gambling, the speakers were more prone to knowledge sharing, as they were not direct competition to each other.
The agenda suggested a lot of focus on the application of multimedia in communication with the players, but very quickly, two other topics emerged above all others (at least in our eyes) – types of slot players and the importance of JackPot prizes (hits).
The cherry on the cake was the fact that the total number of participants was (according to our free assessment) 50-70. That made it really easy for us to network and get closer to the speakers that we wanted to hear more from.
SBC: Who was the stand out speaker/panel at the conference? Why were they so good?
There were many good speakers at the conference, undoubtedly. I’ll have to be subjective here, and tell you about my top 3, although I could easily talk about a few others, too.
Lucien Wijsman (Director, The Slot Academy)
Lucien was one of the organisers of the summit and he gave us a sneak peak into his Casino Management Training, by going into details in user segmentation. We enjoyed his presentation, because it offered detailed info on what kind of slot machines make what types of users tick. If you’re into the topic, check out this article he wrote on Time on Device Players vs. Gamblers.
Arjan Korstjens, Strategy Director, Quince Amsterdam
His talk was about the communication on the casino floor was very inspiring, as it showed how much we can move the industry forward just by applying some simple rules of communication. His agency’s philosophy is to work hard to understand the players and then offer simple solutions that can ease their user-journey. One nice example was a campaign that they ran, offering a simplified instruction on how to play one slot machine, and with that, significantly increasing the turnover on that slot machine, making it one of the top 3 most played slots in that casino. This example, amongst several other ones that were equally effective, goes to show how important it is to listen to our users’ aches and try to offer solutions to relieve them from those aches.
Andrew Porter, Managing Director, Ash Gaming Company: Playtech
Andrew walked us through the full history of development of slot machines – back from 1895 and the world’s first slot machine, till today, where Microgaming and Playtech are releasing slots for smart watches. He went into details on what features in slot machines provoke what feelings with the player, but more importantly, he walked us through the biggest markets for online slots in the world and told us which market is notorious for what. Did you know that the UK market is #1 when it comes to slots played on touchscreen devices?
Some topics definitely touched our interest more than others. We were especially intrigued by all the talk about the slot volatility patterns and the importance of the win perception. Both boil down to the design of the game functionalities and how that design affects the players.
Volatility is particularly interesting, because it is the factor that no player will ever speak about, or even look for, but it’s the one that decides if the same player will play on this slot or not.
Equally interesting was all the talk around Win perception, in which ways it can be achieved and why it is so important to the users.
SBC: Was there any discussion about how to make a game truly cross-platform?
One of the pains for the online players is definitely the fact that they can’t play the same game on their computer and their touch-screen device. Andrew Porter touched this subject lightly during his presentation and did so in a context of what is ahead of us – what is the future of playing slots online. Apart from that, the subject didn’t get much attention.
Maybe there will be more talk about it on one of the two following summits – Lima (31st of Aug – 2nd of Sept) and Macau (17-19 of Nov), all the more reason to make visiting this Summit a tradition.