Clarion Gaming’s EIG Conference returns to the Berlin Arena from 18-20 October. The knowledge-led executive conference aims to discuss and debate gambling’s most prominent issues on a global scale.
Ahead of the start of EIG 2016, SBC caught up with Clarion Gaming’ Senior Producer Curtis Roach to the full lowdown on this year’s show.
SBC: Hi Curtis great to catch up, as an event organiser why is EIG Berlin so important to industry stakeholders?
Curtis Roach: I feel it’s important because EiG is one of the largest meetings in the world that is focused purely on the iGaming market. Of course, there are larger events such as ICE but the difference is that ICE covers the whole gaming industry with no specific focus. By attending EiG, industry stakeholders can get a lot more business done and network more efficiently. Apart from the networking and business side of things the industry can benefit immensely from the learning opportunities. This year more than ever we have endeavoured to acquire the most insightful speakers. Conferences such as ours are sometimes wrongfully accused of having an agenda full of generic speakers that don’t have any real insight to offer; this is the main reason why we try our best to get great speakers from outside the industry that has something different to say. This year we have speakers from Apple, Ericcson, Deezer, Virgin Galactic plus much more so I’m sure any industry stakeholder, irrespective of their role, should be able to find true value in our conferences. Also with the addition of features such as the Start-Up Launchpad and The Pitch, attendees are given a fantastic opportunity to witness the future first hand, learning about the latest products and innovations to disturb the iGaming market. EiG will keep you ahead of the curve!
SBC: Following a year of mass industry consolidation in 2015, what new industry trends and dynamics has your research team witnessed and how will these factors and values be promoted at EIG 2016?
CR: Clearly the consolidation activity in 2015 has resulted in a somewhat shrunken iGaming ecosystem. This has a direct effect on competition, innovation and the general standard of products/services in the market. My research team and I have spoken to sectors of industry and we’ve found that there are strong arguments both for and against a merged market. Whether it be the positive impact on industry standards or the perceived negative impact on product innovation, everyone has their perspective. This is why we’re holding an interactive debate at EiG 2016 (Day 1) moderated by one of our industry leaders, soon to be announced. It’s definitely a must attend a session on the agenda.
Acquisition is now becoming a concept that many of the younger, up and coming companies are familiar with and for many has potentially become an objective. At EiG we want to shed light on this process, which is why we have a brilliant panel session being led by David McLeish, Partner at Wiggin LLP (Day 2). He and the panel will explore what it really entails when being acquired and what you can do as a company to better align yourself.
These are just some of the ways in which we’re reflecting the consolidated market in the show, for more info check out the agenda on our website.
SBC: As a knowledge-led conference EIG covers a wide-ranging industry subject matters, how does the Clarion team maintain a balanced agenda for all delegates and stakeholders?
CR: At Clarion we pride ourselves on being a reflection of the market. Our content comes directly from all sectors of the iGaming ecosystem. Our Head of Content, Ewa Bakun is also Chairwoman for the iGaming Industry Council (iGIC). The Council consists of industry leaders from a range of sectors, just a few of the 50 members include Paddypower Betfair, Rank Group, Arjel, Gambling Authority Denmark, Greentube and IMGL, plus many other representatives of our vast industry. Through the annual iGIC meetings, alongside a thorough tele-research campaign, not to mention the wide range of gaming events we attend (not just Clarion) we’ve been able to get an accurate understanding of what topics and issues really matter to our attendees. This is how we achieve the balanced agenda that we hope will be relevant for all delegates and stakeholders.
We actively encourage any feedback from the market on our content, and if there are any suggestions the reader has, we’d be happy to hear them!
SBC: You seem to have lined up a stellar cast of Keynote speakers; can you tell us more about these conference headliners? Also as a team what do you look at when selecting your keynote speakers?
CR: Although iGaming is a unique industry, there are still some challenges that are present regardless of industry. Topics such as innovation, intelligent data management, and customer personalisation are all challenges that businesses are facing regardless of sector. We’ve brought in outside industry speakers such as Golan Shaked, CMO of Deezer to talk about how we can go about tackling these issues but from a different perspective. The online music streaming industry inherently has to deal with large amounts of data while still ensuring it’s listeners are receiving the experience they expect and that suits their taste. There’s a lot the gaming industry can learn from industries such as these, this is exactly what we look for when selecting our speakers, similar challenges but with a new approach.
SBC: Finally what do you want delegates to take away with them from EIG 2016?
CR: I think the key thing in mind for me when designing the agenda was that most of us already have our ideas and visions of what success in the future looks like. Our main aim is for delegates to leave EiG with a clearer understanding of how to get there. We’re shedding light on the new markets, new products, processes and new ways of thinking that will enable you to forge a pathway to the future!
Curtis Roach – Clarion Gaming – Senior Conference Producer (Twitter – @CRclarion)