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  1. #1
    Tony Scarpa's Avatar
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    Default Which industry conferences ?

    Which industry conferences are best to go to and why ?

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    pinkytoe is offline Private Member
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    I find the iGB ones really repetitive and offer very little value to operators and affiliates. It might be worth going to one or two, but after that they have little to offer from my experience.

    In terms of going to one, Barcelona was by far my favourite location.

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    Pinkytoe,

    Barcelona is one of my favorite cities. The Sagrada Familia is amazing and I traveled to as many building by Antoni Gaudi as I could - including the park. I had always thought the city was named after Hannibal Barca but apparently that is disputed.

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    IT would depend on what you are trying to achieve at the conference.

    Online gambling is a virtual product, the operators set up many deals through the internet, and there is a lot of information online at forums like this. So there is no "need" for affiliates to go to a physical conference in order to take part in this industry.

    Operators might see the conference somewhat differently. They can meet a lot of affiliates in a short time, set up a lot of regular deals, and get a lot of exposure quickly so a conference has the potential to "supercharge" the affiliate acquisition process for a new program.

    Going to a conference as an experienced affiliate to meet specific people that you've already worked with online, or to meet fellow affiliates might help to motivate you after you've been working online for a while can be useful. If there is one being run in a city close to you - or a city you want to visit - then you might be prepared to pay the travel expense to take part and it can/will be an enjoyable couple of days if you have a few contacts also going.

    But if you are going as a newbie without an active site or functioning mechanism for attracting players then it's a bit pointless as you'll find that you have little tangible to discuss with anyone. As PinkyToe has said from the affiliate side a conference is NOT really going to offer more to your affiliate business than working virtually to set up deals, contacts, or discover SEO techniques.

    I went to one in Sydney about six years ago (closest one to my location), and I might attend another one within 3-6 hours from home - or visit one in the Northern Hemisphere in 2014/15/16 if I can time it with something else that I'm doing - but I wouldn't make a long trip to just attend a conference by itself.

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    I only really tend to go to London - once a year is generally fine for me as I do everything via email anyway.

    It's definitely worth going to a conference every now and again to see your AM's face to face and meet other affiliates, but I don't feel the need to go to all of them.
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    I also prefer the iGB conference in Barcelona. At the conference and outside the conference, the atmosphere is more relaxed. But most of all because I love that city!

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    I've been in the business now for about 18 months and attended my first conference on day 1. I must admit that I found it completely overwhelming, but massively motivating. It gave me a good insight by being able to speak to the operators directly and I established a few relationships that I followed up afterwards. I treated the whole thing as an information gathering exercise in the first instance.

    It's relationships that make business work, I've worked that out over my long career outside of gaming. If you want to make something happen for yourself you do need to get off your butt and meet people and establish relationships, you can't do it that well from your bedroom or home office.

    The conferences are a way in and start to open doors, but you have to work at it.

    I met operators at the first conference, went to the next and then got invites out for drinks etc, where I got to meet other affiliates. I was able to hear the other side and that has been just as huge. Establishing relationships with your peers is important if you want to be successful.

    For me I've been to London twice and Amsterdam twice and each time I feel the benefit from them, but mostly from the networking I now do. The conferences are the excuse to bring people together and I find I need that to get me out of the house.

    BUT I would say that you need a purpose / objective before going, if you don't you'll be wasting a good opportunity.

    Good luck.
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    Use the conferences for networking.

    Sure you can do your business online but sometimes you make better connections in person.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grem View Post
    Use the conferences for networking.

    Sure you can do your business online but sometimes you make better connections in person.
    Agreed. Being able to meet someone in person definitely accelerates any business you will be doing together because you get to know each other as people too.

    For those affiliates who haven't been to any of these conferences in the past: try to set up as many meetings with affiliate managers as possible in the month leading up to whichever conference you are attending, as these events are always very busy.

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    Conferences are a good venue to getting new contacts, building up better affiliate commission deals by meeting the people directly and selling to them. Before attending any conference it is vitally important you have meetings already planned or you could spend your entire time doing laps of the exhibit hall without achieving anything. Conference party scene is always good for a good social time.
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    done London, the last 3 years, 1st year was very good and learnt a lot, 2nd year sorted out all the deals I have properly, 3rd year not really much for me to do, had a few work meetings but spent most of my time gassing to people I know and drinking with the decent affiliate managers I know, was more a social thing than any work really, and I missed my train home due to slobbering to Keith at Boyles, Luke at Paddy's and Sarah from Coral at the paddy power bar. cost me another 50 to get the later train

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    Quote Originally Posted by thebookiesoffers View Post
    done London, the last 3 years, 1st year was very good and learnt a lot, 2nd year sorted out all the deals I have properly, 3rd year not really much for me to do, had a few work meetings but spent most of my time gassing to people I know and drinking with the decent affiliate managers I know, was more a social thing than any work really, and I missed my train home due to slobbering to Keith at Boyles, Luke at Paddy's and Sarah from Coral at the paddy power bar. cost me another 50 to get the later train
    My experience was similar. Without the contacts I made in the first year ThePOGG wouldn't have survived. I've got the content, but my complete lack of web design/SEO knowledge would have crushed my efforts. The second year was about demonstrating my value to the right people. This year I could have done a full week's worth of meetings without getting round everyone, but when that many people are looking to talk to you I consider it a mark of success.

    There's still value in going though and meeting people face to face. If they know who you are you're more likely to get a response when you need it. I'd also say that while there are a good number of nice people in the industry there are a good number of people who are just sales people, any warmth they show towards you is simply in the hope of getting something out of you. Having the face to face meetings gives you the opportunity to distinguish between the two.
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    Been doing affiliation properly for just over a year and still not been to one. Only met one affiliate program face to face also!

    I have been fine chatting to people on Skype/phone/email and organising deals that way, however I do feel that even the one program I met, I now have a better relationship with them through knowing them more personally, faces to names and all that, so I'm definitely going to try and overcome my dislike of big crowds and schmooziness to attend the next LAC

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    Quote Originally Posted by RacingJim View Post
    I'm definitely going to try and overcome my dislike of big crowds and schmooziness to attend the next LAC
    I'm much the same - the conference situation is vastly out of my comfort zone. I hate big crowds of people and have a strong preference towards interacting with people in small groups even amongst friends that I've known for decades. I've still found it to be a worthwhile exercise dealing with this to attend at least one conference per year.
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    You guys are fine, I'm having a much bigger problem - I don't like talking on the phone. I will avoid that in any way that I can. At any cost.

    But I digress. LAC is the best conference, the rest are inferior copies.

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    Worst thing for me is being a one-man band, it would be good to have someone to walk round the conference with and chat to. I don't like big crowd situations (I suppose most people don't really), but I definitely don't like being on my own in those situations! I need someone to hold my hand haha. Maybe I should employ someone.

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    Dang, and I was just thinking about calling Dan....

    Just throw your phone out the window and you don't ever have to answer it again....I know at least one person from here who did that.

    I have not been to a conference in a few years, not sure I will attend any on the near future or not....I am still waiting for one in the Sunshine state, I can't think of a better way for a whole lot of people to "write off" a trip to Disney.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RacingJim View Post
    Worst thing for me is being a one-man band, it would be good to have someone to walk round the conference with and chat to. I don't like big crowd situations (I suppose most people don't really), but I definitely don't like being on my own in those situations! I need someone to hold my hand haha. Maybe I should employ someone.

    My wife has come with me on at least one which was absolutely great!
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacingJim View Post
    Worst thing for me is being a one-man band, it would be good to have someone to walk round the conference with and chat to. I don't like big crowd situations (I suppose most people don't really), but I definitely don't like being on my own in those situations! I need someone to hold my hand haha. Maybe I should employ someone.
    So am I mate (one man band), Old Billingsgate was brilliant as a few people can comfirm I loved the pub across the road so used to pop over there for a drink 4-5 times during the day between meetings. I'll talk to anyone, I aint shy making friends. You'll be surprised how many people know who you are and want to talk to you in a social way more than anything, both posters and affiliate managers. Met quite a few random posters on here who I'd have a beer with again no problem, unless Renee can get any worse timing and come over just as Im leaving haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by RacingJim View Post
    Worst thing for me is being a one-man band, it would be good to have someone to walk round the conference with and chat to. I don't like big crowd situations (I suppose most people don't really), but I definitely don't like being on my own in those situations! I need someone to hold my hand haha. Maybe I should employ someone.
    I think a lot of us are mate. Just try to meet as many people as you can in the first one you go to and the next time you'll go you'll know tons of people - so arrange a bunch of meetings, go to the social events etc.. Also let people know you don't know anyone and it's your first time and you'll get a ton of introductions.

    Plus in the bars etc.. most people are happy for you to just go up to them and chat - we're all in the same business, after all.

    Also we didn't do it last year as the bar was weird, but the year before a bunch of gpwa'ers arranged to meet at the welcome drinks (plus 'bookies likes to play 'last one to the bar's a nob') - we should try and do that again in 2015.
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