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Interview with Hamza Afifi from SiGMA

Hamza Afifi Reveals Details on the Upcoming SiGMA Digital Summit (Asia)

With the SiGMA Digital Summit (Asia) approaching fast, we’ve decided to talk to Hamza Afifi, a Senior Account Manager at SiGMA, to get some insights about this essential event taking place 8-10 June 2020. With travel restrictions limiting interconnection, the SiGMA Digital Summit (Asia) will allow attendees to hear from the betting and gaming casino industry experts when it comes to dealing with the COVID-19 epidemic and its consequences.

Hamza Afifi Talks About SiGMA Digital Summit (Asia)

Digital summits and conferences will play a major part in communication in the industry sector, especially during the next couple of months. So, it’s quite important for the organisers to focus on their format and innovative approach to increase the networking potential. 

We at AskGamblers had an opportunity to speak to Hamza Afifi from SiGMA who shared additional info about the conference, as well as his perspective on the effect of COVID-19 on the industry to emerging market trends across Europe and Asia, and how they adapt to changes and challenges. 

Hamza Afifi and people who have been standing behind SiGMA Group, for many years now, recognise the importance of standing together during these hard times saying: “we look at the opportunities the market has to offer, which is why we have decided to offer free high-quality content, accessible to everyone and delivered by leaders in this industry.”

Due to the Coronavirus and the situation the world has currently found itself in, as an event company taking the safety and health of your guests and staff very seriously, you had to postpone all the events and, in a very short time, plan online conferences instead. What difficulties have you encountered and how did you manage to resolve them?

There are few companies that have been unaffected by this unprecedented global health crisis, including ourselves. It’s been a difficult time all round, and we recognise the need for sensitivity and flexibility in our approach. We are offering clients a full refund or the chance to reschedule, no questions asked. 

In addition, we have taken this time to address all the proper health and safety requirements for the November event in Malta, such as paying extra attention to cleanliness and sanitation, making sure that ticket sales and payments are online, planning for wider corridors and open spacing during the conference, and setting up private meeting rooms with extra space. 

Delaying the Manila show to 2021 has given us a few extra months to plan a dynamite inaugural show next year.

Postponing the Manila show to 2021 has given us a few bonus months to regroup and plan a dynamite inaugural show in May. We hope the digital conference will help the industry to stand together, and to stay informed and connected at a time when working together has never been more important. 

Readjusting our perspective and focusing on survival has been challenging, but I am thankful that this has taught us the invaluable skill of adaptability, which will be vital in the coming months as we move forwards.

Tell us a bit more about the conference itself, we’re sure you’ll have a brilliant line-up of speakers, but what other benefits can participants count on during SiGMA-ICE Asia Digital?

We’re incredibly excited to explore this new vertical. We have jumped straight in and launched two new virtual conferences; SiGMA Asia Focus, which aims to bring East and West closer, and SiGMA Deep Tech, which will engage tech leaders, CTOs and developers in a purely tech-focused agenda. Both conferences take place on the same of the original show dates, 8-10 June 2020, and there's still time to register for the event.

As you’ve heard, we have an amazing line-up of speakers on board, including PAGCOR CEO and chairperson, Andrea Domingo, Jesper Svensson, Eric Bergman, Alexandre Dreyfus, Junior Minister for Financial Services and Digital Economy, Hon. Clayton Bartolo, Brock Pierce, Ben Goertzel, Mati Greenspan, Tone Vays, The Moon Carl, and Tim Draper amongst others.

As you’ve just mentioned, SiGMA Deep Tech Summit is dedicated to techies, where some of the leading CTOs, system architects and backend developers will be responsible for all cutting-edge technology that the industry is depending on. Can you reveal some more info regarding it?

This is a tech conference for techies and by techies, created exclusively with the tech community in mind and placing deep technology front and centre. Deep tech has always been at the forefront of SiGMA Group’s focus. Operating in such a competitive industry makes adopting a scientific and innovation-driven approach crucial. This conference offers users the opportunity to embrace pioneering technologies, and benefit from new, creative solutions which can propel their businesses into a new way of working. 

How many contributors will SiGMA Digital Summit (Asia) gather, what is the response so far?

We’re expecting around 80 speakers from the industry. Our website boasts over 125,000 users, with 750,000 pageviews, while our facebook page has close to 1 million impressions and nearly 140 thousand video views. We have also generated 7 million impressions on our youtube channel, with 30% of our views hailing from Europe and 35% from the US. 

Has Covid-19 slowed you down in terms of expansion?

Not at all. There is a silver lining in everything in life, including COVID-19. We had anticipated launching our third pillar, SiGMA LatAm in 2022. However, thanks to COVID-19, we have less barriers to entry into the market given that all conferences are held virtually. 

No hiring of expensive venues or setting up of sales offices - instead, we are focusing on quality content, meeting some amazing speakers across the entire LatAm region, establishing a strong network as we push this inaugural summit forward. 

In case the Coronavirus situation prolongs, would you consider live streaming your events in the future?

While you can’t quite replicate the experience of a summit like ours with a virtual meetup, we’ve realised the two can exist, which is why our summits, moving forward will also feature a virtual expo allowing anyone to tune in, connect, and walk through an interactive floor plan.

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer our questions and share the thought-provoking details about the upcoming conference. We hope SiGMA Digital Summit (Asia) will be as successful as all your previous conferences that we have enjoyed so far. 

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