Due to pandemic that has spread across an entire world, SiGMA Group had to adapt quickly to a new situation and managed to successfully organise events like SiGMA Asia, SiGMA Americas and, last week (November 24-25th) SiGMA Europe - all in digital formats.
SiGMA organisers decided to combine two conferences together - SiGMA Europe and AIBC Virtual Expos – in order to offer gaming professionals an updated situation of this sector in Europe.
There were various topics discussed under the SiGMA section categories like Affiliation & Marketing, Regulation, Market Trends, Data in Payments, Sportsbook, Suppliers, and Edge of Technology for Games, as well as Regulation & Compliance and FinTech and AI, under the AIBC section. Offering expert-led panel discussions and quick access to a large array of products from sponsors and exhibitors, the virtual conference proved to be a major success.
On this occasion, and in order to find out more details regarding the event, we’ve spoken to Hamza Afifi, Head of Sales at SiGMA.
SiGMA Europe and AIBC Virtual Expos were launched with record breaking attendance, so it is safe to say that Sigma Europe was the biggest virtual expo of the year. Tell us your impressions - how did it go? How many delegates and viewers did the event gather? And, what did you like most about the conference?
This year SiGMA hosted a number of digital and virtual summits all of which were a success, with the latest, SiGMA Europe, topping them all with a record of 6,500 delegates, 4,500 total active people with 1,485 maximum concurrent viewers. We’re thrilled to have reached so many people – it’s safe to say that the success of this virtual event has shown us that events can still deliver, despite pandemic restrictions. In fact, we will be incorporating virtual events into all our physical shows going forward.
Pushing boundaries for the two verticals to learn and feed off each other, how challenging was it for you to merge two large expos – SiGMA and AIBC – under one roof?
We made the decision to merge the expos after seeing how well the two verticals complemented each other. There is a lot of overlap between gaming and emerging tech, and we felt our delegates and exhibitors would benefit from the increased opportunities this combined experience could offer – so it was an easy choice to make.
Focused on the European gaming and tech marketplace, Eman Pulis said the conference was “full of content, full of great speakers, top of the line exhibitors, and great networking" - what else was it for the participants?
We are also proud to have introduced the Careers Fair to the expo. In these difficult times, employees are a gaming company’s most valuable resource. Finding and retaining talent has become increasingly difficult, there’s a lot of competition out there – which is why SiGMA is committed to supporting the industry by using our unique platform to help attract the right people.
Alongside several recruitment firms, the careers fair also included a series of expert-led HR panels & discussions on key challenges as well as the display of new tools and tech in a dedicated area on the expo.
What were some of the topics that were discussed?
We had several great panels looking at the growing power of sportsbook and esports, as well as a popular tech-focussed panel from the Akoin team on Akon’s future vision for Africa. We also dedicated time in both the SiGMA and AIBC panels to regulatory issues, covering everything from compliance to the future of IRs in Europe.
The event featured some amazing speakers who revealed their expertise on SiGMA’s platform, educating and connecting people further and further. Can you please name some of them?
We were delighted to welcome rapper and blockchain entrepreneur Akon – who also features in this issue of Block magazine, Tone Vays and Gordon Einstein were also highlights for the AIBC segment. We also had great debate from the likes of Jesper Svensson, the Hon. Minister for Tourism, Clayton Bartolo, Paris Smith and Rob Dowling.
This year SiGMA managed to host a number of digital and virtual summits all of which were a success, we couldn’t help but wonder - where do you get the inspiration and what drives you forward when it comes to planning and organising these kinds of events?
It’s always satisfying to see people from all over the globe come together – whether in person or virtually. Anyone who has had the opportunity to take in a SiGMA expo will know that there’s nothing like the buzz of a packed expo floor and the anticipation of listening to great speakers hash it out on stage.
What's up next - what are the next series of events that you are going to keep in 2021?
2020 has been a challenging year for the industry, so we’re really looking forward to launching our inaugural events across Asia and the Americas next year. SiGMA Manila will take place on the 27th – 28th of May, while our Sao Paulo event is scheduled for later on in the year, on the 13th – 14th of September. We’ll also be opening the year with our Europe event, which will be based in Malta, on the 16th -18th of February.
Thank you for the interview, we’re glad that launching these events turned out to be positive decision for the industry and we look forward to attending them.