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Discussion in 'Affiliate and Program Issues' started by Bombati, Nov 21, 2017.
Yes. It works both ways. Sometimes those meetings are such an eye-opener.
In my opinion if you're wanting to grow your affiliate business you need to establish a network of contacts. Conferences are a great way to meet people from all areas of the affiliate world. You never know where a conversation will lead, what a new introduction will bring or how something will help you in the future.
For me it's not about doing deals, I prefer to do that in private. But it makes it a whole lot easier if you have a relationship with someone first.
A conference brings everyone together in one place. My most fruitful discussions & networking happen outside of the conference environment, at private meals or even in the hotel bar.
I'm not interested in the parties and glitz, that's all window dressing.
Without the conference circuit I would never have been able to develop in my niche, it's opened so many doors for me, for just a little effort on my side.
As for cost, well a few nights in a hotel and the occasional flight is nothing compared to what I get back out from it.
Perhaps those that don't go or are on the fence should think about what they want to achieve from an event.
Parties, glitz and being hassled by AM's is only a small part. In my opinion you're missing out if you let those three things stop you from going.
I usually go to as many as I can. I like talking to them face to face. Feels more serious. Also, it is good to get some inspiration. But I agree that besides from meeting them in person, I don't get out that much from it. I find that 4/5 AMs are not able to answer to simple questions and just tell me that they will get back to me later on e-mail. These AMs don't know their product inside out which I think is not too much to ask for from an AM.
It is also nice to meet some of the fellow affiliates out there.
I just got back from SiGMA yesterday and I feel it was definitely worth the trip even though I didn't have ANY pre-arranged meetings with operators I am not already working with.
They say you learn something new every day - and at these conferences that is very true!
I learned a lot - and even have some new operators to look into now.
To top it off I managed completely by chance to bump into fellow AGD member "Frank" (WonderPunter) in a random bar in the city, even though we had no idea who each other were at first!
Great guy and a pleasure to chat with over a few drinks
(Mark) It was Good to meet you too, it was a crazy few day's is all I can say, but I met some great people and arranged some good business deals whilst there. defiantly worth going to not just for the social side but those looking to scale the ladder. I was even kidnapped by a couple of girls then forced to gate crash a private party which was funny looking back at it. I will be going to London for sure.
I'm just back too.
It was a great conference. It's out-performing the IGB shows. I've heard the rumour that IGB wants to buy Sigma. I hope it's not true or will not happen. The difference between AAC / BAC and SIGMA is really big. Add to that that AAC and BAC seem to be decreasing a bit, while SIGMA is exploding.
I had some very good meetings. Some AMs also disqualified themselves. An AM that had to ask which markets I am targeting, which are my website or don't have an idea about the stats, didn't do the homework.
So the question is, which ones are the best and worth attending the most?
After reading these comments we are definitely going to make a effort in attending more.
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SIGMA (although it might depend a bit on your markets) and LAC in combination with ICE.
Agree with Biti - LAC is the best IGB show by far and definitely worth a visit.
SiGMA was double the size this year over last - and VERY busy. My tip - take a packed lunch!
You have to wait a year for the next one of course, so try to make London in February if you can.
ICE is more a Provider/Operator conference - personally I think there is very little there for affiliates. I've been a few times, but got bored after 30 minutes!
It depends on your focus. ICE is definitely as important for me as LAC is. It's the only time all the providers are in one place. I deal mainly with them for information, as 90% of the affiliate programs either can't get what I need or if they can it just takes too long.
On ICE you see so many things. If you're having a slot review website, be sure you start ranking on all the names you're grabbing there. Speed is key in this business. Providers also have great information about slots and usually well documented. Also, you can take your own pictures of new slots, presentations, etc. That's always better than using an image that 10s others are also using. Besides that, it's great for inspiration. When I come back from ICE I have 100 ideas for content. It's also good to see landbased trends, as it could be interesting to target them too. Ranking on Planet of the Apes started as soon as it was announced at ICE, not somewhere after summer holiday. Also, it gives authority to your website if you're early bird with this kind of confirmed rumours.
I agree with KK about the lunch. Waiting time at Calzone was longer than at Disneyland. Options to eat around there were very limited. Near MG was something if I am right.
A taxi driver told me they will build even a bigger place. Good idea, because it was very, very busy here. Even if the place was way bigger than the place of last year.
Just hope it won't be bought by IGB.
I'm getting a bit bored of conferences if I'm honest, may skip them in 2018. LAC was weird this year - hectic on day one and a ghost town on day two. I'm guessing it was due to the new location?
I think they do have value - just getting to meet other people that do the same thing as you can be great experience for a new affiliate - but if you've been around a while, know people in the industry and you have all your deals set up then it sometimes feel like a bit of a waste of time.
(speaking about the aff conferences here, I can see how the more product facing ones - eg: ICE - would be a different story)
Some valid points made all round here, both for and against.
I've been doing the conferences since 2006 and have found them a great way to cement and grow your affiliate partnership. I'd go as far to say that I've made some great friends in the industry both affiliates and other aff managers.
In terms of if they're beneficial, I believe so. I think even if you don't come away with a huge deal but you met a few new people and shared a beer with current partners then you've shared moment you can come back to. It all helps I believe, in how successfully you can work together.
If you're going to attend one for the first time plan ahead. Book in meetings with the people you want to chat to, even the ones you want to weigh up, see what they're like in person as there is no computer to hide behind, face to face is much better than Skype in my opinion. And ignore those vulture types who are borderline aggressive, I've seen some shocking behaviour/attitudes from aff managers who are just plain rude when introducing themselves in a forceful way.
Regards the second day being a slow day, this is true. Most affiliates I know come in with a plan to meet all key partners at the welcome event or on the first day of the conference itself. This then leaves some time to enjoy the city and see some sights. Not ideal for the schedule for me but great if I get to meet the affs day 1.
LAC is a must, Amsterdam is good too and it's a new format in 2018 so that'll be interesting.
Give them a shot and see what you think yourself would be my advice. Get in early on day 1 and walk around, get your bearings and see what's what. Then crack on with your arranged meetings. If you've forgotten something after day 1 then you still have day 2 to cover off any other business.
Yeah I suppose it is always a bit like that, but it felt different this year. Like everyone had crammed all of their meetings in on day one and no one bothered turning up for day two. One of the AM's we met with on day two said we were their only meeting that day...
Would I have been more successful if I'd have attended conferences? IDK. Though, quite happy with how things have turn out. I certainly wouldn't have this lifestyle without being a casino affiliate. For me 2 - 3 days each way, is far too long to travel.
On a plus, a few programs have sent AM's to see me over the years
This answers my question. Maybe I will stop in a conference one of these days.
I have attended LAC, AAC, BAC (back when it was in Barcelona)...
Personally, I found very little value from my recent visits.
My biggest disappointment is the (lack of) knowledge of some AM's. I appreciate AM's are tasked with recruitment, but if you are stuffing a business card in my face and then cannot answer which software providers the operator works with, that business card will likely find its way in the bin.
Last but not least, IGB should seriously consider a different sponsor for their lunch buffet. I end up starving myself at each conference on principle alone.
They should, but they obviously don't care. I guess more than half of the floor is filled with booths of programs that are called rogue here.
ICE connected with LAC is definnitely the best. I´ve been many times, also AAC and BAC and enjoyed every time. Best place to get the right contacts, ad solve issues with programs from face to face. Nevertheless the news from the industry will alwys come in handy..