In the realm of Affiliate Marketing, numerous events unfold each year, ranging from conferences to meet-ups and business parties. Among these, conferences stand out for their benefits in networking, knowledge acquisition, and community engagement. Sigma is a prime example of such a conference. Affstream, (a trusted affiliate network specializing in top-notch gambling and betting offers in Brazil), recently organized an insightful interview featuring industry experts who shared their experiences and strategies related to attending the Sigma conference. The interview delves into the preparations, goals, and key takeaways from the conference, offering valuable insights for both seasoned and novice affiliate representatives.
The interview features insights from key players in the industry, including Bogdan Kuiantsev, CMO of BlueChip.io, Vasilii Gamov, CMO of RichAds, and Maryna Yushchenko, CMO of Affstream. Their thoughts shed light on the advantages of attending Sigma, preparations for large-scale conferences, and the strategies employed to maximize participation and achieve set goals.
SIGMA offers unparalleled networking opportunities with industry leaders and innovators. What stood out to me was plenty of conference activities. I had 3-panel discussions about Finnish marketing, growing iGaming brands, and AI changing our industry. All of them are recorded and soon will be published on our YouTube channel. What’s more, I had a podcast record with Affpal (Stefan Muehlbauer) where we shared our insights on how to grow your content marketing, it’s already published here. – Vasilii Gamov.
For us, attending Sigma is primarily an opportunity to meet with our partners and establish new connections. It’s precisely the place where numerous opportunities arise, from generating new business ideas to finding partners for investments and more. We believe that such events serve as a significant springboard for networking with the right individuals and advancing one’s career or business – Maryna Yushchenko.
SiGMA Europe was even more massive than last year. Plus, we had our first booth, and it was a really cool networking experience – the team was just exhausted for the first two days – Bogdan Kuiantsev.
First-timers should research and plan their agenda in advance. Identify key speakers and sessions relevant to your product. Networking is crucial, so prepare a concise pitch about your company. Also, don’t forget to carry plenty of business cards, several power banks, and a stable internet connection on your phone – Vasilii Gamov.
Sigma is truly one of the largest and most anticipated events of the year. The most straightforward advice is not to hesitate to initiate conversations; it’s a business conference, and everyone is here to gather as many interesting and useful contacts as possible. People are very open and communicative. One of our team’s hacks is having a pre-planned schedule of meetings, maximizing the benefit. We study the list of companies and exhibitor representatives, contact them in advance, and schedule meetings during the conference days so as not to waste time waiting – Maryna Yushchenko.
If you are going to be an exhibitor, choose the right location for your booth. If you plan to attend the conference as a visitor, schedule more meetings with your partners before the conference. Also, don’t forget about the power of LinkedIn, where you can arrange a meeting at the conference with someone you are very interested in – Bogdan Kuiantsev.
Our primary goal was brand visibility and networking. We set KPIs around the number of meaningful connections made and leads generated. For example, we aimed to connect with at least 50 potential partners, which we tracked daily – Vasilii Gamov.
As a relatively young company, Affstream’s strategy for 2023 involved attending as many gambling conferences and events as possible to expand our partner base, strengthen brand recognition, and build industry partnerships. We actively leverage social media and other online channels to generate attention before the event, compile a list of partners to meet and research relevant chat forums. Regarding KPIs, we set specific success metrics, such as the number of new contacts. Each manager is tasked with bringing in 100 targeted contacts, helping us evaluate the effectiveness of our efforts at the exhibition – Maryna Yushchenko.
Our main goal was to make a statement about our project, which is only 1.5 years old, and we are already at SiGMA Europe. As for KPIs, to be honest, there were so many meetings that we just didn’t set them. The main thing is that the team is interested in converting all these new acquaintances into results, which the team is currently working on – Bogdan Kuiantsev.
We evaluate our general strategy annually, and if needed we update or improve our tactics quarterly. These conferences like Sigma provide a pulse on industry shifts, which is crucial for staying ahead in a dynamic market – Vasilii Gamov.
The frequency of updating our strategy isn’t fixed but rather adapts to the pace of changes in our industry. We conduct a thorough analysis of information obtained from such events, including market trends, new companies (competition), and feedback from experts and potential partners. For instance, after Sigma, we precisely know which geos will be added to our affiliate network in 2024 – Maryna Yushchenko.
We are already in the market and constantly communicate with partners, and competitors, and listen to our players to correctly adjust/update our strategy. Rather, after attending thematic events, there are a lot of new things to think about or test – Bogdan Kuiantsev.
The pay-off period varies, but typically, we see a return within 6 months. It’s an investment in relationships and knowledge, which often yields benefits beyond immediate financial gains. Also payoff period strongly depends on the amount of your investments. For example last year we bought a booth at Sigma and brought a team and a lot of merch. This cost paid off in smth about 3-4 months. And in comparison, this year for us was a year of tests and checking local conferences, so invested a lot of our efforts there. That’s why we arrived at Sigma just with several colleagues but with a lot of meetings and activities scheduled in advance. What can I say, I paid off all our investments on the 1st day. But, what can I see Sigma’s growth is permanent, and be sure next year we will come back with a booth and our team again – Vasilii Gamov.
This year, we attended conferences without a booth, making it a relatively small financial expense. However, experience tells us that a trip with a booth and a large team should pay off within 3-4 months after attending the conference or exhibition – Maryna Yushchenko.
Good question, I’ll answer this way: yes, it is expensive, starting from a good location, ending with a booth, sponsorship, and the presence of a large team, but I am 100% sure that it all pays off, especially for new brands. Just one partnership can pay for all of your expenses – Bogdan Kuiantsev.
It’s essential to schedule some downtime. I typically take short walks between sessions or explore local architecture and cuisine. Post-conference, a day of relaxation or sightseeing helps me unwind – Vasilii Gamov.
To achieve this balance, I prioritize effective time management and planning. I allocate specific time intervals for work-related activities, ensuring I focus on key tasks. I also allocate time for breaks to recharge and avoid burnout, engaging in activities like going to the gym, getting massages, and practicing yoga – Maryna Yushchenko.
Rest is for the weak 🙂 To be honest, we haven’t had time to relax after SiGMA and find a work-life balance. Even on the contrary — there is more work, and meetings are scheduled until the end of this year in the calendar – Bogdan Kuiantsev.
In my personal opinion, it varies from party to party and from person to person. I prefer quiet parties with no loud music and mostly some gatherings like official Sigma dinners. Or I just arrange similar meetings with industry colleagues and friends. With such an approach, it’s much easier to communicate and discuss opportunities. Conversations here are often more candid and can lead to lasting business relationships. I don’t like clubs with loud music and a lot of drunk people, no chance to talk business or take a rest after a hard conference day there. But for sure I know there are a lot of attendees at such shows and maybe it’s productive for someone also – Vasilii Gamov.
I still believe that afterparty are not about business communication but rather a chance to meet with partners and unwind. It’s an opportunity to chat casually, maybe even dance. Typically, these parties are loud, and it’s not advisable to expect your partner to remember work-related conversations the next morning. Therefore, it’s better to discuss important work matters before the parties or on the following day – Maryna Yushchenko.
Of course, real deals are made there 🙂 Plus, it’s always nice to chat informally with the guys you do business with and talk about something other than work – Bogdan Kuiantsev.
I attended several side events, but a particular business dinner stood out. It was a gathering of industry thought leaders and the exchange of ideas was both insightful and inspiring – Vasilii Gamov.
Quite a few—around 6 parties this time. I particularly enjoyed the GGate party on the first day of the conference. It had a fantastic atmosphere. The Pin-up event was also well-organized with an excellent headline – Maryna Yushchenko.
Unfortunately, I only found time for 2 parties: G Gate by Slobozhenko, it was their international debut, and it was cool. Chili Partners, it was difficult to get in because of the queue, but the guys threw a pretty good party – Bogdan Kuiantsev.
Apart from SIGMA, I’d recommend checking out ICE London for its global reach, G2E Las Vegas for its focus on North American markets, and Malta, for a deep dive into European iGaming trends. But these are the biggest in iGaming, also pay attention at AWE, and AWA conferences. And if you go further and would like to investigate new markets and opportunities try: TES, AWSummit, Eventus International conferences (they have 24 events during the year all around the world), and EGS in Warsaw. To be honest, as you see there are a lot of conferences, meetups, and events nowadays, so the best approach here is to clarify your business needs and choose the best for you – Vasilii Gamov.
I recommend selecting conferences based on your goals. Here’s my list of favorites: iGB AFFILIATE 2024 LONDON, AFFILIATE WORLD Dubai 2024, SiGMA AMERICAS (this is the most targeted conference for us), iGB LIVE 2024 AMSTERDAM, AFFILIATE WORLD Europe, and SIGMA MALTA – Maryna Yushchenko.
We will be attending and recommending many conferences, ICE / Spice India / IGB. A touch of spoiler: BlueChip Partners will have a booth at SiGMA Asia (summer) and SiGMA Europe (autumn), so we will be waiting for all current and new partners – Bogdan Kuiantsev.
The final conference of this year, Sigma Malta, brought together a vast array of various brands. Thanks to this significant concentration of representatives from the iGaming industry, participants managed to engage in productive networking, achieve pre-set goals, meet both existing and new partners, and simultaneously enjoy the sunny island.
It’s also worth mentioning that attending such events allows complete immersion in the world of affiliate marketing. Participants gain valuable insights from experts, learn about key trends, and return with a wealth of information that can assist in building effective business strategies.
Therefore, we advise you to prepare your event calendar for the upcoming year! And see you at the conferences!
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