Alex Prat -Interview- (EEGReport – Magazine – Issue2 – February – May 2016)
EEGReport Magazine: Well, I can certainly tell you that I am glad that we are in a new year, a year which looks even more promising that 2015 did. You guys managed to end the year in full swing with a new location for BAC, which now took place in Berlin. What is the outcome of the event? Where the number up? Feedback for new faces, etc.? We want to hear all about it!
Alex Prat: BAC turned out to be an amazing event for both exhibitors and delegates and to be honest from my perspective it was one of our best events since starting 10 years ago.
With the move to Berlin we were obviously nervous of what the turn out would be like but the industry came out in force and we surpassed our targets by a huge amount generating an increase of 37% year on year in terms of actual delegates coming to the show. On top of this we had an increase of 10% in stand space with lot of new operators coming on board for the show.
But don’t just take my word for it – Check out these testimonials from attendees:
“As an affiliate we find these conferences invaluable, BAC provided us with a great opportunity to meet so many global partners, all under one roof enabling us to strengthen existing relationships and make many new ones. The conferences are always lively with plenty of industry expertise and insight provided from the various talks scheduled across the two days. Overall, certainly not an event to be missed by affiliates or operators,” said Anna Woodward, Commercial Manager at Easyodds.com.
“BAC2015 was amazing!! Beginning from the great location in Berlin, it was a big pleasure to take part in this event. Not only the Operators has been in focus on this Conference, also a lot of good old Friends and a huge amount of Affiliates was there, so networking was perfect! I really hope that this was not the last iGaming Affiliate Conference in Berlin.” Christian Webber, Online-Casino.de
“I have been coming to the IGB affiliate events since 2010 and this was my first time to Berlin. I didn’t know what to expect and was kind of comparing it to Barcelona before I had even been. Berlin was one of the best conferences I have been to in the 5 years of attending the events. There was a good mix of different gambling verticals and it had a laid back, but professional feel to it. The talks where very informative and for the first time I didn’t recognise many people there, which proofs that the conference and now targeting a new audience and new affiliates which is great for the industry as a whole. I think the team knocked it out of the park with this years event and looking forward to seeing what they have in store for us next year” Andy Edwards, madaboutbingo.com
EEGReport Magazine: Certainly glad to hear that and looking forward to the next BAC, but until than there is this large event happening this February, London Affiliate Conference, have you heard of it? As I know the event has now turned 10 years old, a decade of LAC, wow, how the years have gone by. Have you guys installed any surprises for LAC2016?
Alex Prat: I can’t wait for LAC. Since we launched the event it has always been our biggest and best and every year it gets better and better but 2016 is even more special because as you say it’s our 10th anniversary. Of course with every birthday comes a party so we will be celebrating in style at the Friday night networking party where I hear they have a plane hung from the roof of the club??!!?? BUT it won’t just stop at a party, we will also be serving cake and champagne on day 2 of LAC so if you are around make sure you don’t miss out on that.
On the business side we have a very exclusive session with a number of veterans that have never been seen together in a conference session before. In the session they will be talking about how the affiliate market has changed over the last 10 years, but more importantly where they see it going and how operators and affiliates can prepare for the next 10 years.
In addition to this we have a lot more going on at LAC from a list of famous faces that will be frequenting the show floor, a ton of new exhibitors, an expanded acquisition and retention zone, a brand new awards party and some of the best networking events I have ever seen including a Banc De Binary party at the exclusive and hard to get into Kensington Roof Gardens.
EEGReport Magazine: In other news, the announcement that came in the December 2015 has I think been added to the history book of the igaming industry. iGaming Business has been taken over by Clarion events. Makes you feel proud doesn’t it? 10 year of hard work has been recognized and credited. Do you feel that this is going to impact the affiliate conferences and iGaming Business as whole in a positive or negative way?
Alex Prat: From both the industry and our perspective I can only see this as a positive move as it brings together two leading businesses that can both mutually grow respectively using each other’s networks and skills. For us it means we can continue to grow the events but with the support of a much bigger business and one that has clear expertise on hosting giant events. From a delegate or exhibitors perspective this in turn will ensure they get a better event experience and return on their investment.
In addition the good news is that there are zero changes to our staff and everyone will remain which to me is what makes iGaming Business stand out from the publishing and events crowd so Is key for ensuring a positive future.
EEGReport Magazine: It’s probably confidentially, but could you give us a sneak peek into the sum of this transaction?
Alex Prat: Its actually publically available as we were previously owned by a PLC but slightly too complicated to explain. Just Google it and you will quickly find it.
EEGReport Magazine: This year the iGB Affiliate Awards will be held during the conference and has been modified quite enough, new categories, new judging criteria and not to mention Free to attend. Please tell us, what are your expectations from the Awards this year?
Alex Prat: The awards have always been something I have personally been interested in since it launched and this year we are making a massive amount of changes which I believe will make a hugely positive difference to the awards and the night itself.
What many people don’t realise is that we have never made money on the awards and it dawned on me last year that we therefore don’t have to simply conform to the “norm” which over the years has lost engagement and interest from the market and is simply not innovative. From this standpoint we have surveyed more than 500 individuals and spoken with over 80 of them in depth to create an entire new set of awards, criteria and importantly awards night.
The awards night will now be free of charge for everyone who wants to attend and without giving too much away I am predicting it to be one of the best and most memorable parties people have been to in a very long time!
EEGReport Magazine: What are the plans after LAC? Are you guys already jumping to work to organize the Amsterdam Affiliate Conference and the iGaming Super Show? This year the conference will take place right when the EURO 2016 football competition is in full swing and I do believe the turn out will be even higher for bookmakers. Do you already have any information about the interest for bookmakers to battle it all out on the conference floor :P?
Alex Prat: Whilst LAC is approaching fast and most of us are focused on this there is still a lot of work to be done on preparing for the Supershow and Amsterdam Affiliate Conference which is our biggest event of the year. As you say it’s just before the Euros so should be a great place to sign up affiliates juts before the event kicks off… As such we will once again be running BeTS at the show which is the only sports betting focused conference in the industry and have already expanded the show floor by 20% because of demand for stands.
Look out for more announcements soon as we have lots planned for this show.
EEGReport Magazine: As a closing question, what are your expectation in 2016 for the online gambling industry?
Alex Prat: Wow! That is a big question! Rather than go on for pages with predictions I will make just three
Draftkings will successfully launch in the UK proving that fantasy sports is a viable niche in UK Sportsbetting. They will also run the first ever $1,000,000 fantasy sports tournament in Europe
eSports will continue to grow and become a significant event to bet on with a major sportsbook signing a significant marketing partnership with Twitch
888 will be involved in a piece of major M&A most likely as an acquirer