From a simple bedroom project to a buzzing show that has doubled in size over three years and shows no signs of plateau: this has been our humbling journey so far; a roller coaster that has connected many entrepreneurs and gained a bit of respect from the elite of igaming. 2017 is the very first year where we’re embracing the challenges and opportunities of a global show, with growing interest from the heavyweights of the industry across continents.
Shortly after SiGMA16 we took heed of your feedback and will be introducing some interesting upgrades, including, but not limited to the following:
1. Conferences: The conferences worked marvels in 2016, with a number of partnerships and a new cabaret-style layout room – the hall was packed from 9am to 6pm. We plan on establishing more partnerships, and apply even stricter guidelines for the best speakers. We’re also changing the way content is presented by reducing the run-of-the-mill panel, at times mind-numbing discussions with more engaging content. Come SiGMA17, expect more fish bowls, speed dating and better interaction between speakers and audience using latest technologies and apps available. Harsh as it may sound; we’re even tempted to have the speakers rated live – power to the audience!
2. 1,000 Free Flights: Inspired by the movie 300, last year we gave 300 flights to affiliates. The initiative went down very well with affiliates and operators, so this year we’re stretching our budgets by inviting 500 NEW affiliates and also 500 top C level executives, mostly CTOs, CPOs, CEOs, COOs – to keep the B2B side of the business equally busy with a fresh bloodline of potential customers. Exhibitors are encouraged to invite VIP guests, flights on us, and throw a string of hospitality events around SiGMA. After all, Malta lends itself quite well for hospitality.
3. SiGMA Startup Pitch: Our launch of the SiGMA startup pitch went really well, with some startups landing lucrative offers. We intend keeping our unique, swift format of a three minute presentation, followed by a seven minute grilling session with the investors. This year, however, we’ll invest heavily on this front by giving startups who qualify the possibility to, not only pitch, but also get exposure on our magazine, website, exhibit at the show at no cost. We will also offer office space t our new Gaming Hub, Msida Skatepark, Malta, for a full year to the top three startups who wish to use Malta as a base for business development or even relocation – the office space comes with full consultancy from a team of grizzled industry veterans.
4. Venue size: Arguably the toughest of decisions we had to endure to date – stay where we are but be unable to grow the show with new exhibitors or move elsewhere? Hardly anyone wanted to release their booking for 2017, which meant we literally couldn’t sell a single stand space to a new exhibitor. Delegates want to meet existing but also new exhibitors. For us it was important to keep the show cosy and fun but at the same time enable it to grow, with new exhibitors. 2016 was already a bit of a squeeze in terms of crowd so we decided to go for a bigger venue with an exciting set up branded ‘iGaming Village’, with six themed bars, three themed restaurants and two themed lounges – all free of charge to all delegates. Why would you want to stay elsewhere, with the igaming village brimming with activity?
5. Recruitment: SiGMA opened its doors for recruitment too, paving the way for a careers convention the last four hours. Hundreds of qualified attendees roamed around with resumes in hand. We’re confident this feature will gain even more momentum moving forward, with more attendees and more sponsors/exhibitors expected to involve their HR department.
6. Vetting of Exhibitors: In an unprecedented move we’ve decided to team up with the most respected arbitrage out there to vet operators. Each operator that wants to buy stand space needs to be approved by at least two judges. We want affiliates to walk across the SiGMA floor plan knowing that all exhibiting operators are genuine, that the traffic sent to them will be handled well, that commissions are paid in full and in due time. We also want to offer a level playing field to operators – why should a law-abiding operator have to compete with a crook for traffic?
7. Strategic Partnrships: We’ve worked hand in hand with the Maltese government, the MGA, Gaming Malta as well as GamCrowd, KPMG eSummit, the BiG Foundation, the Malta Community Chest Fund and others, to create a unique networking environment where people enjoy discussing business and build long-term working relationships.
The above upgrades are a reflection that we’re putting the delegate, be it an affiliate, operator, B2B, startup, investor or other at the heart of every decision.
We want to foster a long term networking environment, predominantly with a stronger show, but also throughout the year with even more networking events. We understand that people network better in a relaxed, fun environment; so we decided to make this our new slogan - simple, succinct and reflective of the true SiGMA spirit –
“Enjoy Making Money”