Layla Ali is the conference producer for the upcoming iGB Affiliate Lisbon conference happening on October 16-19, 2019 at Feira Internacional de Lisboa in Portugal. She is part of Clarion Gaming, the events company behind the iGB Affiliate conferences among others.
Knowing how fast Portugal is developing technology-wise, it comes as no surprise that the conference as prominent as iGB Affiliate found its spot there. Having this in mind, how difficult it was for you to host and organize such a conference, and how much time and effort you put into it?
iGB Affiliate was moved from Berlin to Lisbon in 2018, so the event is still very new, in its second edition. For every event we run, there is always a great deal of market research and planning required by the whole team, but even more so with new events. The team is really dedicated to growing our iGB Affiliate portfolio across Europe, and works very hard to achieve that!
At first look, it seems that the conference agenda will embrace various topics such as how to work around the link building, how to make money and influence people, and how to stay competitive in highly regulated markets. Can you let us know, perhaps without spoiling it too much, what your participants can expect from iGB Affiliate conference in Lisbon in 2019 and what’s making it so unique?
The content at iGB Affiliate Lisbon has been designed to deliver two very different learning experiences. We have divided our conference sessions in two, putting high-level, strategic content in one conference room, and our practical, technical content in another room.
So, in terms of strategy, participants can expect to learn about new markets such as the US, Latin America, and the Nordics. They can expect to discuss topics such as content strategy for social media, and operator-affiliate relationships.
When it comes to the technical side of things, attendees can expect to pick up concrete takeaways on how to improve their email marketing techniques and SEO rankings, how to prepare for Google algorithm updates and how to overcome challenges like cookie blocking.
Let’s zoom out a bit and take a look at a bigger picture. How do you perceive affiliate market in its current form, and how iGaming operators can best choose the most befitting?
The world of affiliates is a very exciting one: it is very dynamic. It strikes me as a market that is driven by a unique mixture of challenges and opportunities. For example, in regulated markets there are challenges like relationships with operators and competition. If affiliates can overcome these challenges it is very rewarding for them. Then there are also new markets opening up around the world, which are completely untapped for affiliates and mean there’s always something new for them to be doing.
My opinion is that for operators, the most important thing is communication with their affiliates. Of course in any industry or business, some partnerships will always work better than others, however, one of the key challenges that has come up repeatedly in my research has been a lack of understanding between operators and their affiliate partners. It seems that a clear solution to this would be increasing lines of communication.
It is undeniable that the iGB Affiliate conference has been going through a continuous growth year-by-year in terms of participant volume. Both operators and affiliates are on the hunt for their counterparts, and each year the options basically multiply. How much of your workforce is dedicated towards business expansion, and what is the turnout rate of your exhibitors?
Our team is constantly researching the markets we serve, and working with our sponsors and exhibitors to understand their plans for growth in the years to come, as this helps us to support them better through our events. In that respect, you could say that we’re all working towards a common goal of business expansion!
In the last couple of years, iGaming sector has gone through some vicious enhancements unseen before. Blockchain and crypto started having major impact on the field, which led to unprecedented interest from players all over the world. How much has this change influenced the way affiliates do their business, according to you?
I’m sure a lot of people would strongly disagree with me, but as it stands I personally don’t believe that blockchain will have a particular impact on the industry. While the technology is incredibly interesting, and the idea behind its development is admirable, I don’t think it’s user-ready yet. Perhaps in the future when it can be made more accessible to the masses, it will have a great impact. For now, I don’t see it taking off in the way that everyone expected it to back in 2017 for example.