Emily Micallef, SiGMA group event director, on what it takes to organise a SiGMA event
As an event planner will tell you, organising an event is full of your usual blood, sweat and tears; organizing an iGaming event on the other hand offers a rarely seen ray of sunshine breaking through all the logistical mayhem.
The entire iGaming industry seems to have an inexhaustible enthusiasm for the industry itself. Quite apart from the many attractive perks that come with most iGaming companies nowadays, the fact that the industry seems to attract only the best-of-the-best, creates an ever-growing and ever-improving collection of creative minds and outgoing personalities, which make iGaming events some of the most imaginative and inspirational.
So, it stands to reason, that an event with this type of attendee is not your standard event. Known as being over the top and dripping in glitz and glamour, this distracting façade is actually only a small part of what makes these events so successful.
The iGaming industry in Malta alone employs over 11 thousand people and has become one of the main pillars of the Maltese economy, generating around 6,850 full-time jobs in the first half of 2018 and contributing 12% to the total value of the Maltese economy. In Europe, Asia and now also Africa, the importance of the business deals made at these events, and their contributions to the market cannot be overstated. Not to mention the ripple effect of profit which is cascaded down to suppliers of transport, hotels, caterers and many more.
Therefore, it is the content of these networking events which takes centre stage and which has to be the main focus of an event planners agenda.
One of the biggest obstacles faced is the party-image, which has now been so strongly associated with the industry that it is an uphill struggle to create a healthy balance between the entertainment and the business verticals of the event.
Don’t get me wrong, the entertainment, and networking opportunities must always remain high up on the agenda, but the rapid growth of the industry and the extra zeros on the end of the price tag of these events, has created a higher level of seriousness for participating companies.
This has led to a significant increase in expectation of compliance procedures and the result is a unique challenge of innovation vs. legislation.
So how have SiGMA events held the attention of the industry so well?
Our flagship event in Malta has grown exponentially over the years and sees no sign of slowing down. Interest in Malta from outside of Europe hovers at an all-time high, our expansion into Asia, with SiGMA Manila in June 2020 is a fantastic opportunity for our local suppliers to bridge the gap between East and West. This will bring new business opportunities to European operators looking to expand their interests and to suppliers in the local area keen to strike up a strong relationship with Western companies.
So is it the content of sigma’s events, the elaborate and indulgent networking events, or the planning process itself that has led to success?
The answer is that it is a wonderful, eclectic, mad mix of all three. No event can truly be successful without taking all of the above into account. SiGMA has managed to find a sense of balance and in spite of it all become a stable fixture in Malta.
When it comes to events in the fast-paced iGaming industry, especially these last couple of years, expectations are high and the rewards can be great. It is not for the faint hearted though - the chance for failure is real, as shown by the graveyard of iGaming events that have tried and failed to establish themselves.
But the benefits can outweigh the risks. All that is needed is a little bit of luck and the incentive to push forwards and successfully navigate the obstacle course that is event planning.
But what is life if not a game of luck?
About SiGMA Expo:
The iGaming summit SiGMA is setting its sights on Asia. Our ground breaking Asian iGaming expo will be held in Manila, on the 8th & 9th of June 2020. SiGMA’s largest venue to date will bring together high quality conferences and content, premium networking opportunities, and luxury networking event. 10,000 delegates from across Europe, the US, and Asia are expected to attend, making this one of the biggest shows to unite East and West in the region. To become a part of the fastest paced Asian iGaming event, book a pass or sponsor & exhibit.
For those planning to attend SiGMA Manila, AIBC Manila and ICE Asia at SMX on June 8-9th, this is the buzzing business environment to be expected: