Affiliate Marketing

“We have been fortunate enough to have experienced minimal disruption to iGB Affiliate London 2022”

iGB Affiliate London is all set to take place across April 13–14, co-located with ICE London at the ExCeL. “Seizing opportunities for business growth will be paramount at April’s iGB Affiliate London,” Naomi Barton, Portfolio Director responsible for iGB Affiliate tells Yogonet in an exclusive interview, where she discusses the impact of the new April dates, which brought about a number of cancellations from ICE London exhibitors. However, with nearly 600 exhibitors confirmed, she notes it will be the “biggest concentration of gambling brands to have taken place for more than two years.” 

Barton explains that the success of the shows ran by iGB last September in Amsterdam after a two-year absence for iGaming live events “has led to many new-to-market companies looking ahead to iGB Affiliate London as their next key event touchpoint.” 

Furthermore, amid an expanding US online gaming market state by state, she predicts the need for marketing channels such as iGaming affiliation will grow. Barton cites feedback from US operators showing they see the affiliate model as an important part of their marketing strategy, and identifies the intention of establishing business expansion opportunities as a top priority in the agenda, with new markets like the US, Canada, India, Japan and Latin America as key. She also names challenges for affiliates such as the introduction of increasingly strict regulations including stake limits, bonus bans and spending restrictions for high rollers.

Have you seen any impact on iGB Affiliate London in particular after April 13-14 dates were confirmed?

First of all, it’s important to place on the record that the April dates are a one-off and were a response to the anxiety that surrounded the Omicron virus and the difficulty in finding available slots at venues big enough to host iGB Affiliate London and ICE. When we open in April there will be circa 600 exhibitors at ExCeL which represents the biggest concentration of gambling brands to have taken place for more than two years. We have been fortunate enough to have experienced minimal disruption to iGB Affiliate London 2022 – our customers are continuing to sign up to participate – and visitors, exhibitors and sponsors, and everything else we are seeing points towards a really exciting and successful show. The sector has experienced strong performance, business has grown for many of our clients and of course we go into iGB Affiliate London following a highly successful edition of iGB Affiliate Amsterdam and iGB Live! held last Autumn at the RAI Amsterdam. Alongside ICE London, our priority is to ensure that attendees, exhibitors and sponsors feel confident to attend the event, and we will of course follow guidelines around running largescale events safely  – but we are confident the event will not lose any of its usual energy and vibrancy that people have come to expect from an iGB Affiliate event.

According to the latest data we have released in January, the show will draw participants from 29 nations, occupying a net floor space of 6,265 sqm, a 28% increase on the physical size of the 2020 edition. Can we have an update on these numbers? 

With the show being almost 30% bigger which is a combination of first-time exhibitors, and loyal participants taking more space and increasing their spend, the industry is looking forward to being part of what I believe will be an historic and much-talked about edition of iGB Affiliate London. The shows that we ran last September in Amsterdam, were really well-received by the igaming and affiliate communities, and the success of those events and the business that they generated after what was a two-year absence for igaming live events, has led to many of those new-to-market companies looking ahead to iGB Affiliate London as their next key event touchpoint, and signing up to participate. What this means for attendees is that they will meet and network with many new faces with new business and lead generation opportunities to explore.

How would you assess the number of sponsors and level of investment today, as compared to previous editions?

The level of investment we are seeing for April’s iGB Affiliate London indicates that the sector is in a strong growth phase. There were no international events running in this sector for almost two years, and during this time new companies have arrived on the scene, which represents a very exciting prospect for everyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to meet. We know that this sector thrives when it’s able to meet face to face in a live environment. As a consequence, I am sure that we can expect a large number of new connections to be made at iGB Affiliate London in April.

How are you leveraging your experience and learnings from the Amsterdam version last September?

I have to say that myself and the team learnt so much from last September’s events in Amsterdam. Our customers were incredibly happy to be back together in a live environment after a long period apart. This industry is a real community – people want to meet up on both a business and a social level – and Amsterdam delivered on both of these fronts. The igaming ecosystem is continually evolving, hence the value in having iGB Affiliate London running alongside ICE London. The ability to offer an entire gaming ‘week’ for the international gaming industry means that industry professionals will really derive value from being there in person. There’s no other event in the world that will bring together the entire gaming ecosystem across all sectors and disciplines in one place – and that’s a ‘not to be missed’ opportunity.

What role do you see the affiliate market taking among US major gambling operators’ business strategies this year?

With the US online gaming market opening up state by state, the need for marketing channels such as igaming affiliation will be heightened. Affiliates follow the same journey as igaming operators – they are an important part of the online gaming ecosystem. As we are seeing the huge impact sports betting and the regulation of online gaming is having in the US in different states, we would expect the opportunity for affiliates to really accelerate. Feedback from US operators indicates that they see the affiliate model as an important part of their marketing strategy – we see this as a great opportunity for the iGB brand in terms of being able to support and help facilitate this growth.

In your view, what are the key topics, debates and innovations that will drive the affiliate market’s agenda both during the event, and 2022 in general?

Industry professionals will be attending iGB Affiliate London for a number of different reasons but top of everyone’s agenda is going to be the desire to establish where the opportunities exist in order to expand their business. New markets such as the USA, Canada, India, Japan and Latin America are key. In the US states are opening up and generating lucrative igaming revenues, for example, New York City is expected to hit annual revenues of $1bn, and took $150m in its first weekend. California is expected to be the next big market to open and operator success in turn drives affiliate business growth. Affiliates still have the chance to be first movers and educate less developed markets such as Brazil on the power of affiliate marketing, in the process creating a leading position for themselves in the future. The creation of highly engaged social media communities allows affiliates to cultivate a smaller number of more loyal users at low cost, which means that affiliates can still generate income off what is a relatively modest number of players. With every opportunity, there’s also challenges that Affiliates need to prepare for and keep abreast of such as the introduction of increasingly strict regulations including stake limits, bonus bans and spending restrictions for high rollers. These topics and many, many more will be debated on the show floor and in the bars at ExCeL – which is why April’s iGB Affiliate London is so important.

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