|by Jodie Thind, Lyceum Media|
GIGSE was much smaller than usual this year, thanks to the impact of UIGEA, but the 650 iGaming executives that did attend the 3-day conference in Montreal took on some important subjects and, of course, partied as only the iGaming business knows how!
“The conference is definitely smaller than last year,” said Cryptologic’s Justin Thouin, “But it’s still a great medium for networking and to cultivate new opportunities. UIGEA pretty much reshuffled the deck; some saw it as a threat whereas others, as an opportunity to open new doors, especially in continental Europe and Asia, creating new frontiers in iGaming.”
“There are quite a few attendees, considering all the commotion lately,” said GIGSE organizer Sue Schneider. “The industry is changing -- forty percent of our exhibitors are new faces this year. There are people in new markets and new products are being launched. Fresh energy!”
iGamingbusiness' Marketplace handbook was a hot item. And delegates went home with goodie bags full of presentation notes and seminar summaries. But the most important and popular publication – the one in every serious partier’s pocket or handbag – was the “Lyceum Media Guide to Montreal”.
“Montreal has loads of cool stylish spots to eat and drink so it was easy to choose places for our crowd, I hope most people got the chance to go to some of the places we recommended,” says Jodie Thind of Lyceum Media.
On Tuesday night after Finsoft's drinks reception, everyone stumbled into the popular late night ristorante and bar (turn nightclub) Buona Notte on Rue St. Laurent, where an authentic Italian dinner was digested with a shot of eye-watering sambuca (as Nancy Krause from River City Group can verify).
After the second day of the show, several headed down to Altitude 737 for 2 for 1 Happy Hour – where they extended happy hour for us! Altitude is the penthouse bar of the highest building in Montréal which, on a clear day, you can catch breath taking views of the city and the sunset – which we did!.
2 for 1 Happy Hour was only the beginning of the night! Time Supper Club was where the party started. It was their 5th anniversary party so everyone was in happy spirits – we won’t go into the details! Thanks to Rebecca from CasinoCity we’ve got some fab pics selected.
“The Lyceum Media flier was the absolute hit of the conference, it was magic, everyone was clutching one- thanks for putting it together.” Dan Towse from the World Online Gambling Law Report said.
Everyone thought Justin Thouin, VP of Casino and High Margin Gaming at CryptoLogic, gave a great presentation about marketing to survive in the casino space. I don’t think CryptoLogic is too worried about mere survival though – they announced nine new visually stunning Marvel games including Wolverine, Hulk and the popular logic game Sudoku.
You really know the industry is turning to Asia when the head hunters set up a shop in Singapore! iGaming recruitment specialist agency Pentasia have demonstrated just how important Asia is to the future of iGaming by setting up an office in the heart of Singapore’s business district making them the first recruitment consultancy in the continent dedicated solely to iGaming.
We ‘dragged’ Rob Dowling of Pentasia off the show floor for a drink to hear more about the move to Asia: “Asia is the market that both operators and vendors are now focusing increasing resources on. Recruiting talent in Asia is more challenging as the market is so new and the number of companies competing for such finite resources amplifies almost daily.”
The last day the show floor was quiet, but the city was buzzing with excitement as it prepared for the Grand Prix.
“I love Montreal, but we need to revaluate, I think,” said Sue Schneider about GIGSE next year. “About maybe changing the location somewhere further away from the US.”
We’ll miss Montreal if this is the last time GIGSE is held there but then again, If Latin America, Asia and Europe were the centre of attention this year...we’d love to go the Philippines!
Jodie Thind is a partner in Lyceum Media, a full service public relations and special events firm working exclusively in iGaming headquartered in London, UK with offices in Vancouver, Canada. www.lyceummedia.com