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"The trust that people have towards SBC is really all thanks to hard work, a keen eye for quality, and a deep connection with our audience", Cristian Robalino, SBC

Monday 20 de November 2023 / 12:00

2 minutos de lectura

(Miami, SoloAzar Exclusive).- Cristian Robalino, VP Marketing Americas at SBC, was interviewed by SoloAzar about the recent SBC Summit Latin America 2023 edition. He did a detailed balance of the event, the challenges and highlights of this edition, with an excellent feedback from the public. Finally, he told us that the 2024 edition of the SBC Summit Latin America will be November 5-7, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Miami.

"The trust that people have towards SBC is really all thanks to hard work, a keen eye for quality, and a deep connection with our audience", Cristian Robalino, SBC

How do you evaluate the development of the event in terms of exhibitors and visitors? 

Undoubtedly this event was a real growth powerhouse! Back in 2021, we started with 500 delegates. Fast forward to last year, and we doubled that number, hitting 1,000. This year, we cranked it up even more with a 150% increase, bringing in 2,500 delegates to the legendary Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Miami. 

Now, let me break down the 'why' behind this success. Firstly, the LATAM markets have been on a wild ride over the past year. There's been a buzz in various regions, and some of them are very big population-wise like Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina. Add a heap of sports love into the mix, and you've got a recipe for some serious business potential. This shift in the market dynamic fueled the creation of an event that appealed to our clients and brought in a crowd looking for real value. 

Factor two? Our own internal growth. SBC didn't just dip its toes; we dove headfirst into the industry, evolving from newbies to contenders against the big names. Specifically in LATAM, we saw the potential early on, which is why SBC Summit Latinoamérica is now hailed as the go-to iGaming and sports betting event in the region. 

The trust that people have towards SBC is really all thanks to hard work, a keen eye for quality, and a deep connection with our audience. We're not just about the event buzz; we're in it for the long haul, building relationships that last way beyond the show. 

This whole success translated to the exhibition floor. The concept of an early mover advantage is not a myth; it's a well-known truth. Consequently, companies in the industry sought opportunities to spotlight their brands and outshine the competition. This year, we welcomed over 70 exhibitors, a significant increase from the previous year (+20), considering the same venue. So I won't lie, managing this overwhelming interest required creative solutions. But the energy was unreal and made it totally worth it.  

What challenges did you face in organizing this edition of the show? 

I guess I'll pick up where I left off because, clearly, with our growth and the ever-evolving Latin American industry flashing green lights, companies are seizing the opportunity to jump into the scene. And we're not just talking about the local players; even the industry giants want a piece of the action. Take a peek at the financial reports of some major operators, and you'll see that LATAM is performing very well. 

The markets always held promise, but the real shift is noticeable when you compare the numbers against more mature, saturated markets. You also see a lot of action when it comes to mergers and acquisitions— take the recent example of Better Collective buying Playmaker—there’s a lot happening at the moment. Everyone's trying to get their brand in the spotlight. 

The charm of regional or niche events? You're not just rubbing elbows with a random bunch; these are all your potential allies, clients, and business partners of tomorrow. For us, on the one hand, it of course brings so much joy, that so many companies see us as their platform for their growth, but it also adds a lot of pressure to the mix. We have to find ways to accommodate this interest and make sure that we can fit more stands on the expo floor. It’s not always easy. We place a lot of value on people’s comfort and we’re not keen on sacrificing networking areas, speaker loungers or other facilities, so it becomes a game of creative solutions. This year, we had to utilize the hallway. But hey, we made it happen!  

What were the highlights of the event and the main topics covered in the talks? 

Let's dive into the agenda first. The roundtables were a massive hit. We even had cases where we had to combine tables to ensure everyone had a seat and a comfortable, enjoyable experience. It's no surprise that this format was a success. We hosted seven tables covering Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and Colombia. This provided attendees with an incredible opportunity for a comprehensive deep dive, getting their questions answered. With a moderator well-versed in the market, the format gains structure, but beyond that, it's an open playing field. Sitting at the table, you can ask any burning question. It's fantastic to witness people sharing insights, even when they are competitors— everyone appreciates it as a massive learning experience.

 Pinpointing the main talking points of the agenda is a challenge. As you may know, it's a major focus for SBC. We had 150 speakers, over half of them C-level executives, covering 48 distinct topics ranging from sports betting, casino, iGaming, and affiliation to payments, tech and player protection. 

We also had two outstanding keynotes that really set the stage. One discussed our industry's place in the global economy, offering a positive message about an industry often demonized, delivered by Julio Cesar Tamayo, CEO of WPlay, and Dr. Evert Montero Cárdenas, President of Fecoljuegos.

On the second day, the keynote revolved around another prominent topic—that of sponsorships, featuring Zeno Ossko, CEO of BetWarrior, and special guest Mariano Zabaleta, VP of the Argentine Tennis Association and former professional tennis player. 

Then, of course, there were our fantastic networking parties. While I might be biased, we sure know how to party in LATAM. The atmosphere was incredible, with lots of dancing at the Halloween-themed pre-registration party (who expected so many dressed-up attendees?), and the Miami Dolphins Stadium experience was a massive hit. People loved the interactive elements, and events like these are still being talked about years after they've happened.

The awards night was, without a doubt, a highlight. It's inevitable. It's lavish, and at the end of the day, it's a celebration—one that honors people's hard work, making it a beautiful experience. 

Finally, let's not overlook our exhibition floor gatherings. While not as elaborate as our evening networking parties, there's a reason we keep hosting them. Consider the Global Gaming Women breakfast meet-up and the Tribal Gaming Breakfast meet-up; both are focused on nurturing a sense of community and showing support to these groups. They also offer a significant opportunity for attendees to connect or catch up over breakfast. 

Could you share with us the date for the 2024 edition of the tradeshow and what to expect in terms of physical location, trend topics, and number of visitors and exhibitors? 

Absolutely! The dates are set for November 5-7, and we're keeping things consistent with the location - the impressive Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Miami. 

We believe it's an excellent venue with numerous facilities, making it a standout experience for our attendees. Plus, we've secured preferential rates at the hotel to make it super convenient for everyone, especially considering the long hours spent at the exhibition, conference, and parties throughout the day. Expanding at the Hard Rock is on our radar, and we're brainstorming how to do it without compromising the quality of the event. 

Based on this year's indicators, we're anticipating growth in both exhibitors and attendees, so more space is definitely in the cards. The conference team is already deep into strategizing. We noticed how much value people found in the opportunity to engage with regulators, so we're looking to spotlight that even more next year. It's not every day you get the chance to sit down or have a casual chat with those directly influencing your company's activities in the market. It's a big deal, and we're thrilled to have the connections to make it happen


Tags: SBC Summit Latinoamérica,

País: United States

Región: North America



09 de April 2024

EGT & EGT Digital impressed at GAT Expo 2024 showcasing their innovative iGaming solutions

(Cartagena de Indias, SoloAzar Exclusive).- Ms. Silviya Marinova, Director of EGT Colombia, granted an interview to SoloAzar about the performance of the firm at the latest edition of GAT Expo Cartagena. She spoke about the highlights of the tradeshow, the latest innovations showcased including the Phoenix slot cabinet and the all-in-one betting platform X-Nave. She also remarked the importance of their presence in the iGaming Colombian market.

Wednesday 22 May 2024 / 12:00

Casino Garage: committed to sustainability

(Cartagena de Indias, Exclusive SoloAzar) - Meet Ester Tarres, the visionary behind Casino Garage, a world leader in refurbishing second-hand slot machines since its creation in 2006. With a team of professionals, Casino Garage has become synonymous with excellence. In this article, Ester tells us about her presence at the GAT Expo, held from 9 to 11 April.

Tuesday 07 May 2024 / 12:00

Responsible Gaming, Regulation and Certification in Latin America and the Caribbean

(Cartagena de Indias, Exclusive SoloAzar). - Karen Sierra-Hughes, Vice President for Latin America, the Caribbean and Spain at GLI (Gaming Laboratories International), led the GLI Corporate Conference: Technology and Sustainable Gaming. With her extensive experience as a gaming regulatory consultant in the region, Karen offered key perspectives on how technology can drive sustainability in the gaming industry.

Tuesday 07 May 2024 / 12:00


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