SiGMA The Road Ahead
Eman Pulis, Founder, SiGMA Group.
Since its inception in 2014, the SiGMA event has been a bi-annual expo covering topics relating to the global sector for iGaming, and its intersection with other areas such as blockchain, AI, and Big Data. The summit was born with the intention of shedding light on the gaming industry, specifically in Malta.
Six years later, and the SiGMA Summit has grown leaps and bounds since its humble beginnings with a diverse and world-class group of disruptors, innovators, start-ups, established companies, and investors having graced the stages organised on The Blockchain Island of Malta. Attendees have ultimately gathered and discussed issues such as Compliance and Regulation, Business & Emerging Tech, Marketing & Investment, and many other thought-provoking issues which genuinely concern the industry and, indeed, the planet as a whole.
In the first edition of the SiGMA magazine, formerly known as the SiGMAgazine, I had stated that the first attempt was a do-or-die scenario and that the show wouldn’t end on November 2nd. But that it would be followed up and it would be ensured that the right, long-term networking environment was nurtured.
The first attempt is a do-or-die and, needless to say, the team of which I’m part of will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the trust loaned by speakers, exhibitors, media partners and delegates is reciprocated.
Since then, SiGMA has gone global. From a little expo dominated by Malta-based companies to becoming a multi-national show with the biggest names in the industry gracing its floorplan. Brands who had little or no operational presence in Malta still believed in having a solid presence at the show.
The most recent show, held in November 2019 in Malta, was the first step towards the eventual expansion to, and merging with, Asia. The three-day show also served as a close to a jam-packed year of shake-ups and consolidations dedicated to talking about the implementation of theories discussed during the previous year.
The show welcomed a record-breaking 15,000 attendees from over 80 countries and over 400 sponsors and exhibitors, and 200 industry-leading speakers. And, overall, the totality of the shows have seen tens of thousands of delegates, exhibitors, investors, start-ups and a plurality of attendees rendezvousing on the island.
Just last June, we had three days of non-stop discussion and debate at the SiGMA Digital summit (9-11 June). We had over 100 speakers, taking part in more than 40 panel discussions or speeches, and spread over both SiGMA Asia Focus and SiGMA Deep Tech! Along with these great speakers came over 4,000 delegate registrations, over 7,000 private messages exchanged between attendees, and over 2,000 virtual cards exchanged.
The aforementioned numbers prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the SiGMA Digital summit was a roaring success, and due to our fixation with tweaking and improving anything we get our hands-on, we are already working on making the SiGMA LatAm Digital event an even better experience!
Despite experiencing turbulence, the industry is still hungry for growth outside of Europe’s saturated markets – an increasing appetite for growth in Asia and LatAm promises to open doors to lucrative new markets. As a result, our inaugural summit in Asia has almost sold out and plans to explore a digital conference focusing on LatAm have come to fruition.
Plans to regulate gambling in South America have been brewing for some time, and as this sleeping giant wakes up, we’re focusing our efforts on Brazil, with the Sao Paulo region in Brazil serving as an anchor city for our September launch. We recently announced the launch of SiGMA LatAm. The event will run from September 22-23, 2020, with a virtual summit focusing on two themes: SiGMA LatAm Focus and SiGMA Deep Tech. The 2-day conference will connect 70 top speakers from diverse sectors of the LatAm gaming and tech industry, with cutting-edge debate expected to attract delegates and industry players from across the globe.
We have a strong workforce in Malta, in Kiev and in Manila. It’s time for SiGMA to grow its portfolio and expand outside its comfort zone, covering all time zones with a new office in the Americas. It was a very close call between Buenos Aires and São Paulo. We eventually chose the latter for two reasons – there’s already a great presence of media and events offices in Buenos Aires and we don’t want to replicate more of the same or compete with our friends. In addition, the sheer market potential and current appetite for regulation in Brazil gave us more reasons to set offices there.
Seeing that the Asian market has grown exponentially over the last few years, it was only a matter of time before the gap between Europe and Asia would be bridged, and the introduction of SiGMA Manila is a testament to that being recognised.
This will give innovators, start-ups, established companies, and investors from every sector the opportunity to familiarise themselves and create business relationships with what is essentially a whole new world with its own dedicated market ready to explore.
On top of all this, we also announced the launch of a Med Tech Symposium. The virtual conference, which is supported by Malta’s Ministry of Health, will run alongside the Medical Cannabiz World event on the 20th – 21st October. Both conferences will take place as virtual summits in 2020, with physical editions planned for 2021.
Co-locating this event will leverage the company’s long-standing expertise in other verticals, such as quantum, IOT, fintech, blockchain and AI, offering insightful, data-driven content created exclusively with the medical community in mind. The launch of the Med Tech Symposium will also bring additional focus to the technology behind the medical cannabis industry, with the event attracting legislators and policymakers, medical professionals, investors and industry peers from across the world, all looking to forge exciting new opportunities in this high-growth sector.
Last but not least, our inaugural super-expo SiGMA Manila in 2021.
Due to the COVID-19 global crisis, both the SiGMA Manila and AIBC Manila expos, planned for June 8-9 2020, had been rescheduled to 27-28th May 2021. Given the extra eleven months to prepare, SiGMA has also decided to increase the amount of floor space available. We believe the appetite for iGaming business in Asia will grow even stronger. In other words, expect an even bigger show in 2021, pandemic permitting!
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.
It’s high time that we bring our two shows (SiGMA and AIBC) closer together and allow both sides to learn from one other. The two sides stand to benefit by having both shows held together under one roof on the same dates.
It is now more vital than ever to stay connected and keep informed. The time is right to cement new and existing relationships between global gaming and tech industries through a united front in the face of shared difficulties.