Last month, ICE London returned as an in-person event following a two-year pandemic gap. Yogonet had the opportunity to speak with two of Digitain’s executives: Chief Business Officer Simon Westbury, and Matthew Charlesworth, Managing Director of Digitain Live who shared an assessment of the iGaming software solutions provider's presence at the expo, which saw the Digitain Sales Team have over 265 meetings across the three days of ICE. The executives also shared Digitain’s future strategic plans for its new Live Casino division, and for the year ahead.
During a previous interview, you said that the company would be showcasing five products at ICE: its iGaming platform Centrivo, its Live Casino offering Digitain Live, its new Virtual Sports product, the company’s new Payment Platform, and Digitain’s upgraded sportsbook. What was the feedback you received from visitors to the stand? Have you met your key goals and expectations for each of these product presentations in London?
Simon Westbury: Centrivo, our new GLI-certified iGaming platform, was very well received. We were pleased to hear lots of positive comments from visitors to our stand about its functionality and usability. Our dedicated Virtual Sports "stadium" located on our stand was highly popular with the new impactful virtual products being well received by visitors. We have recently launched even more choices for operators with a new football tournament product.
ICE generated lots of inquiries activity and due to demand, I am now looking to hire a specialist virtual sports sales team. Our new standalone Payment Platform is a really fantastic piece of kit. You cannot run a gaming operation without ensuring your payment solution is fit for purpose and, hopefully, provides a competitive advantage. Our gateway was welcomed at ICE for having over 400 payment companies already integrated and because of the speed and flexibility of integration.
Matthew Charlesworth: Digitain Live was very well received at ICE with lots of positive feedback and the overall presentation. It was pretty much locked into the stand, as potential partner meetings were booked back-to-back for the full 3 days of ICE, - which is in itself a very positive good indication that the team has done a great job so far.
For our Live Casino, this year’s ICE was planned as an introduction to the market rather than necessarily a sit down with decision-makers, however, as it turned out, we had positive meetings with a number of key decision-makers during the 3 days of the show.
How would you describe the average profile of delegates that were present at ICE London? Were you able to see and leverage a more significant decision-makers presence? What is your overall assessment of the event?
Simon Westbury: ICE overall felt good, our stand was busiest on the first day, and still positive on the other two days, with lots of serious discussions being had. The overall numbers were down admittedly, but to me, this was expected and also acceptable as the quality was very good and I rather have the quality of attendees over quantity.
The Digitain Sales Team had over 265 meetings over the 3 days of ICE, with 131 of those planned and 132 walk-ons. These numbers do not include Account Manager and Product Managers meetings, so I am very happy with the attendance. No doubt, the hard work starts now in converting these meetings into sales, but I am confident in the attendee profile and also my team’s ability to close the business. In a nutshell, I always say, enjoy, embrace and survive ICE! In 2022 I would say I enjoyed ICE more than any time since 2011 and, dependent on the eventual sales results, the best ICE I have ever attended.
What are the next steps and strategies to boost your new Live Casino division, and be competitive this year versus other established providers? What are the key challenges there?
Matthew Charlesworth: A very simple answer is expansion. More studios, more tables, more products. We know there is a lot to do in order to be on a par with the most established competitors, this year or even next, but we are confident that our strategy of expansion combined with our focus on innovation and quality will be extremely popular with operators looking for an alternative or complementary Live Casino. At Digitain Live, we are dedicated to building a great reputation for meeting the needs of our partners within the industry.
Next up on your agenda are the Betting on Sports Europe conference in London, the Peru Gaming Show in Lima, the Brazilian Gaming Summit in Sao Paulo, and iGB Live in Amsterdam. Could you anticipate your tradeshow strategy for any of these events?
Simon Westbury: We are very much looking forward to attending all the events you have listed. It is key to our sales strategy to be able to showcase our comprehensive range of products at these international events, and the Digitain team is eager to get out and meet people face to face.
I’m delighted that, in 2021, I developed the sales team, in terms of numbers and international coverage, and it will be a proud moment for me personally to have teams in a number of different continents working with their managers to deliver success to Digitain.
The key action to me now is to carry on the success and momentum we achieved at ICE and take that into the rest of 2022. As I always say if you have a good ICE, you have a good year, and what we do now and in the next 3 months will define our overall performance. So, for me and the Sales Team, it is all hands to the pump, no rest and lots of hard work.