The European gambling conference SBC Summit Barcelona has finally ended after a couple of eventful days. The Barcelona conference was the second annual event by the event company SBC. I could see that the size of the 2022 conference has increased immensely since 2021.
When I visited SBC Summit Barcelona in 2021 for their first event in Spain, I was pleasantly surprised by how intimate, and well-organized everything was. Last year, the SBC conference in Barcelona was also the first post-pandemic event for the industry after 1,5years “break.”
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This year, it felt like SBC Summit Barcelona had almost doubled the attendance, and getting lost on the exhibition floor was easier. The new outdoor beach bar at the conference was many people’s new favorite spot to meet and hang out by the bar.
SBC was a 3-day event that started with a 10th-anniversary party for the company Endorphina. It was combined with a pre-registration for the conference so attendees could pick up their badges. The event was held at Terraza Miramar, with gorgeous views over Barcelona, but the evening could have had a better start for me.
Pre-registration party for SBC Barcelona
Firstly, the google pin of the venue ended up on the backside of the event. So I, like many others, had to walk about 10 minutes around the hill and up many stairs only to find the longest queue to enter the event. The event started at 7 pm, and I arrived shortly after 8 pm, but I got inside at 9:45 pm. For fire hazards, Terraza Miramar could only allow a certain amount of people inside. So they could only let people in when other guests left. Many attendees left the queue or decided to leave, but I did not give up.
Check out my view over Barcelona and the party when queueing in the 360-video below. It’s important to increase your video settings on Youtube to 4k to get the best experience in VR.
Once inside, I noticed that it was a second queue to register for the badges. So I just went straight for the free bar and networking. Two terraces were on each side of the venue, and Endorphina decorated the inside with probably hundreds of balloons. One by one, guests let the balloons go out into space, making a pretty sky over the night. Other than the long queue, I had a wonderful evening.
Check out the video below when I walk around inside the pre-party. Don’t forget to increase your Youtube video settings to 4k before watching! Remember that it’s also possible to pause the video to watch more detailed.
The following morning was the first day of the exhibition and panels. I arrived at 9:30 to register for my badge, but the registration queue for badges was so long again. After 15 minutes of waiting, I decided to walk back to my hotel to complete some work. When I returned to the event at 11:30 am, the queue was even longer – but it went pretty swiftly this time, as I had finally registered and received my badge in 15 minutes.
Panel speaker at SBC Events day 1
I was booked as a speaker for two panels this day. To be honest, I was extra nervous and had spent lots of time preparing by researching, preparing questions, and calling my incredible boss for guidance. SBC is the second speaking event I’ve been booked for in my life, and I was so nervous I was shaking!
Although I have been in the gambling industry for 11 years, I am brand new in affiliation, and my speaking panels were on the Affiliate Track. Online Gamblers launched in early August 2022, and we only focus on legal and safe casinos in the North American market with a strong focus on education and responsible gambling.
In my first panel, “Emerging markets – Spreading the word,” I shared the stage with Princila Pio, Javier Troncoso and Marcos Oliveira. All had excellent knowledge about Latin America, which, together with North America, is expected to be the market to grow the most in the next 5-10 years. The panel was led by Isabel Hale, who has an extensive affiliate experience in the gambling industry.
In my second panel, “The opportunity and challenges of affiliate marketing in the US & Canada,” I was honored to moderate the panel discussion. With me on stage, I had Mark Harper, Robert Kraft, Aidan Toolan, and Darren Colebrook, who all are currently operating in North America. We had a good mix of big and small affiliates, and I learned so much from these talented guys who shared a significant amount of insight into how to make it in North America.
SBC Leaders & VIP dinner at Shoko Restaurant & Bar in Barcelona
I managed to get a last-minute invite to the SBC Leaders & VIP dinner at Shoko Restaurant & Bar in Barcelona. There were three dinners hosted by SBC this night: one affiliate dinner, one payments dinner, and the dinner I attended. I was thrilled to get an invite, as I attended this same dinner event last year, and it was a success. I’m glad to say I had just as good of a time in 2022 as I did in 2021!
The food was terrific, and I ended up with new industry friends from my table. Meeting new people is one thing I love about these dinner events. The networking opportunities are so much better if compared to the exhibition floor. We had a 3-course meal which lasted for a few hours, so there was plenty of time to get to know table neighbors. By the end of the dinner, I had plenty of meaningful conversations and a few new connections on LinkedIn!
After the dessert, many scattered away to join Molly’s Poker Game which SBC also held at Shoko. Those who didn’t play poker continued to mingle by the free bar or walk to the official SBC party at Pacha Barcelona. As the official party was open to all conference attendees, the queue to enter was once again super long. However, thankfully everyone did end up getting inside this evening, and I had a great time with my friends.
SBC Summit Barcelona 2022 Day 2
On the second/last day of the exhibition, I tried to watch as many panels and exhibit stands as possible. To my surprise, many Americans had traveled to Barcelona to attend the conference. Although, I would still say most attendees were from Spain, the UK and Malta. I saw many European operators there, but primarily online gambling-related products were exhibited on the floor.
I also spent significant time outside in the Beer Garden / Beach Bar. On the last day of the conference, I hosted the LinkedIn audio event “iGaming Fika” with Jenny Ramstedt. I broadcasted live from the Beer Garden. It gave the audio event a nice ambiance with my background noise as we discussed the conference. As this was just after the new Twitch announcement regarding Stake.com, we also discussed that in our iGaming Fika.
I love meeting our community at conferences, but those meetings also delay my other work. After the second and last day of the exhibition, I had to catch up with my pile of assignments. I ended up ordering room service and enjoying my hotel room. Around 10 pm, I had completed what was most urgent and could finally take a taxi to the closing party for the SBC conference.
SBC Barcelona Conference 2022 Overview
The closing party for 2022 happened at Ikibana Sarria in Barcelona. A cute little venue spread out on several levels with a courtyard. Luckily there were no queues this night, and I managed to stay late with some colleagues.
I would say that SBC Barcelona has grown faster than expected from 2021 to 2022. People are excited to meet up again and do business after the summer, and Spain in September is perfect. It’s warm, cheap and easily accessible from most countries. The team behind SBC has done a fantastic job pulling everything together! They managed to make the second annual event more successful than the first.
Well done to SBC Summit Barcelona!
I can’t wait to visit again in 2023 🙂
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