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Tal Itzhak Ron: Are live conferences a thing of the past?

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The Coronavirus outbreak caught everyone by surprise. It introduced the world with social distancing and self isolation, which in turn brought the world’s economy to a slowdown; and there is hardly any industry that wasn’t affected. The online gambling industry is one of the few that dodged the bullet, but despite the fact that revenues at these times in many online casino operators are surging, there is still something missing – the human touch.

As a gaming oriented law firm, our team at Tal Ron, Drihem & Co. exhibit, speak and attend 25-30 events around the world every year. Thankfully, we’re dealing exclusively with the online industry, so “What” we do hasn’t changed a bit, what has changed is “How” we do it.

Since early March, all physical conferences were postponed and online Digital/Virtual versions of these events filled the gap rapidly, not letting the industry to drift apart at these challenging times.

It’s yet unclear how online events will compare to their offline counterparts in terms of ROI, exposure and traffic, as sponsorships and admittance costs are significantly lower in these events, but in our eyes we truly see a benefit to the industry in these digital events.

In SBC Digital Summit, the first conference to go digital after the outbreak, we spoke on our first digital panel, on the current Banking Crisis with other esteemed panellists from the industry. The feeling was unusual to speak on a digital global event from the comfort of your office where you can’t see nor “feel” the audience, as if you are a news anchorperson, however, feedback, online comments and questions arriving from the audience kept the discussion very exciting.

Post conference conversations we had with the organizers revealed that SBC Digital Summit had over 12,000 registered users, 600 live attendants on average per panel and close to 25,000 total views of panel sessions. These are strong numbers that exceeded the organizers expectations.

The second annual event to go digital due to the outbreak was Mare Balticum Gaming Summit that hosted 200 delegates and hit close to 100 viewers per panel.

“Given the fact that in the past 10 days there was a marathon of digital conferences, we think that our virtual conference is ranking the highest when it comes to the quality of the content. We are happy with the turnout and it has set a precedent in our virtual conference portfolio. While we are eager to get back on the horse and go back to our live conferences, we are also planning more virtual conferences.”, says Zoltan Tundik, the organizer.

Another digital event AffiliateCon by Gambling Insider went also well, streaming via youtube, Instagram and the conference website it collected 400 preregistered attendees and a total of 868 viewers by the time the conference finished.

It’s hard to believe online events will overthrow physical conferences in the near future, but for now they’re definitely exceeding our expectations.