With governments imposing social distancing and travel restrictions across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Clarion Gaming launched its first online event, ICE North America Digital, creating a space for the gaming community to share their experience and knowledge online.
ICE North America Digital is a free online intelligence hub and networking platform providing gaming decision makers with an easily accessible way to learn and network during uncertain times. The live event attracted 2,379 active users – 60 per cent of its total registration – with a target audience of operators, suppliers and regulators from the global gaming industry signing up to attend. The audience for the event has grown since the live sessions with registrations now at 4,021.
Dan Stone, Head of Marketing for B2B Events for Clarion Gaming, said: “Everything gelled so well, from the ease of use of the online platform, for which we’ve had so many compliments, to what really made it the event it was – the incredible line-up of experts and the eye-opening keynote and panel sessions that took place.”
ICE North America Digital brought together the gaming community with a total of 2,190 contacts were made. Participants exchanged 9,183 messages during the day with 6,868 discussions created.
He added that Clarion Gaming had been “delighted” with the feedback from the first ever ICE North America Digital event. “We’ve had some incredible comments coming in about the quality of the content provided by our speakers and the practical insights people obtained to help them during this challenging period.”
He added. “What was more important was that our audience felt that they both learned a lot from the event as well as enjoyed it. Having said that, I’m delighted to say that the numbers surpassed our expectations and we saw over 2,500 gaming professionals join the week of content and networking.”
The Smart Digital solution
Pivoting from a real world to a virtual event
ICE North America had to translate a real world event to a virtual space. Smart Digital took a strategic approach, undertaking an initial consultation on the overall structure of the conference. This included ensuring the content of the event was balanced, determining the length of different sessions, how many speakers would be required and exploring potential sponsorship opportunities.
Creating a content plan to engage online delegates
Smart Digital worked with the conference production team to create a content plan ensuring participants could explore new topics every day. The impact and financial implications of COVID-19 were high up on the agenda with sessions on preparing casinos for opening after the pandemic recording some of the highest attendance figures.
Other topics included iGaming and iLottery; Sports Betting and Performance Marketing; Bricks & Mortar and Hospitality and Gaming Training. An end-of-event wrap-up session featured event chairs from sessions taking place earlier in the week and looked into the state of the industry and future outlook.
Delivering high quality virtual sessions
With speakers restricted mainly to home working due to the restrictions of COVID-19, it was important to ensure that sessions were as high quality as possible and free from background distractions.
Smart Digital was tasked with the pre-event production for ICE North America, working with the conference team to brief and set up all speakers, optimise quality of home camera set ups as well as planning and recording all of the sessions for those needing to catch up.
Adding value to speaker insights with captivating content
Alongside insightful speakers, we produced a range of visually engaging content to enliven all of ICE North America’s conference sessions. The content included the production of motion graphics for the event brand produced, recorded and edited by Smart Digital.
Managing production for the live streamed event
Both live and virtual events have the same production requirements – regardless of whether they are delivered on-site or online. For ICE North America’s live events, Smart Digital briefed and managed the live speakers, set up the live stream programme for each day and delivered the full daily stream of both live and pre-recorded content.
ICE North America’s live sessions and content have been viewed 7,457 views so far.
Exploring sponsorship opportunities
Smart Digital can help organisers generate additional revenue from both virtual events and digital channels through by handling commercial sponsorship sales. Sponsors at ICE North America saw 62.2 per cent of the users interact with their brand.
“Thanks to you all for helping this, our first ever digital event, to be so successful. Had people popping out of nowhere to say how professional is was and how impressed they’d been. Fantastic stuff!”Dan Stone, Head of B2B Marketing, Clarion Gaming
”@ICENorthAmerica Digital showed a good example of a conference transition into #digital, great job & thanks for an inspiring start! #goingdigital is also one of the key issues for Lottery, proud that #Veikkaus has been a forerunner in this already since 1995.”
Suvi Liljavuori (@dunlilige)