SBC Summit powers onto Lisbon after record 2023 performance

October 5, 2023 8:40 PM
Photo: SBC
  • CDC Gaming Reports
October 5, 2023 8:40 PM
  • CDC Gaming Reports

SBC Events has hailed the support of the global igaming industry as the reason for a record-breaking 2023 edition of the SBC Summit Barcelona.

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This year’s exhibition and conference drew a crowd of around 15,000 attendees, a threefold increase from last year’s figures, solidifying its status as the industry’s fastest-growing event. The post-event survey revealed a Net Promoter Score of 49 for the event, highlighting SBC’s dedication to upholding high-quality standards, even in the face of substantial growth in attendance compared to the previous year.

The event kicked off at the SBC Leaders Summit, an inaugural edition of the exclusive pre-event invite-only gathering that attracted 500 top-tier industry executives. This full-day affair featured a wealth of conference content, including a keynote from Frank Abagnale, who inspired Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me if You Can, networking opportunities, and a poker tournament.

A highlight of the event was the induction of Gustaf Hagman (CEO and Co-Founder, LeoVegas), Jordan Levin (CEO, OpenBet), Per Widerström (Incoming CEO, 888 Holdings – effective October 16, 2023), and Brigid Simmonds OBE (Chair, Betting and Gaming Council) into SBC’s Hall of Fame.

Taking place at Fira Barcelona Montjuic on 19-21 September, SBC Summit Barcelona boasted a massive 38,000 square meters show floor, accommodating 350 exhibitors and marking a 175% increase as compared to the previous year.

Roger Redfearn-Tyrzyk, VP of Global Gaming at IDnow, provider of identity verification and one of the exhibitors, said, “We’re being treated as a partner, not just as a company that pays money to get services. We’re being taken to events and get introduced to people. SBC is a solution-finding partner for us.”

The 2023 show floor was split into five zones denoting key areas of the industry: Sports Betting; Casino & iGaming; Affiliate, Media and Marketing; Payments & Compliance; and Emerging Tech. In addition, a designated Festival area not only showcased exhibitors, but also provided a casual networking setting, featuring a sangria & tapas bar, an ice cream bar, a smoothie and juice bar, and various other amenities.

The exhibition area was enriched by multiple networking zones, with the SBC Connect+ Lounge serving as a central meeting hub for delegates who had organized their meetings through the official event app. The app included a lead assessment feature that saw active use, totaling 2,560 interactions.

When asked what set SBC Summit Barcelona apart as an industry event, Sab Jhooti, Founder & CEO of investment firm Bonmoja, said, “It’s the community element. Whenever I come, I have the opportunity to meet the who’s who in this industry. Everybody you want to meet comes to this event, so I don’t really have to go anywhere else.”

Spanning seven stages, the conference agenda delivered over 80 hours of content and offered insights from over 450 industry leaders. 89.4% of the speakers held C-level positions, while 63.7% represented operators, and 8.9% came from affiliates. The remaining 27.4% of speakers represented suppliers, associations, regulators, media, sports teams, and investors. With a total of 302 questions directed at the speakers on stage, the event adopted a more interactive approach.

Based on insights from SBC Connect+, it’s evident that the following five panels were the most sought-after by app users.

  • “Sports Betting’s Makeover: The Influence of Gamification, Streaming, and Stats”
    “Affiliate Leaders Panel: Leading Partnerships in Emerging Markets”
    “Sports & Sponsorship Landscape: Growth Markets and Partnerships”
    “SBC Leaders: Exploring Global Growth Markets”
    “Everything, Everywhere, All-of-the-Time: Managing Marketing, Tech & Compliance”

Highlighting the 2023 program were keynotes by Matthew Ball, a renowned metaverse expert and bestselling author, and Daniel Taylor, CEO of Flutter International. In the spirit of increased engagement, each day’s agenda in 2023 concluded with enlightening roundtable sessions — 30 in total — each dedicated to specific markets, verticals, or topics.

A highlight of SBC’s events, the First Pitch competition, designed to assist startups in bringing their innovative visions to life, announced its latest champion. SnapOdds, the victor of this competition, secured a prize package worth over €60,000, which includes a two-day workshop experience in Tallinn, provided by competition sponsor Yolo Investments, among the list of prizes.

Marking its 10th-anniversary edition, the SBC Awards Ceremony unfolded in style at the iconic Caves Codorníu and recognized industry leaders in 39 featured categories. Hosting the event were the familiar face of SBC Awards, TV personality Kirsty Gallacher and former professional football player turned manager Clarence Seedorf, widely acknowledged as one of the greatest midfielders of this generation. The ceremony also featured a special guest appearance by Luis Figo, former World and European Footballer of the Year, who played for both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid and is the current brand ambassador of Digitain.

Thomas Carvalhaes, Managing Director of Brazilian operator VaiDeBob, said, “The quality and caliber of people attending are very impressive. I was on a podcast recently and they asked what my favorite event was. I said it’s SBC Summit Barcelona for its relevance, for the people who are here and for giving us a sense of what’s about to come.”

Rasmus Sojmark, CEO and Founder of SBC said, “The Barcelona chapter for SBC came to a spectacular close. This event exceeded our wildest dreams as we worked tirelessly to make it the industry’s fastest-growing gathering. With 15,000 attendees filling the exhibition floor, this show will forever be a cherished part of SBC’s history. However, as you all probably know, we’re far from done. The success of this edition paves the way for an even more prosperous next edition.”

In a significant development, SBC has announced the next edition of its global flagship event, now rebranded as SBC Summit, to underscore its worldwide prominence. The event is set to make its home at Lisbon’s Feira Internacional de Lisboa (FIL) on September 24-26, 2024, and is anticipated to occupy a vast area exceeding 100,000 square meters. Expecting a gathering of 25,000 attendees, the event will welcome a substantial 600 exhibitors and feature insights from 500 expert speakers.