The past couple of weeks have kept us chained to our desks. We’ve been busy catching up on all areas of the business after an absence from the office during our time away at the Barcelona Affiliate Conference (BAC), October 23th-26th. But now that the dust has settled, let’s take a few minutes to give you Digital Fuel’s BAC roundup, and update you on how we fared.
I headed to the sunny seaside city of Barcelona, along with our CEO Toby Oddy, ready to press palms and walk the talk. Oddy, an industry veteran, is no stranger to the unique opportunities that these annual affiliate conferences offer, and I also bring a swag of digital marketing and gaming experience to the table. Together, we were well armed, ready to meet and greet, and put Digital Fuel’s best foot forward to all and sundry as we hit the conference halls with purpose.
Throughout the 4-day event, we touched base with pretty much everyone who’s anyone at the conference, and had particularly productive meetings with Coral, Betfair, PartyGaming, Bet365, amongst others. We successfully developed new contacts at Coral, LeoVegas, Gala, Go Wild Casino, to name a few, as well as the Bitcoin-only casino Satoshibet.com…an interesting concept that by all accounts appears to be working well for them.
We also met with existing Forex clients IronFX, as well as many new Binary Options companies, such as Bulltrax, Interactive Option, and Hello Binary. One particularly exciting discussion we had was with William Hill. It centered on their expansion plans within the Australian market, and how Digital Fuel could potentially help them with it. So, watch this space for further developments!
BAC offered the opportunity to meet with potential and current clients in a relaxed and social atmosphere. I think it’s a safe bet to say that four days of face-to-face meetings and chats over ‘coffees and cocktails’ at the conference is worth months of work done via email and phone. It really is a valuable exercise for all attendees, not to mention a hell of a lot of fun to boot.
The parties are legendary at these affiliate affairs. The “work hard, play hard” motto is clearly a favorite within the affiliate industry, and definitely one most Barcelona attendees subscribed to. We attended the opening night gala, the must-not-miss social event of the conference, and it didn’t disappoint. It proved an ideal opportunity to network with fellow gambling folk.
The following nights we took a more individual approach, hosting new and existing clients for dinner around the beautiful city of Barcelona. The Catalan capital has gained a truly international profile thanks to its restaurants and highly acclaimed chefs, and Catalan gastronomy is one of the highlights of the culture of the region. It would have been ‘rude’ not to take advantage of the fabulous eateries on offer, and we thoroughly enjoyed extending some hospitality to a few chosen clients. It was a chance to talk the business nitty gritty over Spanish tapas, seafood paellas, and several glasses of fabulous Rioja red, plus connect with each other on a more social level once the shop talk was out of the way.
One amusing side story saw us ending up in an €12,000 a night presidential suite at the W Hotel on our final night. It was one of those occasions when you just have to go with the flow, and you know that it’s an experience you’ll probably never have again. This three-bedroom contemporary penthouse, was a massive and opulent suite, and the view was spectacular – this image doesn’t do it justice.
The drinks were top-shelf and plentiful, flowing in and around the extensive rooftop terrace and private Jacuzzi, and a good time was had by all. I called it a night after that, but Toby ended up at a mansion rented by one of the gambling companies for their closing night party. He has some pictures, which if you ever get the chance to see, will blow your mind! The bathroom is the same size as my apartment in the UK.
Toby was clearly in his element throughout BAC. He’s a skilled networker, and an absolute pleasure to watch in action. He knew practically every single person at the conference, and if he didn’t know them personally, he often knew of them by reputation. His mere presence opened the door to the right person within every company, and he is a true asset to Digital Fuel’s future growth.
Overall, the conference itself was a big success for Digital Fuel, and our time was well invested. Toby worked his magic, calling on his well-established relationships with many at the conference. He was able to gauge their interest levels regarding the products and services we offer, while I was able to follow up on some promising leads I’d obtained online, as well as meet with a few interesting casinos and Forex companies. There are several business opportunities on the table as a result of the conference, which is always the goal. So, all in all, I’d say, “Mission accomplished!”
On a side note, I managed to break my iPhone 6-plus on the first night of the BAC, which rendered my phone almost useless. I took one picture, of us out with special guest Paul “The asset” Nicholson, the professional darts player.
In conclusion, despite the amount of alcohol consumed at BAC, we all somehow managed to function and form coherent sentences. To be clear, that goes for the entire conference delegation…and not just us!