Interview with MR. Hamza Afifi

Could you tell us about SIGMA Group and how is it made up?

Active since 2014, SiGMA Group is a media and events company which now encompasses three main verticals; Gaming, both online and land-based, Emerging Tech – including med tech, and thirdly; Medical Cannabis

We offer premium content in 6 different languages (Russian, Mandarin, French, Spanish, Portugese and English) through our biannual magazines, SiGMA and Block, and through our events and news website, which carries interviews, thought leadership content, and the latest news hot off the industry press.

With offices across Europe (Kiev and Malta), LatAm (Brazil), and Asia (Manila), a culturally diverse team, and shows planned for Asia and LatAm in 2021, and Africa in 2022, 2023, and 2024 – SiGMA has made its mark as a truly global company.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the world has changed. What changes have you

had to face and what challenges are you dealing with?

As we navigate changing business practices and a new demographic of players,  it has been vital for companies to strengthen their connections, to keep informed and to discuss the way forward together – our digital summits offer a great platform for this, with a series of topical conference keynotes, as well as discussion in our live chat. Moving forward the virtual platform will be integrated into our live shows for a more holistic experience.

Following the success of our first digital summit earlier this year, we’ll be hosting the LATAM Digital event from the 22-24 September, as well as a medical cannabis digital summit on 20-21 October.

How do you approach the organisation of future events?

We’re moving forward cautiously but optimistically. Naturally we’re taking all the appropriate advice and necessary measures to make sure our events will be in line with government and health industry requirements.The floor plan has been redesigned to include wider corridors, and social distancing measures have been taken into consideration with our conference seating plan. There will be increased cleaning rotations and access points to hand sanitiser. On-stage mics, chairs and podiums will be cleaned in between each panel. A number of medical safety points will also be made available, offering free health care advice and first aid to delegates, speakers, and staff.

What can you anticipate about future shows: SIGMA Africa, SiGMA Manila, SIGMA LATAM, and SIGMA Europe? What will be the highlights of each one?

Later this year SiGMA Europe will bridge the emerging tech and gaming sectors with one super show, which will be held in Malta on the 16-18 February. The SiGMA event will combine with AIBC’s tech-focussed content, exploiting the tremendous crossover potential between these two sectors.

Bringing the gaming and tech worlds into the same sphere will offer the chance for new ideas and new business opportunities to flourish in a time when diversification is of the essence. In an industry first we have also introduced SiGMA Deep Tech, a conference for techies by techies – the first big gaming show to do so.

As a leading event and media company within the gaming industry, and with a  strong presence in Europe (Malta, Ukraine), heading to Africa, LatAm (Brazil), and Asia (Philippines), was the only reasonable next step for our growing portfolio of events. And because Africa is so diverse, we’re holding events in not one but three cities, namely, Cape Town in 2022, Ghana in 2023, and then East to Kenya in 2024.

Both LatAm and Africa are high-growth, emerging regions attracting significant interest from investors. Tech-savvy and diverse, there are plenty of new opportunities to be found in the gaming and emerging tech sectors, particularly those linked to a strong culture of mobile gambling, sports betting, and high-end casino resorts. There’s huge potential for regulation, so we’re looking forward to having that conversation in our conferences.

We’re also excited to be exploring Asia – a continent that is leading the way when it comes to developing sustainable regulation for a booming industry – both land-based and online. In fact, this was one of the reasons why we chose Manila as the location for our first supershow in May 2021.

Expect high-energy expo floors and expert-led agendas with a series of topical conferences covering issues such as legislation, game innovation, player retention, and compliance. Delegates will also be treated to a number of networking dinners happening around the event itself.

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