CAP Euro 2008 - LondonThis original article was actually written by my partner Greg Powell last year for CAP Spring Break. It was so good though that in my downtime today I decided to re-master it for CAP Euro 2008. This is going to be an event to remember, there are some great pieces of advice in the following article.

CAP Euro 2008 – The Beginner’s Guide To Getting The Most Out Of It

The time has come for all gaming affiliates to crawl out from behind their computers and make their way into the real world of socializing with people. It may come as a surprise to some not involved in the gaming industry that real people are actually behind the scenes making transactions and performing business functions daily to allow players from around the world to play poker and casino games online. On rare occasions these people actually meet each other and discuss their business while making new contacts and arranging deals. One such occasion is Casino Affiliate Program’s 2nd annual CAP Euro event in London

Before you get on the plane.


It’s always best to take a week or so making some pre-event plans such as meetings and booking a hotel room at the venue or close to it. Trust me, staying a mile away from the conference sucks. So if you don’t have a room at the Olympia, spend the extra money to be close. When you are working through the schedule online find times when you are going to be free and speak with at the least the top three programs you’re site is invested in and try to arrange a time to sit down and talk.


Always ask for something special from them, as you will have a much closer connection with your respective program once the formal handshake, business card exchange and cocktails are ordered. If you’re about to leave and you have just a meeting or two arranged don’t fret – most of the great connections at conferences are made when you are just standing around and get introduced. (side note: contrary to popular belief you do not always have to wear a branded shirt/hat at the conference. While this does help affiliate managers out quite a lot it’s not a must)


Getting to the Hotel


When you arrive at the destination make sure you check in and then head to your room. It’s best to get all squared away before trying to jump right into the mix. Also if something comes up and you are not registered, this gives you ample time to get everything sorted out before the action begins. Personally, I have been to more than a few conferences where affiliates are supposedly registered and mysteriously have vanished from the list. Back to Step 1 – take second to collect some cell phone numbers before you leave in case this happens.


The Conference


I always love CAP events because their free for the affiliates to attend the actual sessions. There is another gaming conference (which won’t be mentioned) that charges affiliates who are not sponsored to attend. This seems a little odd to me for a few reasons, since I know if you put on a good conference, the sponsors cover all the expenses. However, new affiliates and season veterans alike should take some time (and some notes) during the sessions.


There will be some great speaker sessions including one featuring the legendary Neil Patel. (Side Note: This is another great time to drink much water and ask yourself important questions like. “Why did I feel it was ok to drink my age in free beers?”) Honestly, take some notes and make sure if you are going to sport a branded shirt this is the time to do so.


The Parties


Personally I don’t feel these are the most important part of the trip. (Borat Voice-over: Not) The parties are a great place to socialize and see that people do not really look like their avatars in real life. Besides that, you can really get a nice chance to meet people involved in all aspects of the gaming industry. Affiliate Managers especially enjoy the opportunity to sit back and relax with their partners and make some great new contacts at the parties. Affiliates really should bring business cards to the parties as well as a pen.


Personally I feel like some of my best affiliate connections as well as new friendships have been made taking a few hours a year to share a drink and trade stories at gaming event parties. Also, be sure to thank the party sponsors for taking the time and money to make these possible.


Instant Messenger


My favorite part of every conference is seeing who is behind the messages. Call me crazy but I am surprised every time I meet someone at a CAC, CAP or GIGSE and they are nothing like what I had expected.


We at PAP are looking forward to seeing everyone at CAP Euro in London. If you only attend one event this year, this will probably be the one to be at. I think its and invaluable experience for affiliates and managers alike.