WHAT HAPPENED?

Monday brought a surprising development that left the entire affiliate community in awe — the mutual integration of the SiGMA and Affiliate World brands. This groundbreaking announcement was made in unison through both the official SiGMA World blog and the Instagram account of Affiliate World Conferences. As detailed in the press release, the SiGMA brand has strategically invested in AW with the aim of harmonizing forthcoming events and enhancing their logistical accessibility for both brands’ audiences.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

On March 1-2, 2022, the international conference Affiliate World Dubai took place, followed by SiGMA Eurasia on March 13-16, just two weeks later. What could have been business as usual took an unexpected turn as affiliate companies found themselves in the position of having to choose between these two major conferences. After all, not everyone could afford to keep their teams on extended business trips for more than two weeks. As a result, those with a focus on general affiliate marketing, CPA, arbitrage, and e-commerce gravitated towards Affiliate World, while iGaming-oriented companies opted for SiGMA. Under different circumstances, many attendees would have strived to attend both conferences.

  • Affiliate World, a brand under iStack Holding, is primarily recognized as a hub for affiliates, with a strong reputation rooted in the oldest affiliate community, stackthatmoney (STM forum). It is renowned for its expertise in areas like arbitrage, media buying, and monetization.
  • SiGMA World is primarily known as an event for iGaming operators, and it transformed into an affiliate-friendly event in 2020 to help iGaming brands acquire traffic for their products.

Given the less-than-ideal scheduling overlap, exhibitor companies and sponsors were faced with an "either/or" situation, effectively dividing the combined audience of these events in two. Only prominent brands and those with teams physically situated in Dubai were able to attend both conferences.

Not the best outcome! AW Conferences and SiGMA are undisputed leaders in their respective event domains, which prompted a strategic move towards convergence.

FACTS

  1. Affiliate World Conferences have traditionally centered around topics such as traffic, arbitrage, media buying, e-commerce, COD, and the broader realm of affiliate marketing. Over the years, the landscape of traffic arbitrage has evolved into a fully-fledged business development sector. Consequently, with each successive conference, we've witnessed a shift away from individual enthusiasts and towards established agencies participating in these events.


In the language of arbitrage, this transformation can be likened to a transition from a time when independent webmasters roamed freely in various directions to a present where they are consolidated within prominent agencies, primarily specializing in specific niches.


   2. AW has noticed a substantial upsurge in the iGaming vertical within the affiliate marketing sphere, accompanied by a decline in more traditional CPA niches. These developments have spurred them to seek greater engagement with companies and webmasters operating within the iGaming niche.

   3. Since 2020, SiGMA sponsors and exhibitors have consistently sought affiliates, arbitrage experts, and teams with significant traffic. The consensus among the audience is that SiGMA primarily serves as a product conference and a platform for fostering B2B relationships. Consequently, the proportion of webmasters in attendance is notably lower compared to company representatives.

INTEGRATION IS INEVITABLE

The iGaming and Affiliate sectors swiftly responded to the news, promptly releasing their own interpretations, speculations, and analytical pieces. Colleagues within the industry hold polarized views: some express concerns about the potential monopolization of CPA conferences, while others “lament” the increasing influence of the iGaming vertical on affiliate marketing. Given the myriad speculations surrounding this development, we turned to the most authoritative source for commentary:


Alexander Riddick. CEO PIN-UP Traffic:

SiGMA has indeed secured a stake in iStack (Affiliate World). Rather than signaling monopolization or the onset of a takeover, this marks a strategic convergence — a move to conduct conferences in tandem, coordinating their efforts, sharing audiences, and attracting an even larger participant base. This arrangement will fortify the standing of both brands and enhance the overall quality of each conference. Ultimately, this merger will signify delivering the greatest benefits to attendees and sponsors alike.

The strategic "integration" of these conferences represents an unprecedented development in the world of affiliate marketing. Never before have two independent conferences coordinated their dates to maximize convenience for attendees.

The Affiliate World team comprises 30 dedicated event specialists with a track record dating back to 2015 (previously held under the STM brand). They have cultivated a loyal audience, a robust roster of sponsors and exhibitors, cherished traditions, and deep expertise in event management. 

THE TAKEAWAY

The real beneficiaries of this alignment are the conference attendees — the hardworking professionals, webmasters, affiliate marketers, and projects with traffic, as well as sponsoring companies. The logistics and travel planning has been significantly improved. Companies can now partake in two major events during a SINGLE trip, affording smaller and medium-sized enterprises the opportunity to optimize their budgets and expand their presence, consequently diversifying the range of brands represented. Furthermore, this move is expected to attract "smaller" affiliates to the conferences, individuals who might otherwise have been compelled to choose between the two events.

We can witness the initial outcomes of the SiGMA x Affiliate World partnership in February 2024, when Affiliate World Dubai '24 and SiGMA Eurasia '24 are set to take place. Rest assured, CPA.Club will be present at both events, ensuring our own engaging experience for our audience in collaboration with the conferences. Stay tuned, anticipate, and join the Club — it's bound to be even more intriguing from here on out.

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