Webmasterchannel had the opportunity to talk with Andy Wullmer, CEO of SGM Media, about recent events and sum up his impressions this week. As befits a proper pirate, the locations of choice naturally had to be close to a coast 😉 ! Thus it will come as no surprise to many of our readers that we are talking about EuroWebtainment 2015 at Hotel Melia del Mar, Mallorca at the end of May and the XBiz Summit at SLS Hotel, Miami, Florida, which is situated right at the shoreline. Now try to top that!
Webmasterchannel : Hi Andy, thank you for taking the time! Let us focus on EuroWebtainment in Mallorca first. Why did you choose to attend?
AW:We’re there for the sixth time in a row. But the event has gone on for 26 years and is probably one of the most significant in our industry here in Europe. Since quite a few of our webmasters live here in Mallorca, it makes sense to attend in more ways than one.
Webmasterchannel : Anything you noted in particular this time?
AW: The format of the event is pretty much the same every year. Catamaran-boat cruise, pool party, and so on just like in the years before. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You know what to expect and you can focus more on networking, doing business, and taking care of that cocktail waiting to be sipped in the meantime…ahh, well deserved after the trials and tribulations of a hard day’s work… (laughs) European market participants showed up in great numbers of course, as well as many billing companies. I also noticed a few mainstream companies. The scope of attendees is becoming bigger and bigger and also more diversified.
Webmasterchannel : As you mentioned, this is your sixth time attending EuroWebtainment. Have you noticed any particular general trend over the years?
AW: Well, nothing entirely surprising, really. Web/desktop dating and live-cams continue to be the strongest revenue drivers and mobile is a megatrend, not only in our industry. Actually, the organizers asked me to do a seminar on the future of mobile and I happily obliged. This time, I highlighted recent developments in SEO for mobile.
Webmasterchannel : Ok. Let’s not talk business for a moment; let’s talk Parties in Mallorca: Are they getting friskier or are they getting more “civilized”?
AW: (after a brief moment of thought) Hmmm, yes, friskier or it’s just me and I’m getting older and more civilized. (laughs) But, seriously, what I really appreciated is that many new faces are joining the crowd. New blood, if you will.
Webmasterchannel : Great. Let’s also talk about XBiz in Miami. That was your second port-of-call this time, correct?
AW: Yes, indeed.
Webmasterchannel : What caught your attention there this year?
AW: First of all, the new event location: right at the shoreline. That in and of itself was a definite upgrade of the event. An altogether cool location with a fantastic social program. This was important even more so as this particular event always maintained the claim to entertain attendees first and foremost. The White Party was truly spectacular and my first night as sheik was quite a bit of fun! From a business perspective I feel it is important to point out that Miami is an East coast event, and due to this very fact you can simply network with a different crowd than at events in California or Las Vegas.
Webmasterchannel : Understood. Last question: You are a veteran in the industry and more so when it comes to networking. If you were to explain to some junior how to choose a first event to travel to – keeping a limited budget in mind – what would you say?
AW: (thinks briefly) The market is king! If your current target market is Europe, then a European event is advisable and Eurowebtainment is not a bad option to start with, actually, as its covers a wide spectrum of the industry. If you have mainly American or overseas clients then go for a US-based event. But definitely make sure not to look so much at the costs of the trip but rather at how many contacts you make [at the event of your choice].
Webmasterchannel : Captain Andy, many thanks for this chat.