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Q&A: TGA’s Andrew Spencer on ‘phoenix planning’

Insight | Analysis

With ICE North America Digital starting next week, iGB North America caught up with Clarion Gaming’s Head of Education and Training, Andrew Spencer to discuss the Total Gaming Academy’s training day, due to take place on Thursday 14 May

What was the idea behind hosting a training day during the summit?
Andrew Spencer:
Training is a big part of the Clarion Gaming offering. We regularly host sessions at our conferences and were planning to do so next week at ICE North America in New Orleans. With the show postponed, we saw no reason not to continue that in the digital format for the simple reason that we all need guidance now more than ever. A lot of people are feeling disempowered at the moment, but the sessions will give them practical advice on what they can do as individuals and in their teams. There are lots of commercial uncertainties out there; this is about our own spheres of influence. The content is all free to access and is aimed at the tactical and operational level, rather than the macroeconomics.

What format will the courses take and who will be hosting them?
They are short, sharp, taster sessions rather than the usual in-depth half day workshops. I expect they’ll last for 20-30 minutes, followed by a question and answer session, so people don’t need to dedicate a large part of their day to them. Among others, we have Itsik Akiva and Jason ‘Wolf’ Rosenberg, from American iGaming Solutions, Sydney Smith from Rise Center for Recovery and Christina Thakor-Rankin from All-in Diversity Project.

What topics and specific areas of training will you be addressing?
We kick off with responsible gambling. As a subject it is always relevant, but the industry’s impact on society following the Covid-19 pandemic will shortly be thrown into particularly sharp focus. We’re then looking at the conversion of casino to sports. That is not so much customers, but how to educate staff in delivering a great sportsbook experience for them as the product portfolio changes and embraces new verticals like sports betting. The final session of the day is about rolling out a ‘bricks-to-clicks’ strategy as venues look to incorporate more digital elements to their offering. I hope there will be something for everyone within those.

What do you hope to achieve with the training day?
I’m confident it will give people tuning in something practical to take away with them that they can implement in their day-to-day professional lives. We are all looking to press the reset button at the moment and need a plan to come out of the current situation. Nobody wants or can afford to revert to what they did before. To do so, companies need to invest in the development of their people and empower them to ensure they build for the future. You could argue this is ‘phoenix planning’, as it is about rising again as an industry and learning from the situation in which we find ourselves.

You can find out more about iGB North America Digital here and register for free here.

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