The EL Innovation Workgroup builds on its momentum
As the world constantly changes around us – with technology developing apace, competitors coming in all shapes and forms, and our players’ expectations getting ever higher – we, as lottery operators, need to innovate to stay relevant, appealing and convenient. But that’s hard, right?
Matt Godfrey, Head of Consumer Strategy & Innovation at Camelot, and Chair of the European Lotteries Innovation Group (ELIG)So what can we do to better enable each other for this challenge? Back in 2014, the European Lotteries Innovation Group (ELIG) – as it is now known – was founded by Wojciech Szpil, former CEO at Totalizator Sportowy Sp. z o.o., and led by Elisabeth Römer-Russwurm, Head of Marketing & Product Development at Österreichische Lotterien. The idea of the Group is to inspire, connect and engage the EL community in innovation. Elisabeth and the founding group members have done a brilliant job creating interest and getting a wide range of lotteries and individuals involved.
The stand-out success of the first few years of the ELIG were the events the Group hosted – and they are a great foundation to build upon. The events are designed around three themes: Seminars to unlock knowledge from inside and outside of the industry; Methodology Workshops to give hands-on, practical skills; and Awards to celebrate and reflect on innovation successes.
For example, we held a Design Thinking Workshop in February 2015 in London. The workshop was led by Hester Hilbrecht, an Innovation Manager and Design Thinking Coach at SAP, and gave the 40+ attendees a general understanding of the design thinking process and how to apply it practically. The Innovation Seminar, which was hosted by Totalizator Sportowy Sp. z o.o. in Warsaw in November 2015, was also hugely exciting and topical. It brought together lots of start-ups – including rising star Uber – to explore how lotteries can work with start-ups, and accelerator schemes to come up with new and innovative ideas.
The 2015 EL Innovation Awards in Olso were a point in time to come together and celebrate the achievements and successes within our lotteries. We decided to select Jury Members outside the industry to provide a fresh perspective on the different submissions. The knowledgeable Jury included innovation experts, academic professors and the Editor-in-Chief of Wired Italia. We had over 20 quality applications – which really did showcase how innovative the industry can be – and Austrian Lotteries walked away with the top prize for their idea ‘TeamTipp’ – the concept of which was to have players win and share together, in order to feel part of a wider gaming community.
So, nearly three years on from the ELIG’s inception, what’s next for the Group? At the beginning of 2016, the responsibility of the co-ordination of ELIG came to Camelot – with Andy Duncan being the Executive Sponsor and myself the Chair. Since then, we’ve gained a few new members and the group is going from strength to strength.
Building on the success of the previous events, the first aim is to host even more inspiring and engaging events for the community – getting more people participating and sharing their experiences. So, we’re excited to be hosting a sold-out Methodology Workshop on 5-6 December in the heart of London’s tech city with leading digital transformation agency, Decoded. This will be a really hands-on, practical session and will give attendees an introduction to the newest methods for developing digital products and services. By the end of the two days, we’re hoping attendees will have a better awareness of the different innovation methodologies currently out there, an increased knowledge of the tools available to speed up the pace of innovation, and the confidence to apply these methods in their daily work.
April 2017 will also see the second Innovation Seminar, hosted by SiSAL in Milan at The Talent Garden – a specially-designed location where start-ups, innovators and corporates meet. Attendees will hear from world-class speakers who are at the heart of innovation, giving their insight, experience and perspectives on cutting-edge topics. We will also hear from inside the lottery industry about the experience and learnings of working in new ways and delivering innovations. So, keep an eye out for registration opening soon!
And, in June next year, the EL Congress returns in Krakow and we are delighted to announce the opening of submission platform for the 2017 Awards! You have until April 2017 to make your submissions – so please take part as we can all benefit from seeing the best ideas implemented from our community given the spotlight. It also gives us the opportunity to consider what might work in our own lotteries.
Finally, our second key aim for the ELIG going forward is to develop an ‘always on’ digital network to allow the community to inspire each other and connect throughout the year on a day-to-day basis. The vision of this was presented by Andy Duncan and myself at the Industry Days in Marrakech. Exploration is underway to make this a reality, and we intend to use the tools of innovation to test and learn our way to the best idea.
Updates on this to follow next year, but if you would like to participate in the testing of this, or enquire about any of the events, then please do get in touch with me: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to working together in 2017 and beyond to inspire, connect and engage the EL community in innovation.
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