European Lotteries Association Innovation Seminar 2017

Michael Roygaard

I had the opportunity to attend a very inspiring and insightful Innovation seminar organized by the European Lotteries Association on April 26-28. The seminar was appropriately held at Talent Garden, Milan – an office space provider for innovation communities, offering co-working, training, and networking opportunities.
The Innovation Seminar was attended by 78 lottery delegates from 27 lotteries and 12 delegates from nine industry vendors. The two-day agenda included 15 external speakers and four lottery speakers.
The seminar offered many compelling points of view and best practices relevant to IGT’s lottery innovation and transformation. The presentations were organized across four categories: Inspiration and Innovation, Start-Up, Innovation in Traditional Business, and Successful Lottery Case Studies.
Across the many interesting topics, some of the key take-away messages include:

  • Look outside your current industry. Someone has likely already solved your problem. Go find it! Go from EGO to LEGO: Copy – adapt – paste.
  • Disrupt yourself before someone else does it.
  • Idea creation is the easy part. How do we find the right idea? Make sure all ideas are treated with respect.
  • Consider the role of social media for players to manage support for good causes.
  • Corporate behavior and culture can easily get in the way of innovation and creativity.
  • Successful innovation involves experimenting and “Test Fast” and “Fail Early.”

The Belgian Post provided a fascinating case study on the topic of disrupting oneself before someone else does it. Most postal companies in this age of digital communications are, for obvious reasons, challenged in their traditional post services. An innovation team at the Belgian Post was tasked with reversing their decline by introducing new and relevant services. They came up with the “Bringr” app – an Uber-like app for anyone with a car or van to sign up as a driver. The service enables any shopper, merchant, or citizen to have a letter or package moved from point A to point B. Shortly after launch, Bringr had 3,000 drivers signed up without any investment in advertising or awareness. The service has proven very successful and interestingly does not appear to have cannibalized the traditional parcel delivery services.

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