hich is your final impression of the show? Was it in line with your expectations?
We were very pleased with the results of the show. As I was walking the aisles each day, I was happy and relieved to see so many visitors doing business on the show floor. We had tremendous international participation this year which was a very pleasant surprise. We had close to 4000 international attendees, up from 3500 in 2007.
Do you have partial numbers of visitors?
Overall it looks like total attendance will be between 27000 and 28000 bodies. We will report more once we have our audited numbers but it looks like we’ll be off about 8% from last year.
Which was the feedback from exhibitors?
We heard time and time again from the exhibitors that although there were fewer people at the show they were most definitely seeing the right people. Those who came were there to do business and were the decision makers they wanted to see.
Which do you think were the main attractions of the show in terms of new product releases?
All of the major manufacturers had new and innovative games. Some worth mentioning include: IGT’s “Winner’s Choice” and “Scavenger Hunt”, WMS introduced “Time Machine” and “Bluebird 2”, Bally Technoligies introduced “Game Maker” and a new and improved version of “Break Out”, Konami launched “Poduim” and in case you missed it Aristrocrat featured “Jaws” and the viedoe version of “The Sopranos”, Atronic was showing a community –play version of “Deal Or No Deal” and “The Three Stooges”. From the European manufacturers we saw Novomatic displaying “Novo Super Vision” a new slant-top design specifically for the U.S. market and Casino Technology was showing its “Genimi Sensa” cabinet. In addition, table games were a big attraction and new electronic table games scattered the floor and were prominent in the ShuffleMaster booth.
Which conference sessions attracted more attention?
Our most popular sessions included: Signature Series: G2E Future Watch: Opportunities for Indian Gaming; Design Discussion; A State-of-the-Industry Panel; Doing it Right: Compliance and Regulation and Tribal Commissioners: Protectors of the Industry. So, 2 of our top sessions were focused on the Native American audience and the other two were focused on design and regulation.
Do you think that the current economic international crisis affected the show in some way?
It absolutely affected the show and I think is affecting every business in some way. Our numbers were down and as we headed into the event we saw a large number of show floor cancellations. Many companies were forced to dramatically cut budgets and in some cases they were going out of business. Industry leading events can in many ways be a reflection of what’s going on in a market and what we saw at G2E was that yes, many businesses are off but the industry is alive and well and looking to the future. Gaming is an industry with a lot of optimism and I know I felt that in my conversations with our exhibitors and attendees.
Will this international situation force some changes for next year edition and also G2E Asia?
As the economy continues to be off we will address it throughout the event. Our content will be focused on finding opportunities in a down market and how to stay competitive when things are tough. This is a fast moving industry in good and bad times and as always we will make sure to cover the topics that are the most relevant and timely for the gaming industry. What we know is that people in any environment value face to face interaction with their customers. And attendees value the opportunity to be educated, to network with colleagues and to see and feel the latest products the industry has to offer.