hich are your expectations for next edition of IGE in London?
Our expectations are strong and positive. This is the first year of the International Gaming Expo which we believe represents the broadest coalition of gaming products, services and suppliers in the world. The product offering ranges from low stake gaming through to land-based casino gaming, remote, server based gaming, video lottery terminals, and betting products, as well as associated suppliers of gaming components and services. IGE is now the most comprehensive gaming event in the world; as a team we are very excited about its prospects and how it will be received by visitors who we know will be traveling from throughout the world.
How many exhibitors will be present this year? Do you have any forecast in terms of number of visitors?
The exhibitor base will include over 300 leading companies from close to 50 nations. It’s a very diverse collection of companies in terms of their commercial size, their geographical location and their product offering. This diversity is what makes IGE such a vitally important business event and so popular with buyers from around the world. In terms of visitor numbers we always avoid making predictions although I can say that our pre-registration figures are very strong.
Which are the international markets with more companies exhibiting in London?
Outside of the host nation, the USA and Taiwan are represented by the biggest number of exhibitors (21 each), followed by Malta (18), Germany and Austria (both 12). The Netherlands, Spain and Slovenia all have 10 and Sweden 9. Korea has 5, Belgium, Latvia, Russia and Serbia each have 4, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Japan and Poland are all represented by 3 and the Czech Republic, Romania, South Africa, Ukraine and the Virgin Islands each have 2 exhibitors.
Which are the main features of IGE 2009? Which differences will the exhibitors and visitors see compared to last year’s edition?
To pick on a single feature really does the show a disservice. It is a unique market place dedicated to gaming: that’s why it is such a must do event for buyers seeking products and looking to identify market trends. There really is nothing to compare it with in terms of its focus and delivery.
How do you think the current economic international crisis will affect the show in particular this year, and the whole gaming industry in 2009?
It is during times of uncertainty that the real value of exhibitions come to the fore. Very few people in business are able to predict quite how 2009 will unfold and it would appear that the only certainty is uncertainty. What strategies are operators deploying to address the economic downturn? How recession-proof is gambling? Is remote gaming the economic hotspot? Will governments liberalize legislation to help generate tax receipts and fill the black hole in the state’s balance sheet? All of these issues and no doubt many, many more will be foremost in the minds of industry operators – and where better to air them, debate them, to listen, to share and to learn than at major trade events such as the International Gaming Expo.
The best brains, the most experienced operators and the most successful business people in the industry attend IGE and it is from this constituency of experts that the future direction the respective industries take will evolve. I don’t believe that it’s possible to put a price on the value of the information that astute operators will gather from attending the International Gaming Expo.