onsidering the success of G2E Asia 2008, what are the main challenges you have to face as organizers of the event, considering the current worldwide economic situation?
Tough economic times are hard for any business. In the case of events we have additional challenges because there are so many factors that contribute to a company’s participation as an exhibitor and equally as many factors for the visitors that attend the events. Our goal this year is to deliver a stellar event to the market, even though the event may be smaller in size. What we are seeing with our events around the world is quality over quantity. People still find tremendous value in meeting face to face and staying in touch with what’s going on in their industry. So, while there will be a few less companies this year and a smaller show floor you will still see all of the major players represented at G2E Asia including IGT, Aristrocrat, Bally, Jumbo Technologies, Konami, RGB, ShuffleMaster, Weike, WMS and many many others.
Macau has suffered the consequences of the crisis. How do you evaluate the current situation of that market?
There’s no question that Macau has been suffering a bit. However, Macau is still a major gaming destination for the Asian market and will continue to be strong well into the future. City of Dreams will be opening its doors in less than a month- a few days before G2E Asia in fact- so the offerings of Macau will be more robust than ever.
There will be a new Design, Décor & Hospitality Pavilion at this year’s event. What characteristics will it have? Will there be any other novelties in this show?
Unlike G2E in Las Vegas, the Design & Décor exhibitors are not physically located in the same area on the show floor but rather spread out. These exhibitors represent furniture & fixture products as well as architectural design companies. One exhibitor, Falcon’s Treehouse, is not only joining us for the first time, but will also be showcasing their new project, The Bubble theater as part of Melco’s City of Dreams grand opening.
Seapower Trading Co. Ltd a renowned wine and spirits distributor in Macau will be sponsoring our VIP lounge. Our VIPs will be able to sample a wide variety of wine and spirits while taking a break during the event.
Also this year we have an entertainment agency exhibiting with us Love Productions Asia, who will be showcasing live entertainment acts in their booth. Live Entertainment is a big part of the casino industry and has a strong presence at G2E in Las Vegas. We see this as a growth area for Asian market and look forward to expanding it’s presence on the show floor in the following years.
What are your expectations with regards to the number of exhibitors and visitors?
There will be 135 companies exhibiting and we expect around 4000 attendees at the event.
How many countries will be present at Macau event?
Exhibitors represent 23 countries. As for the visitors, in 2008 we had attendees from over 100 countries and our expectation is about the same for 2009.
What will be the main issues to be treated at the series of conferences?
Each year our conference programming is completely built from the ground up to address the most critical issues facing the industry in each given year. With that, the primary focus of this year’s overall offering is to provide insight into the financial crisis with results-focused sessions built to grant attendees the knowledge needed to come out of the downturn smarter and more profitable. Specifically we have developed a new “Global Markets Forum” to carefully examine the economic and regulatory issues affecting current and emerging markets from a broad array of gaming jurisdictions in the pan-Asian region. Another new component we’ve developed for this purpose is our “Challenge & Opportunity” offering.
This program will provide attendees with an analysis of the current challenges facing the industry, and highlight potential opportunities for improvement and change within gaming operations. We’ll also utilize the typical G2E track format across the following content areas: Casino Design (architecture, interior design, project development), Gaming Floor (table game and slot technology operations), Marketing, Security & Surveillance, and Wild Card. Finally our popular Gaming Management Certificate Program is returning by popular demand.
This executive program, produced in partnership with gaming professors at the University of Macau and the University of Nevada Las Vegas Singapore, includes special interactive educational workshops designed to help new casino managers in Asia further their knowledge of current gaming trends in Macau.