hat are the main novelties that G2E will present in the upcoming edition?
There are a number of new things going on at G2E this year! We put a lot of focus on educational content this year and introduced two new conference programs. The first is the Security & Surveillance Institute which we developed in association with ASIS (the American Society of industrial Security ), it offers a full day of learning for casino professionals involved in the security and surveillance of their property. In addition, we introduced the Advanced Gaming Institute for senior level gaming professionals – this was a special request by the industry so we felt it was important to offer some content targeting a higher level of management.
In addition to those full day programs we are also offering new conference tracks for iGaming, Global Markets Forum and Retail, Dining and Entertainment. Also as part of the conference this year we are presenting a conference keynote: Michael D. Johnson, dean of hospitality at Cornell University will address our conference attendees as a luncheon on Monday.
On the show floor this year we’re pleased to feature a new exhibitor pavilion in Hall C1- this will make it easier for attendees to see some of the new participants in the event all in one place. In Hall C5 attendees will be delighted by special free samples being given out by both Sara Lee as well as Nathan’s Hot Dogs! In the North Hall we have added another Entertainment Stage that will feature variety acts to address the growth of entertainment in the gaming industry.
Finally, G2E is happening at the same time as IAAPA attractions, the amusement park event that will be taking place in the South Halls of the convention center. Your G2E badge will also get you into IAAPA.
How many exhibitors have already confirmed and how many visitors do you expect?
We have 571 exhibitors this year and expect more than 25,000 industry professionals in attendance.
What are the main issues to be treated at the G2E conferences? In addition to the sessions mentioned above we will have conference topics including: G2E Leadership Academy – returning for the 3rd year, the NCRG Conference (National Center for Responsible Gaming), Casino Design, Compliance, Law & Regulation; Corporate Social Responsibility; Finance; Gaming Technology; Human Resources; Indian Gaming; Marketing; Player’s Clubs and Incentives; Racino; Table Games and other sessions that fall under Wild Card.
We made a concerted effort this year to make sure that all of our individual sessions are focused on solutions – real take-aways that can be applied to your business as soon as you get back to the office.
The show offers non-gaming areas that are, of course, related to the industry. How important is for G2E this concept of offering a wide range of amenities that are also so important in the casino business?
We all know what the numbers are in Las Vegas, in many cases F&B, entertainment and other non-gaming revenue streams have out-performed the gaming floor. Non-gaming amenities are a crucial part of our industry and another way for gaming properties to increase their revenues and their bottom-lines. We do feel its important to include these opportunities at G2E as we want to provide a full view of the industry and provide as much value as we can for all of our attending customers from both in the U.S. and other parts of the world.
After a very hard 2009 in terms of economic challenges for most of the actors of the industry, in your opinion which are the main future challenges that the sector industry will have to face?
Well, here in the U.S. competition is going to continue to expand. As more and more states legalize different forms of gaming do we need to worry about market saturation? Certainly the states that are charging the higher tax rates for casino operators will end up losing out to those that make it more attractive for gaming to operate. If we ever see a legalization of online gaming in the U.S. or other regions where it’s currently illegal how could it change the market for all of the brick-and-mortar operators? These are questions that only time will answer for us.
This year G2E attendees can stay up-to-date on the latest news and offerings from the show by following G2E on twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. How is this new experience working?
This has been great, it lets us communicate with our customers on a daily basis. So far we have 454 followers on Twitter, 525 fans on Facebook and 419 in our LinkedIn Group. We will be tweeting onsite at the show so we expect to see these numbers increase and encourage the industry to sign up so they can follow us!
What can you tell me about Latin American presence at G2E this year?
We are delighted this year because SAGSE has stepped up and put together an area where we will see some of our Latin American exhibitors together! This area is located next to Atronic and behind EGT. SAGSE, Yogonet and ALAJA will all have their booth presence in this area. In addition, we have three other exhibitors from Argentina, one from Brazil, one from Colombia, one from Panama. To date on the attendee side we have 455 people registered from south America and another 162 from Mexico.