n a talk that was held during the closure of the Mexican show, the organizers of the event commented to Yogonet.com their annoyance because of the situation generated, and pointed the steps they expect to consider in the future, explaining part of the conflict that affected the organization of ELA 2012.
When consulted about the balance of the show, the organizers were conclusive. Carlos García Muñoz assured that “talking about the balance of an event that suffered a boycott is, at least, complicated. We are satisfied with the number of exhibitors we had, and even happier with the level of the product offer. Considering the level of the assembly of stands by the companies, we are highly satisfied, however, we must say that, among exhibitors, there are companies that were very satisfied while the largest exhibitors were upset and disappointed with the result, due to the situation generated”.
Pedro Galindo Guerra added that “the exhibition area was reduced in a 12%, compared to last year, in part due to the crisis that Mexico experimented and, in part, due to the fact that many small perimetral booths were hired by bigger booths, which distorts a bit the numbers. Smaller exhibitors are very happy, while some of the biggest exhibitors are very angry due to the boycott, because, although some businesses have been done, their expectations have not been complied, while others, like Merkur, assured that they had its best event in Latin America ever. As you can see, we have mixed opinions”.
“It is evident that what cannot be tolerated is the boycott of an association one day before the beginning of an event, without previous notice, where they damaged an event and the series of conferences that took place within the show, without any reason. The answer they gave is unjustifiable, so we will have a meeting with the leaders of the Association of Games and Draws Licensees (APJSAC), responsible of this measure, in order to define the situation for next year: if there is a commitment of respecting the event, it will be organized; on the contrary, we will be the first in saying that the event will not be held in 2013”.
“With regard to the visitors, we estímate that the flow must have decreased a 10% compared to last year, which shows that many operators from independent casinos have come to the show, which are unaware of these political battles between the associations. Evidently, the employees of the companies that have not participated in the boycott have also beel present, while the operators that prohibited their executives to assist managed to impose the initiative, which explains the decrease in the public”, added Galindo.
“As well as in the four previous editions, in this occasion, the doors have been opened to the whole gaming sector. No one has been asked where they come from and no one has been banned the entrance. We bet that everyone can come and see what the sector offers, so we consider that the main victim of these measures is not the event itself but the exhibitors, which felt that some operators despised their invitation to this space. The event is the place where they show their customers the new products, however, their own customers refected their invitation, without event saying why. I believe this comment by different exhibitors explains what has happened”, considered García Muñoz.
This way, ELA 2012 closes its doors with a bitter taste, which had no relation with the huge contribution made by exhibitors, offering a very attractive and careful business frame. The show could not achieve to gather some of the biggest operators, immersed in a battle between associations that does not offer improvements to the sector, but divisions that debilitate the potential of a growing market such as Mexico.
The whole industry will have to wait for novelties with regard to the negotiations to be carried out between the parties, in order to have, once again, a great celebration for the sector in Mexico City next year.