n June 1, the American Gaming Association (AGA) and Reed Exhibitions confirmed that Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2021 will be held as an in-person event again across October 4–7 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.
Since last year, organizers talked to exhibitors and attendees "all the time," Korbi Carrison, Event Director of Global Gaming Expo at Reed Exhibitions US tells Yogonet in a video interview. "We decided that in April and May of this year we would do a research study surveying our key buyers, the best of the best buyers that come to G2E. We wanted to get an idea if they felt safe traveling to Las Vegas, would they travel to Las Vegas? Would they be doing business in Las Vegas if they came to G2E? And we had an overwhelming response, over 80 percent of the people that we surveyed said ‘Yes, we feel the need to come to G2E’, and also that they would do business at G2E, which is the reason why we come all together, correct? So, when we on June 1st made the announcement that we are going forward with in-person G2E, the response was phenomenal. It was so positive, we had stakeholders calling, text, e-mail, LinkedIn going crazy and we just were very happy that we got that feedback from all stakeholders across the industry, that they were happy to be coming back to G2E this year."
When asked about changes G2E attendes could expect this year in Las Vegas, Carrison says that overall, G2E will look mostly the same. "Certainly, the expo hall will be back, it might be a little bit smaller than some of our attendees are used to in the past," she says. "I think the physical show itself will look a lot like the G2E that you’re used to. There may be some different health and safety things in place that we can fill you in on as we get a little bit closer to the date because we really have top priority on G2E being a safe event for people to come to."
However, Carrison is aware not everybody will be able to attend the in-person event. "And that’s okay. We want to be able to engage with the entire industry, whether they can come in person or not. So we are developing some virtual ways for people to get the information that we talk about at G2E, and to experience, to network with each other, and really overall, just make those connections like we make at the in-person event. But some of the really special things that are getting lined up right now are how we deliver that sought-after content, like the State of the Industry, that is our Tuesday morning keynote every year, and I think everyone will be excited to tune in and hear what Bill Miller from the AGA has to say about ‘Hey, we’re doing great in our recovery mode’, and 'Where do we go from here?' So that’s content that in the past you had to be in the room to see it. This year everyone is going to be able to see it online virtually, so it’s things like that, hearing from other industry leaders that’s going to be very exciting, and we’ll be delivering that and other experiences virtually this year along with the in-person G2E."
Furthermore, through its survey to key stakeholders, G2E asked them what kind of content they would like to see, which led organizers to put together content around industry recovery. "That’s always in the back of our minds when we talk about any of our content at G2E, we used to do it this way, can we continue to do it this way, or do we need to update our approach? But especially we’ve had a great response to the content around payments modernization, and around igaming, and sports betting. We’ve had just very good engagement across all of those platforms, and it’s engagement from new people too, so we’re really excited that people who maybe before weren’t able to come to G2E, can come through this digital channel and can enjoy the content and learn from it as well."
G2E Event Director says she has seen the industry recovery in the last few months, especially in the US, with a lot of people in Las Vegas, and casinos all over the country. "We’ve had shows come back to Las Vegas recently, so we’ve learned from those shows, and the restrictions going away in Las Vegas on June 1, that changes things again, so we know that safety will be very high-priority." Carrison says further details on these measures will be released closer to the date, but "the most reliable place to get that information is our website, that information changes whenever we have an update we change it on our website, and that information will be also sent out to attendees in advance, so everyone has the most recent information before they come to Las Vegas."
"Really I just want to reinforce the fact that we’re excited to bring the industry back together. We’re excited to see the people that we do business with, we’re excited to make business opportunities for the exhibitors and the attendees that come to Las Vegas with a purpose at G2E time, and we’re excited to just bring the community together, whether it’s in person or virtually, for a great experience this October," Carrison concludes.