Presented by the American Gaming Association (AGA) and organized by Reed Exhibitions, Global Gaming Expo (G2E) returns to the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas October 8-11 (Education: October 8-11, Expo Hall: October 9-11). G2E’s Event Director Korbi Carrison looks ahead to G2E 2018 and highlights the newest advancements and additions to the show.
GGB: Korbi, this is your first year as show director at G2E. Tell us how you expect the show to grow this year.
Carrison: The Global Gaming Expo continuously evolves to reflect the growth of our industry, and this year will be no different.
The recent repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) opens the door to immense business opportunities for the sports betting industry. We’ve curated G2E’s first-ever Sports Betting Symposium, designed to arm the industry with the knowledge and resources needed to help stakeholders best move forward from business, operational and legislative perspectives. It will be an in-depth exploration of the sports betting industry from all angles.
Also new for G2E 2018, we’ve hand-picked entrepreneurs to showcase their innovations within the gaming and hospitality sectors. One addition we are very excited about is the Innovation Incubator at G2E, which will give students, startups and industry veterans the opportunity to pitch their greatest gaming and hospitality ideas to FUBU Founder and CEO Daymond John, as well as The Pink Ceiling and Sprout CEO Cindy Eckert (Whitehead).
The winning presentation, dubbed the Shark’s Choice, will be awarded a cash prize, as well as a complimentary booth at G2E 2019 to showcase their technology. The audience will vote for a second prize, the Customer’s Choice, which will also receive a complimentary booth at G2E 2019. Other innovators will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas at the AGA’s Innovation Lab in the expo hall.
We recently saw a nice increase in exhibit space and attendance at G2E Asia in Macau, which is also organized by Reed Exhibitions. Will G2E have a similar increase in 2018?
The success of this year’s G2E Asia is the latest example of the growing popularity and awareness of the Global Gaming Expo brand around the world. G2E is the marquee event for operators and manufacturers to grow their businesses. While the exhibitor and attendee bases for G2E and G2E Asia differ somewhat, we have seen an increase in the exhibit space booked at G2E, and attendance is trending to surpass previous years.
Sports betting was a big part of the show last year and will of course be important this year. What do you have planned in this area?
We are very excited to have confirmed ESPN’s SportCenter anchor, Scott Van Pelt, as a keynote speaker on Wednesday, October 10 at 9 a.m. The interview-style discussion, led by AGA’s Senior Vice President of Public Affairs Sara Slane, will focus on the implications of a legalized sports betting market for key stakeholders, such as sports leagues, the media and the gaming industry, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA in May.
Additionally, this year will be the industry’s debut of the Sports Betting Symposium at G2E, which will bring together the world’s foremost experts and business leaders to provide a specific vision for the future.
Indian gaming has always been a big part of the G2E conference program. What are you doing to ensure that tribal government gaming remains an important element of the show?
Tribal gaming is a vital part of the gaming industry. A core focus for this year’s show is supporting the development of tribal gaming enterprises and addressing their unique business needs. An entire educational track—organized in partnership with NIGA—is dedicated to discussing how the biggest topics in the gaming industry will impact tribal casinos. With the legalization of sports betting, we created an education session specifically to address the impact on tribal casinos with “Sports Betting: The Path Forward for Indian Country.” I also recommend everyone attend the “Tribal Leadership Roundtable,” where the leaders of the tribal sector will engage in a compelling discussion of the most important issues of today.
Tell us about the interactive tools that G2E is offering to assist both exhibitors and attendees to get the most out of the show that they can.
We recommend the show’s pre-show planning tool, My Show, which is available on the G2E website and on the G2E mobile app. Not only does it allow users to build out a schedule, but it will also recommend custom exhibitors to visit and education sessions to attend based on your registration profile and what you are looking to achieve at G2E.
The G2E show floor is the most impressive in the industry in its focus on all members of the industry, including non-gaming. Tell us how that’s going to benefit the attendees and exhibitors.
The gaming industry has evolved as casino patrons increasingly demand an integrated resort experience worldwide. To continue to discover new revenue streams and engage with new audiences, it is important for gaming operators to begin thinking about non-gaming entertainment such as esports, expanding food and beverage programs, spa offerings, and more. We want to give the gaming industry the tools to make the right partnerships that are a perfect fit for each individual operator.
With such a dynamic plan for this year’s G2E, what does this say about the growth and health of the casino industry and its largest trade show and conference?
As the casino industry grows and evolves, so does G2E. The industry is in a very exciting time where innovation is at an all-time high. G2E looks to meet that passion by giving those ideas the opportunity to shine, which has led to one of the most dynamic programming schedules we’ve ever put together for the show. The possibilities for the gaming industry in 2018 are endless, and it all begins at G2E.