Global Gaming Expo 2002: The Industry's Premier Event

17 April 2002

As with any industry, the gaming industry has annual trade shows. For years, the biggest and most widely attended show was the World Gaming Congress and Expo ("World Gaming"). World Gaming took place each fall and drew over 20,000 industry members. It was owned and operated by GEM Communications, who also owns several industry trade publications. Last year, the American Gaming Association ("AGA") together with Reed Exhibitions decided to compete head-to-head with this event and held its own trade show, the Global Gaming Expo ("G2E"). In its first year, the Global Gaming Expo was a marvelous success. Now, going into its second year, the organizers of the event expect nothing but growth and improvement for the industry show. It seems as if their expectations are already being met. More than 300 exhibitors have committed to displaying their wares at this year's Expo, which will be held September 17-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Further, the AGA announced this week that the Global Gaming Expo has successfully acquired the World Gaming Congress and Expo from GEM Communications. The AGA, in partnership with Reed Exhibitions, now owns and produces a single major international trade show, the Global Gaming Expo.

The Global Gaming Expo calls itself, "the first-ever international gaming industry trade show and conference organized by the industry and for the industry." Due to this unique setting, revenues from the first G2E, held in October 2001, were invested into programs that directly benefited the industry. Rick White, president and CEO of Reed Exhibitions notes, "The goal of last year's G2E event was to produce the most exciting and informative conference and trade show the gaming industry had ever seen, and GEM's support of G2E will help us expand the scope of that vision. We're reaching farther with this year's show by adding more exhibition space and more education opportunities for participants and attendees. This acquisition would benefit the industry as a whole by bringing even more industry resources to bear in making G2E 2002 an even bigger success than last year's show."

The you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours approach is something that will benefit the entire industry. Other than Las Vegas, relatively speaking, the gaming industry is still in the early stages of its growth. Although proven as a successful economic stimulant and a legitimate entertainment option, industry officials must be in constant contact with peers. Education concerning the industry is constantly evolving and growing, and from slot technicians to dealers to CEO's, all gaming industry professionals must all stay abreast of developments. That is a big reason why the industry is extremely eager to work together with other partners, furthering knowledge, understanding regulations and sharing thoughts and ideas. The agreement between the AGA and GEM to eliminate duplicate trade shows illustrates just how well the gaming industry works together to better itself. Under the plan, the AGA will support GEM's regional trade shows via speaker presentations and announcements to members. GEM will operate popular and successful regional trade shows, while the AGA and Reed Exhibitions own and operate the G2E, the premier, once-a-year, international event for gaming industry professionals around the world.

To be featured at the G2E this year is the first annual Diversity Fair. The event has been created in an effort to allow minority and women-owned businesses access to the purchasing agents of major casino operations. The AGA and its Diversity Task Force are planning to create a system that will bring licensed smaller vendors together with people in charge of purchasing decisions for gaming industry heavyweights in private, one-on-one meetings. These opportunities will benefit smaller suppliers by allowing them the chance to compete with the larger, more established industry vendors. Those involved will have the opportunity to discuss their unique offerings as well as what they can bring to major gaming operations. The AGA reports that all segments of the gaming industry, representing all parts of the country, will be participating.

The G2E also presents the opportunity for gaming industry professionals from around the world to network with one another. Attendees can meet people they may have spoken with previously, as well as meeting many, many more. The ability for gaming industry professionals to interact with others in their field from around the globe is an excellent means of sharing information, knowledge and both positive and negative experiences. It allows people to communicate promotional and marketing strategies, understand how another property may operate, compare rules and regulations, share security strategies and ways of addressing problem gambling. More industry professionals will attend this show than any other and it will be the perfect opportunity to witness and begin to understand how gaming works around the globe.

An additional highlight of the 2002 G2E will be its New Product Showcase. From cashless gaming to roulette remotes, the New Product Showcase will display cutting edge technology in the gaming industry. There is a constant stream of upgrades and advances in gaming technology, some that will be ready for implementation and utilization immediately, and some that will need lab testing, much study and regulatory critique. The Global Gaming Expo is an excellent chance to see what is new and available in the gaming industry for both industry insiders and regulation officials.

Possibly the highlight of the three-day trade show is the more than 100 conference and workshop sessions available to those attending. Expert panel speakers and long-time industry personnel will offer their knowledge and opinions on nearly every gaming-related topic. Among the broad issues presently slated for discussion in more specifically focused sessions are bingo, communication and marketing, games and technology, gaming development, gaming law and regulations, horse racing regulations, Internet gaming, lottery, management, Native American gaming, parimutuel and security. The information shared in these sessions will benefit all involved by promoting new ideas, ways to work more effectively and by spreading beneficial knowledge within the gaming industry.

Also, the AGA will present its annual Awards Dinner Honoring America's Gaming Greats and its Communications Awards. The Awards Dinner will feature cocktails and hors d'oeuvres before the sit-down dinner. The Awards Dinner will benefit the National Center of Responsible Gaming. The Communications Awards will present "Gaming Voice" awards recognizing the efforts of those in the corporate communications field. Awards to be bestowed are for annual reports, investor relations, boards of directors, responsible gaming campaigns, advertising campaigns and employee/customer relations. The awards presentations help to recognize standouts in the gaming industry on a worldwide level, in addition to creating a friendly and congratulatory atmosphere throughout the industry.

The G2E is living up to the billing it has received as, "the first-ever international gaming industry trade show and conference organized by the industry and for the industry." In any industry - particularly one that is so relatively new, is rapidly expanding and utilizes cutting edge techniques and technology - trade shows are extremely beneficial. With the agreement reached between the AGA and GEM and the strong backing of sponsors and publications, this year's G2E will surely standout as the industry's premier event. More news concerning the second annual Global Gaming Expo will appear in this column in the future as the event approaches. The event will take place September 17-20 this year at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For comprehensive coverage of developments regarding the 2002 Global Gaming Expo or to register to attend the three-day event, stop by

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Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2002
Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2001