Looking at the Global Gaming Expo from the exhibitors’ side: how the relationship with them was maintained during these long two years? If they had to choose five words to describe the fair, which ones do you consider they would use?
Resilient, exciting, anticipation, connection, and celebration are five words that come to mind that exhibitors would use to describe G2E. Since the onset of this pandemic, we’ve known that this year’s G2E would look different from previous years. We wanted to maintain an open and transparent dialogue with our exhibitors, collaborators, and stakeholders throughout the entire process. We communicated as early and as often as we could, distributing dozens of emails, held countless calls, Zoom meetings, and individual phone calls to understand the unique challenges facing our exhibitors. Through constant contact and communication, we never lost touch with the mission of G2E: to celebrate the incredible resiliency of the gaming industry.
There is no doubt that, throughout these two really challenging years, RX has followed the pulse of the pandemic and the measures taken by the Nevada authorities. In this sense, the greatest concern of those who will attend a new, but different edition of G2E Las Vegas is how the issue of sanitary protocols will be handled, both in the entrance and exit of The Venetian Expo building, and in internal activities: conferences, expo halls, networking spaces, places to eat, restrooms, and else. How will the organizer offer a healthy, safe, attractive and innovative international trade-show?
Health and safety are always top of mind and inform every component of our decision making. Our health and safety guidelines continue to evolve and are updated regularly to comply with all federal, state, and local requirements, along with the Venetian Expo’s and other industry standards, which are quite detailed. The most significant difference attendees will notice is the implementation of the vaccine verification center and mask requirement, along with other health and safety enhancements. Once an attendee has their vaccine verification wristband and expo hall badge, they can begin their G2E experience.
As for conferences and keynotes, program reveals the concern to include all the most updated and relevant aspects of the business at a time of many changes. What are the main sessions and topics that you want to highlight?
This year’s keynote lineup represents the diversity of the industry and all the people who support it, including government officials, gaming CEOs, and other business professionals. Our keynotes will touch on important industry topics, like diversity and inclusion, regrowth and recovery in the wake of COVID-19, and the burgeoning legal sports betting market. Moreover, G2E’s educational offerings are unique because they’re thoughtfully curated by the industry and for the industry. This year’s program will center upon seven topics reflecting gaming’s growth: 1) Research, Regulations, and Responsibility; 2) Finance and Investment; 3) The Customer Journey; 4) Tribal Government and Gaming; 5) The Future of Gaming; 6) Global Outlook, and 7) The Business of Sports Betting.
What place will the increasing participation of women and minorities, diversity and equal opportunity for all executives have on this year’s agenda?
This year’s program is reflective of the diversity of the gaming industry. That’s why we’re featuring a keynote on Tuesday, October 5th, at 1 p.m. on Gaming & Diversity: Pushing the Industry Forward. Jyoti Chopra (Chief People, Inclusion & Sustainability Officer, MGM Resorts International); Suzanne Clark (President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce), and Apoorva Gandhi (Senior Vice President, Multicultural Affairs, Social Impact, and Business Councils, Marriott International) will take the keynote stage to discuss how gaming companies can and should prioritize diversity at all levels to better serve customers, employees, and communities; and the way diversity will impact the future of gaming.
How do you assume it will be the experience of holding this event in a hybrid way? How will executives who cannot physically attend be able to enjoy and participate in the show? How important will the in-person attendance of executives from Latin America and the Caribbean be?
COVID-19 has forever changed the way events deliver content and share information. Although we would love to see everyone in person this year, including our Latin American and Caribbean counterparts in Las Vegas, we also understand it’s important to have options for those who can’t attend in-person or do not meet the vaccination requirements. That’s why we are engaging our virtual audience with education sessions, virtual networking with attendees and exhibitors, and ongoing connection through G2E Insider Live and other G2E Digital content. The attendance of Latin American and Caribbean business people is as important as ever. We know that this audience does a lot of business at the event, and G2E 2021 will keep on supporting them.
Analyzing the gambling scene in the United States, not only in Las Vegas, in what way do you see that the industry is opening up and being more accepted by the entire North American society, understanding the economic contribution it makes to the states and the job opportunities it brings for people?
I’ll let our show partners at the American Gaming Association weigh in on the economic impact and growth of the industry. Still, based on the diversity of our exhibitors, I can tell you that we have experienced tremendous growth in the number of companies interested in exhibiting at G2E, thanks to the expansion of legalized sports betting in many states across the country.
As the person in charge of leading the team of the show’s organization, how do you see yourself on October 8th, once the event is over: exhausted, satisfied, worried, hopeful, wanting to start working on the 2022 event, all of these sensations together?
While I don’t have a crystal ball, I imagine I’ll be satisfied, relieved, rejuvenated, and reenergized. We have all been waiting for this moment for nearly two years, and I can barely contain my excitement for when the expo hall opens. More than anything, I imagine I’ll be grateful, and heartfelt about all of the rekindled friendships and professional relationships that have been sustained throughout the pandemic, as well as thankful to work with a dedicated team who makes it all possible. Besides, the planning for G2E 2022 is already underway!