By Korbi Carrison, Event Director, Global Gaming Expo (G2E), at Reed Exhibitions U.S.*
On October 2019, G2E welcomed more than 27,000 attendees spanning 300,000 square feet of the Sands Expo show floor in Las Vegas, U.S. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic situation, on July 2020, we decided to cancel this year’s in-person edition of the show. As the industry continues to navigate reopening, we resolved to present a virtual offering that is reconvening the G2E community to advance our collective recovery. This two-day exhibition that started yesterday allows us to bring the G2E experience in a digital platform directly to attendees wherever they are, providing access to education, and enabling the connections that make any event special.
In this sense, year after year, we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to raise the bar and produce a trade show that match the caliber of the gaming industry companies and leaders being brought together.
As a 20-year G2E veteran, I arrived to this position more than 2 years ago with the mindset of an exhibitor. My previous professional experience on the exhibitor-side has motivated our team to create an efficient and value-added experience for each of our exhibitors. From our quality education tracks to our innovative technological enhancements, our goal is to put the exhibitors’ and attendees’ needs first, and to deliver an experience that grows the industry. These are some issues of this week’s event that I want to highlight.
The previous process
We quickly learned that moving to a virtual event format allows for new opportunities like enabling more diverse participation from the global gaming community. Whether planning a virtual show or our typical in-person gatherings, we remain focused on how we can bring the industry together to offer a global spotlight on innovation and provide opportunities for learning and collaboration. This year’s event process started on October 14th with a complimentary kickoff session, Leading Through COVID-19: Real Conversations on Resilience. The idea was to have the example of three gaming leaders who navigated their properties’ efforts to responsibly reopen. This was followed by a two-week preview of G2E’s virtual platform, for all attendees to know more about the possibilities offered by this platform. All of this process culminates on this week’s event, with high-profile keynotes, networking opportunities, virtual media tours and business appointments.
Our quality education
We pride our education program development on being research-based, prioritizing what our commercial and tribal operators and other stakeholder attendees want to see. We also feature marquee keynote speakers to add insights and knowledge, and lift up key themes on overcoming challenges and remaining relentlessly mission-focused. This year’s education offerings reflect the industry’s current challenges and emerging trends, from sports betting and payments modernization, to lessons learned during the industry-wide closures and what’s next on the horizon.
Willingness to try new things
We consistently embrace innovations, accept feedback, and evolve to serve this industry. Every year, I’m amazed by the latest developments in technology that enhance the planning and meeting experience for G2E attendees. This year’s flexible digital platform enables visitors to discover exhibitor’s products from the comfort of their homes or offices in order to get the best solutions that fit their needs. Registered executives can also virtually browse, meet, and connect directly with attendees and exhibitors through video meetings and chat in one place. Besides, through AI-driven matchmaking and suggestions based on the event activity of visitors, they will receive tailored recommendations on the most relevant vendors for their business to make this G2E experience efficient and productive.
Apart from the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, no other topic generate more interest than sports betting. The segment has seen rapid expansion across the U.S. and other areas globally, and many more jurisdictions are considering it. That’s why we keep on emphasizing on this issue through our educational program.
As a cashless society continues to show far-reaching popularity for consumers throughout retail and other industries, the gaming industry is innovating through its payment capabilities. On this virtual edition, taking into account the introduction of digital payments to the casino floor, we are addressing what may be the next big evolution in gaming with two panels: How Payments Modernization Advances Responsible Gaming and The Future is Here and It’s Payment Modernization.
Our gratitude to the gaming community
We’re grateful that our G2E audience has been incredibly understanding throughout every step in this process. I am excited for the chance to reconnect and learn from industry leaders and the wider gaming industry during this critical moment. We all understand now is the time to come together to collaborate and help propel our dynamic industry forward. Again, we are proud to produce the largest global gaming trade show in the Americas. Because of the initial interest in G2E 2020, we are thinking about how to continue virtual components in future editions and as we work to make G2E a year-round brand engagement. The next in-person edition of this expo is set to return to the Sands Center in Las Vegas on October 4-7th, 2021. We hope you take the time to let us know how we can continue to serve our vibrant and innovative gaming industry.
*From January 2018, Korbi Carrison is serving as Event Director for G2E show, organized by Reed Exhibitions. Since then, Carrison has been designing, building and delivering a dynamic experience to the thousands of gaming-industry professionals who travel from around the world to attend G2E in Las Vegas each year.
Korbi is a seasoned professional with a wealth of experience and expertise across both the gaming and trade show industries. She has more than 20 years of experience leading exhibit efforts of large companies in the gaming space. She was Everi Holdings’ Director of Marketing and Promotions, where she oversaw the planning and execution of more than 22 events annually. Her previous roles include leading the worldwide trade show team for WMS Gaming, directing North American trade shows for IGT and running conferences for Spectrum Gaming Group.
Always very passionate about the gaming industry and B2B experiential events, Carrison holds a BS in Marketing from St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, U.S.