I am currently in the process of finalizing plans for the upcoming Global Gaming Expo (G2E), which is taking place this month in Las Vegas. As usual, I am having a very hard time making the schedule work—there is so much to see and do but only a very short time to get it all done. I am sure many of you are in the same boat.
Indeed, it is hard to prioritize—should I concentrate on continuing education and attend the sessions and keynotes? Should I instead focus on products and plan out an extensive booth visitation schedule? Maybe the best strategy is just to hit all the parties and networking events since, after all, that is often where the latest trends and germs of game-changing new products are first discussed in a group environment.
My plan as I write this is it to put on my reporter’s hat and try to do it all or, more realistically, at least experience a little something of everything. So to fulfill my G2E duties as editor of Slot Management & Marketing, I will attend some sessions that tackle topics of interest to modern slot floor executives. Here are some I have my eye on, as described on the G2E homepage (www.globalgamingexpo.com) and the reason why I am attending:
Gaming Suppliers Roundtable—In this session, leading suppliers will discuss big-picture issues impacting the sector, including topics such as legislation, regulation, legal and responsible gaming. Discover what's on the horizon for gaming suppliers; understand how the supplier segment interacts with the greater industry; and learn the priority areas of focus for the gaming supplier segment.
Reason for attending: A way to get an update on the latest and greatest advances from leading game providers in one convenient stop.
Inviting Vulnerability-Promotional Advantage Play—Today's casino industry relies heavily on their loyalty programs to reward our best guests. Over the past five years a number of groups have been identified taking advantage of these promotions on a massive scale. Examine the vulnerabilities associated with these programs and how these groups are able to profit from them; identify these groups through customer behavior and data analytics; and learn how to model an effective strategy and criminal implications.
Reason for attending: Players jobbing slot promotion opportunities is a common complaint. Great to hear there are ways to combat this.
Evaluating, Building and Operating a Social Casino—In today's connected society, play-for-fun sites are helpful tools for marketing, building customer loyalty and maintaining relevancy for brick-and-mortar casinos. However, the approach for getting one off the ground is not easy. From evaluation to execution, hear in a two-part panel from the experts who were the first to evaluate, build, launch, operate and market a B2B social casino.
Reason for attending: I have learned a lot by going to futurist-inspired sessions in the various industries I have covered.
As for booth visits, I will touch base with all the major gaming machine providers—IGT, Scientific Games, Aristocrat, Konami, AGS, Ainsworth, Aruze, Everi, Novomatic and others. I will also carve out time to visit some of the smaller slot companies that have introduced interesting products of late—Incredible Technologies, Gamblit Gaming, Eclipse Gaming, Alto Gaming and Bluberi, just to name a few.
As for networking, I feel it is my duty to attend as many of the parties, dinners and gatherings as I can. I know, it’s a tough job and major sacrifice, but someone has got to do it.