This article first appeared in the Mar/Apr 2016 issue of WGM.
Asia’s longest running gaming exhibition and conference, G2E Asia, is the sister show to the original G2E global gaming exhibition held in Las Vegas each year. G2E Asia was first held in 2007 at Macau Tower before moving to the then-freshly opened Venetian the following year and has grown to become a key platform for networking as well as sourcing and supplying the latest products on the gaming market.
WGM has certainly enjoyed being part of the show each year since we launched in 2009.
Supported by the Macau government, G2E Asia has tripled in size over the past 10 years to become the biggest trade event in the Asian gaming industry. As well as showcasing products to and from the world’s largest gaming market, it has also contributed significantly to inbound tourism to Macau with the 2015 show attracting a record 9,867 visitors from 79 different countries as well as 161 exhibitors.
It is highly likely that visitor numbers at this year’s show will top 10,000 for the very first time.
Notably, almost two-thirds of attendees at G2E Asia 2015 were international visitors – their presence valued at around 15,000 hotel room nights in Macau during show week.
G2E Asia has traditionally attracted pretty much all of the gaming industry’s major participants, opening the door for a number of important business opportunities. In fact, last year’s show included an impressive 679 attendees invited specifically as part of the Targeted Attendee Program, which aims to provide exhibitors with influential and relevant buyers. There were a total of 59 pre-arranged meetings on-site – not to mention hundreds of impromptu ones – generating a total business volume exceeding HK$36 million.
As Aristocrat’s Regional Marketing Manager for Asia-Pacific, Miguel Choi, explains, “G2E Asia continues to hold its place as one of the world’s most important tradeshows and provides Aristocrat with a solid platform to meet with customers, to really listen and understand their needs and to show our products to help our customers make the big play with their consumers.
“We have supported G2E Asia in the past and will continue to do so in the future. The show provides Aristocrat with a solid platform to showcase our latest innovative products to the industry in an environment that draws the industry together from the APAC region and around the world in one exciting place for three essential days of exhibiting, networking, and learning.”
Ken Jolly, Scientific Games’ Vice President for Asia, says, “The show has an unparalleled ability to leverage proven product brands and cutting-edge technology solutions that benefit customers and help businesses grow. Years of exhibiting at G2E Asia have produced many highlights, among them the opportunity to meet and network with industry leaders.
“Our CEO has presented at the G2E Asia conference and we’ve launched numerous new products on the show floor.”
So what can we expect in 2016?
According to G2E Asia organizer Reed Exhibitions, the number of exhibitors confirmed to take part has already rocketed past 2015 levels with 180 locked in so far.
There will also be a much greater focus on mass market gaming than on the VIP market that has typically dominated in previous years. This will include the first ever Macau Retail Summit, which will look at how retailers “can collaborate, unite and build a voice,” according to Chairman of the board of the Macao International Brand Enterprise Commercial Association, Vincent Tung.
“Gaming revenue is slumping and at the same time the luxury retail is also slumping,” Tung said. “On the other hand the local SME business is growing and middle class visitors are growing.”
G2E Asia will also publish a report called “The Asian Gaming White Paper” at this year’s show, which will look to aid understanding of current gaming industry trends while providing a projection of what to expect from the Asia-Pacific market in the future.
And the G2E Asia Conference will again feature an array of leading industry speakers sharing their expertise on a range of key issues impacting the local and global gaming industry.
As well as attracting some of the most influential people in the industry to provide their insights to attendees, the G2E Asia Conference has also welcomed some significant keynote speakers such as Co-Chair and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings Limited, Ms Pansy Ho, and Vice Chairman of Galaxy Entertainment Group, Francis Lui.