Attending big expos in foreign countries can be a daunting procedure for any professional, especially if you’re new to the scene. After attending almost a decade worth of gambling industry conferences and events there are still a few that fall outside of my comfort zone to this day. As a Westerner, attending conferences in the East fall even further out of my comfort zone as I’m less familiar with the exhibitors, speakers, content and delegates, but over time I’ve learned how to plan in advance and meet my objectives at such events.
G2E Asia, the largest gambling industry trade event in Asia, made its debut in June of 2007 and has been exponentially growing ever since. The sessions feature speakers who many of us have never come in contact with, the exhibition hall is filled with strange looking products catering to the Asian gambler, the delegates are speaking Chinese and attending this event as a Westerner can be downright overwhelming.
The purpose of today’s post is to teach you how to make the most of G2E Asia by quickly planning in advance how you want to navigate the show. Making the most out of attending G2E Asia is important- it’s the biggest Asian facing gambling event of the year and Asia is the largest gambling market in the world.
Here’s how you can plan for a productive time at G2E Asia in thirty minutes or less.
Identify the big name speakers& listen to their sessions
There is a long list of G2E Asia session descriptions, times, speakers, their bios and all sorts of other information that might prove challenging to sift through. Even if sessions aren’t your bag, resist the urge to skip them entirely as there are some truly impressive speakers on board this year at G2E Asia. If you had to choose one or two, the most important block of time to mark on your calendar is 9:30-11:00am on Tuesday, May 20th.
From 9:30-10:30 on May 20ththree of the gambling industry’s heaviest hitters, Gamal Aziz, the President of Wynn Macau, Grant Chum, SVP of Global Gaming Strategy for Las Vegas Sands and Grant Bowie, CEO of MGM China Holdings, will be speaking on growth prospects for Macau. Regardless if you’re interested in this subject or not, hearing from influencers in the Asian gambling industry is worth your one hour.
From 10:30-11:00 on the same day Pansy Ho, Co-Chairperson and Executive Director MGM China Holdings Limited, will be delivering the G2E Asia keynote speech and this should not be missed by anyone. Ho is one of the biggest names in the global gambling industry and for good reason- anything she has to say is important.
The rest of the sessions cover hot geographical regions for gambling in Asia, Integrated Resort models, mass marketing, the Chinese customer, regulatory and financial updates and an entire day has been dedicated to online gambling in Asia. If any of the aforementioned topics interest you, plan your schedule using the complete list of sessionsat the “2014 Conference” section of the G2E Asia website.
Visit the booths with new products
A unique feature of the G2E Asia website is the “New Products” section, a list of all the innovation on display at G2E Asia. This list includesdetails such as the companies behind the products, company and product descriptions and pictures of the products. Take a quick look at these pictures and make note of any that you would like to check out in the flesh on the expo floor.
With these new products of interest in mind, visit the G2E Asia Live Floor Plan and figure out where the companies behind them are located on the expo floor. While you’re at it, scroll through the exhibitor list on the left and mark down any other companies that you would like to visit. The interactive floor plan is a great tool and should serve as a G2E Asia “road map” to plan your journey around the expo floor.
Check out the new features for 2014
Staying on top of hot issues in the industry is key to the success of any conference organizer, so checking out anything that’s new this year at G2E Asia is likely a good indicator of the latest trends and growth areas.
The most important new feature you should be aware of this year is the iGaming Summit on Thursday, May 22nd. If you represent a company that wants to do business on the online side in Asia, attending these sessions will likely provide more educational and networking value thanwandering the expo floor.
One thing you won’t find much of at G2E Asia are official conference parties. There are a selection of official G2E Asia networking opportunities available to delegates, howevermost take place during the day or for an hour at the close of the expo.
When planning your evening hours, send out the feelers for an invite to any private parties, especially those put on by the big suppliers as they are known to be outstanding networking opportunities.
If you’d rather go the more casual route, drop by McSorley’s Ale Housein the Venetian, the closest that you’ll get to an Irish Pub and grub on the very foreign Island of Macau. More than likely you’ll see other Westerners from the conference hanging aroundMcSorley’s, so be sure to bring some business cards. Another watering hole to drop by is the Bellini Loungein the Venetian, a historicallypopular spot for G2E Asia delegates who want to socialize.
Set aside time to enjoy Macau
If time permits, set aside some of your evening hours or an extra half day to check out what Macau has to offer- it’s the center of the gambling world and will remain so for the unforeseeable future, so why not get familiar with it.
In addition to the integrated resort gambling empire it has become, Macau also has a rich history and Portuguese influence with restaurants, churches, streets and shops that will surprise you. The G2E Asia organizers have provided information on Macau’s tourism and having visited Macau twice myself, I do recommend that you make time to explore it.