Although the playing trade nonetheless suffered the results of the continued Covid-19 pandemic all through 2021, in some ways, the 12 months supplied a slight return to normalcy in sure particular regards. In-person occasions, which have been systematically canceled in 2020, got here again within the now-closing 12 months, though largely in a hybrid method, combining the alternatives solely supplied by face-to-face conferences with the comfort on-line actions current to worldwide company.
Among the many trade summits returning as in-person occasions in 2021 was the celebrated Global Gaming Expo (G2E). Held from Oct. 4-7, on the Venetian Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, the long-lasting commerce occasion held its first face-to-face present after a two-year hiatus as a result of pandemic. In the course of the 4 days it lasted, G2E gathered greater than 13,000 international gaming professionals, together with exhibitors, patrons and media from all over the world.
“Bringing collectively 1000’s of pros is not a simple feat in a traditional 12 months, not to mention in in the present day’s difficult atmosphere, however we’re so proud that the World Gaming Expo was one of many first tradeshows to securely return to Las Vegas,” displays on the 2021 version Meredith Pallante, American Gaming Association (AGA)‘s Vice President, World Occasions, in an interview with Yogonet.
AGA, together with Reed Exhibitions, is in command of curating and organizing the annual expo, which affords the newest novelties within the gaming trade. Enterprise appointments, product shows, keynotes and academic actions are all held through the days G2E takes over Las Vegas, and 2021 was no exception: the present was the most important in-person international gaming occasion for the reason that pandemic’s begin, with 233 exhibitors.
“The gaming trade and Las Vegas wanted it, particularly after probably the most difficult time in our trade’s historical past,” says Pallante. “We discovered our attendees really needed to be in Las Vegas for the in-person expertise.”
Whereas on-line gathering affords its personal set of benefits, permitting for company to tune in from all around the world and to document keynotes and different actions held through the Web, some issues are greatest mentioned in-person. “Everybody was desperate to reconnect with one another and conduct enterprise you merely cannot do over Zoom,” the AGA consultant states.
However G2E’s return to Las Vegas was not solely crucial for these looking for to reconnect with the sector on a extra private degree. It was additionally a much-needed alternative to sort out and talk about the newest gaming improvements and trade points -keynotes coated urgent subjects resembling inclusion, cashless wagering and the growth of sports activities betting- in a 12 months that, regardless of the pressures introduced by the pandemic, nonetheless allowed for loads of enterprise to occur.
“2021 is now gaming’s greatest performing 12 months ever and you would see the innovation that’s fueling our development on show at G2E 2021,” AGA’s VP World Occasions tells Yogonet. “The expo flooring dropped at life the brand new expertise driving conventional gaming whereas introducing new merchandise supporting the growth of sports activities betting and iGaming. This 12 months has been outstanding for our trade and G2E is not any exception.”
With the bar set excessive by the 2021 version, G2E’s upcoming trade show in Vegas, confirmed to be held on October 10-13, might be tasked with offering a platform for all the newest trade developments happening in an ever-changing panorama. That is no straightforward feat, however the occasion’s organizers are as much as the duty.
“G2E serves as a platform and vacation spot to convene, determine, and talk about the developments and points driving the trade,” explains Pallante. And what are a few of these developments? “Sports activities betting, iGaming and digital funds have all seen great development through the pandemic and we count on they may proceed to be scorching subjects into 2022,” she predicts.
However success within the trade additionally depends on in search of methods to remain forward of the curve and supply added worth to customers. In that sense, a couple of developments might show to change into important additions to product choices within the close to future. “We are also taking a look at what’s subsequent…,” says Pallante. “For instance, how do cryptocurrency or esports match into the equation?”
These new applied sciences and developments, in fact, additionally indicate a brand new set of discussions available by way of participant safety, sustainable development and compliance. Because the panorama adjustments, so do the necessities and roles gaming operators and companies should fulfill.
“There’s additionally an essential dialogue occurring throughout the trade round duty and rising a sustainable market that may function prominently in what we do each on the AGA and thru G2E in 2022,” confirms the manager. “The previous few weeks have proven us we have not reached the top of the pandemic but and that it is essential our trade and G2E stay nimble.”
Whereas October 2022 looks like a long time into the longer term, particularly given how the trade has now tailored to a extra short-term-oriented mind-set amid the uncertainty skilled these final two years, the AGA seems ahead to welcoming again company and exhibitors within the upcoming version.
“We’re excited to return to Las Vegas from Oct. 10-13 for G2E 2022,” says Pallante. “I do know I am hopeful about welcoming extra of our U.S. stakeholders and worldwide viewers in 2022.”
Will this indicate forsaking the alternatives introduced by the Web to the trade? Actually not, in response to the VP of World Occasions. “We’re additionally doubling down on our year-round content material by way of G2E Digital,” she states. “This platform retains the trade linked, supplies distinctive academic alternatives, and helps set the stage for once we convene in Las Vegas. It’ll be an thrilling 12 months for G2E!“