Presented by the American Gaming Association, G2E is the industry’s preeminent trade show.
G2E will showcase more than 450 exhibitors and more than 100 education sessions, covering pretty much all the bases of the casino and gaming industry.
Because its attendees have so many different interests and backgrounds in the gaming industry, G2E isn’t a one-size-fits-all expo.
On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the “show” part of G2E begins. The doors to the expansive exhibit hall will open, and tens of thousands of people will spend three days examining everything from the latest slot machines, to next-gen products, to advancements in uniforms, to online payment solutions.
Company plans and new products will be revealed on this showroom floor. But G2E unofficially begins on Monday, Oct. 2, with the first of its four-day education track.
During these days, attendees can listen to experts speak on a wide variety of topics, exchange ideas with other industry minds, and network in the hallways. It’s in this enclave where most of the industry types mill around.
Four days may seem like a long time for a trade show, but the days are a whirlwind. It’s important to maximize the time and plan out the days.
This will by my fourth year at G2E, and while that doesn’t make me a veteran by any stretch of the imagination, I have learned a lot about getting the most out of the experience. Here’s my advice.
Mark off your “can’t miss” education seminars (I’ve listed mine below), and plan all of your one-on-one meetings around those. Make sure to schedule your meetings in advance of G2E because everyone else will be busy too. Ad hoc meetings are pretty difficult to arrange.
If your meeting schedule doesn’t completely fill in, take a second look at the seminar schedule to see what other panels may be of interest to you.
Also, save some time to explore the showroom floor. Set aside at least an hour, and probably two or three depending on your interests.
Throughout G2E, you’ll find yourself waiting in line at the coffee bar, or idly sitting next to someone before a panel begins, or killing five minutes prior to a meeting.
Whenever this happens, introduce yourself to anyone in your general area. You’ll be surprised at who they might be and what insights and perspectives they might have.
Oh, and arm yourself with plenty of business cards to hand out.
There’s always a theme at G2E. In years past, it’s been social games, millennials and daily fantasy sports. This year it looks like the theme will be sports betting. (Former NBA Commissioner David Stern appeared last year to talk about the issue.)
Most of my can’t-miss sessions will occur on Monday during the iGaming Congress education track.
If you’re an Online Poker Report reader, the second session on Monday is something that will be near and dear to your heart: the online gaming landscape in the United States.
It also features yours truly, so it has that going for it.
The third session on Monday will focus on how and where sports betting will fit into the US online gaming landscape.
Panelists haven’t been listed for this session.
After lunch, the online gaming discussion picks back up with a really strong panel, which will look at the global online gaming market.
Day two kicks off as it does every year: with a keynote address from AGA President and CEO Geoff Freeman.
This year, Freeman has a lot to discuss, as the AGA has been one of the groups leading the charge for legalized sports betting in the US.
Responsible gaming policy is a hot topic in the gaming world, and it’s increasingly become one of my areas of interest.
This session will cover:
*Alternate option at 3:30 p.m. — Sports Betting in Indian Country: Leveraging a Seat at the Table to Protect Tribal Interests
On Wednesday morning, the AGA’s Will Green will lead a discussion on hosting live esports events at casinos.
In the afternoon, Green will moderate his second panel of the day, this time examining the efforts in several states to get out in front of sports betting legalization.
*Alternative option at 1:30 p.m. — The 21st Century Casino: Skill-based Gaming Innovations
In the final can’t-miss session on my G2E schedule, Marcus Yoder will talk about the latest products to hit casino floors, as well as what products are in the pipeline.