“More, more, more,” is the message for this year’s Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE), says Adrian Halpenny, chairman of event owner and operator, the Gaming Technologies Association.
“There is going to be more space, more exhibitors, more product and innovation… offered,” he told GGRAsia.
The 2015 edition of AGE will take place from August 11 to 13 inclusive, at ‘Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island’, as the venue, in Australia’s largest city, is branded. The 15,600 square-metre (167,917 sq feet) show floor will feature more than 165 exhibitors – including 31 making their show debut. The exhibitors come not only from Australia but also from around the world, representing a wide range of segments including gaming equipment, security technology and interior design services.
Last year, over 2,300 visitors attended the first day of the event, with 2,500 on the second day and 1,000 on the third day.
According to a survey by the organiser, 97 percent of visitors regarded the 2014 expo as “an opportunity to see new products and technology”, while 99 percent said the quality of the exhibition’s stands was “good” or “excellent”.
“Last year, we saw a good increase [in the number of visitors], especially from international regions,” Mr Halpenny said. “I think that is going to continue this year, especially from the Asian regions.”
He added: “As markets consolidate, namely [in] Australia and Asia, [there is] a lot of regional content that is applicable to both markets.”
Mr Halpenny expects many product launches to take place at AGE 2015. “When you look at the industry consolidation that has occurred over the last 24 months, I think this AGE will be the start of a series of trade shows where you will see new products put together and showcased to the customers. We will see a rising benchmark from an innovation perspective,” said the executive, referring firstly to mergers and takeovers in the casino equipment supply sector in the past few years.
Industry consolidation no threat
Mr Halpenny is also senior vice-president Australia and Asia – gaming for Scientific Games Corp. The company, a specialist in lottery equipment and management, last year acquired slot-machine supplier Bally Technologies Inc. Prior to that, it took over slot-machine maker WMS Industries Inc.
Mr Halpenny said that while the consolidation in the casino technology supply sector had reduced the number of overall players in the market, it “should not be seen as a threat” by trade show organisers. Mr Halpenny said that despite a drop in the universe of large exhibitors available to attend such trade events, the range of products to be displayed has not diminished.
“We got a lot more products that we need to show,” Mr Halpenny stated.
He added: “None of the companies that has consolidated is looking at cutting product lines or brands; they want to extend them. I don’t think, from that perspective, that there has been any loss of offerings through this consolidation process.”
To help visitors plan their visit to AGE 2015, attendees can make use of the event’s official mobile app. It is available for download at the Apple Store, on Google Play or via the event website. The app features event information including how to get to the venue, transport timetables, an interactive floor plan and a detailed exhibitor list.
Exhibition entry is complimentary to gaming industry executives, courtesy of the Gaming Technologies Association. Trade suppliers however are not eligible to attend the event unless exhibiting.
Mr Halpenny said AGE has found its niche in the market for gaming trade shows. The annual event, launched in 1990, is a “very engaging show from an Australian and regional industry perspective”.
He stated: “It is a trade show that does offer value to all stakeholders, from suppliers to operators. It is a natural place to engage from a regional perspective. I think it is one show that will never be in jeopardy.”
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