The Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) saw a 19 percent uptick in the number of attendee visits following its return to the Darling Harbour district of downtown Sydney after a nearly four-year break, said the organisers.
Such visits amounted to 8,099 at the event’s new home at the recently-opened International Convention Centre (ICC) Sydney, New South Wales, compared to approximately 6,800 at the previous temporary venue at Sydney Exhibition Centre on Glebe Island, Sydney.
“It’s a key statistic that everybody looks at,” Ross Ferrar, chief executive of the event organiser, the Gaming Technologies Association, told GGRAsia.
“The relocation to ICC Sydney had a positive impact on visitor numbers… People like exhibition centres to be near the central business district of a city,” added Mr Ferrar.
This year there were 246 exhibitors – a tally 32 percent higher than the approximately 186 featured in the 2016 edition, said the organiser. Gross floor space was just over 19,000 square metres (204,514 sq feet) this year, up 12 percent compared to 17,000 sq metres last year. Four years ago the exhibition covered 15,000 sq metres.
As well as the novelty of a brand new venue, AGE 2017 also saw some upgrades in supporting technology, including paperless marketing communications between exhibitors and visitors.
“We had an attendee badge reader on every exhibition stand,” explained Mr Ferrar.
“If a visitor tapped their badge on reader, they were sent an email that day with information from each of the exhibitors they had tapped. That was hugely successful. In other words, exhibitors didn’t have to print pallets-worth of paper and visitors didn’t have to carry around bags full of brochures,” he explained.
There was a total of 11,967 badge ‘taps’ at exhibitors’ stands during the first two days of the event, and 3,956 ‘daily digest’ emails sent to those who ‘tapped’, said Mr Ferrar.
Visitors at AGE 2017 were able to broaden their knowledge about hospitality and gaming via seven complimentary seminars – with an aggregate of 1,400 places – covering the latest developments in venues, technology, research and cash management.
The seminars included a forum with chief executives from gaming technology companies. It was attended by: Walter Bugno, International Game Technology (IGT) Plc’s chief executive of international; Derik Mooberry, Scientific Games Corp’ group chief executive of gaming; Danny Gladstone, Ainsworth Game Technology Ltd’s chief executive; John Connelly, Interblock DD’s global chief executive; Eric Persson, Aruze Gaming America Inc’s general manager; and Steve Sutherland, Konami Gaming Inc’s chief executive.
“We wanted to pick and choose the topics we felt were important for the industry; so we made the seminars complimentary for people who were registering to attend the exhibition,” explained the GTA’s Mr Ferrar.
Next year’s AGE will be held from the August 14 to 16, at the ICC Sydney.
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”We have not had discussions about the concession renewal with the [Macau] government. We have taken the view that if we continue to deliver on what we expect is the expectations from operators, then we will be treated fairly”
Chairman and chief executive of MGM Resorts, the parent of Macau casino operator MGM China