Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia, a branded exhibition and conference returning to Macau from July 11 to 13 after a three-year, pandemic-related pause, is likely to attract 5,000 trade visitors drawn from 80 countries and regions, said an organiser, RX (Reed Exhibitions) at a Tuesday press conference in Macau.
The pre-pandemic format of the branded event was firmly focused on the Asia-Pacific casino industry in terms of the trade show and conference, and generated about 10,000 trade visitors for its 2019 edition, affirmed Reed Exhibitions’ senior vice president of commercial for Asia Pacific, Yip Je Choong (pictured), and the firm’s project director, Vera Ng, at Tuesday’s media briefing.
This year’s Macau edition of G2E Asia – held as with previous editions at the Venetian Macao resort – will have as speakers some familiar names from the casino sector.
They include Ed Bowers, president of global development at MGM Resorts International, which is involved with local partners in advancing a casino resort in Osaka, Japan; and Chen Si, chief operating officer of the under-construction Inspire Entertainment Resort being promoted by Mohegan Gaming, in Incheon, South Korea.
Nonetheless the focus this year is said to be on the non-gaming aspects of casino resorts. The trade show part is called “Asia IR Expo”, and the conference is called “Asia IR Summit”. The term “IR” is commonly used in the industry to denote an integrated resort with many non-gaming amenities as well as a casino.
The trade show will cover a number of non-gaming fields including “travel, technology, eSports, sports, wellness, art and entertainment”, according to the organiser. The conference part will focus on non-gaming and tourism development for Asia’s integrated resorts.
Another G2E Asia-branded event held in Singapore from May 30 to June 1 this year, had been “100 percent gaming-related”, remarked Reed’s Mr Yip.
As well as the non-gaming focus for this year’s Macau event there will be a concurrent event at the same location, called the “Greater Bay Area Hotel and Cultural & Creative Industry Expo”.
The 100 exhibitors cited as attending the gathering is a consolidated figure for the concurrent events, confirmed Reed.
Organisers of concurrent event
According to a WeChat page reviewed by GGRAsia, the Greater Bay Area Hotel and Cultural & Creative Industry Expo is organised jointly by the Macau Cultural Promotion Association, Nam Kwong Culture and Creativity Industry Co., Ltd, a Chinese state-owned enterprise; and the National Base for International Cultural Trade (Shenzhen). Shenzhen is an industrial city in the mainland’s Guangdong province, next door to Hong Kong.
GGRAsia asked Reed’s Mr Yip at Tuesday’s media briefing, whether a Singapore G2E Asia and a Macau G2E Asia would be held in the same year in future, and with the same demarcation of content.
He said it was “too early to answer”. He added: “We are working very hard to get the necessary feedback from all the stakeholders” attending G2E Asia-branded events, before deciding “what is the best thing to do” in future.
He also noted Reed was aware of some stakeholders’ concerns about the short gap between the Singapore event and the Macau one this year. Macau only relaxed inbound travel restrictions in January this year. A Singapore edition of G2E Asia had been held in 2022, when the Macau trade show market was still effectively shut off for foreign visitors.
Mr Yip stated on Tuesday: “When you have two trade shows that are very close together, certainly it will cause concerns to the exhibitors; some of them will not be able to go to both. So definitely we will look into that as a key issue that we have to address.”
More than 500 buyers have been invited under Reed’s “Privileges Program” to attend the trade show portion of July’s Macau event, with about half from non-gaming departments within their entities, Ms Ng told reporters at the Tuesday briefing.
The conference portion of this year’s Macau gathering will feature over 30 sessions, and currently has more than 100 confirmed speakers.
The conference themes include an “Asian Market Forum” held on the first day of the event, and “Gaming Operation in New World” on the second day.
Aside from Mr Bowers and Mr Chen, other speakers include Frederic Gushin, managing director of Spectrum Gaming Group, and Steve Vickers, founder and chief executive of business-risk consultancy Steve Vickers and Associates.
Also contributing will be Alidad Tash, founder and managing director of industry consultancy 2NT8 Ltd; and Daniela Guerreiro, associate lawyer at Macau law practice MdME. Other speakers are James Comber, partner based at the Hong Kong office of international law firm Ashurst; and Kenneth Fong, managing director and head of China Internet and Asia gaming research at Credit Suisse AG.
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