Publisher’s Commentary: What I loved, liked and disliked about G2E By Jeffrey Compton, CDC Gaming Reports October 18, 2019 at 10:41 pm I have attended over a dozen G2Es to this point, and the 2019 event was by far my favorite. This is the fourth year that CDC Gaming Reports brought out special “From the Floor” G2E issues. Thanks to Howard Stutz, Cory Roberts and Jim McGlasson our 2019 experience was smooth sailing editorially, operationally and financially. Our normally widely scattered writing team enjoyed working together, and playing together – for four days once a year. As with some of the other gaming trade shows I have attended, the G2E organizers asked me for my perspective on what worked and what didn’t, which I take as a sincere compliment (don’t spoil it for me), so here goes: I loved: The Exhibit Floor: For the last few years, G2E organizers Reed Exhibitions and the American Gaming Association (AGA) put special emphasis on the importance of the Exhibit Floor. That was especially evident this year. While other pieces of the pie matter, including speakers, networking events and the chance to see past and present industry colleagues, the purpose of a trade show is to conduct business – and nowhere is there a better place to conduct gaming industry business than the G2E Exhibit floor. That message was heard. Every exhibitor, large and small, brought their A-game this year, and the floor was exciting, educational, and outright gorgeous. Even on Thursday morning, business was brisk, and getting around some booths was a challenge due to the crowds. G2E Show Logistics: If you arrived by car, like I did, there were plenty of attendants in the Sands Convention garage to help you find a spot. The Palazzo had good signage pointing to the Convention Area, with plenty of well-identified and helpful attendants available as you get closer to the show. No question is a stupid question. Several people mentioned to me that registration this year was especially smooth – either electronically or the old-fashioned way. G2E Attendees: I’ve previously worked in manufacturing in the Midwest and in the fine arts scene in New York City, and I still say that gaming industry folks are the friendliest people to work and interact with. Because of my position at CDC Gaming Reports, I’m known, or at least known of, by far more people than I know, and unlike Roger Gros I do not remember the names and backgrounds of everyone I ever met. My apologies to anyone who greeted me and was met with a puzzled look. Media Room: This year’s G2E media room was operated by the Washington DC-based PR firm Locust Street and sponsored by DraftKings, which meant there were lots of good things available to eat. The LS team was helpful, thoughtful and totally devoid of drama. They were there when we needed them and out of the way when we didn’t. Thank you! Korbi Carrison (Reed) and Allie Barth (AGA): A great deal of the success of the last two G2Es stems from the fine work of these two professionals. Carrison and Barth work hard individually and well together, and because of their professional relationship, their organizations now appear to be in total sync regarding all things G2E. They have made tough calls, even against CDC Gaming Reports, for what they feel is the overall good of the show. I liked: The speakers: Because of my schedule and coverage by other members of the CDC team, I did not attend many conferences, but I heard great comments about the Keynote Speakers as well as several of the sessions. As usual there were some duds (“that session was an hour-long sales pitch”) but that happens at every trade show. I also heard a few negative comments regarding the quantity (though not the quality) of sessions devoted to sports betting. Sci Games’ exhibit: I am not a fan of Sci Games’ Kaaba-style floor exhibit, but this year’s trip behind the curtain was interesting and entertaining. It was easier to gain entrance, at least as media, and once inside the layout was impressive, resembling a small upscale casino with table games, a sports betting zone and, of course, a number of new machines. The lighting also seemed much better to me this time. The G2E app: Considering how often I used it while navigating the exhibit hall, the new G2E app was a definite success. My only complaint was about the constant Tony Orlando-esque request to rotate my phone three times, three different ways, to make the mapping work. My marketing team, however, loved it, because it showed that six out of the ten “Hot Hits” exhibitors were CDC advertisers. The AGA’s new quarterback: The only reason for the ambiguous label and its location in the “like” section is that I did not want to be quoted as saying “I love Bill Miller!” I barely know the new AGA President and CEO, after all. However, based on unsolicited comments, remarks and asides from his team and others who work with him, it is readily apparent that Miller is mastering the role of team leader at our favorite trade association. #commentary – What I loved, liked and disliked about G2E. -Jeffrey Compton, Publisher, CDC Gaming Reports. https://t.co/XUAsEdcUgT @G2Eshows @DKSportsbook @ReedExhibitions #CDCgaming — CDC Gaming Reports (@CDCNewswire) October 26, 2019 I disliked: The G2E food options: Though the food options at the Sands Convention Center and the nearby casinos are better than similar event venues in Las Vegas, although, to be fair, I’ve been rather spoiled by the Excel Center in London. Right in the middle of the two main exhibit halls at the Excel Center – incidentally, the home of the ICE show in February 2020 – are a variety of quick, tasty and relatively cheap food choices for breakfast, lunch or a snack. At the Sands, by contrast, exhibitors are forced to either walk several minutes to stand in a long line at a so-so fast – but not cheap – food joint, or eat at one of the nearby restaurants, which can take an hour or more during a very busy day. See you all next year at G2E 2020, October 6-8 at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas!