In Conversation With Korbi Carrison, Director, Global Gaming Expo

0
96

For More Than Two Decades, G2E Has Served As The Signature Event For The Global Gaming Community

ES. Tell us about your journey into the world of exhibitions?

Korbi Carrison. Like many people in the exhibition business, I ended up here unintentionally. I was working in the gaming business, in marketing for a slot machine manufacturer. My first day at a new job the trade show manager left the company. My boss looked at me and asked, “can you do this?” I took the challenge head on, learning a lot along the way. Turns out I was good at it and I loved it too. Fast forward – I’ve had the opportunity to introduce the behind-the-scenes work of the exhibition industry to many colleagues. Some love it, but it isn’t for everyone. It’s exciting for me to work with other people who are as enthusiastic about this business as I am.

ES. The Global Gaming Expo continuously evolves to reflect the growth of industry, what is your expectation from this edition?

Korbi Carrison. We are enthusiastic about this year’s edition, and the environment is changing quickly so it’s early to give expectations. There’s strong momentum behind the industry as vaccination rates increase and Las Vegas reopens. There is no doubt this enthusiasm will be felt at G2E this fall when the entire industry reconvenes in person for this long-awaited event. Right now, I would say that we are very thankful and optimistic to be back this year.

ES. Tell us about the interactive tools that G2E is offering to create a seamless experience for both exhibitors and attendees.

Korbi Carrison. Many ways that events have traditionally delivered content, convened, or shared information have changed from before the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • With a greater emphasis and integration of new technology in all aspects of this year’s show, there will be virtual and digital components available to attendees, exhibitors, and media.
  • We are viewing the new interactive tools that are available to us as an opportunity to reach gaming professionals across the globe and to give the entire industry the ability to participate in G2E, even if they are not able to travel to Las Vegas.

ES. What innovations are we witnessing in the gaming and betting industry?

Korbi Carrison. Gaming operators are perpetually innovating to provide customers with engaging, dynamic products. 2020 revenue numbers make clear there is consumer demand for online gaming options, whether sports betting or iGaming.

  • There’s little question that over the past year, iGaming has been an important to help the gaming industry weather the pandemic and has also been important for states garnering tax revenue from it.
  • The evolution of gaming devices such as slot machines and electronic table games has really raised the bar on the entertainment factor for patrons whether they play in a casino or on some other device. One of the technology advances that influences most of all is the evolution of electronic payments. Patrons expect to be able to engage in play in a safe and convenient manner, potentially without cash. New options are becoming available to satisfy this need.

ES. How has the virus outbreak affected your organization? And, how have you dealt with the situation and gears up for resurgence?

Korbi Carrison. There’s no doubt 2020 was the most challenging year in our industry’s history. The lessons we learned in the early days of COVID-19 shutdowns and reopenings have prepared our industry to weather the remaining months of the pandemic and steadily move forward.

  • The inclusion of virtual options into our event mix has moved us quickly into a situation where we are able to share more information and experiences with people anywhere, which is exciting for our brand.

ES. What do you think will be the trends in the gambling industry over the next five years?

Coronavirus and industry impact: 

  • The gaming industry has been one of the hardest-hit by the pandemic. Though recovery is well underway, there is still a long road ahead. G2E will explore how the gaming industry has navigated closures and responsible reopening, as well as how the gaming industry can work together to face the challenges ahead.

Sports betting: Sports betting:

  • The sports betting landscape has dramatically transformed since last G2E. 30 states plus DC have legalized sports betting, up from 22 since last October.
  • Pent-up demand from the months-long absence of live sports, movement to regulated markets, and new partnerships have contributed to the continued expansion of legal sports betting.

Payments modernization:

  • Our partners at the AGA are working with regulators and gaming stakeholders to shepherd a new era in casino payments by introducing digital payments on casino floors.
  • Payments modernization will be a key focus of G2E 2021, both in the educational programming and the payments solutions.

ES. Talking about the new approaches of learning, how the pandemic has changed the face of Exhibition industry?

Korbi Carrison. If this past year has taught us anything, it is to be agile and plan for all possible scenarios. Through this pandemic, we have embraced new forms of technology that have enabled us to connect with larger audiences, allowing for more diverse participation from the global gaming community.

ES. What are your upcoming plans?

Korbi Carrison. We look forward to announcing registration opening in early July, as well as an impressive roster of exciting speakers, moderators, and enriching educational content in the coming months.

About G2E – Global Gaming Expo (G2E) is a gambling industry trade show presented by the American Gaming Association (AGA) and organized by Reed Exhibitions. The flagship G2E convention debuted in 2001. In 2017, G2E was recognized as one of the 25 fastest-growing trade shows by attendance.