(Exclusive interview).- Gamesman assesses upcoming performance at ICE with Focus Gaming News.
Gamesman is about to celebrate two decades of major presence in the international gambling industry at ICE Totally Gaming, next February 7-9 at the ExCel convention centre in London. The renowned manufacturer of casino equipment and systems will offer an exclusive experience to all visitors of the biggest gaming event of the year, as confirmed to Focus Gaming News by Martin Rigby, Sales Director at the company. Gamesman has shared its assessment on the upcoming event based on its wide experience and commented on its preparation to present its latest content and the technology they will chose to develop during this year.
This year you will be celebrating your 20th consecutive appearance at ICE. How are you preparing for this year’s edition?
ICE is one of the most important gaming exhibitions of the year, if not the most important. As such, it’s essential that you prepare fully and with almost military precision. It means establishing the product offering, making sure the stand reflects the brand and our strong brand values, agreeing objectives, organising meetings during the day and customer hospitality in the evening, making sure that every member of the team is fully briefed on all aspects of our strategy moving forward and that our colleagues from Esterline arrive safely in London and are fully up to speed on the key issues that we will be developing over the course of ICE week. On the surface it may look quite a relaxed way to spend three days but in reality this event is so very important for us as a business and for our customers that nothing can be left to chance.
You’ve said that all the major developments that have impacted your business can be traced back to ICE. Are you planning on introducing new products this year and what do you think the dominant trends will be at ICE?
We always bring new developments to ICE, a percentage of which are bespoke. In terms of trends to look out for, I would highlight the use of LEDs combined with new and innovative tech – especially in the high end US machines – which make the product really stand out. From our experience as a leading player on the supply side, the continued advance of the dynamic push button deck is very exciting and provides endless choices and options for games designers, therefore we are heavily focused on taking advantage of, and implementing the very latest in technologies such as fibre optics and touch screens, assisted in no small way by our parent Esterline.
We always bring new developments to ICE, a percentage of which are bespoke. In terms of trends to look out for, I would highlight the use of LEDs combined with new and innovative tech – especially in the high end US machines – which make the product really stand out.
Do events like ICE help you achieve your goals and how important is the contact it allows you to have with customers?
I think the gaming industry is at its very best and most impressive when it comes together as a community and talks business and product. Big events such as ICE, G2E Vegas and the Macau show provide business environments in which you can do exactly that. Great ideas come when our industry is able to spend some time reflecting on the business and exchanging opinions. I have said it on numerous occasions, but our function, when we are at the big industry events, is to listen. Our job is to come away from ICE with a clear understanding of what a customer wants, understand their issues and then use our passion for engineering and deep knowledge of the industry to provide the best possible solution.
Great ideas come when our industry is able to spend some time reflecting on the business and exchanging opinions. I have said it on numerous occasions, but our function, when we are at the big industry events, is to listen.
Your home country is also the same as ICE’s, but you’ve expanded your business to other countries from America and Asia. What are the biggest differences between them? What markets are you currently trying to reach?
Gamesman was launched at ICE and we see it as being our home show. In our early days the focus was very much on the UK AWP market which then accounted for 90 percent of Gamesman’s sales revenue. Whilst our home market is still very important, the company is now a global force in gaming, looking after customers throughout the world. We have a wholly owned factory in the Shenzhen region of China and an office in Las Vegas. Ours is not a ‘one size fits all’ type of business. There are differences in legislation, differences in culture and differences in player tastes and motivations. Working in partnership with our customers, our job is to understand the points of difference that exist and interpret the gaming needs of each and every market that we are involved with.
Year after year Gamesman has shown a sustained and significant growth. What will be the biggest challenge?
I guess the biggest challenge any business faces is to be consistent in everything they do, and we are no different in that respect. We set very high standards across a full suite of key performance indicators. Obviously the quality of the Gamesman product offering is critical but equally, issues such as integrity, trust and the depth of the customer relationship, to name but a few, are also extremely important. Despite the transformation from new entrant to market leader, something which has taken place in just two decades, the company has maintained the same customer-led philosophy. We remain a very driven and ambitious company which is immersed in gaming – a fantastic industry to be a part of!