(Exclusive interview).- Focus Gaming News discussed AGE 2018 with Gaming Technologies Association CEO Ross Ferrar.
Australia.- The Australasian Gaming Expo 2018 will take place from 14-16 August in Sydney and will assess the key topics for the industry. A week ahead of the event, Gaming Technologies Association CEO Ross Ferrar talked with Focus Gaming News about his expectations for AGE 2018.
What are your goals for this year’s edition?
This year we’re building on a very successful event last year, by adding new technology and new participants.
Do you go through a specific process to create the best line-up?
We’ve contracted Asia Gaming Brief to undertake the seminar program development and operation. This has emphasised that the Australasian Gaming Expo is a truly international, all-of-industry event.
AGE’s 2018 program will see an extra day of seminars. How do you come up with the topics of the seminars?
It’s very important for seminar topics to be connected, relevant, timely and to consider domestic and international topics. Asia Gaming Brief is highly experienced in seminar operations and has been able to build on last year’s seminar program.
“We have made many changes aimed at improving the event”
Does the feedback from the public in previous editions help you create an effective agenda?
Last year we had Explori (a global event researcher based in Europe) conduct detailed post-event surveys of the Australasian Gaming Expo. Whilst we were very proud that satisfaction ratings were amongst the world’s highest for both visitors and exhibitors, we have made many changes aimed at improving the event and we look forward to Explori’s global benchmarking this year which we will carefully review to further improve next year’s Australasian Gaming Expo.
This year you will feature a Networking Lounge, can you give us more details about it?
We’ve set aside a very large area (1,700 square metres) at the entrances to the exhibition areas for a Networking Lounge. This is where the official opening, the first-timers program and the exhibitors’ awards will take place during the event – and the cafés and other facilities will give visitors and exhibitors alike a central area to meet and discuss the industry and the event.
“We’re determined to improve the event to make it more entertaining, more informative and more engaging.”
Each year the expo increases the number of attendees and improves the floor so the experience is pleasant not only for them but for expositors as well. What are some innovations that visitors can experience this year?
Last year’s digital showbag and 9-metre information screens will again be provided, but this year we have a special new feature called Teleportivity; it’s an advanced live-streaming customer service experience, to help visitors get where they need to go. Around the show there’ll be “teleportals” – live video chat screens where you can engage ‘virtually’ with one of our customer service staff. While we can’t quite ‘beam you up’, our remote video chat operators will always be on hand to help you find the information you need. And with facial recognition built in, you’ll enjoy a seamless customer experience, because the teleportal will recognise you when you return.
As Asia Pacific’s largest and longest-running gaming and hospitality expo, what measures do you implement each year in order to keep the trend going?
Although satisfaction ratings were amongst the world’s highest for both visitors and exhibitors last year, we’re determined to improve the event to make it more entertaining, more informative and more engaging every year.