The 1998 IGBE Casino Management Conference & Expo, to be held March 10-12 at the Las Vegas convention center, will have a whole new look and feel about it. The annual trade show, which originated in the early 80s, has been redesigned to address emerging issues and trends in the $27.2 billion U.S. casino industry. Nearly 8,000 casino managers and executives are expected to attend.
Leaders of the industry, which has grown six-fold since 1982, are demanding more sophisticated training in response to the flood of new technology that has engulfed the gaming landscape. The digital revolution, in particular, has transformed the casino into a high-tech playroom, where gaming is entertainment, cash is almost obsolete and competition is rife.
The conference, featuring three days of interactive workshops with hands-on training and roundtable discussions, is sponsored by GEM Communications, publishers of Casino Executive and International Gaming & Wagering Business (IGWB).
"Casino managers have a pressing need for information and training," says Charles Anderer, editorial director and publisher of IGWB. "In response to industry demand, we have completely revamped the IGBE Conference, making it the first educational forum in casino history."
Close to 60 sessions are planned, on topics ranging from microchip technology to entertainment and regulatory issues. The workshops are designed to teach casino managers how to improve every aspect of their operations.
"For the first time, casino managers will be able to come together and learn from the pros," Anderer added. "They can share ideas, hone their skills and learn about the changes that are driving this industry--changes in marketing, technology and human resources."
Competition, he points out, is increasing, not only within the industry but outside it as well. "Gaming is no longer the exclusive province of casinos. It's become a form of entertainment, and operators must compete with other entertainment vehicles that are moving into the casino market."
Slot machines, which represent 70 percent of casino revenues, are the subject of a separate all-day seminar--The Slot Manager Institute--on March 9. It will feature presentations on the cash-free future of slots and the challenge of networking different machines. Plus, there will be an ongoing Slot User Conference, sponsored by manufacturers, and, starting March 10, three days of sessions in Game Technology, Indian Gaming, Human Resources, Executive Development, Entertainment, Security and Regulatory issues.
Training sessions will be held in the morning, giving attendees the afternoons to attend the Expo, where hundreds of vendors will be displaying their products and services, ranging from computers and software to player tracking systems, slot machines, table games, furniture, security equipment and lighting systems.
Two other shows, Bingo World and Amusement Showcase International (ASI), will be running concurrently with IGBE at the Las Vegas Convention Center. IGBE attendees will have free access to ASI and reduced rates for Bingo World.
For further information and to register for IGBE, call 212-468-1680. Rooms have been reserved at the Flamingo Hilton Hotel (800-835-5686) and special group rates may still be available.