By Peter Rusbridge – Chief Executive Officer, Clarion Gaming
“It is during times of uncertainty that the real value of exhibitions come to the fore. Very few people in business are able to predict quite how 2009 will unfold and it would appear that the only certainty is uncertainty.
“Our exhibitions work on the basis that they attract a vast cross-section of international suppliers and an even bigger constituency of buyers. That’s 20,000 sourcing various new products and services from around 450 exhibiting companies. The upshot of this union is business and, perhaps as significantly in 2009, the exchange of information and intelligence.
“What strategies are operators deploying to address the economic downturn? How recession-proof is gambling? Is remote gaming the economic hotspot? Will governments liberalise legislation to help generate tax receipts and fill the black hole in the state’s balance sheet? All of these issues and no doubt many, many more will be foremost in the minds of industry operators – and where better to air them, debate them, to listen, to share and to learn than at major trade events such as ATEI and the International Gaming Expo? Stop any one of the 20,000-plus buyers in the aisles and you can stake your house on the certainty that he/she will have a concern or issue that they will be able to resolve during their business trip to London.
“The best brains, the most experienced operators and the most successful business people in the industry attend our exhibitions and it is from this constituency of experts that the future direction the respective industries take will evolve. I don’t believe that it’s possible to put a price on the value of the information that astute operators will gather from attending the exhibitions.
“As a team, we have had to work especially hard this year to ensure that the shows are presented to the same exacting standards and that they provide an exemplary platform for the many thousands of products that are launched each year at our shows.
“For those visitors travelling from the Eurozone and beyond, the exchange rate against sterling will provide yet another reason to visit London. I hope that you make great use of the extra spending power that delivers and that you enjoy our capital city.
“Here’s to a successful show, which will provide some direction for the year ahead.”