Shows such as ICE and G2E provide a forum where companies in the sector can reflect on the industry and exchanging opinions suggests Gamesman’s sales director, Martin Rigby.
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n a discussion with Gamesman’s Sales Director, Martin Rigby, the company lays out its plans for ICE and the year ahead and explains why the industry is “not a ‘one size fits all type of business”.
As your ‘home show’ ICE is very important to Gamesman – how do you prepare for it?
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 the reality is, this event is so very important for us as a business and for our customers, that nothing can be left to chance.
What do you think the dominant trends are in casino gaming?
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 combination of both video and reels is a popular and a winning combination. This is the case in the US where it has brought the digital and mechanical interpretations together.
As an international force in gaming, how big is Gamesman’s footprint and how has that changed since you launched?
In our early days the focus was very much on the UK AWP market which then accounted for 90% 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 Shenzen 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.
How important are events like ICE?
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.
After sustained growth, what are the biggest challenges facing the company in 2017?
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!