[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n October 2015, Clarion Events, which owns and organises a suite of world class gaming events including EiG, GiGse and ICE, together with partners, Urban Expositions, organisers of NIGA, announced the launch of Juegos Miami, a totally new event concept for the Pan-Latin American and Caribbean gaming industry. Clarion’s Kate Chambers explains a little more about an event which has been created to meet the specific needs of one of the world’s hottest gaming markets.
ICR: With less than one month to go until the inaugural Juegos Miami event, what finishing touches are the Clarion team putting to the show?
KC: Clearly a lot of the bigger macro issues have been dealt with by the teams at Clarion and Urban and now it’s more a case of addressing the details which impact the customer experience. The phrase ‘retail is in the detail’ applies equally to events and conferences, in my experience. The importance of ‘getting it right’ is heightened due to the fact this is a launch and we need to make an outstanding first impression. Juegos Miami is going to be a content rich event which also places greater onus on the organising team. The Totally Gaming Academy is bringing two of its prestigious training courses straight to the heart of the LatAm Gaming market.Totally Gaming Academy trainer and casino expert, Lucien Wijsman, will be providing a fast-track version of his Slot Academy course on 31 May. The course revolves around the principles of Total Quality Management and will teach delegates how to apply this to strengthen best practise in casinos today. The topics covered are varied and will cover issues such as player profiles and their expectations, pay table calculations and game mathematics, volatility and hit rate and much more. JCM Global will be presenting the inaugural ‘JCM Global LATAM Golf Classic’ as part of Juegos Miami. The golf tournament is taking place June 3 on the breathtaking greens of the Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables and is a fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children¹s Research Hospital. The event was inspired by gaming icon Jens Halle, a major advocate for gaming in Latin America and the Caribbean. JCM has produced the AGEM/AGA Golf Classic in Las Vegas for the past 18 years, and is now taking all the fun of that annual event and spicing it up with a distinctive Latin-Caribbean flair fitting for Juegos Miami. It promises to be a star attraction and we are all extremely grateful to Tom Nieman and his team for their fantastic support.
ICR: Have you been happy with the support the show has received from the various stakeholder groups?
Most launch events take some time to develop their own personality but I have been really pleased at how quickly Juegos Miami has created its own identifiable character and position in the industry. The decision to make Juegos Miami an invitation only event, with attendance limited to senior decision makers, has been well received and we have been really encouraged by the calibre of attendees, comprising many of the most influential business people, decision makers and regulators in the region, which is all very positive news for our exhibitor partners. Gaming innovators have embraced the vision and Juegos Miami will feature leading innovators and notable commercial organisations including Aristocrat, Ainsworth, Apollo Games, BMM, JCM, Merkur, Novomatic, Playtech, Quixant, BetConstruct, Aruze/PDS GAMING, Betstone, Casino Technology, Everi, Win Systems, DRGT, Nexuslink, Bit 8, Betradar, DLV, Alfastreet and E-magnus. The event has been structured to provide delegates with the maximum opportunity to spend time, network and talk innovation with the key players in the industry. As your readers will know, the Latin American and Caribbean gaming market is developing at a rapid pace with some observers projecting 44 per cent growth by 2020. Dynamic markets need robust and professional business events and it’s our aim to place Juegos Miami at the heart of the industry, in the process, helping it to navigate a progressive and sustainable future.
ICR: Can you provide some insight on the Conference programme what can
KC: When we started the research and planning process – some 18-months ago now – a key objective was to bring the world’s most eminent gaming authorities to Miami so they could apply their knowledge gained working in established international markets to Latin America. I am delighted to say this has been a resounding success, with my team securing 30 thought leaders to speak and share their knowledge with attendees at Juegos Miami. Speakers include: Peter Naessens, head of regulatory advice unit, research and development, Belgian Gaming Commission; Juan Espinosa Garcia, deputy general director, gambling regulation, Ministry of Finance Spain; Andre Wilsenach, executive director, International Center for Gaming Regulation, UNLV; Marcus Nylen, COO, LeoVegas Gaming Group and Donal Barron, Paddy Power Betfair’s B2B commercial development manager. It’s a very impressive community of A-List speakers, all of whom are
enthusiastic about the prospect of sharing their knowledge and insight with Juegos Miami delegates. Our Spanish and Portuguese speaking colleagues, working on the ground, are reporting a very positive response to the opportunities this delivers and the impact it will have on attendance.
ICR: Clarion representative Julian Graves recently took a delegation to South America. What was the intention of this trip and was it a success?
KC: It was a huge success. The two week trip took in eight countries and involved meetings with senior government officials, gaming operators and trade association officials active in 15 jurisdictions. Every one that we met was hugely impressed by the calibre and status of the C-Level figures who have registered and the response we received validated and reinforced our core vision to attract the key operators, the legislators, the big buyers, the business owners and their most trusted and influential decision-makers to a single prestigious event.
ICR: Could you explain the reasoning behind hosting the show in Miami?
KC: Miami is a fantastic location, in that it is the gateway to Latin America as well as being a great place to spend some time. The attraction of Miami as a destination, is, for Latin American visitors, a powerful draw. The entire continent is a gaming hot spot, with the established markets such as Colombia, Peru and Argentina sitting alongside the huge potential of Mexico and of course, Brazil. Juegos Miami will reflect the dynamics and opportunities offered by this incredibly exciting and important region.
ICR: What are your goals for Juegos Miami?
KC: We have received a very straightforward brief from our stakeholders and that is to create a branded event which is the Who’s Who of Pan-Latin American and Caribbean gaming. Prior to launch we spent a long time listening to the market in order to understand exactly what it wanted from an event. On the basis of that process, our goals are to provide the industry with an event which facilitates networking and delivers a refreshing mix of product, learning, training and socialising, all within a professional and dedicated environment. Providing that we execute everything in a professional manner, there is no reason why Juegos Miami should not become a successful and firmly established date on the industry calendar.