In October, 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 whose foundation stones are relationship building and top level networking, set against a strong commercial backdrop.
Why do you believe the industry needs another event in this part of the world?
I think that the region needs an event that brings together all of the top decision makers. This is not to say that the existing events don’t have a place in their respective markets, but for some time major suppliers have been asking for something that they can use across the whole region. The market has been extremely clear about the importance of attracting the key operators, the legislators, the big buyers, the business owners and their most trusted and influential decision-makers to a single prestigious event. 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. The industry has been asking for an event that will truly embrace the region and reflect an entire continent of gaming excellence. Our challenge and that of our colleagues at Urban Expositions, is to deliver that brief and in the process satisfy the very specific needs of the industry that we serve."
How long have you been researching the market?
In total we have been looking at this for over a year, engaging with all sectors of the gaming industry active in Pan-Latin America and the Caribbean. Most importantly, we have listened to the market in order to understand exactly what it wants from an event. I think some people may have assumed that we would simply take the successful ICE template and apply it to this part of the world – but that could not be further from the truth. It's absolutely clear that one size does not fit all – you can't lift the London experience and recreate it in Miami and if you did, it probably wouldn't see its' second birthday! By working with, listening to and understanding the market we, in partnership with Urban Expositions, in which we are now a majority partner, have created a unique, bespoke event for this incredibly important region.
Why is LatAm any different from Europe or North America?
The region is very different to other areas of the gaming world. It is made up of a range of different countries with different market needs, many travelling at different regulatory and cultural speeds. The global supplier market however, is looking for a cost effective way to target this vast region and this has allowed us to create a truly bespoke event that our research indicates both operators and suppliers will engage with.
Where does Juegos Miami sit in the Clarion gaming portfolio?
It sits with the ICE team but has a dedicated group of people both in the UK as well as in the Urban offices in the US who can invest the right amount of time to ensure it gets the attention it requires to be successful. All new events need focus and attention to ensure they are successful and meet the needs of the market. It's essential that we have the right management structure in place to be able to respond to the needs of the market and are able to make the right decisions - quickly.
What other events will you be working with Urban on?
This is the first truly joint event we are working on but we are also supporting their NIGA event. Urban will continue to run this successful event as their own project but with the additional support of the Clarion tea
m, delivered predominantly but not exclusively courtesy of the access to market we have outside the USA.
Where do you see visitors travelling from – will it be international in the same way that ICE is?
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. Essentially, Juegos Miami is for the Pan-Latin America and the Caribbean gaming markets so we are looking at all jurisdictions from Mexico down. Don't forget that ICE is the most international event in world gaming, so any comparisons aren't really valid. It will be an international event but with the vast majority of attendees drawn from the region.
What are your long term plans for the event?
Quite simply, this is something that the market will decide. We aim to run the event in its current format allowing it to develop in a way that works best for its supporters. As long as it works we intend to organise it.
Can you outline the Juegos Miami USPs in a few sentences?
An intimate gathering allowing networking and relationship building for the Pan-Latin America and the Caribbean market in one place, a refreshing mix of product, learning, knowledge-exchange, training, networking and socialising, utterly focused on the region, delivered in an intimate and dedicated environment. The plug and play pricing structure allows suppliers to access key buyers and decision makers in a cost effective way where the only additional cost is shipping equipment and flights for their staff. All accommodation, exhibit costs and F&B are included.
Juegos Miami is being held at The Biltmore, Coral Gables, Miami, May 31st to June 3rd, 2016