The Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) concluded for 2016 yesterday, setting a new record for attendance reflecting the buoyancy of the industry.

Over 2,500 hospitality industry representatives attended the first day, and by the end of the third day 6,813 people had made their way through the vast display at Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island.

AGE 2016 crowd shot_feature2016 was the 27th instalment of the event, which is the biggest and oldest in the Australasian region, and was the last at the temporary Glebe Island facility, as the brand new ICC premise opens later this year.

2016 was a record AGE for size also, with 195 exhibitors occupying the full five halls of the venue, including 50 newcomers to the big show.

Gaming company giants Scientific Gaming, IGT and Aristocrat all reported to PubTIC a big year, and plenty of positivity from the throngs of visitors.

Publican Andrew Lazarus said he was so impressed with the event, suggesting it would take weeks to research all the relevant product offerings, and still not enjoy the same ability to touch and experience the gaming machines and other products on display.

Operators of the event, the Gaming Technologies Association (GTA), incentivise both visitors and exhibitors. As is the custom, each day two tickets for two to Las Vegas were given away to lucky attendees.

There is also the coveted award for Best Stand, which this year reportedly took some serious consideration due to the quality of so many displays. The GTA says “a number of exhibitors had excelled”, bringing about special mention to both law firm Brand + Slater and Round6 Architects.

Stands are assessed on a number of criteria: creative execution of brand identity and key messages; innovative and efficient use of space; simplicity of form and aesthetics; imaginative use of materials, colour and lighting; and importantly for the GTA, visitor engagement and interaction.

The Best Stand award finally went to Melbourne-based lighting company Satelight, which has been in business for 18 years, but was a first-timer at the AGE.

“We believe that the success of the show reflects that the hospitality & gaming industry in Australia is a dynamic and vibrant one that continues to grow, and we have been able to capitalise on this growth,” said GTA CEO Ross Ferrar.

The Association applauds the work of both the exhibitors and the Government proprietors of the venue, for making it available during the construction of the new facility in Darling Harbour.

“We thank venue management and staff, and we will remember the venue fondly,” notes Ferrar. “We also applaud the courage and commitment of the NSW State Government for its investment in the temporary venue, which certainly contributed in a major way to the sustainability of the Australasian Gaming Expo – and no doubt the exhibition industry generally – during what could have been an extremely difficult three years.”

Continuing the trend, the GTA reports 2017 is already on track to be “bigger and better” than ever, as nearly 100 exhibitors covering two-thirds of the exhibition floor have already committed to the next AGE.

AGE 2017 will take place at the all-new ICC, 15-17 August, 2017.

AGE 2016 Vegas winner Ron Kent_feture

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