TribalNet Conference expects record attendance this September in San Diego

July 27, 2023 2:02 PM
Photo: TribalNet
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
July 27, 2023 2:02 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports

A record number of attendees and exhibitors are expected at the 24th TribalNet Conference & Tradeshow that runs Sept. 18-21 in San Diego.

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The conference at the Town and Country Resort is hosted by TribalHub, the largest community of technology-minded leaders from tribes across the country, which has been bringing tribes and resources together for almost 25 years.

TribalNet attracts leaders who understand the important role technology plays in their success in tribal gaming and non-gaming operations. Representatives from every department in tribal organizations also attend, as technology touches all facets and most decisions: general managers, CFOs, department directors and other technology-minded leaders, gaming and hospitality executives, marketing staff, and IT, cybersecurity, telecommunications, and human-resource teams.

“TribalNet focuses on the wide range of technology that’s changing every gaming and hospitality business,” said TribalHub CEO Mike Day, “but it’s not focused on only the IT team. Technology has become every leader’s responsibility as the key way to more efficiency, more security, and new revenue. The recent push into online gaming and sports betting is driven entirely by technology. Technology is also driving the quickly advancing changes in artificial intelligence and robotics in gaming and hospitality.”

A record number of attendees and exhibitors are expected at TribalNet 2023.

“Where else can you see 160-plus sponsors and exhibitors providing technology solutions for the unique tribal vertical in just a couple of days?” Day asked. “This is the only spot to do it. These are the key suppliers that tribes are often spending hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions of dollars on, including suppliers of software, hardware, cybersecurity, communications, services and consulting from government, health, cybersecurity, and gaming and hospitality.”

This year’s conference has an entire track and multiple breakout sessions focused specifically on gaming and hospitality, including customer-data platforms, hospitality trends and technology, the cashless ecosystem, robotics, wireless slot floors, and what’s new in gaming- management systems.

TribalNet features over 30 breakout sessions under additional educational tracks that are important to the gaming and hospitality industry, such as cybersecurity and leadership. More tracks are dedicated to health and government services and others.

“This event is designed for all tribal leadership. You can’t hide from or ignore the importance of technology,” Day said. “You use it personally. It’s continually changing the way you work and interact and you’re responsible for understanding or working with it, no matter where you are in an organization. We have a whole track for leaders who aren’t in IT departments, because comfort with leveraging technology is a key to being a great leader. You absolutely have to become comfortable with technology at a leadership level. In just a few days at TribalNet, we’re trying to help tribal leaders to advance their tribes and careers by understanding how technology is changing their tribes and enterprises.”

The continued expansion of online gaming continues to be top of mind, but Day said the continued growth in the traditional brick-and-mortar business has somewhat lessened the fear of the expansion of online and sports betting.

“From a pure technology standpoint, artificial intelligence (AI) is now the number-one buzz and along with its benefits, it has in many ways made cybersecurity more difficult,” Day said. “Although it gives cybersecurity suppliers some greater tools for defense, it makes it easier for the bad guys to pose more complex digital and realistic threats that are far more difficult to detect, stop, and prevent.”

Technology continues to evolve at an exponential rate, Day said. If history has taught society anything, the changes that happened between 1980 and 1985, for example, are a small fraction of what will occur in just the next near. The rate of technological advancement and change has become “dizzying. Processing power, AI, and other things are advancing at an alarmingly fast rate. It’s interesting to watch how quickly things are changing and how people and businesses keep up with it, advance, or gain a competitive edge from it. At TribalHub and the TribalNet Conference, we’re doing what we can to keep people in front of it, make them aware of it, and make sure they’re properly planning for it.”

Recently, AI is suspected to have been used to support casino thefts in Nevada, allowing thieves to mimic known voices and make off with $1.17 million at Circa Las Vegas, also targeting other properties in Laughlin and Mesquite.

“Deep fakes are a big piece of what people are worried about with AI,” Day said. “AI can already produce realistic pictures of most any person doing anything you might imagine. That should be scary to everyone and just one of many uses of AI that the world is attempting to figure out how to deal with in a world where these tools exist.”

As for a big-picture overview of the TribalNet sessions, executives from industry-leading gaming-management systems will answer questions on their views of AI, new developments, cybersecurity, the cloud, and the future of their products.

“These central gaming systems are important partnerships and huge expenses for every casino,” Day said.
The conference sessions will also look at the direction of cashless gaming and how that will evolve at tribal casinos. Casinos will show how they’re already leveraging robotics for operations, security, food and beverage, and other uses and where robotics may be heading for the gaming industry.

“The TribalNet Conference has always assisted with connections, helping tribes get to know one another, establish trusted networks, share information, and more easily see how they can benefit by working together to solve similar problems,” Day said.

The early registration rate for attendees and booth and sponsorship ends by August 1 and increases after that.