As 2013 draws to a close, leading figures in the coin-op and amusement industries will be reflecting on what the past year has delivered and finalising their plans for the year ahead.
For most, the launch platform for the new year will EAG International 2014, taking place January 21-23rd at Excel London.
At its most basic, an Expo can be viewed as an event where sellers lay out their goods and buyers come to purchase. However, EAG International differs greatly from most of its contemporaries. As a show put on for the industry by the industry, it is focused exclusively on the needs of the industry and not on those of remote stakeholders. Buying and selling is, of course, the lifeblood of business and for many buyers, EAG International is the event at which they will finalise their orders for the forthcoming season.
Networking has always been an important reason to visit EAG International and few would deny that they enjoy catching up on the latest news and gossip, as well as exchanging views on the current issues facing the industry. This year, the Triennial Review and Government support for coastal towns are sure to be high on the agenda, along with VAT relief for Tourism.
Several trade associations and businesses now stage their annual meetings at EAG International making the trip to London’s Excel even more productive for their members. BALPPA’s Paul Kelly explains: “BALPPA’s members inevitably have many facets to their businesses and we have a strong coin-op membership, most of whom are joint members with BACTA.”
EAG International Chairman Martin Burlin is delighted by the way many organisations are making their own mark on the show. “Our role is clearly to deliver an event which enables people to see and buy new products but equally important is the opportunity to discuss, share experiences and make sense of what is happening in our industry.
“Individual visits to EAG International have grown every year since its launch, and I’m pleased to confirm that for 2014 we will be welcoming 14 new exhibitors from the UK, China, Italy, Poland and Spain. Our focus is on the quality of the experience for each and every visitor and exhibitor, ” added Martin.
As far as new products are concerned, EAG International’s organisers have revealed that many of the 180 or so represented manufacturers have indicated that they will be introducing new products at the show. Some, such as SEGA Amusements Europe’s stunning new games under its Transformers and Plants vs. Zombies™ franchises, will be European launches, whilst other companies, including Formula K and All Things Nice will be debuting completely new and innovative ranges. NSM Music has indicated several exciting product launches but will only reveal all at the show!
Electrocoin’s Kevin Weir has confirmed that the company will be showing new Cat C. AWP games and that visitors to their stand stand will see the latest generations of video, prize and skill games including Skill Rocket, Totem and, new for EAG 2014, Target Hunter. Gary Stern will also be present, demonstrating the latest models from Stern Pinball, including the latest release ‘Star Trek’.
Innovation will also be the order of the day at the the BAPTO stand where a unique new cue, specifically designed as an aid to new players and also an entirely new cue game, played on a compact bar billiards style table will be introduced.
In the digital information age, details on new products and developments can circle the globe in seconds but buyers flock to EAG International to physically engage with the latest releases. The amusement industry is a tactile business and operators need to try before they buy. Only then can they evaluate the experience they will be offering to their own customers.
International visitors are becoming increasingly important to EAG International’s exhibitors, representing 28% of the total in 2013. Organisers have confirmed that early registrations from overseas visitors indicate that this trend is likely to continue, driven by an increased investment in international media coverage.
EAG International’s exhibitors will hale from the UK, Italy, Poland, Spain, China, Taiwan, Belgium, Germany, Northern Ireland, San Marino, Turkey and the UAE. For the visitor, the show represents a highly efficient way of catching up on all the latest products and developments, all under one roof, and not a departure lounge or boarding pass in sight!
Registration for EAG International is still open at www.eagexpo.com