LONDON -- The organizers of this year's European Gaming & Amusement International report that the show attracted 5,460 visitors to the ExCeL convention center in London's historic Docklands area. That's a slight increase over last year's turnout of 5,411, reflecting steady growth for the event since its first staging in 2010. It ran from Jan. 21 to 23.
The show's management, Swan Events (Harpenden, England), added that 30% of this year's visitors were international, traveling to the show from 62 countries outside the United Kingdom.
Exhibitors displayed a wide spectrum of equipment, from jukeboxes through gaming and prize redemption machines to components, parts and accessories. First-time exhibitors included Teddy Mountain Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), an international leader in "build-your-own-bear" systems, and FutureLogic International (Maidenhead, England), a manufacturer of custom and standard printers with applications from casino/gaming vouchers to point-of-sale coupons.
Also exhibiting for the first time was Pure Novelty Ltd. (Leeds), which recently rolled out the Pick 'n' Mix vending system for delivering a user-customizable mix of premium hard candies in a cup. "If you have an innovative, cost-effective, fun product that's different, you cannot fail to sell it at EAG," said Pure Novelty's Dan Perkins. "The buyers are all here."
An upbeat mood prevailed at the show. Phil Boulton of RLMS Sales (Burton-on-Thames) reported that the 2014 EAG exposition "turned out to be a real selling show," because buyers wanted what the company had to offer; the new Category C prize levels had taken effect the week before, which boosted operator interest. Tony Boulton of Project Coin Machines Ltd. (Thornton Heath) also reported having a good show, with amusement center and bingo operators seeking to seize the opportunity presented by the Triennial. "We've seen a lot of UK buyers," he added.
Jukebox exhibitors also reported gratifying interest on the part of showgoers. Sound Leisure (Leeds), which manufactures handcrafted recreations of classic coin phonographs, was especially pleased. "We've experienced the best day at any show ever," said the company's Chris Black. "Operators who have previously held back are now investing."
Alex Kirby of NSM Music (Leeds and Mainz-Kastel, Germany) saw the strong interest in NSM products as a harbinger of industry growth. "Our EAG offer on the Icon Lite was a huge success and our latest background music offering was well received," he said. "There was a strong overseas representation and on the basis of this start to the year, 2014 is likely to be a very good year indeed."
EAG International chairman Martin Burlin expressed the organizers' pride in the exposition's fifth edition. "EAG International is now a mature show and it's very gratifying to see visitor numbers being maintained this year," he said. "Even more gratifying are the favorable comments we've received about the show's smooth organization and the amount of genuine business being written by exhibitors.
"This year there were many truly innovative products; a real testament to the creativity of our industry;" Burlin continued. "After a great summer last year and a positive Triennial for some, operators are investing for the coming season; it's fantastic news for our industry."
Swan Events is headquartered at 10 Clare Lodge, 41 Hollybush Lane, Harpenden, England AL5 4AY. It will hold the 2015 EAG International from Jan. 13 to 15.