LONDON -- Next year's European Gaming and Amusement International Exposition is shaping up as the best one yet, according to the show's organizers. The fifth annual EAG International will be held from Jan. 21 through 23, 2014, again at the popular Exhibition Centre London (ExCeL). It's cosponsored by the British Amusement Catering Trade Association and the British Amusement of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions, and managed by EAG Expo Ltd.
In 2014, EAG International is expected to benefit from a smart new look, a newly redesigned website and an expanded social media presence. "To date, stand bookings are ahead of last year, with 75% of the show's available floor space already sold," said Martin Burlin, chairman of EAG International. "In addition, we'll be supporting exhibitors with our largest-ever international media campaign involving a number of new publications."
BALPPA, which became an EAG sponsor in 2012, has deepened its involvement with the event, Martin continued. "The new BALPPA team are working closely with us under the leadership of Paul Kelly, reflecting the show's increasing appeal to attractions operators," he reported.
Burlin is positive about the upcoming EAG International 2014: "The industry is far from euphoric about future prospects, but there appears to be potential for greater optimism than in recent years," he pointed out. "For many operators, the 'machine games duty' demons have now been exorcised," and the summer season has been a strong one; operators are making their purchasing plans accordingly.
"Government is also finally recognizing the plight of our coastal towns with a number of public and private sector development projects under way," the EAG chairman added.
Online registration for the 2014 show will open on Tuesday, Oct. 1, coinciding with the launch of a new-look EAG International website. Show organizer Karen Cooke, Swan Events (Harpenden, Hertfordshire), said, "The show's website has had a complete makeover. We very much see eagexpo.com as an-up-to date resource, and hope that both visitors and exhibitors will visit regularly to catch up on the latest news and information about the show and its exhibitors."
Cooke reported that the ExCeL venue will be much busier in 2014 than it has been in previous years. "We won't have the whole of ExCeL to ourselves, so visitors will be able to experience a greater choice of food and beverage outlets plus other facilities," she predicted. "We urge exhibitors and visitors to reserve their hotel accommodation early so that their preferences can be met." EAG's accommodation partner is Event Express, which can be contacted through EAG's website.
Burlin emphasized that EAG International has always prided itself on being a show that exists purely for the benefit of trade exhibitors and visitors. "EAG International provides a great opportunity for amusement and leisure professionals to view the latest products and technology, as well as to network both informally and in a more structured way at events surrounding the show," he summed up."EAG International has a life of its own, with all stakeholders having input and the opportunity to contribute to its shape. It's a dynamic show put on by industry professionals exclusively for the benefit of industry professionals, and that's why it's unique."
This year's EAG International Expo in January drew 5,411 "unique visitors," up slightly from the 5,333 showgoers in 2012. About 150 manufacturers, suppliers and related trade associations exhibited during the three-day event. Severe winter weather had taken Western Europe by surprise, even dropping snow on much of England, which prompted numerous flight cancellations at London's Heathrow airport the weekend before EAG opened. | SEE STORY