A buoyant EAG International has welcomed in the new decade as a well-rounded and business-like event with high levels of optimism and positivity on the show floor.
Many of those present commented on the show’s fresh new feel, attributable to many new exhibitors and increasingly impressive product presentations from the show’s loyal supporters.
Organiser Karen Cooke confirmed: “The level of energy at this year’s EAG International was almost palpable, with many exhibitors and visitors going out of their way to confirm to us that they had an enjoyable and productive show.
“With a balance of new technology and the latest releases of traditional favourites, I think it’s fair to say that the show can guarantee innovative products and business tools for every out-of-home leisure and entertainment business, “ revealed Karen.
New stand-alone immersive entertainment experiences were a strong feature of EAG, adding a touch of high- drama to the show floor.
Immersive and mixed reality developer Holovis reported a great show with Communications Manager Emily Burrows revealing: “A fantastic show! We’re surprised how international EAG is. We’ve seen a lot of operators who are ready to take the leap into immersive and interactive entertainment in order to stay at the top.”
Cashless payments solutions were also very much in evidence, with more than a dozen exhibitors demonstrating the very latest integrated products. With these systems reducing operating cost and generating big data to support marketing decisions, they were the subject of topical debate on stands and during seminar sessions.
There was much interest in secure cashless payments app YALP, developed by Game Payment Technology, an initiative between bacta and Polar Moments. On a packed stand, Financial Compliance Director for Game Payment Technology, John Rozek commented: “EAG International is a very busy and diverse show and it’s also great fun.
“We’ve chosen the 2020 show for the official launch of the YALP secure cashless payments app. The appetite for YALP has been immense, driven by the decline in use of cash. The product is comprehensive and robust and addresses many challenges that the pub and amusements markets are facing; it has brought about a new confidence,” he confirmed.
On the Kwikpay stand, company CEO and founder Neeraj Bhatia revealed, “It has been a really good show. Last year was our first time and we’ve had a lot of general discussions. This year operators have returned for more in-depth conversations and we’re receiving commitments.”
The market for Redemption games and systems continues to grow, with visitors treated to a huge array of imaginative new games, plus new takes on traditional carnival favourites.
Instance Automatics had a particularly successful show with Sales Executive James Sweeney very pleased with the footfall: “‘This is our largest show for new machine launches with 13 debuting at EAG this year. We’ve had great feedback from buyers and seen more European visitors at this year’s show,” informed James.
The Redemption boom has been fuelled by the spectacular quality of plush and prize merchandise, featuring the very latest licensed entertainment brands and technology must-haves.
Whitehouse Leisure International again had a huge presence at the show. Managing Director, Phil Setter confirmed a busy three days on each of their three stands: “EAG International has always been a good show for us and this year was ahead of last year. We were kept extremely busy with quality customers for the entire duration. As expected, Trolls World Tour was very well received, and we’ve enjoyed a particularly great response to the Harry Potter range and to Marvel character gloves.
“With Redemption continuing to grow, we’ve invested heavily in our own retail quality products and this year was the busiest ever for our Redemption stand,” observed Phil.
A striking feature of this year’s EAG International was the sheer volume of new product, for which manufacturers and distributors should be congratulated. They were rewarded with buyers from every aspect of out-of-home entertainment and they clearly had the appetite to invest; a point echoed by EAG International Chairman Martin Burlin: “EAG 2020 had a great feel about it. The number of exhibitors, with whom I spoke, confirmed that they were very pleased with the quality of the visitors, who were placing orders. I also received a number of positive comments on the new branding,” confirmed Martin.
EAG International, conveniently, positioned at the beginning of the New Year, is regarded by many as an indicator of industry confidence. If they’re correct, it looks as though we might be in for a very good year!
EAG International 2021 will take place at ExCeL London from 12th-14th January 2021.