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EAG And BACTA Hail Strong Turnout, Increased Support For Annual Expo

Posted On: 2/9/2012

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European Amusement and Gaming International Expo, EAG Expo, amusement business, arcade business, London amusement trade show, jukebox, video game, pinball machine, Martin Burlin, BACTA, British Amusement Catering Trade Association, British Association of Leisure Parks Piers and Attractions, BALPPA

LONDON -- The organizers of the third annual European Amusement & Gaming Expo expressed their satisfaction at "another great performance." The 2012 EAG International Expo was held at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre here from Jan. 24 through 26.

"I couldn't be happier with the outcome," said Martin Burlin, a past president of the British Amusement Catering Trade Association who serves as chairman of EAG Expo Ltd. "The show looked stunning, buildup and operations were smooth and stress free, and ExCeL has proved once again that it is a world-class venue."

Preliminary tabulation of visitors indicates strong attendance on the first two days of the show, Burlin reported. This included a gratifying number of exhibit-goers from other countries. "As organizers, that is everything we can hope for, and the team has delivered on every front."

The 2012 EAG International Expo was cosponsored by BACTA and, for the first time, the British Amusement of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (see VT, September). BALPPA has many interests in common with BACTA and their memberships overlap. It has cooperated in many areas, over the years; the new show sponsorship is the latest example. | SEE STORY

"I appreciate that times are extremely challenging," Burlin noted, "but I have spoken with many exhibitors this week, and there are plenty of success stories. There is no doubt that those companies with the right product and the right approach will find buyers."

EAG Expo Ltd., which organizes the show, has announced new dates for next year's event. Chairman Burlin explained that, while these dates usually are determined three or four years in advance, a number of concerns were raised over the 2013 schedule. After considering these concerns and balancing the varying needs of participants, EAG negotiated with ExCeL (Exhibition Centre London) to move the dates up one week. Thus, the exposition will be held from Jan. 22 to 24, 2013.

"Finding the right date at the right venue for all parties concerned is the most challenging issue faced by any event organizer," Burlin observed. "We have well over 100 exhibitors from all over the world with different commitments and differing requirements, and it is extremely difficult to balance all of those needs." Moreover, premiere venues like ExCeL experience tremendous demand, and a large number of show organizers contend for space at any specified time. ExCel certainly is such a venue, a newly expanded facility attractively situated near the historic Royal Victoria Dock in the heart of the ancient Port of London, which has been steadily redeveloped as prime commercial and residential real estate and a major attraction.

"I am confident that these new dates resolve as many difficulties as possible," Burlin concluded. He expressed his gratitude to the ExCel management team for its assistance in finding the solution to make space available for the rescheduled show.