EAG has confirmed its position as the industry’s most important amusements and low-stake gaming exhibition securing back-to-back increases in attendance. Building on the platform achieved in 2023 which recorded a 36% year-on-year uplift EAG 2024 saw attendance rise to 3,497 unique visitors (3,469 in 2023) and visitation increase to 4,299 up from the 2023 figure of 4,278.
The annual gathering of the industry was opened by Lord McNicol of West Kilbride, representing the Labour Party’s Business Team, and featured a series of high-profile industry events including celebrations marking the 50th year of bacta, the bacta Annual Awards, the bacta Safer Gambling Hub and the thinkbite Seminar programme which was organised by the UK trade association.
EAG 2024, whose theme was ‘The Year Starts Here’ also succeeded in meeting the business needs of its exhibitors. Dean Harding Managing Director of Crown Direct, whose 456sqm stand was the biggest on the EAG show floor confirmed: “EAG is still absolutely key, it is the biggest event for us bar none. It’s the nucleus of what we do.”
The enthusiasm for EAG was echoed by Kevin Temple, Director of Sales, Novomatic Gaming UK, who stated: “This year’s EAG surpassed our expectations! Our stand was always full of visitors which included existing and potential customers. EAG always serves as a platform for meaningful discussions and connections, it is the ideal way to start the new year and look ahead at future opportunities.” He noted: “The general mood of the industry at EAG reflected a mix of anticipation and cautious optimism. Conversations revolved around the potential impact of new legislation and regulations, with attendees expressing a keen interest in understanding how these changes might shape the future of the industry. The success at EAG has fuelled our enthusiasm!”
UDC, which was marking its 40th anniversary at EAG believes the exhibition lifted the mood of exhibitors and visitors alike. Sales Director Jonathan Lauder noted: “Despite the gloomy economic outlook predicted before the show, EAG exceeded our expectations. We showed a wide range of games and equipment which were well received by customers on the stand. Thanks to the show we concluded numerous deals face to face on the stand, including several export deals with the advantage of being face to face with customers and them being able to get ‘hands on’ with the games really paying off.”
Reflecting on the latest edition of EAG, Chairman Martin Burlin said: “EAG lived up to its reputation for being the show where visitors meet and do business with their suppliers, catch-up with friends and get their hands on the very latest innovations and product developments that our exhibitors have to offer.”
“The show continues its upward trajectory post-COVID and I am delighted at the response we have had from exhibitors all of whom have enjoyed a positive experience. The pre-show research we undertook with our exhibitors projected that the show floor would feature in excess of 1,000 products new to the UK market and the value of having access to new games and new innovations cannot be overestimated.
“I believe that EAG demonstrated the resilience of the industry which is returning to its pre-pandemic best. Shows such as EAG are great barometers of the sectors they serve and it was gratifying to have long-standing members of the industry saying how good it was to have EAG showcasing the business so professionally.”