As quality in design and manufacture continues to prove the key factor for kiddie ride success, SB Machines is to return to EAG with a selection of some of its most appealing and enduring products. Paolo Sidoli tells all.
SB Machines will bring a range of new and popular rides to EAG this year, with technological innovation, quality design, and proven manufacture remaining at the heart of all its products.
With all machines site tested prior to the exhibition, managing director Paolo Sidoli highlighted just how attention to detail can deliver lasting results for operators and FECs, with 2020 set to be a prime year for new ride investment.
“The highlight at EAG will be the much talked about and warmly received three-player Kangaroo Up and Down Carousel,” said Sidoli.
“It has impressive looks and features, creates a spectacle from a distance but yet occupies a small amount of floor space in any amusement premises. It also has three coin mechanisms and commands £2 per play. It packs a huge punch wherever it is sited.”
With the £2 barrier proving a not inconsiderable hurdle for many operators until recently, SB Machines has taken great care to ensure all its rides offer the high standard of entertainment, both in appearance and experience, that delivers repeat customer satisfaction.
“For the children’s ride sector, it’s all about the quality of ride rather than the quantity of rides on a premises. Customers will put their children on rides and they will pay that premium. However, the rides must be cutting edge, bristling with the latest technological innovations. This has meant that economic obsolescence of older rides kicks in much quicker than before.”
Though Sidoli noted that trading during H119 was “on par with previous years,” with “a strong start during the Spring half term continuing until Whitsun,” the second half of the year saw operators “take some time off from their usual investment behaviour.”
With indifferent weather and an ever-increasing range of equipment in the marketplace affecting sales for many suppliers during the second half of the year, SB will look to follow EAG by consolidating its reputation for quality during 2020.
“SB Machines will again concentrate on two areas that the company excels in; service and product. We want to reinforce to our customers that our after-sales and technical expertise is the best in the sector. In fact, we still offer a complete backup on models that are over 20 years old.”
“We want to ensure we launch valid rides that can stand up to scrutiny from operators and end user alike. This means behind the scenes research and development with our manufacturers that keeps our products at the forefront in the marketplace.”
Though the next 12 months looks to be promising for SB, Sidoli noted that – when it comes to the industry as a whole in 2020 – there are still issues that must be addressed.
“There are many topics of discussion here, such as stakes and prizes review, the scourge of online gambling, potential regulation of redemption, social responsibility in the industry. Yet for me, there are two other not so insignificant matters that need to be looked at: cashless and relevance of our businesses in the market place in 2020.”
“First of all, cashless: how can we adapt our businesses to this huge change in people’s spending behaviour? What systems do we adapt? Are our revenues being affected by a lack of available hard cash in people’s pockets?”
“Secondly, relevance: I feel that much extra investment in updating premises and equipment is needed to enhance the leisure experience. This has already been highlighted in Coinslot this year with some notable examples. Yes, initial investment might prove quite costly but the rewards will come in the end.”
Though blanket regulation passed down from 2005 legislation still affects the wider industry, Sidoli pointed out that investment in rides continues to offer greater freedom for operators.
“The great thing about the UK and Ireland children’s ride sector is that it falls outside the scope of the Gambling Act and this means that rides can be sited anywhere.”
“We have the CE stamp that offers integrity of product and provenance and we have the Bacta administered ADIPS scheme.”
However, that does not mean that SB is content to rest on its laurels, with Sidoli keen to see both local authorities and the government act on measures to benefit the UK tourism industry.
“We need a collaborative nationwide effort to combat litter on our beaches and in our towns, and more expansive Park and Ride facilities for the seaside especially at peak periods.”
“We also need a reappraisal of tourist information facilities in our towns. People seem to forget that they exist and that they are there to help.”
For Sidoli, the business doesn’t stop at the product, it extends way beyond – into his own community and those of his customers. Now there’s a thought for the legislators.