EAG Expo: “Pioneers new format due to Covid-19”

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EAG took the bull by the horns and moved into the online arena with two days of widely praised seminars and exhibition stands. Attracting almost 1,000 attendees, the event organisers reported on the detail of EAG Online in a despatch.


Bacta’s business-to-business trade exhibition, EAG Online, has been heralded a success by both exhibitors and visitors alike, according to the organiser’s report on the recent two day digital initiative.

The EAG statement read: “Although on a smaller scale to the usual face-to-face exhibition, EAG Online 2021 succeeded in attracting some 31 exhibitors and 981 registrations. The 2-day event gave exhibitors and visitors the opportunity to come together during lockdown to discuss the future of the industry. With a combination of virtual exhibition stands, a lively and varied seminar programme, and bacta’s networking lounge, manufacturers of coin-operated attractions and the wider entertainment and leisure industry had a platform to meet, exchange ideas and plan for the future.”

Martin Burlin, chairman of EAG Expo, was enthused by the project, not just for its reach but also its invention. He noted: “EAG broke new ground this year with its online event and I’m delighted it was well received. While nothing beats meeting face-to-face, EAG Online successfully bridged the gap and gave exhibitors and visitors the opportunity to connect and have meaningful conversations.”

He added: “EAG Online 2021 was truly an international event with many attendees hailing from overseas. I would like to thank all the exhibitors, seminar speakers and visitors who supported the event and embraced the opportunity to get involved in something a little bit different this year.”

EAG Online will maintain its live presence for the next month with the seminars and exhibition stands open until 31 May.

And the clock on face-to-face time is also ticking down: EAG Expo is planning to return to live action at the ExCeL London from 11-13 January 2022.



The operator’s view

“There was much discussion around cashless not surprisingly, as this is such a major opportunity for the industry”



Tom AllisonCoinslot: How did EAG Online go for you?

Tom Allison: It was a welcome addition to the calendar ahead of May 17th. It was great to see the products on offer in addition to having the opportunity to network and get ready for reopening.

I thought the format had been well thought out and it was evident a lot of time and effort had been invested on the expo. It was also good to have the ability to connect with contacts, both new and old either via the chat (Instant Messenger) facility or video call.

The seminars were relevant and interesting and the chance to visit exhibitors, to see new product and download resources for future review was useful. (Although would have liked to have seen some other Exhibitors in attendance)

Coinslot: What were the highlights over the two days?

Tom Allison: Cashless Payment solutions – as the world adapts to the new ‘norm’ then discussions around Cashless Payments is definitely gaining momentum, both with AGC’s and FEC’s in mind. It was interesting to see and discuss the various solutions currently being investigated.

Coinslot: Key products that caught the eye?

Tom Allison: Novomatic’s new Panthera cabinet, with 2 x 27” HD Screens, 15.6” Touchdeck, Ergonomic design and attractive LCD surrounds then it definitely will have the walk up factor and lend itself to a great player experience.

It was exciting to see both the established SWA games on this cabinet, in addition to the new suite of games available from Novoline. With the new Novoline platform offering licensed Title from Dusk Till Dawn Hot, along with proven online and Casino titles (such as Apollo God of the Sun (Greentube) and Mega Bonus Joker) in the catalogues of games available, then this is really exciting!

Novo Cash X6 – the new slim change machine from Novomatic. With cashless payment solutions in mind, the ability to load cash onto a ticket using a bank card is a great option.

Coinslot: What were the main talking points?

Tom Allison: There was a much discussion around cashless, not surprisingly, as this is such a major opportunity for the industry.

A lot of discussions centred around the re-opening of venues, ensuring operators and manufacturers worked together to drive footfall from day 1. Everyone was very positive about the ability for the industry to bounce back.

With FEC’s in mind there is a great opportunity to take advantage of the expected growth in popularity of ‘Staycations’, ensuring we operate in line with any social distancing constraints or other Covid related measures.

Coinslot: Your ideas to develop the online expo concept?

Tom Allison: More interactive content for customers. On a positive note a decent platform for speaking to the suppliers. It’s just a shame all of the suppliers that would normally attend the EAG didn’t have a virtual stand.


The distributor’s view

“..there was an excitement for an event that was bringing the industry together ‘in one room’ again…”



Coinslot: How did EAG Online go for you?

John A Stergides: We wanted to keep supporting the EAG as we have done so for many years and the EAG online was no exception.

John A Stergides ElectrocoinIt was certainly an interesting way to host an exhibition and it was fantastic to be able to communicate with other suppliers and operators with this new format, as it has been a while since most of us have been in the same ‘room’.

We were able to display our products across three ‘stands’ splitting them off into a ‘Gaming Stand’, a ‘Pinball Stand’ and a’ Cashless System, Prize Vend, Ticket Redemption and Video Stand’. This was beneficial as it allowed operators to view the products that were relevant for them.

Overall it doesn’t compete with a face to face show but considering the current circumstances it was better to be a part of it and was probably one of the better virtual shows that we have experienced.

Coinslot: What were the highlights over the two days?

John A Stergides: It was great catching up with people within the industry but one of the main highlights and attractions were the seminars. Usually it can be very difficult during a normal show to leave the stand, however, in a virtual world, it made it possible to pop in and out and there were certainly some interesting seminars related to cashless and reopening.

Coinslot: Key initiatives that caught the eye?

John A Stergides: The Ball Paradise was certainly catching the eye as it’s ‘new’ product and it’s fun for all the family. Along with our Skill Cut Winners which are now back in stock and available in eight colours. They are becoming a mainstay for any current or new FEC, bowling centre, single site, holiday park and even fun fairs. The Pinballs also caught the eye as there were so many different titles to choose from and they are becoming popular again as we are starting to see an increase in demand when they launch key models like Led Zeppelin and Marvels’ Avengers Infinity Quest

Coinslot: What were the main talking points?

John A Stergides: There was an excitement for an event that was bringing the industry together in ‘one room’ again, but it was more the positive outlook with the reopening happening next month. It was a change from the conversation earlier in the year of the unknown, but it seems most operators have a very positive outlook on the upcoming season.

Coinslot: Your ideas to develop the online expo concept?

John A Stergides: To be able to split the exhibitors and visitors when seeing who is online.


The organiser’s view

“…it has given the industry a positive push forward”




Coinslot: How did EAG Online go for you?

Martin Burlin EAG Expo OnlineMartin Burlin: We are pleased with how well the Show was received by both exhibitors and visitors. It was felt that it has given the industry a positive push forward, providing an opportunity to network and view the latest products and services.

Coinslot: Key initiatives that caught the eye?

Martin Burlin: It is not for me to comment on what products caught the eye. I was however impressed by the positive input from all the exhibitors. It was a leap of faith which they wholeheartedly embraced.

Coinslot: What were the main talking points?

Martin Burlin: The Seminars were also a hit. Each one attracted over 100 viewers. We were also able to attract many foreign visitors, many of whom have never attended EAG.

Coinslot: Your ideas to develop the online expo concept?

Martin Burlin: Going forward I believe that all b2b shows will have an online presence. It will be part of the new normal. This will require the site to be more reactive to the user’s requirements. Online can never replace attending a live show. The buzz, the interconnection of meeting people, to chew the fat and network. But it will become part of the exhibition business.


The exhibitor’s view

Opportunity to “address the current concern around cash and Covid”




Coinslot: How did EAG Online go for you?

Paul Clay Cummins Allison EAG OnlinePaul Clay: It was very busy with much interaction in all formats (chat, messaging and LinkedIn). No orders as of yet, so it’s early days, but I thought that it was very well put together and managed by Swan Events.

Coinslot: What were the highlights over the two days?

Paul Clay: No real highlights to mention.

Coinslot: Key initiatives that caught the eye?

Paul Clay: As a supplier, we mainly used the show to interact with old and new customers/ contacts.

Coinslot: What were the main talking points?

Paul Clay: Our major talking point was our latest product that we were showcasing: Paypod™, a paystation for the customer to pay into that is connected directly to the POS till, enabling cash transactions to take place hygienically and eliminating the physical exchange of cash between customer and till operator – Addressing the current concern around cash and Covid!

Coinslot: Your ideas to develop the online expo concept?

Paul Clay: Ability to perform live demos via a video link and greater live interaction.

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