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GTI Global Network > Shows List > InterGame Expo 2009 > Introduction
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The Great First Step – IGX 2009
 
By Matthew Yau/Candy Mao
 
The birth of IGX
 
Hosted by InterGame, InterGame Expo (IGX) took place on January 27~29 at London IBIS hotel. The participators included local British company Harry Levy, Sound Leisure, and Wessex Coin, German Bally Wulff, French EXA Group, Argentine Sacoa, and Chinese Zhongshan Luck & Jinying. The products at the expo were coin pushers, crane machines, redemption machines, kiddie rides, billiard tables, juke boxes, air hockey, various accessories, and more. The feedback was great, and most of the companies were willing to join next year.
 
In theory, London could have three shows for the amusement industry in 2010. Pressure is growing on the traditional ATEI show, which has been a magnet for the amusement industry for nearly 60 years, gradually making it the 'must-go' show for the international trade as well.
 
ATEI used to be owned by the British trade association, BACTA, which developed it into an international brand over the years, and added on a casino section. In recent years the casino section has become stronger, becoming the ICE show. The two shows were co-habiting Earls Court, the big exhibition centre in London.
 
Six years ago, BACTA sold the shows to an exhibition organiser named Clarion Events, which stepped up its concentration on the casino industry in face of the gradual downturn of amusements. Two years ago Clarion took the decision to completely sever the two shows, running gambling machines in the downstairs showroom and putting amusements upstairs into the gallery.

The Managing Director of Harry Levy, Colin Mallery, and Various Harry Levy products.
 
Many of the old ATEI exhibitors, who had spent many years gradually getting their companies into prime positions on the ground floor, protested strongly at ATEI's move upstairs and their own positions being uprooted, but Clarion was adamant. Those protests resulted in some of the more extreme objectors approaching the trade publication, InterGame.
 
What the 'rebels' wanted was for InterGame, as a well respected international trade publication with the contacts and the database, to organise a breakaway show. At the same time they wanted it to be at 'reasonable rates', as the downturn in the industry was combined with escalating fees for stand space at ATEI. 
 
Major products: amusement machines
 
This resulted this year in the IGX show, a 30-company breakaway 200 metres down the road from Earls Court, at the IBIS Hotel. The exhibitors were led by some significant companies, Harry Levy the major importer and supplier of amusement games, pusher machines, redemption and novelties; Whittaker Brothers, the pusher machines and kiddie rides experts; Excel, which is one of the best-known pool table suppliers; and Sound Leisure, probably the biggest juke box manufacturer in the world.
 IGX showcases mainly amusement machines and it is preferred by companies specializing in this field. The future development of this expo is highly expected
A great hit….London's famous cycle rickshaws were drafted in to advertise IGX and to transport visitors between Earls Court and the IBIS Hotel where the IGX was being held.
 
Harry Levy's booth was the largest one at the expo with the greatest number of products, from Super Sonic, Dazzler, Around the World, Race to Win, and various coin pushers, redemption machines, and ticket games. There were also Taiwanese company Feiloli's products, such as Dream Shooter, Junior Dream Shooter, and Pang Pang Paradise, which Kingtronic also carried.  
 
The Managing Director of Harry Levy, Colin Mallery, expressed that, even though the global economic crisis was very serious, the outcome of IGX was great, especially its sales on redemption machines. Harry Levy had mostly participated ATEI, but it chose IGX this year, because ATEI had gradually become a casino expo, and set amusement machine section to the second floor. It was not a pleasant decision for Harry Levy. On the other hand, IGX provided a great expo for companies like Harry Levy. Harry Levy praised InterGame as a host and wanted to join the next IGX for sure.         
 
JoyBox was the first registered exhibitor. The Marketing Director of JoyBox, Richard Elsy, was also very satisfied with the whole expo. He thought the difference between IGX and ATEI was well kept, and IGX's position as an amusement product expo was focused. During the expo, there were many buyers visiting JoyBox's

The popular Lutz Bernhard Albrecht, Game Station, and Poker Table - Play4Pro from Bally Wulff.
booth. Its main product was the "Pay for Play networked music jukebox." It would update 200 new songs a week, providing a low cost yet long durability product for the operators. On the other hand, the Managing Director of Carnaby Gaming, Derek Lynch, was also extremely happy with the expo. He contributed the great sales to the convenient business atmosphere IGX provided.
 
Bally Wulff displayed its latest touch screen poker games, Versus Speed Compact Hockey and Multiplay Amusement Poker Table - Play4Pro, at IGX. These two products had beautifully designed cabinets, brilliant animation, and highly sensitive touch screen. 
The company Game Station was the first gaming terminal for the German and the international market. All Game Station game terminals would be delivered with the Game Box basic game sets, including Adam & Eva, Meisterdieb (Master Thief), Bingo Bingo, Beach Girls, Diamond's Crest, and many more in the future. Its expo representative, Lutz Bernhard Albrecht, felt satisfied with IGX.
 
At IGX 2009, "Zhongshan Luck & Jinying" and Whittaker Brothers joined up to display their latest products. Zhongshan Luck & Jinying exhibited two extremely cute kiddie rides, Horse 3-Seater and BeePark 3-Seater Carousel. Its Super Basketball also had one or two player game options. They all attracted many visitors' attentions. The company's Chairman, Chen Yiwen, had his unique ideas on expanding market via expo. He had been investing more than 800,000 Chinese Yuan on expo every year. Take 2009 for example, other than joining in IGX, it also planed to show up at IAAPI (India), ENADA (Italy), DEAL (UAE), GameNet (Greece), GTI Asia Taipei Expo, IAAPA (USA and Korea), and Salex (Brasil). Chen Yiwen said that since his company joined foreign expos from 2004, he had had deep understanding in the importance of expos. Expos provide chances to meet up with old clients and get to know new customers, building up a bridge for communication and connection. He said that determination can fight back the bad economy circumstance. "Zhongshan Luck & Jinying" and Whittaker Brothers have had tight cooperating relationship for a long time.
 
 
●Feiloli's Dream Shooter and Junior Dream Shooter and Saint-Fun's Hit Hit Alaska, both displayed at IGX by their British agency.
Whittaker Brothers' main products this time were coin pushers. It displayed 3 player "Race to Win" and 1~6 player "Surfers
Paradise." There were also "Roulette 6 Player" with new style multicoloured cabinet with real hardwood edging and flashing LED's on base, and its latest 8 player pusher game, Red Hot Jazz, designed for high speed operation with three horizontal coin entries per playing position, fast deck motors and easy access payout bowls. These machines brought an enormous number of visitors to check its booth.
 
Winning on service and price
 
The breakaway show caused enormous waves within the UK industry and the trade association, BACTA, now out of its 'shut-out' period following the sale of ATEI six years ago, has announced that it will not support Clarion's ATEI event in 2010 and was actively pursuing methods by which it could re-enter the trade show business.
 
For BACTA, a venue is the problem, just as it is a problem for InterGame and its IGX. The other obvious location is London's Olympia, but it is in the same ownership as Earls Court and its management is reluctant to permit a competing show at the same time. Nevertheless, BACTA is looking at the prospects of running its own show again.
 
For InterGame there is another problem. Having made the 'grand gesture' and organised a trade show for the 'rebels', there is a strong demand for it to repeat the exercise in 2010 because this year's event was hugely successful.
 
One of the principals of InterGame, industry veteran David Snook, said: "We had almost universal praise for our organising team led by show manager Maggie Lynch. The Ballroom of the Ibis Hotel gave a much more pleasant environment in which to run a show and we did it at cost for the exhibitors which meant that for many of them it cost a quarter of the prices they previously paid at Earls Court, because we kept all of the 'add on' things like electrics and stand-bills down to a minimum.   We had around 2,000 visitors from all over the world and the count was a genuine one; we didn't count everyone several times, just the new registrations and we didn't count the exhibitors ten times over!"
 
"Everyone said that the quality of visitors was very high and that they all did excellent business. We have been asked to do it again and while we will be ready to talk to anyone else on the subject of trade shows, in the meantime we will continue with plans to repeat IGX at the IBIS in 2010 (January 26~28)."
 
2010: three expos at the same time?
 
The InterGame organisation was described by three exhibitors with the same words: "A breath of fresh air", but the marketing went a long way to its success. In addition to the company’s ability to publicise the event through the pages of the magazine and through its mail shots, email and websites, it worked hard to put up directional

●New Cracker 12-player pusher launched by Harry Levy.
●Vegas exhibited Black Horse and award winning Silver Shark series with video poker and slot machines.
signs on the short walk between the two venues. It also employed a string of the iconic
London cycle 'rickshaws' covered in IGX advertising to give free rides to visitors.
 
The show itself had exhibitors from the UK but also from as far away as France, Germany, Argentina and China. Visitors came from 60 countries. The exhibits ranged from pusher machines, to limited payout gambling machines, to novelties, redemption, kiddie rides, pool tables, music, air hockey and spare parts.
 
If the show is held again, as seems likely, and BACTA finds a location to re-start a trade show and assuming that ATEI can stand the pressure, then London – at least in theory – could have three shows in 2010. "But they would all be weak shows," said David Snook, "and no-one would benefit from that, especially the industry itself.   We must hope that there is a way for at least two of the shows to get together." (Parts of the content and pictures are provided by IGX/ InterGame.)
 
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