The British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA) recently decided to cancel 2021’s Entertainment, Attractions & Gaming (EAG) International Expo in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“We came to the conclusion that this was the only sensible solution considering the continuing restrictions on travel and mingling in larger groups,” EAG chairman Martin Burlin said. “The high level of risk associated with putting on a show in the current climate meant that the directors could do nothing but recommend cancellation of EAG to BACTA. There is so much planning and work that goes into the EAG show for the exhibitors and organizers and we knew we had to take this difficult decision sooner rather than later. EAG is now exploring other ways in which it can support its exhibitors.”
EAG—a showcase of the latest in coin-operated amusements and the broader leisure industry—was intended to commence at the ExCeL convention center in London in January.
“We know this will be a great disappointment to many but the safety of our members and visitors is paramount,” BACTA president James Miller said. “We really wanted to be able to support our members—particularly those in Division 4 who were keen to show product—but the risks were just too great. We look forward to better times.”
The organization plans to bring back EAG will at the same location from January 11 to 13, 2022, aiming to “celebrate the leisure industry’s recovery” if the coronavirus situation subsides.
“I would like to praise the way all parts of BACTA came together in a high-level debate to work through a difficult decision in the interests of the show, BACTA, and the industry,” BACTA CEO John White said.
BACTA has represented the British amusements trade since 1974. The first EAG Expo took place in 2009, according to previous reporting by Blooloop.
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