LIW – not strictly coin-op

20/09/2012

Leisure Industry Week, which took place in Birmingham this week, is predominantly a gyms and leisure centre show, but a few coin-op companies find it a useful autumn showcase.

AMG, SAM Leisure, Cummins Allison, Innovative Leisure, Portman Asset Finance, Sound Leisure, Supernova, Toyvend and World of Rides were all at the show and reported that in general the first day was somewhat quiet but things improved on day two.

Innovative Leisure had no fewer than four different stands at the exhibition, with zip wires and climbing walls which attracted a good deal of interest, not least as TV interviews were being conducted on the equipment several meters in the air! Innovative’s Managing Director Phil Pickersgill said, “We are very pleased with the show and with business in general, we are getting a great response here.”

SAM Leisure also took a large stand at LIW and its range of hockey and pool tables were constantly being played by visitors. Managing Director Gary Drage said that coin-op trade was down but the company was picking up business from the retail sector. SAM will open a new showroom in the next 4-6 weeks and will open it to all interested customers over several days. “We have taken on a new range of fantastic pool tables for the home, which are stunning. Simon Cowell already has one and we expect a very good response,” said Gary.

SAM was also showing off a new range of kiddie tables. The company has done very well with its baby air hockey table and now an extended range of children’s products has been developed, including a waterproof air hockey for outside use.

Sound Leisure showed only one product at LIW – the innovative Captivator 360 which was showing an X-box game. The Captivator is a secure housing for a flat panel TV with a lockable sliding compartment at the back that houses the game console and controller. It allows venues to offer console gaming to older kids, without the worry that the equipment might get damaged or go walkabout. Visitors to the show were playing a controllerless Olympics game and a prize could be won for the fastest time.

“Captivator is doing incredibly well in the pub sector and we have already rolled out the product in Greene King and Marstons sites,” said Mike Black. “Now they are going into some Scream sites as well. We have had several enquiries at LIW to put these into leisure centres, so we are very happy.”

The only problem Sound encountered was an extremely busy and noisy troupe of child dancers who blocked access to their stand on the first day. LIW is undeniably more of a fitness and leisure exhibition and last year’s attempts to lure the coin-op sector in have largely failed, as many of the larger distributors who tried last year gave it a miss this time. However, for those companies whose products have wider applications, there are still opportunities to be had.

Dave Robinson from World of Rides with Amutec's Chris Bell

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