All’s not Fair with the Shows, says Sound


Sound Leisure has decided to go public with its frustration over trying to book a stand at the ICE show next January.

“Due to the fact that ICE and EAG will be at Excel two weeks apart next year, we and our music supply partner Soundnet, felt that many visitors, particularly those coming from overseas, would choose to attend one show or the other rather than visiting both as has been possible in the past,” explains Managing Director Chris Black.

“We are keen to meet new export partners and given that a large part of our customer base is predominantly the retail pub sector, rather than the amusement arcade industry, we decided that the ICE show would be a better match for us this year,” he adds.

However, when Sound Leisure enquired about booking a stand at ICE it was told that this would not be possible for companies who had exhibited last year at EAG.

“This seemed highly unfair to us, as there are a number of companies who will be present at both shows, either directly or through their subsidiaries – however when we pointed this out we were told that jukeboxes were not among the approved list of products to be exhibited at ICE. That is despite the fact that there are several other companies who will be showing jukeboxes on their stands, each time we seemed to overcome one issue another problem was raised” says Chris Black.

Sound Leisure has been left with no alternative but to book a smaller stand than usual at the EAG show in 2013 whilst they assess the impact of two shows being run on two different dates. “We feel extremely frustrated about not being allowed to choose which exhibition we show at, I cannot believe that this is actually allowed to happen in the UK, and I honestly feel that taking our usual space at the EAG this year would be commercial suicide as no one can predict what footfall will be. ,” adds Chris. “As a UK manufacturer, which has supported the industry and its trade fairs for decades, we feel it is highly unfair that we are not allowed to exhibit at the show of our choosing – particularly when competitors from overseas will be present there.”

“The organisers of these shows need to work together rather than hide behind contracts, our industry is having a hard enough time without the people that should be assisting its growth standing in its way.” he concludes.

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