IAAPA Expo 2021 wraps up today, Nov. 19. Both exhibitors and attendees reported they were glad to be back at the show, the first in-person iteration of the event since 2019. Despite a smaller-than-usual crowd, mainly attributed to ongoing international Covid restrictions, exhibitors were pleased with the crowd that did show up – ready to buy and see what’s in stock.
According to IAAPA, there were 27,399 total registrants and 20,394 qualified buyers among the 882 exhibiting companies. In 2019, there were 42,200 attendees and 27,900 qualified buyers (updated numbers are available at www.iaapa.org/expos/iaapa-expo).
Because of a continued backlog of shipping containers at the ports, there were also fewer than usual brand-new products from manufacturers. With containers more expensive than ever and coming in oftentimes 4-6 months later than normal, a lot of lead time has been required to get parts to actually build games and also have them in stock for the customer.
That said, it certainly wasn’t all gloom and Covid doom. Operators want games more than ever to put on location and manufacturers can’t make them fast enough. Read more about the show and what brand-new games were available and coming soon in our December issue.