“We’re Back”: Optimism Abounds at Amusement Expo


The return to normalcy has officially begun as the amusement industry gathered in Las Vegas this week. While exhibitor and attendee numbers are down for a typical Amusement Expo, organizers said it was better than expected and they were pleased with the response from those who packed the show floor.

“I’m really glad for the positive atmosphere that’s present on the show floor – the energy that’s there,” said AAMA Executive Director Pete Gustafson. “We’re back. I think that was the resounding message – that as an industry, we’re back.”

AEI Charity Fund committee members toast to a great Amusement Expo. From left, Tim Zahn, Jeff Blair, Luke Adams, Greg Trent, Lori Schneider, Joe Camarota, Tina Schwartz and Emily Dunn.

Show host W.T. Glasgow, led by Brian Glasgow, said there were 132 exhibitors compared to 145 at the 2020 show in New Orleans (booth size was also scaled back – from 464 booth spaces at the previous show to 365 this year). However, registered buyers were at 1,476 this year compared to 2020’s 1,303 – though a typical Vegas show usually attracts about 1,700 buyers.

Glasgow said he expected the show to be 30% down, but it was only about 20% down. Obviously, it was missing a usually strong international component due to limited travel and the scaled back booth size from many companies.

Gustafson added that despite global supply chain issues and other challenges, “The pent-up demand for the entertainment and experiences we provide isn’t going away anytime soon.”

The 2022 Amusement Expo is already scheduled back in its usual March timeframe, held once again in Las Vegas, from March 15-17.

Read about this year’s show, see pictures from the booths and get more event coverage in the August issue of RePlay.


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