The Park Avenue Open Day may be well known as a laid-back networking event, but this year proved that casual socialising needn’t be a muted affair, with a jubilant festival spirit pervading as the sun shone and broke the clouds above north London.
It was “perfect seaside business weather” at Park Avenue Open Day 2023 this year,
with bright beams of sunshine welcoming visitors to a fête-like atmosphere of ice cream vans, Greek barbecues and champagne, before passing clouds encouraged them inside to explore the wealth of products, solutions and systems on show.
With over 30 companies participating at Electrocoin and UDC’s north London depots, the impression was one of convivial celebration, as figures from across the industry seized the opportunity to discuss the latest trends, new innovations, predictions for the summer, and the impact of the recent White Paper.
“It’s a very relaxed casual event,” said John A Stergides,
one of the key organisers of Park Avenue on behalf of Electrocoin. “We really pushed it this year and it’s paid
off. There’s lots for people to talk about at the moment, and this is the perfect place to do it.”
Electrocoin’s building was full of familiar faces almost from the off, with the GeWeTe sponsored bar doing a roaring trade in tea and coffee – perhaps to counter the effects of their complimentary champagne reception – as operators, suppliers and manufacturers caught up en masse for the last time before the height of the season.
In UDC’s neighbouring warehouse, a constant buzz of conversation was given a bright underscore by the chirps and tunes of the supplier’s latest range, including several new products that offered visitors a tantalising “glimpse of things to come.”
It was UDC’s Matt Bland that noted the appropriateness of the weather conditions for the event’s target market, as the corridor into the supplier’s main display floor soon became “like the kitchen at a house party” with visitors catching up on the way in to explore its expansive new range.
MD Mark Horwood added that UDC was proudly exhibiting
“more products than any company” at the Open Day, including brand new machines such as Silver Falls, Bingo-A-Go-Go, and Air Zone Deluxe from Ace Amusements.
For Electrocoin, one area of “special focus” was Stern Pinballs, with the brand given a dedicated room to showcase the latest Foo Fighters table and James Bond 60th Anniversary edition, while FEC products such as Magic 7 Key, Mr Do Skill Cut and Rocket Launch also attracted significant attention.
The gaming side was also well represented – not quite 50/50, but not far off – with Novomatic enjoying a “very busy day, and speaking to lots of customers,” according to Paisley Thompson Bailey. The situation was similar for Blueprint, with the company’s team in almost constant demand, while Reflex’s new Games Master 2 earned high praise from both visitors and industry colleagues.
After such a busy morning, it was no surprise that when the famous Greek barbecue was served, the queue stretched through Electrocoin’s depot. As the sun re-emerged for the duration of the afternoon, the resident ice cream van and outside bar also became popular focal points with attendees making the most of the sunshine.
Appropriately, the team from children’s charity Rays of Sunshine made a bright appearance by the raffle table as donations stacked up to benefit the Bacta Charitable Trust’s chosen charity, thanks to prizes such as golf days, games, merchandise and chocolate. With cloudless blue skies persisting from 2pm onwards, it was hard to tell whether the weather had contributed to the undeniably festive mood of the Open Day, or whether the event itself had brought out the sun.
Park Avenue Open Day (2023) returns was publishe din the below issue of Coinslot: