EMEA News: Steve's Musings

D’you know what? The last time I put my weird and wonderful thoughts on paper was a mammoth 12 months ago! And I started then by saying “well, that was summer!”. Strangely enough, I could use that exact sentiment and word compilation again now! It just goes to show that, in the strange world of a travelling Salesperson, things don’t change much!!

But, what HAS changed, I am happy to say, is the reaction of most operators. 12 months ago, when travelling around visiting arcades, there was a definite air of despondency and gloom. The difference, some 12 months later, is somewhat improved, with an actual air of optimism and positivity!

No! Really!!

Don’t get me wrong. There are still many hurdles to overcome, and more than several miles to travel, before the Industry can truly say that it is in good health, but a few days “on the road”, seeing some of you, has made me think that maybe, just maybe, things are on the up!

Talking of things being on the up, the weather throughout September has been brilliant!! Even in Amsterdam last week, at the EAS Exhibition, it was a pleasure walking from the train station to the venue, although walking back again after a long day on your feet wasn’t so much fun!! And, talking of EAS, what a fantastic idea to hold a big exhibition in a different European country every year! The way I see it, this provides opportunities for visitors to sample the different cultures and delights that each City and Country has to offer, while actually still being able to work. And, let’s be honest, some of the sights in Amsterdam were certainly worth seeing!!

Can I just say, at this point, that the old English saying “No rest for the wicked” is incredibly accurate. Amsterdam last week, Wales this week, Northern Ireland next week, followed by a few days in the office. Then we have the new exhibition at Chelsea Football Club (Or our glorious home, as I like to call it!!) followed the following week with the exhibition in Bulgaria and, a mere two or three weeks later, IAAPA exhibition in Florida!! Might sound like a great and glamorous life to some but, believe me, it takes its toll on the old Imperial carcass! And living out of a suitcase is officially not recommended!!

Many of you know of my fondness of old English sayings, especially if you have been subjected to my previous inane drivel via this newsletter, but there is one saying of particular poignancy that I would like to share with you. A wise man once said: “To be the best, you have to be the best” I think it was Jose Mourinho!! (I never said he was English!) But, in an attempt to explain why I have mentioned it here I need to highlight the fact that, when you really, really think about the actual meaning of the words, not only does it state the “bleeding obvious”, but it also encapsulates the very essence of every single company within our industry! We all think we are the best and the majority really do strive to be the best that they can possibly be, but, in all honesty, it begs the question, “Who is?” and another question “how do you measure it?”

Answers on a postcard please….!! I told you it was inane drivel!

Beam me up Scottie! Hic!