Date: March 19th - 21st, 2014
The Italian Enada trade show is held twice a year, with this spring (primavera) event taking place in the east coast city of Rimini, and the autumn equivalent hosted in western capital of Rome.
The Fiera Expo Centre is an attractive and spacious modern venue, where guests are greeted by fountains and pools of water accompany visitors as they walk between the lobby and the eight large exhibition halls.
The venue would host the European Pinball Championship starting on the last day of Enada, but there were also some competitive pinball events taking place at the show itself.
We'll come back to the pinball element of the event shortly, but Enada is a trade show for the coin-op and gaming industry and its timing means it is well-positioned for seasonal operators looking for attractions for the summer season.
The show occupied two halls - one mostly for the coin-op, and the second for the gaming businesses including on-line gambling companies.
In comparison with trade shows in the UK and the US, Enada appeared to be pretty quiet without the usual crowds of visitors milling around the exhibitors' stands.
As we are getting back to the pinball element, this video pinball on the San Remo Games stand was an interesting take on the format.
It is a curious device, with a standard two-screen cabinet but the second screen showed a mix of dot-matrix and alpha-numeric animations. One of the two machines on the stand was sitting there with a ball stuck on the playfield, so it had a certain degree of realism.
Nearby, on the Italgiochi stand was a real pinball - a Stern Metallica Pro machine - but due to its location at the opposite end of the hall to the pinball tournaments, it was missed by many potential players.
Two new Stern Mustang Pro machines were at Enada. The first was on the Tecnoplay stand and was set on free play. It received almost constant play throughout all three days of the show.
The second was in the tournament area and hosted a high score competition.
Gary Stern was at the show and he was installing daily updates to the Mustang's software to add more features, display animations, and sound effects.
On the first two days of the Enada show there were daily high score competitions on Mustang, which had free entry and a trophy for the winner.
Scores were recorded manually on paper and entered into a laptop computer at the tournament desk.
On Wednesday, the high score competition winner was Lukasz Romanowski, and on Thursday it was Daniele Baldan.
The main tournament of the Enada show was held on five modern Stern pinballs - Avatar, X-Men, AC/DC, Star Trek and The Avengers.
Qualifying began on Wednesday and ran through to midday on Friday. For a €5 entry fee, competitors could play two games on each machine with their highest score of the two counting. The scores were then ranked and the top eight players went through to the play-offs.
On the first two days of qualifying, players could enter the tournament area and play all five games. On Friday that changed, so players had to put their name on a waiting list for one machine at a time. Once their name was called and they had played, they could then put their name down for the next machine.
A number of EPC players who arrived on Friday morning were not allowed to enter due to the limited time available. Meanwhile, not everyone who did register was able to play all of their games either.
Eighty competitors in total took part, with some adopting some creative play styles.
The reason players were kneeling, crouching or leaning to one side was the bright reflection from the hall's glass ceiling which made it almost impossible to see the flippers or the ball on several of the machines.
In the final it was Italy's Nicola Pierobon against Switzerland's Levente Tregova in a best-of-three match to decide the winner. Their first game was on AC/DC and it went Nicola's way. Then came X-Men and this time it was Levente's turn to win and take the final to a deciding match.
The third machine was Mustang and Nicola's great last ball earned him a clear win with 107M to Levente's 17M. So Nicola was first, Levente was second, Robert Sutter was third and Erno Rotter was fourth.
The last day of the Enada Primavera show coincided with the start of the European Pinball Championship, and you will be able to read all about that tournament in our special EPC report coming soon.
In the meantime, here's our exclusive video of the Enada Primavera show with our Twelve Minute Tour.
© Pinball News 2014