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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No. 3, March 2010, Posted On: 2/15/2010


First Amusement Expo Is Set For March 10-12 Las Vegas Run; IAAPA's Fun Expo Exhibits Join The Coin-Op Showcase


Marcus Webb
vAmusement Expo, Fun Expo, Amusement and Music Operators Association, American Amusement Machine Association, W.T. Glasgow Inc., International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, AMOA, AAMA, IAAPA, vending, coin-op machines, jukebox, pinball, videogames, arcade, arcade games, FEC, David Cohen, Gary Brewer, John Schultz, Jack Kelleher, coin-op news

LAS VEGAS -- The first-ever edition of the Amusement Expo will take place from March 10 to 12 at the Las Vegas Convention Center where exhibits will be commingled with Fun Expo, rather than having a demarcation of space for two different exhibit areas within a single hall. The latter layout had characterized Fun Expo's collocations with AMOA Expo from 1999 to 2008.

The new Amusement Expo is co-owned by the Amusement and Music Operators Association and the American Amusement Machine Association, both based in Chicago. The show is managed by W.T. Glasgow Inc. (Orland Park, IL), which has long managed AAMA's Amusement Showcase International, AMOA International Expo and Fun Expo, which is now owned by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

Organizers reported that Amusement Expo will "initially focus on combining the visitor and exhibitor bases" of ASI and the AMOA Expo. ASI traditionally occurred in the spring; AMOA's show ended its decades-long run of fall expositions in September 2009.

Fewer than 100 exhibitors had signed up for Amusement Expo and Fun Expo as of mid-January, but their numbers were expected to expand significantly by show time. One indicator of strong support for the combined show was the Jan. 15 announcement by Incredible Technologies that it would exhibit. This is first coin-op spring show that the maker of Golden Tee Golf will be a part of in eight years. IT owners Elaine Hodgson and Richard Ditton said they were "fully supporting" the combined show and urged the rest of the industry to do likewise.

"We applaud the AAMA and the AMOA for making this difficult but necessary decision," Hodgson said. "Now it's up to all of us to support the new show and to demonstrate to the world that the out-of-home entertainment industry is strong and viable."

AMOA CONVENTION MOVES

As a result of the combined show, AMOA is planning to hold its annual convention in the spring rather than its traditional fall slot. Its annual membership meeting will take place on Thursday, March 11, from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the Las Vegas Hilton. The terms of AMOA's volunteer directors have been extended by six months and the election cycle for officers is now being moved to the fall, with new officers taking their seats at the conclusion of the spring show.

DAILY SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Convention-related activities begin Sunday, March 7, with Fun Expo's Rookies & Newcomers Workshop, followed by a reception for class participants. This workshop and other Fun Academy events continue on Monday, March 8 (see detailed Fun Academy schedule information on page 50).

General show registration opens Tuesday, March 9, at 8 a.m., closing at 5 p.m. Fun Expo's Fun Academy begins March 9 with 17 sessions, all focused on various aspects of FEC management, running from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (see Fun Academy schedule information).

Also on March 9, the American Amusement Machine Charitable Foundation will sponsor a Win the Skin Charity Golf Tournament from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fun Expo's new product showcase takes place the same day from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Exhibit hours are different on all three days of the show. The show's Wednesday, March 10, opening will be immediately preceded by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and awards presentations from 12:45 p.m. to 1 p.m. Exhibits open at 1 p.m. and close at 6 p.m. Following the close of the first day's exhibits, an industry reception will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Hilton.

On Thursday, March 11, exhibits open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. IAAPA will host happy hour at its booth from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

On Friday, March 12, exhibits open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. AMOA's Wayne E. Hesch Memorial Scholarship raffle drawing will be held at 2:30 p.m.

AMOA-FUN EXPO SEMINARS

During Amusement Expo, AMOA will host a free seminar program for street and FEC operators, some portions of which are co-hosted by Fun Expo. All AMOA educational sessions will take place on Wednesday and Friday mornings before the day's opening of the exhibit floor.

On March 10, Amusement Expo and Fun Expo sponsors will host part one of "Redemption 2010" from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. Two more sessions will run at the same time: "New Ways to Jump Start League Programs" and "Salesmanship."

Also on March 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., AMOA will present "Jukebox Connectivity and Networking." It will run concurrently with AMOA's "Getting the Most out of Your Card Swipe Systems." From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. AMOA and Fun Expo will co-host a session on social networking.

No AMOA seminars are scheduled for the morning of Thursday, March 11. From 11:45 a.m to 12:45 p.m., AMOA will host the "Coin-Op Think Tank" luncheon.

On Friday, March 12, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., AMOA and Fun Expo will present part two of "Redemption 2010." A technical session on jukebox connectivity runs concurrently.

FUN ACADEMY

Fun Expo's seminar program includes the Fun Academy and a series of standalone educational events such as the Party Workshop and the IAAPA Safety Institute. Admission to most tracks requires separate admission fees.

The program starts Sunday, March 7 with a one and a half-day workshop called Rookies & Newcomers Road to Success. Workshop admission purchased onsite is $479 for IAAPA members and $529 for nonmembers (includes Fun Academy, Party Workshop and exhibits). The Sunday session runs from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., followed by a reception for workshop attendees from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The workshop resumes Monday, March 8, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Rookie workshop moderators are Dorothy Lewis of Fun Station Associates (Danbury, CT) and Alan Ramsay, CLM Entertainment (Orlando, FL). Topics for the Rookies workshop range from "Why Perform A Feasibility Study?" to business plans, financing, gameroom design, insurance, marketing, food and beverage operations, employee hiring and management, group sales, attraction selection, and more. After the session, throughout the week, Rookies attendees can attend daily Recap & Wrap Up Sessions; attendees will also receive assistance with personalized seminar selection and a customized trade show floor plan. Participants will be notified of the daily recap and wrap-up sessions' times and locations.

On Monday, March 9, Fun Academy offers 17 sessions for more experienced FEC owners and managers, all focused on various aspects of FEC management. Sessions are generally 90 minutes each; the full day's program runs from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fun Academy onsite admission purchased onsite is $279 for IAAPA members and $329 for nonmembers (includes Party Workshop & exhibits). Included are three seminars on finance; four seminars on food and beverage operations; two sessions on games and attractions; five seminars on marketing; two on leadership and one on safety. Speakers include Michael Getlan of Amusement Consultants (New Rochelle, NY), Tim Sorge of Swings-N-Things (Akron, OH), and Richard Sanfilippo of Sam's Fun City (Pensacola, FL), among several others. Full details are available at funexpo.com.

On Thursday, March 11, the Fun Academy Attractions Round Table takes place from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The IAAPA Safety Institute runs from 8 a.m. to 12 noon; speakers include IAAPA first vice-chairman Bob Rippy and Disneyland senior manager for safety and park operations Bret Pfost. Topics include best practices in safety operations and guest care, ride standards, attractions safety, risk management, loss prevention and incident management. FEC operators will share lessons they have learned in safe operations.

On Friday, March 12, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., the Party Workshop will present new ideas to grow party business. Dorothy Lewis moderates a panel of park and FEC operators.

AAMCF GOLF TOURNAMENT

In connection with the Amusement Expo, the 11th annual AAMCF charity golf tournament will be held at the Arroyo Course of the Red Rock Country Club on Tuesday, March 9, with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start. The club is located on low hills 10 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip and affords panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains.

Joint Ventures Put Trade Shows To Work

The creation of the AMOA-AAMA Amusement Expo, which will combine with Fun Expo in March, was the result of two mergers that took place in 2009. The first was a show merger announced by AMOA and AAMA last September. The second was an association merger of the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industry, sponsor of Fun Expo, and International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

Joint ownership of Amusement Expo is encompassed in a new joint venture known as Amusement Machine Industry Trade Show. AMITS has its own officers, bylaws and budget separate from the parent associations. Its formation was approved by a vote of the AMOA board of directors. No changes in the association's bylaws were required, said AMOA executive vice-president Jack Kelleher.

The AMITS board consists of five members from each of the two parent associations. Members include AAMA chairman David Cohen; vice-chairman Neal Rosenberg; secretary Frank Cosentino; and director Rich Babich. AMOA members include president Gary Brewer and first vice-president Donovan Fremin, along with past-presidents Russ Mawdsley and Lloyd Williamson.

AAMA's Cohen, chief executive of Firestone Financial Corp., is also chairman of AMITS. Brewer is vice-chair; Frank Cosentino, treasurer; and Donovan Fremin, secretary. The group's leadership is elected by their respective associations for a two-year term. Two of the initial directors' terms from each association will be one-year terms, enabling the board to replace some members on a staggered basis and, thus, preserving greater continuity of leadership.

Fun Expo is owned by three associations: 25% each is owned by AMOA and AAMA. The remaining 50% of Fun Expo is owned by IAAPA, as a result of the parks association finalizing its merger with IALEI on Oct. 15, 2009.

For the past decade, Fun Expo's tripartite ownership has been encompassed by a standalone, umbrella group called Leisure Entertainment Trade Shows that operates much like AMITS. The LETS agreement is due to expire on Dec. 31, 2010. Officials of IAAPA, AMOA and AAMA have said they cannot comment on the future of Fun Expo for 2011 and beyond until the initial Amusement Expo and Fun Expo agreement is completed.

 

 


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