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AMOA, Fun Expos Are Set For Late September Run -- New Online Tool Matches Visitors With Exhibitors

Posted On: 8/24/2007

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LAS VEGAS (August 2007) -- The 2007 editions of the Amusement and Music Operators Association International Expo and Fun Expo will be co-located for the ninth successive year, with trade exhibits running Thursday through Saturday, September 27-29, in the north hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The convention center is adjacent to the Las Vegas Hilton, which will serve as the headquarters hotel.

For the second year in a row, the AMOA and Fun Expos will co-locate with a third event, the Las Vegas Souvenir and Resort Gift Show, also known as "Big Kahuna West." For those attending, registration to any of the shows provides free admission to the other two events.

New this year is Go Expo, a free online scheduling system that provides "matchmaking services," pairing visitors with exhibitors from all of the shows. As industry members make reservations online, they can schedule appointments with exhibitors in advance, which show management describes as "the cutting edge of next-generation trade show technology."

For visitors, the service can mean more efficient use of time at the show. Beyond appointment scheduling, Go Expo's capabilities include a show planner and product search features. For exhibitors, show management said, it means "the days of buying a booth and waiting until you get to the show to find out who's coming are over." It also gives exhibitors an online medium with which to communicate with booth visitors the following year.

According to compusystems.com, once a prospective attendee completes the online registration process, he or she can click on the Go Expo link to sign up for this service.


The AMOA Expo touts the theme "Let The Games Begin." Fun Expo, sponsored chiefly by the International Association for the Leisure and Entertainment Industries, will maintain its traditional focus on operator education, with the extensive Fun Academy program at the LVCC running from Monday, Sept. 24, to Saturday, Sept. 29.

AMOA Expo will showcase equipment like new jukeboxes, videogames, redemption pieces, pinballs, darts and billiards tables, along with a slew of allied products and supplies. Convention highlights include the AMOA Breakfast and Annual Membership Meeting, set for Friday, September 28, from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM at the Hilton. Open to all members, the session will feature association elections, a review of programs and issues, and a drawing for a new CD jukebox. Breakfast is free.

No-cost AMOA show seminars will include sessions on estate planning; finance options for selling and buying routes; LCD monitor repairs; sales techniques; sound-quality issues; and advice on selling used equipment.

The Fifth Annual Coin-Op Cares Expo Golf Classic takes place Wednesday, September 26, with a shotgun start at 1:00 PM at the Siena Golf Club. For the first time, this event features two separate hole-in-one competitions. A hole-in-one on the seventh hole will be rewarded with $10,000 or a two-year lease on a 2007 BMW 3 Series. The second prize, on hole 14, is a 2007 Corvette Convertible valued at $65,000. Complimentary shuttle service to the golf course will be provided by the Las Vegas Hilton.

The $185 entry fee includes a pre-tournament luncheon and beverages on the course. Entry fees support the Coin-Op Cares Education and Charitable Foundation. Hole and event sponsorships are still available; contact AMOA's Maggie Kapinos at (800) 937-2662 for details.

An All-Industry Gala Reception will be held at 5:30 PM on Thursday, September 27, at the Hilton's pool deck. A badge from any of the shows enables entry to the party, which features a free buffet.

AMOA's annual Wayne E. Hesch Scholarship fundraiser features a new FLHT Electra Glide Standard 2007 Harley-Davidson motorcycle as the grand prize, in addition to many pieces of coin-operated equipment donated by exhibitors. Winners do not need to be present to win. Those interested in purchasing raffle tickets in advance may contact AMOA's Nancy Gigac at (800) 937-2662.

Since its inception 21 years ago, the Hesch scholarship program has awarded more than $850,000 to college students, most of whom are connected to the coin-op industry, either as a family member and/or employee of an AMOA member company.

Full information on the AMOA International Expo is posted at amoashow.com.


Fun Expo's majority owner, IALEI, recently merged with the International Inflatable Products & Games Association. As a result of the merger, the convention's extensive educational program will be augmented this year with a free eight-hour seminar on Inflatable Safety, with optional certification for seminar participants.

Leading the all-day session will be Phil Slaggert, president of the Mobile Midway Safety Institute. He will teach operators how to identify hazards found in setup and operation, improve the safety of inflatable amusement device operations and evaluate inflatable business from a safety perspective, based on ASTM International Standard -- F-2374-07 (Design, Manufacture, Operation and Maintenance of Inflatable Amusement Rides and Devices).

This course requires separate registration from the regular Fun Academy seminar program. ASTM certification exam fees are $60 for IALEI members and $80 for non-IALEI members. For more information, call IALEI's Rose Palotta at (888) 464-6498 or email rose@ialei.com.

Two back-to-back Fun Academy (paid) sessions will also focus on inflatables. They are "10 Points to Consider When Purchasing Inflatables" and "Birthday Bounce Center Roundtable: Small Centers Hosting Birthday Parties with Inflatables." Both sessions are scheduled for Thursday, September 27.

Additional learning programs at Fun Academy this year include half-day interactive workshops on topics including redemption, parties and laser tag; a round table discussion and luncheon for the attractions sector; and a session focusing on senior-level management issues, called the Million Dollar Club.

The event also offers a menu of 28 sessions, each running 90 minutes, covering such varied topics as "Creative Ways to Motivate Your Employees," "Top 10 Best Practices for FECs," "Creating the Financial Reports You Need & Making Sense of Them," and more. The cost to attend Fun Academy is $199 for IALEI members or $259 for non-members.

Separate registration and payment is required for IALEI's "Rookies & Newcomers" workshop, which has been a popular annual event since its inception in 2001. Industry experts Phil DeAngelo of United Skates of America and Dorothy Lewis of Fun Station Associates, who is also IALEI's education chair, lead the extensive workshop. The comprehensive syllabus ranges "from ground breaking to grand openings and then some," said IALEI.

Panelists include David Cohen, Firestone Financial; Michael Feiger, Jamz Enertainment Center; George McAuliffe, Pinnacle Entertainment Group Inc.; Jerry Merola, Amusement Entertainment Management LLC; motivational expert Jim Newberry; Alan Ramsay, CLM Entertainment; Charlie Smith, HOK/Smith Forkner; David Sterling, Sterling & Sterling; Beth Standlee, TrainerTainment LLC; and Ken Vondriska, Essential Services & Programs LLC.

The IALEI member rate for the "Rookies & Newcomers" workshop is $399 before September 1; this fee includes show admission; refreshments during breaks; a special Monday night cocktail reception sponsored by Firestone Financial; a Tuesday continental breakfast and luncheon; and a program workbook.

The IALEI Annual Membership Breakfast & Opening General Session will take place on Thursday, September 27, from 7:30AM to 9:30AM at the Hilton. The keynote speaker is Mike McKinley, an experienced business owner, consultant and author whose long-term client list includes Daimler-Chrysler, Toro, American Airlines, Subway and First Bank. IALEI's annual Golden Token awards for outstanding performance in FEC operations, marketing, advertising and other disciplines will be presented at the General Session.