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190 Entertainment Pros Throng F2FECs Idea-Exchange Program

| by Nick Montano
TAGS: Face 2 Face Entertainment Conference, F2FEC 2016, F2FEC 10X Better, F2FEC Three Amigos, Rick Iceberg, Ben Jones, George Smith, Family Entertainment Group, Paul Chambers, Element5 Digital

SAN DIEGO, CA -- The popular Face 2 Face Entertainment Conference, or F2FEC, closed its second annual sell-out experience in San Diego, CA, early in March. Combining the theme of "10X Better" with the organizers, who call themselves the "Three Amigos," this year's F2FEC promised that every owner attending would leave with workable plans for how to make $50,000 or more by forming relationships and interacting with fellow conference-goers. The event was the latest in an idea-exchange series organized by the Amigos, who are entertainment center specialists.

The Three Amigos are Rick Iceberg, C.J. Barrymore's (Clinton, MI), Ben Jones, Live Oak Bank (Wilmington, NC), and George Smith, Family Entertainment Group (Barrington, IL). Their three-day event features several media presentations.

The F2FEC Experience, billed as the "best of the best" from the United States and Canada, played to an exclusive audience of more than 190 registrants. The diverse range of skills and experience sought by the Amigos included a wide gamut of industry entertainment sectors: traditional FECs, bowling centers, roller skating facilities, trampoline parks, mobile attractions, cinemas and multiplexes, along with barcades, themed restaurants, vending operations, as well as arcades, street operations, hybrid parks, golf courses and casinos. F2FEC wrapped these sectors under the F2F umbrella of "Entertainment Centers."

Audience polling conducted by Paul Chambers of Element5 Digital (Troy, MI) revealed that operators in the room represented 699 facilities directly responsible for nearly 22,000 jobs and more than $1 billion in annual revenues. George Smith put an exclamation point on the statistics: "What we do in this room matters. What you take away impacts a billion dollars in economic production and affects the lives of thousands of families."

Ben Jones opened the conference by offering a challenge: "Imagine the difference that we can make in our industry through the conversations we will have over the next few days. Imagine what we can and will accomplish when we rethink, reimagine and reengineer our centers to become 10X better."

The first day of the 10X Better confab culminated with an artful video presentation of the Amigos' Manifest that proclaimed: "We can do great things together." Conference-goers expressed enthusiasm for the high-energy idea incubator. Scott Shaffer of Shaffer Distributing (Columbus), a music and games street operation, said it was the best networking event he's attended. "The Amigos set a high bar and met it again this year," he observed.

The Amigos have begun planning for next year's F2FEC Experience. They also have announced that this year's industry "think event," EPIC Charrette, is scheduled for the first week in October. Details will be posted soon at

F2FEC 2016, F2FEC Three Amigos, Rick Iceberg, Ben Jones, George Smith
THUMBS UP:The "Three Amigos" celebrate a well-attended and fruitful F2FEC conference in San Diego. From left are Rick Iceberg, George Smith and Ben Jones.

Topics: Music & Games

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