(Topic ID: 171992)

After Expo, Thoughts and Comments

By Borygard

4 years ago

Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 80 posts
  • 41 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by PaulCoff
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders


Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    View topic image gallery

    image (resized).png
    14633594_10207561368173127_1707512874729350673_o (resized).jpg

    There are 80 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 4 years ago
    Quoted from Tilt:

    I had a show at McCormick place

    I could see the unions at a place like this, but a hotel would have the same "U Ain't Working" issues?

    #52 4 years ago

    Honestly, I think Expo needs to move more towards the Woodfield or Elgin area off of I-90.

    #53 4 years ago

    I can't remember

    #54 4 years ago
    Quoted from MotorCityMatt:

    I could see the unions at a place like this, but a hotel would have the same "U Ain't Working" issues?

    Getting people to bring games/vendor stuff into the city would be a challenge. I know personally I hate driving downtown, let alone in a van or a car with a trailer. I know I would not bring games, and I am clearly willing to help a local show in the Chicago area.

    I would feel bad for the attendees as well, from O'Hare to downtown can be time consuming as well. If I had a say in where a show would go it would be south and west, Schaumburg if a place could be found reasonably, or Rosemont, barring any weird union rules about moving machines and driving trucks.


    #55 4 years ago

    This was the first Expo for my son and I.
    We went mainly for the reveals and seminars.
    Normally we are big tourney players, but we did not bother because we wanted to see and hear everything and go to some great Chicago restaurants while in town.
    Overall we enjoyed the show and bought lots of stuff from vendors.
    The Stern Factory tour was awesome because it was a first for us, but I could see where that would get old for seasoned attendees.
    Getting to take personal photos with all the pinball greats and Ed Robertson was super nice.
    There were some disappointing moments, though no fault of the shows, like American and Stern not having a flippable game, but those things happen.
    Now, having attended Texas Pinball festival since the early 2000's, this show has a long way to go to ever reach that level. But what do I know. Maybe it never intends to.
    For what it was, we enjoyed our visit.

    #56 4 years ago

    I gotta be honest. I gave this show one more try after last year's debacle. I'm done.

    It has nothing on my end to do with Mike, though he may ultimately be what is influencing the other issues. For me it's a combination of:

    1. Vendors have dropped significantly. Far less variety than even last year. I like to buy stuff at Expo because it save me shipping at minimum and I usually can find something I may not have been even looking for. No longer.
    2. PBL event really isn't incorporated into Expo like it should be. PBL puts on an event (even scaled back this year) for pinballers and makes everyone feel welcome. Contrast that to the Stern party, or as I like to call it, "Gary's Cash Grab". The fact that Expo hasn't partnered with PBL to IMPROVE the overally Expo experience is irritating.
    3. Expo is still being promoted as the premier industry event. Let's call it what it is...it's Stern's and, to a lesser extent, PBL's free publicity tour. The pinball industry is not what it was in the 80's but it doesn't seem that the attitude has reflected that. I think the show should be embracing the attendees not the manufacturers.
    4. And lastly, I just don't think it is all that well organized. The website is just a reflection of the event. My experience and satisfaction going has steadily dropped in the last three years. You know the old saying..."Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

    It Expo terrible? Absolutely not. It's just that there are alot of other shows that have caught up with Expo and passed it for an overall better experience. And for those of you that like to quote getting to play and see the latest and newest releases? BM66 was just a display, no playable. Alien was not near complete from a playability standpoint. Houdini was just a playfield on a table. Dialed In was the only game there that was playable but it has been acknowledged that it is only 20% coded. There's nothing here that I'm really missing not being there in person.

    #57 4 years ago
    Quoted from MotorCityMatt:

    I could see the unions at a place like this, but a hotel would have the same "U Ain't Working" issues?

    Yes. Certainly any large CONvention style hotel in the city of Chicago and at the Rosemont CONvention Center (RIP Donald E. Stephens).

    It is hilarious about the Union rules enforced by the almighty Freeman Expo Services. But, their electricians obviously have no cle about repairing equipment such as a pinball machine or, for an example I had to deal with; Anti-lock Braking System demonstrator for commercial trucks. I was able to perform the repairs myself as long as the union electrician witnessed me repairing it.

    It wasn't my personal money so I don't care but my COmpaNy shells out at least $20k for a 10 x 20 booth at Chicago area sites. That does not include building & shipping displays there from Detroit as well as travel and "entertainment" costs. Add another $30k. And these are small shows maybe twice the size of Expo tops. The large shows with 100 x 100 or so booths consume about a million bucks when everything is factored in.

    I shudder to thing what the large auto COmpaNies spend to display at the big Auto Shows.

    For those who remember expo at the Ramada, remember those funky CONcrete up and down stairs at every ballroom exterior door? You can than the Teamsters for that. They were to prevent anyone from bringing anything in that required a hand truck or dolly of any sort. Only access was from the loading dock. Prompt payment is appreciated. Of course you could go through the hotel lobby but by the time Expo went there, the Donald E. Stephens CONvention Center was built and all the shows were moved there and every door was monitored. I couldn't even bring in a box of brochures I had in my car.

    #58 4 years ago
    Quoted from mikepin:

    Texas is a great show BUT they have changed hotels a few times?? maybe they had issues too

    Holy crap Mike. What is it going to take to get things thru your thick skull. Ok, you're saying Rob does not pay an exhibition fee to you. The fact that he *STILL* says he no longer wants to be an exhibitor at a show. What does that say to you? Don't you get it?

    Sad... really sad.


    #59 4 years ago

    Every year after expo I go through this with BORYGUARD first off he put a altec board in a game for me and charged me 200.00 which is fine HE GOT PAID FOR IT PERIOD and for the record he paid 1200 to the hotel for his sleeping room JUST like every one else that came NOT A DIME TO EXPO EVER If he chooses to come next year he will STILL pay 1200 for his sleeping room.. SO I do not understanding how he says expo costs him too much money... Yes he usually fixes a game or so for me and I thank him.. And every year we go through this right after expo and every year we kiss and make up and he comes back SO ROB its in your court.. But make sure you tell the WHOLE STORY you got paid for 200 of the 225 and didnt ask for the 20 and the 1200 you paid hotel was all for your sleeping room and charges just like everyone else there... AND he recieved 5 armbands weekend acsess to the show

    #60 4 years ago

    Why are there issues every year at Expo where you two must kiss and make up? Fix the problem and you won't need to find solutions.

    #61 4 years ago

    Yep goes both ways

    #62 4 years ago

    I had a great time at Expo as I have for the last 13 or so years. I appreciate the hard work that goes into this. May not be perfect and can always be improved on, but I go to meet up with my brother, play lots of pin, attend the seminars and autograph session and pick up some parts. Thanks for all that is done for this show. I'll be back next year.

    #63 4 years ago

    So he got paid for the parts but not to install them . Overall expo was a great time but needs more LIONMAN .

    #64 4 years ago
    Quoted from Tilt:

    Besides all these issues, you have to pay for it as well. When I was there, you had to pay 125.00 per hour, and minimum charge was 1 hour. So even though it only took each person less than 5 minutes to do their part, I was billed 375.00 for each way, In and out of the show

    That's just insane. Don't these people realise they are cutting of their nose to spite their face? (To use an old cliche...)

    Stuff like that makes me crazy ...


    #65 4 years ago

    Sorry, but you come off as a petty child every time you post.
    You make excuses... you blame the other party. You don't seem to understand white space; and it's uses for readability.
    I'm here to tell you; the problem is YOU. YOU are the reason *I* won't come back to Expo.
    YOU are the reason many vendors did not show up this year.
    YOU need to go - Period!
    Expo and any event you run is DEAD to me. You are doing our hobby NO FAVORS and look forward to the day you retire from it.

    I know some of your supporters will flame me... that's fine. But It is time the elephant in the room is addressed properly.

    #66 4 years ago
    Quoted from mikepin:

    Yep goes both ways

    It's true... it takes two.

    But, Rob isn't the only person that has a problem with Mike. Rob has issues with VERY few people. Mike has problems with NUMEROUS people. Let's see what the vendor hall and game room look like next year.

    #67 4 years ago
    Quoted from Jazman:

    It's true... it takes two.
    But, Rob isn't the only person that has a problem with Mike. Rob has issues with VERY few people. Mike has problems with NUMEROUS people. Let's see what the vendor hall and game room look like next year.

    This always reminds me of the guy that's been married 5 times and always blames the wives for the divorce. He'll never get the one common denominator in the 5 marriages was him.

    #68 4 years ago

    You guys should check out SFGE in Atlanta in June. It's been a fantastic show that is really rising up fast.

    #69 4 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    You guys should check out SFGE in Atlanta in June. It's been a fantastic show that is really rising up fast.

    Or MGC in April!

    I hope to get down to Southern Fried one of these years myself... and Texas... and CAX...

    #70 4 years ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    This always reminds me of the guy that's been married 5 times and always blames the wives for the divorce. He'll never get the one common denominator in the 5 marriages was him.

    LOL! Very well said there BK.

    #71 4 years ago

    If we want to get expo better, than we should be focused on the biggest issues. There is nothing wrong with the hotel location and amenities, are they the best, no, but a lot better place than the old one. Plenty of stuff around there. Yes, getting machines in and out his a royal pain, and it seems totally unreasonable they won't let loading and unloading from the side doors near the room, would be quicker and easier. Or let us take the shorter path through and if the are worried about the carpet, then they can put some runners down. It is not like other non pinball events are going on in the area of the ballrooms, so not like it is disturbing other guests. Last year I did bitch out an employee, who, as I was moving a machine, deposited some piece of kitchen equipment, smack in the middle of the passageway, about 20 feet in front of me, totally blocking it. If they are going to make us go that way, then they should at least make it passable. Seemed better this year, but only went down that hallway once.

    Mike continues to do things the way he always has, change is way too slow, and he is short changing his attendees and vendors. As one person pointed out, info is way to vague on some things, and I can see how that leaves a first timer frustrated or confused.

    I think all seminars should be announced, the only time i heard that done was for the Jack's dialed-in deep diver (and that seemed more about getting rid of pizza). Be nice if all seminars were announced over the PA a few minutes before starting. Lots of us lose track of time, and then we realize we missed a seminar we want to attend. I'm sure seminars would be better attended, which then gives them more value to those presenting.

    Folks like Stern and PBL doing their own thing, shows some of the disfunction with this show. Mike has chosen to fight with people vs work with them. At one point Terry had a shuttle to take folks out to him, but Mike was not happy about it, so, we end up where we are. This Stern party being somewhere else, was just bad for expo and I'm sure Gary had no concern about that. The were not 'how do we make this thing big and do it at expo', it was "how do we make our event big and we don't need to care about expo at all".

    Problem is Mike is obviously feeling okay about things run today. While each year he will make some small changes to improve some sore point, he seems to feel it is doing fine, and until Mike comes to the realization that more significant change is needed to move this show forward, it will continue to decline. Anyone who has attended for several years has seen the drop in vendors and the drop in attendees, and it seems Mike's solution for that is to raise prices and create an environment that vendors and others find as toxic, which is only going to continue the decline. With the rise in other shows, a few of which have gained a much better reputation, and expo attendees are going to start to go to these other shows and eventually expo will get crossed off their list. The fact that a bunch of Chicago p-roc guys are trying to make plans to get their machines to TPF, for the first time, is an indication of this shifting mindset.

    #72 4 years ago

    And, dogs don't need Diet Coke

    #73 4 years ago
    Quoted from bangerjay:

    And, dogs don't need Diet Coke

    NOBODY needs Diet Coke.


    #74 4 years ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    NOBODY needs Diet Coke.

    One who is diabetic certainly may.

    #75 4 years ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    One who is diabetic certainly may.

    I would say water would be a much wiser choice than that stuff.


    #76 4 years ago

    Not if you live in Flint, MI.

    #77 4 years ago

    I really hesitate to post in this thread after it's turned to comments about Mike Pacak's current influence on Expo, but there's certainly something to be said for the diminishing number of vendors. I even know a number of other vendors (besides Rob) who have been belittled, yelled at, and personally attacked by Mike. I haven't voiced this publicly, but I have also been the subject of Mike's outbursts, so I'm not speaking second-handedly here.

    Unfortunately for the vendors, the pinball show with the worst customer service in the nation (I think that's safe to say at this point. I mean, has anyone else heard accounts of another show organizer that comes close to the frequency of Mike's reported rudeness and aggression?), is also the longest-running, most industry-integrated show in the nation (due largely to it's number of years in existence and proximity to pinball's historic point of origin).

    However, if these reports continue, the tide of the Chicago Pinball Expo's industry stronghold could easily be supplanted in a few short years. Chicago no longer holds a monopoly on pinball manufacturing. Sure, Stern is an undeniable part of the pinball landscape, but there are other production facilities that are shipping bona fide pinball machines in New Jersey, Wisconsin, and the UK, with more parties interested in joining our rich and fabulously addictive hobby. We're living in an increasingly globalized marketplace and there are plenty of other shows in the U.S. that are listening to attendee feedback (Texas Pinball Festival continually revamping and improving their tournament), expanding on their programming (Southern Fried Gameroom Expo inviting a wide breadth of special guests from pinball industry veterens to video game record holders to podcasters), providing more games (ReplayFX hauling hundreds of games from their collection across town to a convention center to make pinball more accessible to the casual player), and valuing their vendors (Midwest Gaming Classic providing a unique, family-friendly, experience with individualized spaces for sales).

    I'm not trying to tear-down Expo, or Mike for that matter. I'm trying (likely in vain) to contribute to the collective Mike Pacak wake-up call. Mike, you and Rob created a helluva show. Back in 1985, you were both so passionate about this great hobby that you conceived of and brought to fruition the first convention to celebrate it. On top of that, you both had the drive to organize it annually for the past 32 years. You are both trailblazers. For that, we should thank you. I've also attended the show in 2012, 2013, 2014, & 2015, during which time I've met many fellow hobbyists, personal heroes, and lifelong friends. For that, I thank you.

    However, somewhere along the way something happened. I don't know what. Maybe it's the pressure of running a show that's weighing on you. I am the Director of an annual event that's celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, so I can relate to that feeling. Maybe it's the financial burden of being responsible for this event year after year. Thankfully, my event has sponsorship, so that's not a concern for me, but I can see that becoming a compounded form of stress. Maybe it's a catalyst in your personal life than none of us should know about. Again, I don't know. The problem is, whatever happened, it's manifesting itself in really unhealthy ways.

    Mike, you're in a really unique situation, one that is quite specific to you. As co-founder of the inaugural event celebrating pinball, you're sitting on a really important part of history with this show. But if you're not careful, all your hard work keeping this show running over the years could crumble under your lack of tact. I sincerely hope you can take some self-reflexive moments, reevaluate your relationship to the show, and make some hard decisions. For the show to thrive, one of a couple things will need to happen. Either there's going to be...

    A) a monumental change in your demeanor


    B) a changing of the guard.

    With your identity being tied so tightly to Expo, I can't imagine the latter happening, although it would certainly have an immediate and positive effect. If neither of these things happen, passionate people spearheading newer shows will treat their volunteers with the respect they deserve, entice more attendees, and consequently continue to draw additional vendors. They understand that forming that perfect storm will benefit them in the long run, not just financially by allowing their show to continue growing and run in perpetuity, but also (more importantly) with respect to the personal relationships they develop. I imagine that passion was present in you at one time, but sadly it's been absent for a number of years now.

    My sincerest hopes are that this difficult-pill-to-swallow will be received with the constructive sentiments intended.

    Long live Expo,
    Ryan Claytor

    #78 4 years ago

    I've been coming to Expo for a long time now and one thing I have to say is that, thanks to the team of volunteers that Andrew has put together the past couple of years I have been liberated from dealing directly with Mike P. when I bring games to the free play area.

    Here's thanks to everybody in a red shirt who pitches in during Expo, especially on Wednesday night. It makes a huge difference. Keep it up!

    Oh, and speaking of Wednesday night - that's one thing I find odd, namely, the change where they now open the game hall up for free play the first day. Sure, you can make some $$ selling tickets to the public, but it also means that they have to work around the construction. I'm not a fan.

    #79 4 years ago

    Expo is not on the PAPA schedule for next year what did Mike do to piss them off?

    #80 4 years ago
    Quoted from mikepin:

    And every year we go through this right after expo and every year we kiss

    pics or it didn't happen. I always try to go to Pinball Expo every year only because I feel like its a car crash about to happen.

    There are 80 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside