(Topic ID: 200277)

Expo Strategy - Spooky


By Rasavage

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 49 posts
  • 33 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by nman
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 1 year ago

    Everyone by this point has come to conclusions regarding the appearances of Stern and JJP at expo. I think it's safe to say that the general consensus is the JJP dominated the show and Stern was lackluster. What I think was probably the most brilliant move of any manufacturer was Spooky's decision to forego Expo and focus on the PBL party. Had they appeared at expo, they would have at best played second fiddle to JJP's POTC. Instead, they saved the expense and went to a well received party to show off their games. In my opinion, well played Charlie, et al.

    #2 1 year ago

    in some circles, people might call that strategy a "snub".

    i agree with you. i liked his decision. but i believe what enabled charlie to arrive at that decision was predicated by what will probably go down in Spooky's short history as an even better one: expediating the production of TNA so that sales could open before expo. once the decision was made to produce TNA, he got a production model out there in short order, promoted it with the gameplay streams, and opened for orders approx 2 months prior to expo. with ~200 TNA in the pipeline, charlie has assured himself enough work to keep him and his employees busy until AC is ready to roll. perhaps 200 is the perfect number for the time being.

    with its favorable reveal, pinsiders are already speculating the impact JJPOTC will have on competitors sales. had the development of TNA lingered enough that sales opened AFTER expo, Spooky would certainly be looking at numbers south of 200. being a smaller company provided Spooky with the flexibility to rush TNA into production and alter the timeline of when sales could begin. i suspect charlie is breathing a sigh of relief, happy to dodge a bullet, because of his foresight and/or good luck.

    #3 1 year ago

    well, why would you want to spend money on a booth at a show, when you can setup somewhere else where tons of people are for free?

    #4 1 year ago

    The whole narrative of dominating the show because of announcements is a fascinating thing that *only* Expo seems to have. I mean, I always argue it's an industry show, so I guess that makes sense, but it's also just interesting to me that anyone might thing that Spooky not being there was a specific move that they made so they wouldn't be compared to anyone else.

    I don't think it was. In short, they had nothing to announce - TNA was already out at multiple shows beforehand so people knew what it was, and it was in production already. Pirates wouldn't have "overshadowed" a game that has been receiving rave reviews for 6+ months already unless they were announced on the same day.

    I mean, JJP "dominated" this year in large part because no one else decided to make any huge announcements. And don't get me wrong, everything that I have heard is that Pirates is absolutely amazing and probably would have dominated the pinball news cycle even if ten things were announced, which is a hugely positive thing - but saying that TNA didn't have the buzz that Pirates had is true, but also rather unfair based on when it was announced.

    I've argued for a while that if anyone wants the best "bang for the buck" in the way of getting news about their products out, it's to find a venue where nothing else is being announced and announce there. If you do that, ALL of the show patrons are sharing your news, whereas if you announce when ten groups announce, you get compared. Oddly, for the majority of history, companies like to announce when others are announcing. This seems to have created a weird narrative this year that JJP's announcement far outshadowed the other announcements at the show, of which there really just weren't any this year.

    And that's okay. There is a LOT of great things to play in production.

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    well, why would you want to spend money on a booth at a show, when you can setup somewhere else where tons of people are for free?

    Usually companies do this to not pay the prices of expo floor space. Happens in every industry. That's it.

    The strategy is saving money.

    It can however, be looked at as not supporting an event in your industry.

    #6 1 year ago

    Scott took his production version of TNA with the butter cabinet to expo today . I believe it is set up at the Double Danger booth .

    #7 1 year ago

    They set it up last night. It was the one game I didn't play as the line was deep.

    10
    #8 1 year ago

    One important part of the story is missing here. Raising $ for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from trilogybeer:

    Scott took his production version of TNA with the butter cabinet to expo today . I believe it is set up at the Double Danger booth .

    Played TNA and loved it a couple weeks ago at York.
    What the hell is a butter cabinet?

    #10 1 year ago

    Similar to a butter face?

    #11 1 year ago

    The butter cabinet is direct printed and then clear coated. Not vinyl sticker.
    -Mike

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from Grizlyrig:

    The butter cabinet is direct printed and then clear coated. Not vinyl sticker.
    -Mike

    Yup. Looks similar to this.

    IMG_2501 (resized).JPG

    IMG_2502 (resized).JPG

    #13 1 year ago

    More like the initial run of WoZ's.
    While it looks great, I don't feel it's worth the extra $1k.

    #14 1 year ago

    Both Scott and Charlie say it's not worth it, but if people want it, it's available!

    #15 1 year ago

    Was a bit lame, many weren't able to attend pinball life open house due to working Thursday and the Friday ticket scheme/no retail sales was beyond confusing.

    #16 1 year ago

    When TNA showed up at Expo there were more people around it than POTC.

    #17 1 year ago

    I think it was actually a bad move...if you are in the industry then you should have a presence...shows you are a player. Bring AMH, RZ, Jetsons, and TNA..maybe some sneak peeks at AC.

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from ag90IL:

    Was a bit lame, many weren't able to attend pinball life open house due to working Thursday and the Friday ticket scheme/no retail sales was beyond confusing.

    I'm sorry that the ticketed event confused you. Basically, the event was announced, tickets were put on sale, and they all sold out. So you either bought some originally, found some on the secondary market, or you didn't go. Pretty much like every other ticketed event in the history of mankind...

    Both the show and game were awesome!

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from dothedoo:

    When TNA showed up at Expo there were more people around it than POTC.

    A few of us observed that as well.

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from TKDalumni:

    I think it was actually a bad move...if you are in the industry then you should have a presence...shows you are a player.

    Nah, Expo ain't that important.

    Besides, TBL dominated Expo years ago. I know I drank the kool-aid, Dutch Pinball was a player! And now ... ?

    Stick to making games, and not worrying about dodging Mike's electric scooter.

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from TKDalumni:

    I think it was actually a bad move...if you are in the industry then you should have a presence...shows you are a player. Bring AMH, RZ, Jetsons, and TNA..maybe some sneak peeks at AC.

    AMH is sold out , RZ is sold out, Jetsons is The Pinball Company's game to sell and Scott took his TNA to expo on Saturday , there was really no reason for spooky to be there . Spooky revealed back glass art for AC , and had said at the time that nothing else would be revealed untill a complete game is ready to show , it is not ready yet . No point for a small company like spooky to waste money to be a presence at a show where they would see little or no return on their investment to be be there .That being said I would think Spooky will have more of a presence there next year when AC is in full production .

    #22 1 year ago
    Quoted from metallik:

    I'm sorry that the ticketed event confused you. Basically, the event was announced, tickets were put on sale, and they all sold out. So you either bought some originally, found some on the secondary market, or you didn't go. Pretty much like every other ticketed event in the history of mankind...
    Both the show and game were awesome!

    Failing to take care of all customers that want to give a retailer their money is confusing.

    #23 1 year ago

    I suspect that Charlie had his reasons or availability issues to not be there, but I would have liked to see him at Expo. I couldn't make the PBL open or party days on Thursday or Friday.

    I was at Expo just for Saturday morning and left be early afternoon. Didn't get to see the TNA that apparently arrived later.

    Want to see and play TNA - just will have to do it another time.

    Hope Spooky can make Expo next year.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from NoQuarters:

    I respect Charlies decision but I would have liked to see him at Expo. I couldn't make the PBL open or party days on Thursday or Friday.
    I was at Expo just for Saturday morning and left be early afternoon. Didn't get to see the TNA that apparently arrived later.
    Want to see and play TNA - just will have to do it another time.
    Hope Spooky can make Expo next year.

    if you have the time, there is a TNA at Alt Brew over in madison. looks like about 1.5 hour drive each way for you, but then there are many other places to play great games in the madison area

    ALT Brew, 1808 Wright St, Madison, WI 53704

    #25 1 year ago

    I know of one fellow with a TNA on order within a 30 minute drive - might wait to see his. I think he'd give me an invite after he gets it.

    #26 1 year ago

    You must not have walked the whole vendor hall, tna arrived Friday evening. So if you were there Saturday, it was there. It stayed till the before hall closed

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from ag90IL:

    Failing to take care of all customers that want to give a retailer their money is confusing.

    If you have a capacity of only so many people, it doesn't matter that more people want to give you money.

    #28 1 year ago

    running a booth is a PIA. I'm sure he or the family didn't want to sit there an man a booth nonstop the entire expo. This way, he and the crew could actually get to enjoy expo and not be confined to a booth. Plus it was cheaper not to have one. I don't blame him one bit. Expo is withering out each year more and more. Used to be one of the biggest shows. MGC has become bigger with more to do by a landslide.

    15
    #29 1 year ago

    From watching the documentary, it looks like TPF was the moment where AMH (and in turn Spooky) really came into the spotlight. I think Charlie will use TPF (or MGC) as his launch platform out of respect for those festivals and the folks running them. Plus, looks like the guy running Expo has not been the nicest guy to deal with, going so far as to start false rumors about the core parts that go into TNA. So, if I were Charlie, I'd support the festivals that support him back. Again, this is my opinion based on observation.

    #30 1 year ago

    From a business standpoint I thought it was odd TnA/spooky wasn't going to be at expo. I was happy to see TnA arrive there Friday. A few friends I've been telling about the game finally had a chance to play it. Telling people that too bad so sad they couldn't make it to a limited entry event to play it is silly.

    Regardless of how you you feel about mike, expo gets a lot of people that aren't "in the loop" here on pinside, so exposure (to me) would bolster sales.

    #31 1 year ago

    It's not like the Pinball Life tickets sold out in minutes. They went on sale, and Terry posted from time to time how many tickets were left. Everyone had a chance to buy the tickets for several days.

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from FrankJ:

    It's not like the Pinball Life tickets sold out in minutes. They went on sale, and Terry posted from time to time how many tickets were left. Everyone had a chance to buy the tickets for several days.

    Also Thursday at Pinball Life was not limited entry , and free .

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from trilogybeer:

    AMH is sold out , RZ is sold out, Jetsons is The Pinball Company's game to sell and Scott took his TNA to expo on Saturday , there was really no reason for spooky to be there . Spooky revealed back glass art for AC , and had said at the time that nothing else would be revealed untill a complete game is ready to show , it is not ready yet . No point for a small company like spooky to waste money to be a presence at a show where they would see little or no return on their investment to be be there .That being said I would think Spooky will have more of a presence there next year when AC is in full production .

    I'm not here to tell anyone how to run their biz...bottom line is it's not always about sales, but brand recognition.

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from trilogybeer:

    Also Thursday at Pinball Life was not limited entry , and free .

    Yeah, they let anyone in that day! Even me!

    Quoted from Slim64:

    Regardless of how you you feel about mike, expo gets a lot of people that aren't "in the loop" here on pinside, so exposure (to me) would bolster sales.

    Actually, of all the shows that there are, Expo is the industry show. Unless they do something that I'm not aware of, they aren't advertising to the masses at all, they are just advertising to the already hardcore pinball crowd. So, while people may not be in the loop on Pinside, I would guess that the average person at Expo knows way the heck more about what is going on in the world of pinball than those shows that promote more to the general public.

    -7
    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from goatdan:

    If you have a capacity of only so many people, it doesn't matter that more people want to give you money.

    No, a smart retailer finds a way to take care of ALL of the customers, like maybe move to bigger venue, not be closed on Sat, longer hours, whatever it takes.

    #36 1 year ago

    Hey Terry, I think you're smart.

    I think you're smart too Charlie.

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from goatdan:

    Yeah, they let anyone in that day! Even me!

    Actually, of all the shows that there are, Expo is the industry show. Unless they do something that I'm not aware of, they aren't advertising to the masses at all, they are just advertising to the already hardcore pinball crowd. So, while people may not be in the loop on Pinside, I would guess that the average person at Expo knows way the heck more about what is going on in the world of pinball than those shows that promote more to the general public.

    In the broad sense you're right, however we are talking about spooky and TnA.

    37
    #38 1 year ago

    I'm not in the habit of bashing anyone, so going to try NOT to start now.

    Bottom line is we spent a full 2 days working with a partner company that supports us, is as kind as it gets, had a doors wide open day Thursday, and Friday decided to make their event about raising funds for a great children's charity in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We sold some games, met a ton of people, and had a great time.

    We wish Mike and everyone at Expo well. It's their show, they will do as they please. If they are happy with the state of what it is, then that's all that matters.

    We'll be taking TnA to as many shows as possible in the next year. Come talk to us and play a few games... we kinda live for this stuff.

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from SpookyCharlie:

    I'm not in the habit of bashing anyone, so going to try NOT to start now.
    Bottom line is we spent a full 2 days working with a partner company that supports us, is as kind as it gets, had a doors wide open day Thursday, and Friday decided to make their event about raising funds for a great children's charity in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We sold some games, met a ton of people, and had a great time.
    We wish Mike and everyone at Expo well. It's their show, they will do as they please. If they are happy with the state of what it is, then that's all that matters.
    We'll be taking TnA to as many shows as possible in the next year. Come talk to us and play a few games... we kinda live for this stuff.

    You guys don't need or deserve any grief from this. I wasn't there, but it looks like the Pinball Life party was awesome. The charity donation is just a cherry on top, and I wish more big gatherings had some aspect of social giving. SFGE has an annual charity auction at the show every year.

    Speaking of SFGE, hope to see you guys there again in June 2018! I'll have beer.

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    Speaking of SFGE, hope to see you guys there again in June 2018! I'll have beer.

    Another fantastic show run by GREAT people! We hope to be back for a 3rd straight year in Atlanta!

    #41 1 year ago

    spookycharlie Glad your event at PBL went well - of course you know it would. Wish I could have made it one of the days. - but will catch you another time. I'll get a first hand look and play TNA - somewhere - sometime.

    Also will be interesting to see more on Alice Copper when you guys are ready.

    Hey - Pinball is hard.

    10
    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from ag90IL:

    a smart retailer finds a way to take care of ALL of the customers

    They do! ---> http://www.pinballlife.com

    Quoted from ag90IL:

    like maybe move to bigger venue

    Are you you seriously suggesting that Pinball Life should move its entire operation to a larger warehouse for two days? That's so mind-bogglingly dumb and impossible that I don't even know where to start.

    Quoted from ag90IL:

    not be closed on Sat, longer hours

    Do you have any idea how many hours the entire staff works to throw back-to-back free and charity parties? PBL isn't primarily a brick & mortar retailer. It's definitely not a ready-made party venue. It's a warehouse full of people who work their asses off to become a storefront, arcade, bar & buffet restaurant for two days just to put a smile on their customers' & friends' faces. Let them have Saturday off.

    Quoted from ag90IL:

    whatever it takes.

    How about you do "whatever it takes" to make it to the FREE party on Thursday, or buy tickets for Friday during the 13 days they were available (I checked).

    #43 1 year ago
    Quoted from ag90IL:

    No, a smart retailer finds a way to take care of ALL of the customers, like maybe move to bigger venue, not be closed on Sat, longer hours, whatever it takes.

    The worst thing a small business can do is try to cater to everyone and try to make every last person happy. The best thing they can do is know what they are good at, focus on that and getting better, work hard and find time away from work when they can. Your post is clearly the post of someone that has never experienced what owning a small business is really like.

    You need to go sacrifice every last moment of your life trying to appease ALL people like yourself and see how happy it gets you. The only thing you get is misery, lower profits, and burnout.

    #44 1 year ago
    Quoted from SpookyCharlie:

    I'm not in the habit of bashing anyone, so going to try NOT to start now.
    Bottom line is we spent a full 2 days working with a partner company that supports us, is as kind as it gets, had a doors wide open day Thursday, and Friday decided to make their event about raising funds for a great children's charity in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. We sold some games, met a ton of people, and had a great time.
    We wish Mike and everyone at Expo well. It's their show, they will do as they please. If they are happy with the state of what it is, then that's all that matters.
    We'll be taking TnA to as many shows as possible in the next year. Come talk to us and play a few games... we kinda live for this stuff.

    2018 is the year I can feel it! New England is waiting for you with open arms.

    #45 1 year ago
    Quoted from jgentry:

    The worst thing a small business can do is try to cater to everyone and try to make every last person happy.

    Man, ain't this a fact. Some customers are better off being told to go to hell, you'll never, ever make them happy.

    I've been pretty blessed, all the mods and stuff I've done, I've honestly never had to deal with a real jerk. But a friend in the pinball biz tells me some real horror stories about what some people expect. Often over a little $10 package of parts too, it's ridiculous what babies some pinball collectors are. Happy to drop $9k on the newest game, and then be total asses over the smallest stuff.

    #46 1 year ago
    Quoted from NoQuarters:

    I suspect that Charlie had his reasons or availability issues to not be there, but I would have liked to see him at Expo. I couldn't make the PBL open or party days on Thursday or Friday.
    I was at Expo just for Saturday morning and left be early afternoon. Didn't get to see the TNA that apparently arrived later.
    Want to see and play TNA - just will have to do it another time.
    Hope Spooky can make Expo next year.

    You're an hour and a half away from Madison. Next time you're in town, let me know and we can play some TNA. If it's before i get mine, i can meet you out on location. If it's after, you're welcome to stop by.

    #47 1 year ago

    fatPanda - appreciate the offer of an invite. I'll keep it mind if can make it over to the Madison area in the future. Do know a fellow within about a 30 minute drive that has one on order. I'll bet I get an invite there too. I'll get to see and play TNA at some point I'm sure. Thanks for the nice offer.

    #48 1 year ago

    Pinball life and Spooky have been awesome to me in the short amount of time I've been in this hobby.

    Hopefully next year I can make the party. Sounds like it was a great event!

    #49 1 year ago
    Quoted from SpookyCharlie:

    Another fantastic show run by GREAT people! We hope to be back for a 3rd straight year in Atlanta!

    Great to hear. Was disappointed i had to miss SFGE this this past year. Heard it was the best one yet.

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