(Topic ID: 212402)

Mike/Rob split - The future of Pinball Expo?


By jfh

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 35 posts
  • 23 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Rody
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    #1 1 year ago

    Got an email this morning from Mike Pacak. Slightly ironic, coming on the start of TPF.
    Not sure what this means for the future of Chicago based pinball shows.

    Would be interesting to hear Rob's view.

    (I've added some breaks to make this easier to read, but otherwise this is the email minus Mike's phone number)

    "Greetings!

    To all past, present and future Pinball Expo vendors and attendees:

    As many of you may have heard, Rob Berk and I have parted ways after 33 years of putting on the Pinball Expo. Rob decided that he no longer wanted to be a partner and chose to go his own separate way. This decision was completely of his own choosing and wasn't brought up for any type of discussion.

    Because of this change, I just wanted to clear up any confusion there may be on the status of the show. In our separation agreement we both have the right to do a show. There WILL be a pinball show taking place, as advertised in the past, at the Westin Hotel in Wheeling, IL on Oct 17-21, 2018. These dates were planned and set for two years already.

    Contrary to what you may have heard about this show, people are NOT "jumping ship." Many have already planned their vacations and booked their travel to Chicago for this. Contracts with the hotel are in place for both 2018 and 2019. All of the vendors and attendees I have spoken with so far have expressed their interest and commitment to continuing the show as planned.

    For those wondering if there will there be a change to the name of the show, there will be. The new name has yet to be determined but will be announced shortly. In light of the recent events, changes are in the works for those involved with organization of the show. My son Lonnie Mihin, who ran the game hall last year and who has been a part of the Pinball Expo since it's inception, is going to be taking on a greater role in the planning and execution of the show. I am also currently in talks with several other's who are interested in becoming a part of the show. A new website with more information detailing this will be available soon. The changes that are being implemented will ultimately help in achieving the goal of making a bigger, better and much smoother running show for everyone.

    In closing, I would like to thank you all for the many years of support that you have shown and I look forward to seeing you all in October.

    Sincerely,

    Mike Pacak"

    #3 1 year ago

    Mike will run a pinball show at the scheduled time this year and next in October.

    Rob is planning a show a month earlier.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/twip-exclusive-expo-2018-cancelled-replaced-by-pinball-palooza

    LTG : )

    #4 1 year ago

    Both shows with new names.

    Can the area support two shows 6 weeks apart? (Not counting the Pinball Life party)

    IMO, This seems more likely to hasten the likelihood that TPF becomes "the" go to annual show.

    #5 1 year ago


    Quoted from jfh:The changes that are being implemented will ultimately help in achieving the goal of making a bigger, better and much smoother running show for everyone.

    Wait, so Rob was the problem? Riiiiiiggggghhhht.

    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from SirScott:

    Wait, so Rob was the problem? Riiiiiiggggghhhht.

    That's a cheap shot. My reading indicates that Mike is stepping back and giving more control to others.

    #7 1 year ago

    Well time will tell the outcome.It worked for 33 years. Rob dealt with mostly the seminars and banquet. I deal with hotel ,vendors, and games in general.. Rob never got in any hassles with anyone because he didnt deal with people 16 hours a day for 5 days as I did .At times it gets trying . In general any questions came to me . It was a good cop bad cop thing.. But it mostly worked .he decided to go his own way..I wanted to finish this years because dates and venue was locked in.. he didnt.. We will see the outcome... \he wanted to incorporate a video show which he did a few years ago but there was not space at Westin to do so.. My heart has been in expo for 33 years.

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from mikepin:

    Well time will tell the outcome.It worked for 33 years. Rob dealt with mostly the seminars and banquet. I deal with hotel ,vendors, and games in general.. Rob never got in any hassles with anyone because he didnt deal with people 16 hours a day for 5 days as I did .At times it gets trying . In general any questions came to me . It was a good cop bad cop thing.. But it mostly worked .he decided to go his own way..I wanted to finish this years because dates and venue was locked in.. he didnt.. We will see the outcome... \he wanted to incorporate a video show which he did a few years ago but there was not space at Westin to do so.. My heart has been in expo for 33 years.

    If the 16/5 and people were getting on your nerves, why the fuck did you not step back and get help or let your son or others take over more of the problems.
    Everyone understands how hard it was for you. However, in the last several years you were taking the bad cop side way to much. It got out of control ironically from you being a control freak. Some of us stopped bringing pins or bothered making any effort to support the show other than showing up

    #9 1 year ago

    There were more issues in the past. Last year my son played a larger role and the games room went very well and actually everything went very smooth..

    #10 1 year ago

    He did a fantastic job. As you can see from the last expo population of attendees it might be too late to undo this mess.

    #11 1 year ago

    I so look forward to taking a relaxing vacation and going to this show one day, but which one would feel more like the traditional Expo? Seems to me like Mike's show, he should just call it X-PO. lol

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from mikepin:

    Well time will tell the outcome.It worked for 33 years. Rob dealt with mostly the seminars and banquet. I deal with hotel ,vendors, and games in general.. Rob never got in any hassles with anyone because he didnt deal with people 16 hours a day for 5 days as I did .At times it gets trying . In general any questions came to me . It was a good cop bad cop thing.. But it mostly worked .he decided to go his own way..I wanted to finish this years because dates and venue was locked in.. he didnt.. We will see the outcome... \he wanted to incorporate a video show which he did a few years ago but there was not space at Westin to do so.. My heart has been in expo for 33 years.

    Pinball Expo was my dream trip from Va in 2007.
    Country boy not often out in the big city.
    Got to Expo and wondered around, asked some vendor questions and was told to talk to "Mike".
    I found him setting up his booth and asked a few dumb questions.
    I thought the guy was gong to rip off my head. I was shocked and dumb founded.
    Never went back and never will.
    What goes around comes around.
    Looking forward to Rob's show next year.

    Go TPF.

    Rest in peace Mikes show.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from mikepin:

    There were more issues in the past. Last year my son played a larger role and the games room went very well and actually everything went very smooth..

    The last few years there were no gameroom problems when your stepped back and let Andrew run it and get his volunteers. There were many comments on here about how well the gameroom was going the last few years in terms of organization. The only complaint the last few years for the gameroom was the game count and titles present. Many of us stopped bringing games strictly because of you Mike. Looking at the vendor hall the last few years it's nearly dead too. 6-8 years ago there were more vendors and you would need to push your way through the aisles they were so crowded. The last few years you could have gone bowling in the aisles and not disturbed anyone. Good luck on the show, but most think you've waited far too long to step away for the good of the show and it's too late now. Many of the game bringers and vendors won't be back. Think about it Rob A is one of the nicest people on the planet and he gave up on you and your show too. That says volumes.

    #14 1 year ago

    Was told by Rob today at TPF that he has secured the name 'Pinball Expo.'

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinFun:

    Was told by Rob today at TPF that he has secured the name 'Pinball Expo.'

    Rob was all smiles at TPF today.

    #16 1 year ago

    Yes Mr Berk has the right to use Pinball Expo name .. However we both have the right to do shows and there will be a show at the Westin for next two years as planned in the past with dates shown...

    #17 1 year ago

    What about Pinball Palooza????

    How quick they forget.....

    #18 1 year ago

    Doesn't seem right to me that Rob can use the "Pinball Expo" name and Mike is contractually obligated to a show at the Westin for two more years and can't.

    Pinball Expo = Mike and Rob. If they both aren't doing the show, neither should be using the name.

    #19 1 year ago

    The Pinball Expo name is valuable. This could easily tip Rob's way now.

    #20 1 year ago

    Expo expo expo regardless of who gets the name hopefully this years event(s) lives up to the hype of being the premier show of pinball as from what I've read other shows have passed it by

    #21 1 year ago

    I hope Rob will do ok.

    #22 1 year ago

    I hope Mike will do better.

    #23 1 year ago

    And therein lies the problem. This shouldn't be a competition.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from jfh:

    And therein lies the problem. This shouldn't be a competition.

    Agreed. But, human nature comes into play. Mike wants to beat Rob. Rob wants to beat Mike. They are competing for vendors, VIP's, and customers.
    We can say we are unbiased and will wait and see the final products, but deep down inside, most of us are rooting for one or the other to do better.

    #25 1 year ago

    Will be attending Mikes event. Hope Rob's does better than his first solo attempt did.

    #26 1 year ago

    Again I did NOT want this to happen at all or especially this way. I attempted to talk With Rob for months and at least do this years show as shown.. He refused.. It did NOT have to be this way..

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    The Pinball Expo name is valuable.

    Maybe Mike doesn't think it's as valuable as what Rob was willing to give him, or maybe Mike already has a plan to do something else with it, or maybe both?

    Or I suppose maybe neither. But I somehow doubt it.

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from GravitaR:

    Will be attending Mikes event. Hope Rob's does better than his first solo attempt did.

    Man that was a bad one

    #29 1 year ago

    I think we should keep the October show. September already has the Cleveland show. No way can 2 shows six weeks apart work.

    #30 1 year ago

    Directly from the twisted head of Mike-

    "you dont know whole story about rob a he DEMANDS shows give him free space and free room thats why he is not set up this week he feels he is an attraction and he is some however when he only fixed games and boards he was ok but when he turned into a flea market for pinball crap he also pissed off paying vendors which sold the same things like leds for one he was originally a service service he went too far on selling and expecting everything free "

    You really know the right things to say. No clue what "he is not set up this week" has to do with anything either. Mike do you think expo is now?

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from goatdan:

    Maybe Mike doesn't think it's as valuable as what Rob was willing to give him, or maybe Mike already has a plan to do something else with it, or maybe both?
    Or I suppose maybe neither. But I somehow doubt it.

    Yeah, maybe

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from Marvin:

    Directly from the twisted head of Mike-
    "you dont know whole story about rob a he DEMANDS shows give him free space and free room thats why he is not set up this week he feels he is an attraction and he is some however when he only fixed games and boards he was ok but when he turned into a flea market for pinball crap he also pissed off paying vendors which sold the same things like leds for one he was originally a service service he went too far on selling and expecting everything free "
    You really know the right things to say. No clue what "he is not set up this week" has to do with anything either. Mike do you think expo is now?

    The post quoted above is about Rob Anthony and his split from Expo (not having a game/board repair room along with parts and game related items for sale) after the 2016 event. This thread is about Rob Berk and Mike Pacak's split from partnering to run Expo after the 2017 event.

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from Marvin:

    Directly from the twisted head of Mike-
    "you dont know whole story about rob a he DEMANDS shows give him free space and free room thats why he is not set up this week he feels he is an attraction and he is some however when he only fixed games and boards he was ok but when he turned into a flea market for pinball crap he also pissed off paying vendors which sold the same things like leds for one he was originally a service service he went too far on selling and expecting everything free "
    You really know the right things to say. No clue what "he is not set up this week" has to do with anything either. Mike do you think expo is now?

    Wow, Bashing in not one but two threads. And not even relevant. We get it you don't like Pacak.

    #34 1 year ago

    That's what Mike just choose to send me in a pm this weekend. I know it's berk who split from Mike. This is about Mikes behavior and specifically his treatment of vendors, in this case Rob A. That's why the initial was used, too differentiate it from Berk

    #35 1 year ago

    Marvin,

    Though Mike lacks punctuation and syntax, I see no fault in his logic regarding Rob Anthony's participation.

    As a promoter in a different field for the last 13 years, I feel I have a very strong grasp on vendor relations and the financial dynamic involved with a professional level show.

    When a service oriented vendor participates in a show, they create value for the attendees and the event. When that vendor begins to charge for the services, the value to the show promoter and subsequently, the attendees, is reduced. This vendor should be paying for space. However, that vendors rate for participation is still lower than those simply merchandising goods, as the value to the attendees/community is maintained.

    When that vendor begins selling merchandise, the service offered, which originally brought value to the show, is now re-directed toward personal marketability and financial gain. In this case, the vendor should be paying the same rate for participation as all others.

    Given this, the request for free space, hotel room, and preferential treatment is unreasonable... as a promoter, this level of inequity cannot exist or you will alienate loyal, fully paid participants.

    I don't know either Mike or Rob Anthony well, am not privy to their conversations, or interested in airing their business here, but in my opinion, the requested relationship, as proposed in the above dialogue, is not sustainable in a professional show environment.

    Mike's decision is not twisted, it's just transparent, equitable decision making for a sustainable business model.

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