(Topic ID: 168484)

Official Chicago Pinball Expo 2016 Thread - What are you bringing?


By APB_Enterprises

3 years ago



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There are 184 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 4.
#151 3 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

As was your vendor booth. You always have great stuff!

Thank you!! I like bringing the odd mix.

Andrew

#152 3 years ago
Quoted from volcanodiver:

After one volunteer was repeatedly called a thief, when Mike was confronted he told that person what epthegeek said. He has likely lost volunteers

Not condoning what Mike said, it sure sounds like there is a lot more to this story.

#153 3 years ago
Quoted from Slim64:

Not condoning what Mike said, it sure sounds like there is a lot more to this story.

The volunteer needed more wristbands for people bringing in games, because they had run out. They asked for more, and were accused of stealing from the show via giving out too many wristbands -- never mind that any band given out was logged in the registration spreadsheet. The people who volunteer to help with set up and load in WANT the show to be great, they're not trying to make the show fail.

#154 3 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

The volunteer needed more wristbands for people bringing in games, because they had run out. They asked for more, and were accused of stealing from the show via giving out too many wristbands -- never mind that any band given out was logged in the registration spreadsheet. The people who volunteer to help with set up and load in WANT the show to be great, they're not trying to make the show fail.

It's a shame that happened. I appreciated the volunteers there making my load in a breeze.

#155 3 years ago
Quoted from Slim64:

Not condoning what Mike said, it sure sounds like there is a lot more to this story.

I planned to never part here again last year but need to now. There is more to this story, I'm the one who confined Mike. The short story posted so far is correct. Mike's attitude Wednesday kept my machine out of the game room in spite of it being moved our to my garage ready to go. There is no way I will ever help Mike again, I know this goes for one of the other volunteers too. The only way we'd help again is for Andrew, which he is already well aware of. This is also the only reason we've helped the last several years. Mike is killing this show. This year was actually a good show, but as anyone who attended can attest to attendance was way down. There is one main reason for that and we all know what that is.

On that note, I've said what I needed to and I'm back out.

#156 3 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

That was mine; Snyper brought the Fathom and sweet F14 in the back row.

Whoops, assumed wrong based on the cincy tag. Thanks again, really enjoyed it!

#157 3 years ago

Just got home! Thanks Andrew for a great year!! The free play room ran great!
Got the audits for my games...
Time Fantasy - 668
Warlok - 697
Varkon - 788
Joust - 1147
Congo - 784
Spider-man - 748
Metallica - 985

Nighty Night!! (Gotta sleep now!!!)

Phoebe

#158 3 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

The people who volunteer to help with set up and load in WANT the show to be great, they're not trying to make the show fail.

The core of the problem is that the number of people who are out to screw Mike vs. the number of people Pacak thinks are out to screw him is something close to 1:100.

------

Pacak was in especially bad form this year. Even though I already had an armband, Pacak refused to give me a a printed lanyard (i.e. name tag) even though:

* Took three shifts to moving games into the free play hall Wednesday (each gets you free admission. I have no idea why I signed up for three.)
* Staffed Rob Anthony's booth for several days (vendors get free admission for staff)
* Brought a game for the free play hall (again, free admission)

Keep in mind that with just one arm band (let alone five!!) I was already getting in free; giving a name tag to go with it got me absolutely nothing additional. So this was just being very petty and screwing with me just to screw with me. It doesn't seem smart to openly antagonize for what appeared to be no grounded reason. Worse still I was doing all of this with a 4 month old kid in tow! It would have been a thousand times easier to say screw it, go JAFO, and nobody would have even raised an eyebrow.

No more.

When you find yourself in a situation wondering why you're on your current path, chances are pretty good it's because you're not behaving rationally.

In the past I've helped expo because it was my local show and I genuinely didn't want it to die after the abysmal 2K show. In the interim decade-and-a-half the pinball show landscape has shifted, with MGC really coming into its own. More to the point, *I feel good* after helping out at MGC (bringing a game, helping Rob set up/tear down/run his booth, and taking reference pictures of all the MGC free play machines early Saturday morning).

I don't feel good after this year's Expo. At its core, I have to acknowledge that it's an abusive relationship, and I feel pretty much like a sucker*. Did I help make things better at expo? Without a doubt the answer is yes. But the peg to hang that hat on has been getting shorter and shorter each year; the more I have time to take a breath and reflect on just how poorly Mike treated volunteers this year (and with even worse ideas being floated and likely implemented next year) the core question of "why do it?" looms very large.

I am having trouble coming up with any convincing answers other than force of habit. To be clear, I still have a lot of reason to go to expo, I'm just having a very hard time coming up with reasons to help expo.

What really doesn't help is that the ladies Pacak came down hardest on (Nikki, Angela, and Liz) are three of the most consistently sunny-dispositioned people I know. To see all of them simultaneously disheartened, let alone groundlessly degraded in public, is beyond the pale. As a group we took over running the free play room at expo to insulate people bringing games from having to deal with Mike. While certainly that means that as a group we must deal with Mike, nowhere in that description does that entitle, allow, or permit false (and frankly paranoid) accusations in public. The women were on point for the job they did; beginning, middle, and end of story!

*Not for helping Rob; Rob is awesome!

#159 3 years ago

Sorry to hear about this. It is obvious that there is 1 person that should be removed from Expo all together. Maybe a concerted effort could be made to talk with Berk and lay out the ultimatum.

Thanks again to the whole expo free room crew. That room has gotten so much better since you all took over!

#160 3 years ago

Fix your shit, Mike.

And a question: why don't you treat the Chicago crew the same way you treat the Cincy crew?

#161 3 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

Fix your shit, Mike...

Unfortunately it's too late for this. It's the same story every year. The only reason the game room and vendor hall had anything over a few this year was because of Andrew and crew and the people willing to help him, and they all get treated like shit.

I like Mike, outside of Expo. For whatever reason Expo turns him into a raging jackass. My constant response to his yelling at me while fixing HIS games, for free, was "don't be a dick". Just don't be a dick, it's really that simple.

People are fed up being treated like shit and being yelled at. This year should have had epic numbers of attendees. There hasn't been this many new game reveals at a show since the heyday of pinball in the ninties. Yet attendance looked to be the worst ever. Every other show in the country is growing by leaps and bounds with record attendance, but Expo keeps declining. There's one reason for that.

--
Rob Anthony
Pinball Classics
http://www.LockWhenLit.com
Quality Board Work - In Home Service
borygard at gmail dot com

#162 3 years ago

Andrew Barney for president!!!!

#163 3 years ago

It is sad to hear that Nikki ,Angela and Liz were treated so poorly , that is just beyond low .

#164 3 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

Fix your shit, Mike.

Quoted from Borygard:

Unfortunately it's too late for this. It's the same story every year. The only reason the game room and vendor hall had anything over a few this year was because of Andrew and crew and the people willing to help him, and they all get treated like shit.

Unfortunately, it's true. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Mike has used up all his second chances over the years and people are fed up with it.

This was evidenced by the vendor hall which seemed sparse. I know vendors pointed out to me how people were allowed to spread out to "look more full". Plus, attendance looked WAY down to me. Usually, there's a line down the hall of people waiting to get into the vendor hall when it opens at 6. No such line this year. Maybe 10-15 people - that's all.

I already heard talk of a setting up a competing show on the same weekend. Unfortunately, I've been through this kind of things in another industry and all it did was hurt everyone involved. Expo needs to fail into oblivion and just go away for a year or 2. This will allow new management to come in and re-kindle what it was. Unfortunately, this is a long process in the hayday of the rebirth of pinball (funny, same timing as the other industy I mentioned).

The other way is for Mike to step away (or be forced out) and allow someone new to come in.

Rob B - you know this needs to happen.

Jaz

#165 3 years ago

How hard would it actually be to start a new show on the same weekend and out compete the current show?

It seems lots of people would be more than happy to lend a hand elsewhere to make something new.

The first year would probably need to be a loss just to help bring in new people but seems like all anyone needs at this point is a big enough hotel/convention center somewhere in a 30-60 min drive of where expo currently resides. Organize the local crew of people and get them committed to bring games and help out to make it run. Maybe open up all the books to show it is a community effort and any profits get spun back in to the next year? Maybe look for a space closer to PBLife ir closer to Stern to facilitate easy factory tours or PBLife bolt on?

If anyone wants to tackle this, feel free to reach out for voulenteers.

#166 3 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

How hard would it actually be to start a new show

If it was easy, someone would have likely done it. Non union hotel so people can drag in and set up their own stuff. Guarantee on rooms and food and bars. A heck of a lot of money would be the first obstacle. And it would have had to have been scheduled way more than a year ago the way hotels with convention areas rent out in advance.

LTG : )

#167 3 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

How hard would it actually be to start a new show on the same weekend and out compete the current show?

I don't think it's a question of difficulty, it's just that it'd be bad for business by setting up a two tribes dynamic. See the whole MIPinball / PATZ debacle from a few years ago. When you add in that some would inevitably be acting out of bad blood, it'd get ugly fast.

#168 3 years ago

In spite of the poor behavior that was shown, I had a great time this past week. Brought my Metallica Pro and got 703 plays on it. Thanks for a fun time, Andrew. And thanks to all the volunteers that helped set up and break down games. PDXmonkey was my saving grace on both load in and load out. Free play room was awesome. Just sorry to see so many games leave on Saturday and the room clear out so early on Sunday.

#169 3 years ago

At the end of the day, there is really only one thing wrong with expo, and fixing that is outside the control of just about everyone. If someone can figure out how to remove the giant speed bump . . .

or maybe what we need is a giant speed bump.

#170 3 years ago

Thanks to Andrew and crew. You make it much easier for those bringing games.
High Speed audits: 926 plays
(A trapped ball on Thursday evening and a loose post on Sat took it down for an hour or so each time).

#171 3 years ago
Quoted from TheKorn:

I don't think it's a question of difficulty, it's just that it'd be bad for business by setting up a two tribes dynamic. See the whole MIPinball / PATZ debacle from a few years ago. When you add in that some would inevitably be acting out of bad blood, it'd get ugly fast.

Korn is spot on. You end up splitting what is a relatively small pool of resources. Some will inevitably stay loyal. Some will jump to the new. You end up with bad blood and ugliness and no one wins. So, that's why I say the show needs to either completely die so a new one can be rekindled from the ashes, or Mike needs to go to prevent it from dying.

The difference is how long it takes and how much damage is done in the interim.

#172 3 years ago

Or we can just scale back our efforts to the minimum

#173 3 years ago
Quoted from bangerjay:

Or we can just scale back our efforts to the minimum

without the voulenteers, the game bringgers, and the P-roc stuff...

the show would be dead by next year.

Maybe the best solution is the organization of those groups and the mainstay vendors to set in motion the required changes for them to attend.

Doesn't Mike have a partner in this whoel thing? Maybe reach out directly to Berk (i have no idea how the realationshiop works)?

#174 3 years ago

Thank you to everyone involved in bringing pins and running the free play and vendor area. This was my first pinball show and I was thrilled to be able to play so many games that I have only experienced through the Pinball Arcade game.
Other than Wizard of Oz, I was able to play just about everything on my pinball bucket list.

Thank you!

#175 3 years ago

You guys ever see that episode of South Park where everyone so completely ignores Cartman that he thinks he has died and is a ghost? This is what I suggest .

#177 3 years ago

Does anyone remember what the Baseball wedge head was called in the free play room at Expo? I think I'd like to find one, but that one wasn't for sale.

#178 3 years ago
Quoted from bkfiv:

Does anyone remember what the Baseball wedge head was called in the free play room at Expo? I think I'd like to find one, but that one wasn't for sale.

Big Hit, I think (but Gottlieb made several variations on that design, so I could be wrong)

#179 3 years ago

Yup, Big Hit.

#180 3 years ago

Yes, that's it. Thanks guys. My son loved it and I can see us playing that game together a bunch. I'll be keeping an eye out for one.

#181 3 years ago

Big Hit (and the earlier variations) have an absolutely critical need for the lower flippers to be in top notch shape, so that the vari-targets can be buried with a perfect shot, and the ball can get back up to the top and do something when it gets there. The earlier ones had no upper flippers, so Big Hit's design helps in that regard, but they're all disappointing without crazy-strong lower flippers. Just something to work on first when you get one.

#182 3 years ago

There was also a Batter Up. The Add A Ball version of Gottlieb's 1970 Baseball. Very satisfying smacking the Vari Targets with those flat-top 2" flippers.

Big Hit had the excellent back glass showing Sears Tower in the background from Comisky Park.

#183 3 years ago

Let's not forget Playball and Grand Slam. Playball is my favorite of the baseball themes. No drop targets but much faster than Big Hit and rapid-fire juggling of the vari-targets can be done with practice... whereas the pops on Big Hit kinda get in the way/make it a luck shot.

Still, most people gravitate to Big Hit. Drop targets are just too cool. Might want to try some orange dot coils on it.

2 years later
#184 7 months ago
Quoted from metallik:

Unplug the scooter battery first so he cant follow

LOL..... great idea!

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