(Topic ID: 214253)

Pinball Expo 2018 Reboot (Wheeling, IL)


By RobCraig

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 1,660 posts
  • 270 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by terrapinmark
  • Topic is favorited by 58 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “For those that have attended the Expo Banquet before, what would you change?”

    • Nothing 15 votes
      6%
    • Skip the fancy food, make it Burgers and Fries at a cheaper cost. 46 votes
      18%
    • Shorten the event, make it super cheap or free, and have no meal at all. 19 votes
      7%
    • I don't care about the banquet. 176 votes
      69%

    (256 votes)

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    There are 1660 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 34.
    #51 1 year ago

    I can't keep straight which show is which and which is still happening.

    Rob announced a show... then there were two... then there is one? I don't know which is which anymore..

    #52 1 year ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    Seems like that is the wrong direction, imo. Niches work. Trying to be all things to all people as a way to boost attendance seems like throwing stuff at the wall, instead of retooling to make the Chicago Pinball Expo the most important pinball show in the world.

    Are they adding more space for these arcades?

    Personally I’m not a fan of these split shows.

    #53 1 year ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    I can't keep straight which show is which and which is still happening.

    Rob announced a show... then there were two... then there is one? I don't know which is which anymore..

    None of that other stuff is happening. There is only the usual Expo. Show up, have fun, ignore the old drama.

    #54 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    Instead, my wife and I will drive 6 hours to the Pinball Life open house, spend the day there Saturday, then drive 6 hours home on Sunday

    Has this been announced already?

    #55 1 year ago
    Quoted from vdojaq:

    Has this been announced already?

    I'm getting ahead of myself. No it has not. I'm not sure what Terry's plans are this year.

    #56 1 year ago

    Getting rid of the all-night game room would be a bummer for me. I completely throw off my sleep schedule and spend all night playing a handful of games - it's really the only time I feel like I actually play pinball at any show.

    I see the hours listed as "stay tuned" right now.

    #57 1 year ago

    I know many people like having the game hall open all night, but it's a long show (too many days IMO) and that probably contributed to a decline in the quality games and even worse, less games showing up and then the declining attendance that followed. Bringing nice games to be beat on for 24 hours a day for 3 to 4 straight days is just too much. Then if you are bringing something to sell you take the risk of it breaking down, not selling or not getting what you should for it. There really is no incentive for anyone to bring anything other than a beater that's sitting in the garage unless they have motivation to sell something or show something off. Personally, I like the MGC model of having the hall open during the core show hours and then an after party only for those that brought stuff. That's a much shorter show, but that's part of what I like about it. It's all a balance though, no doubt.

    #58 1 year ago

    Don't get me wrong, I definitely get it. I am still selfishly holding out hope that they may extend the hours or come up with some other way to keep the hall open as they have in the past (rotate games "out" by roping off certain areas, etc).

    I love MGC, but Expo has been my favorite show. MGC goes by so quick, and before I know it I realize I haven't really had a chance to actually play pinball. I always bring a game to MGC, and there's just a different stress level that brings. Going to Expo I have practically 0 responsibilities, and all I need to worry about is waking up in time for dinner.

    #59 1 year ago

    I'm late to the party...didn't realized that this change had happened and have been talking to my brother who comes in from Hawaii about what we would do this year after making 18 of the last 19 to Expo. We've always enjoyed the gameplay and the seminars and personally I really like the Westin and the restaurants in the area. Looking forward to it. Thanks for making this happen.

    #60 1 year ago

    This is my home town Expo and I will continue to support it (I still have fun going).

    It sucks that there is this ongoing drama surrounding the show. I tried to follow whats going on but in the end I decided I just dont have the energy to get emotionally involved.

    I'm just hoping it's a solid year without much drama and a lot of effort to make it great again. Pinball Life open house will set the tone for my day regardless so I'm not concerned.

    I do commercial printing for decals, banners, etc. If I can help in any way I'd be happy to supply these things to the show free of charge if it helps.

    #61 1 year ago
    Quoted from ufiti:

    Gotta say, game room closing at 2am really blows. Personally, the biggest redeeming factor Expo had was that the game room was open all night so you could drink and hang with friends. No other expo had this that I was aware of. Not sure I even need the room I booked now.

    We do www.pintasticnewengland.com

    #62 1 year ago

    Fascinating news, first I'd heard of it.

    Bottom line, I realize that it is "139" days away but we who bring games for free play need details SOON as to what to expect. More so for me since I now live 1000 miles away.... but I'm sure everyone will need the details ASAP so we/they can make plans.

    My only other comment is that I agree with one of the posters above who talked about family pricing. I have adult children who like to come by the Expo for a couple of hours at most on Friday night after we take them out to dinner, and that has been breaking the bank so something is wrong with that calculus. I'm open to suggestions.

    #63 1 year ago

    Also be nice to have an Expo map of what areas of the hotel are being used and for what.

    #64 1 year ago
    Quoted from Deaconblooze:

    Don't get me wrong, I definitely get it. I am still selfishly holding out hope that they may extend the hours or come up with some other way to keep the hall open as they have in the past (rotate games "out" by roping off certain areas, etc).
    I love MGC, but Expo has been my favorite show. MGC goes by so quick, and before I know it I realize I haven't really had a chance to actually play pinball. I always bring a game to MGC, and there's just a different stress level that brings. Going to Expo I have practically 0 responsibilities, and all I need to worry about is waking up in time for dinner.

    on Saturdays / early sundays very late over nights the game room really seems to start clearing out by 1am or later.

    #65 1 year ago
    Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

    on Saturdays / early sundays very late over nights the game room really seems to start clearing out by 1am or later.

    And that is exactly what I was wondering. Just how many people are in the free play room after 2am?

    #66 1 year ago
    Quoted from vdojaq:

    And that is exactly what I was wondering. Just how many people are in the free play room after 2am?

    Me.....and about 20 other people the last couple years if my memory serves right. Being on midnight's for work, the overnight game room is perfect for me

    #67 1 year ago
    Quoted from Slim64:

    Me.....and about 20 other people the last couple years if my memory serves right. Being on midnight's for work, the overnight game room is perfect for me

    Me too. The day is usually spent on seminars, vendor room, chatting with fellow pinheads, or taking my kids around the hall. If I want to actually play pinball at expo, it's during the overnight.

    The Fri overnight is especially busy; Thurs night and Sat night not as much. Likely because a lot of people don't get in on Thurs or are tired from travel, and by Sat night some of the games are already gone or OoO.

    #68 1 year ago

    Don't worry, Berk just wants your money.

    23
    #69 1 year ago

    I used to pull the all-nighters during the Ramada pre-internet era Expo in the 90's. We'd skip the banquet and go downtown to catch a band. Then get back about midnight and play until security kicked us out about 4am. Play cards until the sun came up and pass out next to a pile of empty beer cans. Wake up about noon on Sunday and go down to the almost empty hall hoping the games I brought along were still there (they always were). Ahh the good old days...

    I don't party much anymore, so these days, it's early to rise and hit the game hall at 6am with a coffee and easy access to any game I want to play (and relive the good old days thru the few who are still there from the overnight stumbling around like zombies).

    Life changes, Expo changes. I'm sure everything will work out and am not worried about who might or might not do this or that, I'm just looking forward to attending another Pinball Expo.

    #70 1 year ago

    Been going to expo a long time. Now that my family comes along, 2 daughters and my wife, we don't bring games any longer but still show support by attending and purchasing at the show.

    It would be cool for it to go back to where the industry announces things. Guess it's not exactly the same as all the manufacturing is not in Chicago any longer. Either way I'll be attending with my girls and will support it the best I know how. I don't think the banquet dinner is for kids so I'll be there to watch my little ones play games and enjoy the shed aquarium, deep dish (giordano's) and just all Chicago has to offer. Back in the day I couldn't wait to go play myself so I'm sure my dad enjoyed the moments that I am now. Haha.

    Good luck with the show. Hope it works out for all involved.

    #71 1 year ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Don't worry, Berk just wants your money.

    And the berk/pacak two headed monster didn't? What's your point? Anyone putting on a show is doing it for money.

    #72 1 year ago

    I saw that Rob Anthony will be at Expo this year. That is a great sign!

    #73 1 year ago
    Quoted from cjmjmm2006:

    Been going to expo a long time. Now that my family comes along, 2 daughters and my wife, we don't bring games any longer but still show support by attending and purchasing at the show.
    It would be cool for it to go back to where the industry announces things. Guess it's not exactly the same as all the manufacturing is not in Chicago any longer. Either way I'll be attending with my girls and will support it the best I know how. I don't think the banquet dinner is for kids so I'll be there to watch my little ones play games and enjoy the shed aquarium, deep dish (giordano's) and just all Chicago has to offer. Back in the day I couldn't wait to go play myself so I'm sure my dad enjoyed the moments that I am now. Haha.
    Good luck with the show. Hope it works out for all involved.

    Still a lot stuff is done in the Chicago area still JJP has the dev office hear. and the non USA ones are not really manufacturing right now.

    1 week later
    #74 1 year ago

    saw this flyer at the northwest show.

    20180608_154754_001 (resized).jpg
    #75 1 year ago

    Moving along fast i see.

    #76 1 year ago

    I'm noticing the most popular vote is not caring about the banquet. It seemed like the Expo's schedule revolved around a banquet who's time seems to have passed. It also felt like the banquet was in the center of all the other rooms(I'm probably wrong here) physically locking out everything else.

    I can't think of any other convention that just shuts down everything else in favor of one sub-event. That would be impossible at any other shows. "Okay, no game room or vending, everyone line up for food!"

    I like the fact the website was finally updated to something modern.

    #77 1 year ago
    Quoted from s1500:

    I'm noticing the most popular vote is not caring about the banquet. It seemed like the Expo's schedule revolved around a banquet who's time seems to have passed. It also felt like the banquet was in the center of all the other rooms(I'm probably wrong here) physically locking out everything else.
    I can't think of any other convention that just shuts down everything else in favor of one sub-event. That would be impossible at any other shows. "Okay, no game room or vending, everyone line up for food!"
    I like the fact the website was finally updated to something modern.

    It's pretty simple. The banquet makes the hotel a lot of money that goes towards the amount Expo has promised the hotel. That's why Mike insisted on having it.

    #78 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    It's pretty simple. The banquet makes the hotel a lot of money that goes towards the amount Expo has promised the hotel. That's why Mike insisted on having it.

    Gotcha. That I didn't know. I didn't hit the banquet when I went the one year. What did I miss?

    #79 1 year ago

    Find a way to weed out people who bring in games to get free admission, then never turn them on. I visited this past Expo three times (once by myself, once with my son and once with a buddy) and the Apollo 13 that someone brought just sat there, all weekend and was never turned on (I assume).

    Get their contact info and call/text them if their game is just going to take up space and never be turned on.

    That's my biggest gripe.

    #80 1 year ago
    Quoted from s1500:

    I can't think of any other convention that just shuts down everything else in favor of one sub-event. That would be impossible at any other shows. "Okay, no game room or vending, everyone line up for food!"

    Free play hall has been open during the banquet for the last few years.

    Old timers seem to like the banquet. Seems overpriced to me. If it started this year, I don't think attendance would be very high, but momentum is a powerful thing.

    1 week later
    #81 1 year ago

    The updated website is now saying that there is a 24 hour game room so that is back on.

    #82 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballwizard878:

    The updated website is now saying that there is a 24 hour game room so that is back on.

    But vendor hall doesn't open until 6pm on Thursday and Friday. Hopefully they have some interesting seminars during the day.

    -1
    #83 1 year ago
    Quoted from KingBW:

    But vendor hall doesn't open until 6pm on Thursday and Friday. Hopefully they have some interesting seminars during the day.

    Shortening of Vendor hours has been needed. Besides no one is really there Thursday or Friday Afternoon for the vendors to sell to.

    #84 1 year ago
    Quoted from GravitaR:

    Shortening of Vendor hours has been needed. Besides no one is really there Thursday or Friday Afternoon for the vendors to sell to.

    I understand (I do), but that's what made it so great for the attendees that come from out of town and spend a few days there. Short lines to play the new pins during the day, walk right up to purchase things from vendors, vendors have time to answer questions. Then do the evening parties across the parking lot. If there is a good turn out at Expo, it seems like the free play area would be real busy during the day, then the vendor hall would be real busy with long lines at the new pins in the evening. If it's a low turn out, it might not be as bad. Hopefully Pinball Life will have their party start early to give us something to do. They get crowded later so that could work out.

    #85 1 year ago

    The vendor room has a lot of the fun games to play.

    #86 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballwizard878:

    The updated website is now saying that there is a 24 hour game room so that is back on.

    Excellent.

    1 week later
    #87 1 year ago

    Vendor Hall doesn't open until 6pm on Friday? How often do the Vendors close at TPF?......

    #88 1 year ago

    So, am I reading that right that it's $35 per person on Saturday to attend? That seems like it's more spendy than in year's past???

    I have to admit I'm out of the loop on paying for the show as I normally bring a game. But this year I'm going to just attend and see if this is all for the better before I re-commit.

    #89 1 year ago

    I'm still on the fence to visit or not. Will see once details of show are completely known.

    #90 1 year ago
    Quoted from GravitaR:

    I'm still on the fence to visit or not. Will see once details of show are completely known.

    I'm guessing that a lot of people are waiting to see what's going to be there and what's going to be scheduled. They're not wooing people yet.

    #91 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    It's pretty simple. The banquet makes the hotel a lot of money that goes towards the amount Expo has promised the hotel. That's why Mike insisted on having it.

    I'm late to this, but... I had always been under a similar impression, but it's actually wrong.

    I don't feel like I'm in a fair position to explain all that I know, but the banquet is a more complex thing. One thing I will say in it's defense, it did make Expo stand out.

    #92 1 year ago
    Quoted from goatdan:

    I'm late to this, but... I had always been under a similar impression, but it's actually wrong.
    I don't feel like I'm in a fair position to explain all that I know, but the banquet is a more complex thing. One thing I will say in it's defense, it did make Expo stand out.

    I'm sure it's more complex than just making money, but Mike is the one who told me that.

    #93 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    I'm sure it's more complex than just making money, but Mike is the one who told me that.

    I've heard the same thing, but remember Mikes full of sh!t.

    #94 1 year ago
    Quoted from Marvin:

    I've heard the same thing, but remember Mikes full of sh!t.

    Did you shove your head up his Azz to check?

    2 weeks later
    #95 1 year ago

    I am planning to attend and support Rob Berk and Trent (hopefully I can bring a game for the classics tourney)

    #96 1 year ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    I saw that Rob Anthony will be at Expo this year. That is a great sign!

    Awesome. Rob Anthony does great work. Glad he is back!!!

    #97 1 year ago

    Suggestion, focus on the freeplay area. Get as many games as possible and do not let people pull games early or turn them off if they've sold. Let everyone that brings a game or two get in free to the full event, give people that bring 10+ games more perks. Work with local arcades to get large numbers of games in. If you have hundreds and hundreds of games on freeplay the entire show, you will see your ticket sales grow and grow and that will bring in more vendors and keep them happy. We've taken this approach with the Northwest show, every game in the venue is on freeplay, they must stay all 3 days, we have techs that keep the games running and the result is we draw about 4,000 people during the weekend and vendors often make more money at our show than any other show they do. It's the games that drive everything, after you have lots of games on freeplay coming, then start expand your efforts to other parts of the event.

    #98 1 year ago
    Quoted from GravitaR:

    Shortening of Vendor hours has been needed. Besides no one is really there Thursday or Friday Afternoon for the vendors to sell to.

    I agree on shortening our ours down a little.
    Thursday Friday sales. I will disagree on that! I have sold more parts, boards, shirts and other BS on those days over sat sales.

    Pincades
    Jesse T.

    #99 1 year ago
    Quoted from nwpinball:

    Suggestion, focus on the freeplay area. Get as many games as possible and do not let people pull games early or turn them off if they've sold. Let everyone that brings a game or two get in free to the full event, give people that bring 10+ games more perks. Work with local arcades to get large numbers of games in. If you have hundreds and hundreds of games on freeplay the entire show, you will see your ticket sales grow and grow and that will bring in more vendors and keep them happy. We've taken this approach with the Northwest show, every game in the venue is on freeplay, they must stay all 3 days, we have techs that keep the games running and the result is we draw about 4,000 people during the weekend and vendors often make more money at our show than any other show they do. It's the games that drive everything, after you have lots of games on freeplay coming, then start expand your efforts to other parts of the event.

    I agree games that are there and functioning should be turned on. Personally, I won't take a game to a show that holds it hostage. I've never pulled games early, but if I was told I can't, I wouldn't take them at all. Life happens, plans change. I'm not paying a fine if something comes up. I'm also not letting someone I don't know work on my machines unsupervised. It's more work for the staff but don't give out all weekend passes for bringing a game. Give ones daily, have the games tagged like MGC does. Show your tag get a new band for that day, once you sell the game you can't get in free, the new owner has the tag and gets a band.

    #100 1 year ago

    website needs to get updated quicker, still no seminars posted. However, he is very clear about a free pass for EVERY game you bring. Also sounds like every person that brings a game gets a raffle ticket to win a pinball machine.

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