Quoted from Phat_Jay:
But they are adding arcades this year, rob has wanted a combined show for awhile. Could boost attendance significantly if well promoted. Also admission is 30, I could be wrong, but is that less?
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.
And at least wipe them down and verify flippers working.
Quoted from Jamaster10:
I'm on the fence with this year, I'm sure ill be there set up, Just curious how many of us vendors will be there?
Its not cheap to do this show. The hotel rooms go up every year.
They sure have increased. But I bite my tongue as it is once a year and the advantage of being in the same hotel. If you want to play pinball at 2am no drive/ parking worries.
Quoted from GravitaR:
Way to many unknowns for this year to be hyped. No idea who will actually show up vendor wise, freeplay area due to planning looks to be in one room the first night - then everything has to be moved for the shows duration, is the final verdict in on who actually owns the name Pinball Expo and how that will effect who shows up. Plus a few otheI rs.
Moving games after one day, that is a first. !!! Hoping that is not true....
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:
No, they make it sound like they want games set up in one room on Wednesday then torn down and moved to a different room on Thursday.
Yes , I know. Thats what I was kinda complaining about. Unless there is going to be 20 plus pin moving carts (4 wheel metal style). That would not be too bad, but to set up then break down repeat .
Quoted from Phat_Jay:
im thinking of bringing five machines this yr, but all I have is an open trailer so hopefully the weather cooperates. I’ll wrap and tarp them just in case as always but I’m not taking chances if it’s all rain or even the s word. Four arcades and one pin, all will be available for sale or trade. Would like a tempest on arcade side of things, and wide open for pins.
Historically, it always seems to rain on Wednesday. I am bringing three pins myself.
I plan on bringing games that will be for sale. Someone wants to buy one Friday and has to leave, should I charge them the 60 dollars or am I to pay. ?? Just a thought.
Advertising flyers works good. Thats how I learned of Pinball Expo during a tourney at the local Aladins Castle in 1990.
Quoted from mikepin:
Way to much confusion to bring a game . i NEVER believed in stopping anyone or penalizing seller for selling a game and more people is not necessarily good... longer lines I really believe we had a pretty close knit croud from all over that word at expo that made us different from many shows.. I really wish BERK had put 10 per cent of the effort in last 30 years that he is this year...will be interesting to see the results overall.. The banquet made us different and was BERKS thing forever cant believe its gone as well as the make a wish auction The main speakers at the banquet over the years were historical and epic...
I did enjoy the banquet, the Make A Wish auction , food and the pinball inductees. Then go and play pinball til 3am
Quoted from Yelobird:
Seems like the poll shows Nobody cared for the banquet. I look forward to an all new show format and Applaud bringing pinball and it's culture to new interests and opening it up to people that never even heard of this type of show. Pinball was always some underground private club which never made sense to me. I want this hobby to Grow and stop the secret members only vibe. Very much look forward to a Growing hobby with New life and opportunity personally.
I recall a couple banquets that were not full. All others were completely filled up.
Quoted from dmarston:
I got that same list from Rob Berk. Definitely some interesting entries, and he assured me that these are the firms (and people) with actual booths. Yes, that means Derek Fugate and Christopher Franchi have booths.
An official presence by the AMOA, the national operators' association, is quite intriguing. Maybe they will try to recruit members from among those in attendance who operate pinballs on location.
Custom & Homebrew Pinball Machines has involvement from Jeremy Wilson. If they're taking a booth, that constitutes a warming of relations over the decades.
I believe DICED! is a non-electrified game played with dice. That's a new type of vendor for Expo, though many other "gamer shows" combine pinball, video, and board games.
I think Galloping Ghost Arcade might have a booth just to be supportive. The arcade is not that far away.
ICE and UNIS are manufacturers of arcade pieces. They would normally be seen at the AMOA and similar shows, not at consumer shows.
Mayfair hasn't exhibited at Expo in many years! They are a stalwart at Pintastic New England and other shows in the Northeast.
Pinball Adventures is the pinballbuzz.com people, another first-time exhibitor.
I think Super Skill Shot is a first-time vendor. I haven't been following the custom shooter business that closely.
As for World Champion Paul Zimmerman, he should come on here himself and explain what's gonna happen in his booth.
Good to see Steve Engel MayFair Amusements back.
Quoted from LTG:
Changed a lot. Last year Chicago Gaming was kind of across and down the row from Jersey Jack Pinball. So I'll be running back and forth from Jersey Jack Pinball, Pinport, Chicago Gaming. And visit with my friends at American Pinball, Pincades, Back Alley, and say hi to Doug and company at Stern.
I'm going to lose weight this year, not be able to sit in one spot and see everything.
LTG : (
I think a lot of people will get the 10,000 steps in each day. !!! I look forward to it
Wanted to bring this up, will we still need to move the games on Thursday (free play room)?
Quoted from jellikit:
If you'll be at Expo and headed over to Superdawg Drive-In (planned or not), please be sure to take a flyer so 20% of your purchase will go to Team G for JDRF. Superdawg is listed in the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die travel book and a Chicago staple. The flyers should be available tonight at the info table in the hallway and throughout the show. Thanks!
Great idea Brad!! Thank you
Quoted from Phat_Jay:
I think the totan with color dmd and mirror blades was our favorite. Wish more people were brushed up on ettiquette, we waited for several games and those on them just started new games. So few high demand machines, just a ughhh moment for sure.
That drives me crazy as well. I always turn aound to see if anyone is waiting prior to starting another game.
Quoted from PINTEC:
Suggest no Video games at Pinball Expo seems like this was a last ditch effort to fill a hole after purchasing ALL the space at the hotel so to block Mike to not to try "have his show" in any form.
The video games were a nice touch and despite power issues most in the 2nd room worked.
I hope they make a return next year as well.
Quoted from valgalder:
Just a few random thoughts. Expo was fun and definitely seems to be moving in a positive direction. I made a last minute decision to go this year and happy I did.
Not sure what the official rules are about alcohol, but I brought a few beers with me anyway and was just smart about it. It should be more clear though.
I didn't make any of the seminars as I was too busy socializing and playing in the vendor and free game area, but it would have been nice if there was a big schedule posted somewhere to remind people what is going on, when.
I still wish the main tournament at least was streamed like it used to be.
First time playing that Nightmare Before Christmas homebrew, and it was awesome! Really shot well and love all the ramps and diverters. Would be really cool to see that be officially released at some point.
Doubt it would ever happen, butI still wish it could actually be in Chicago at some point. Festivals like ReplayFX which is downtown make it so much more easier and fun to come and go and actually do other things for the weekend.
There were 2 or 3 schedules pisted on the walls near the registration and 2nd frre play room.
Quoted from CraigC:
I agree that traffic was down in the free play hall. Better signage would help. Or some games set up as a trail of breadcrumbs that are also available after hours.
If the hotel would allow it, do like MGC did one year with numerous stickers arrows and they led you to the rooms. ( ooh piece of candy)
Quoted from vanilla:
Well, I missed Pacak (and his little dog, too!) and the usual gang of wristband checkers, several of whom I knew for years and many were in the hobby. You could sit with them at the door and talk old times in the wee hours, maybe take over checking wristbands while they went to the can. Good times. The impersonal guards used this year, well, made it a bit strange.
Butterfly Girl had to move her pins repeatedly, why did she get jerked around like that. In one instance, someone wanted Stern to have the game space she was already assigned.
The seminars were not as exciting this year. Deeproot had several people on stage but had nothing to offer except how great their first/next unnamed game will be. I remember thinking that the timing of this expo may have caught them at the wrong time in their development cycle so maybe that’s why they had nothing to say or show. The leader was close-lipped even when questioned.
I'm used to seminars starting with someone introducing themselves, saying what they do, and then getting into it. That didn't happen a few times. One fellow who would not give his correct name when asked (preferred some hip alias) and who never said what he did was clearly very intelligent but his quick mind kept making him interrupt himself to start a new sentence then would interrupt that sentence to start a new one, etc. etc. After 20 min of listening I still didn't know what the eff he did for the hobby. There was a small coterie of folks in the audience who laughed too eagerly at every other thing he half-said so you realize there is a clique or cult or insider thing going on. His brain was going everywhere like Robin Williams on stage in his early days. Finally someone took the mike and told us how much he raised for charity. I'm sure he is a swell fellow but it was very frustrating to sit through it. I've seen this before when people get too chummy they forget not everyone in the audience is an insider. We are losing our communication skills on stage.
Steve Ritchie tried to do something different by having a comedy act. That’s why he is a great designer, because he dares to step out of the expected. It appears it did nothing for the newbies, though.
Bowling machines were a first at this show. Looked like you had to buy a twenty dollar ticket to play them, in a contest to win one of those huge bowlers that won't fit in your house. No incentive for me, sorry.
Video games were new for the show and saw folks playing them. Good for them. The Northwest show has been doing both pins and vids for years. It works.
For some reason this year there were more people walking around reeking of alcohol than previous years. You can move away from them when in the game hall but when a guy reeking of wine sits down right next to me in the seminar holding a huge wide-mouth glass of wine, his stale bouquet filling the air, why should I have to go find a new seat. More stinky people this year than before.
And then, strangely, there was cigarette smoke *inside* the hotel in front of the registration desk and elsewhere. Not just one day either. Other people noticed. That stuff gets to me and went straight to my throat and by Saturday night my throat hurt so bad I was raspy. By Monday night it turned into a cough and runny/stuffy nose and I am still blowing my nose on this Thursday night. Wherever that came from, I'm not wanting go put myself through it next year. There was free beer Saturday 8pm, so maybe that created an attitude of who cares about the rules. Get 'em drunk and turn 'em loose in the hotel. Can't say.
The expo website evolved over several months and sometimes info on one page would not perfectly agree with info on another page. Ok, mistakes happen, but eventually we wondered if, without a banquet, would the game hall be open all night Saturday into Sunday morning like previous years, in spite of how the website might be worded. We don't know where the mistakes are. We asked Berk months ago about Saturday night specifically and he said yes, game room open all night, vendor room closes at midnight. Four of us come from different cities and meet to share a room. So, we made our flights accordingly and booked a room for Sunday checkout. We were very surprised and disappointed when everybody got kicked out at midnight and they closed the entire hall. Two of us had slept during the day so we could stay up all night. Next year, the four of us decided we will checkout and leave Saturday afternoon. No reason to hang around into the night when many games were disappearing by then anyway. Plus, maybe I can avoid the cigarette fog to any extent.
The snack shop ran out of grab-n-go and snacks on Saturday afternoon. Bare shelves. Never saw that happen before at this expo. People would come in, stare at what's left, walk out. The help were completely uninterested or powerless to bring in more product to make money from these customers. I know because I asked.
The hotel front desk personnel and manager were surprisingly uninformed about their own Green Option program for housekeeping services. It took us three days and talking to five different employees to teach them their own rules so they could do right by us.
St Louis Ball Bowlers were here a few years ago.
Quoted from Timerider:
I'm curious... do you know if they simply cut power? Or did they just try and announce & usher people out?
Because at MGC, they cut the power right at 5:00pm on Sunday. All the machines suddenly go dead. It's great because while there are (very few) "Hey!!" and "Awe"... for the most part; there is always a spontaneous rousing cheer from the crowd.
About 12:15 am Rob Craig and crew made his way around around and pulled the plugs and told us to leave.
Quoted from Gryszzz:
Well the smokers lounge is right next to the front door, so every time the doors opened the smoke funneled in. Also, it was 104 mph winds on Sat. Most people aren't hangin out at the registration desk all night though. I'm out there A LOT so sorry if it bothered ya.
I missed the old door guys too. They were a highlight for me.
There were a few times that ranked heavily of smoke. Yeah that wind was a bit drastic at time
Speaking of Pinball Expo, time to get the games ready. 35th year guys, can't wait!!
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