And We’re Off! Early Notes from Amusement Expo

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A robust and energized crowd entered the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center as the 2016 Amusement Expo opened.
Product wise, everything’s up to date in jukebox city. For example, Mike Maas of AMI told his distributors at Expo that their BarLink app usage continues to grow at a fast rate, doubling last year and expecting it to do so again in 2016. The company also introduced the Ultra version of its NGX jukebox series, coming in April. On a separate note, Maas announced that AMI’s inside sales manager Terry Lacher is retiring March 24.
Meanwhile, RePlay met with TouchTunes CEO Charles Goldstuck and new President Ross Honey this morning to get their scoop. They previewed their newest version of their app, 3.0, to operators (it will roll out to Android and then iPhone users in April). Goldstuck said this updated user experience is significantly different than its predecessor and was designed with the 21- to 35-year-old age group in mind. The company also showed its Tempo route management program which will provide all sorts of useful data to the operator in real time and also allow them to access their TouchTunes jukeboxes from a computer or mobile device. “Tempo doesn’t have the same flash and sizzle as mobile, but it’s just as powerful,” Ross Honey said. In discussing the culture of ongoing innovation at the firm, Goldstuck said the company is positioned with “the right product, the right innovations and the right people to take this business forward.”

Back to School

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Attendees were asked to place a colored dot on the issues they found most relevant after the Street Smarts: Rapid Fire Roundup on Management Tips seminar.

While the show opened on March 16, first day of the International Amusement Expo officially kicked off on Tuesday, March 15, with a full day of educational seminars that covered everything from small-footprint FECs to the newest laser tag and bulk vending trends. The seminars were well attended by professionals from all industries represented at the Expo, and a midday luncheon and end-of-day dinner and gala made the first day (and its guests) well-rounded!

O. Lee Mincey kicked things off with an inspirational talk on how to choose good people to help manage your business. A lot of his seminar focused on managing people in general, and he gave it broad appeal by focusing on specific topics and strategies that can be utilized by almost anyone who is in charge of people on a daily basis.
Another one of the seminars worth noting include an in-depth case study of Dave & Buster’s massive switch from paper to electronic tickets, the company’s largest infrastructure transformation to date. Kevin Bacchus and Pete Stearns hosted the seminar, and were able to display some incredible numbers from 2015, the year D&B decided to make this huge change. The company saved over five billion (!) paper tickets over 2015, and even though in all of their accounts, the customer had the chance to opt-out of the electronic method and still retrieve piles of paper tickets from games, over 94 percent of customers decided to go with electronic.

Look for more coverage in the coming days.

 The band prepares to entertain industry professionals at Tuesday's Gala reception at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas.

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