It may sound strange to a lot of readers still trying to get their hands warm, but spring is right around the corner. Really! Remember, time flies when you’re having…or in our case, selling…fun. The industry’s “silent salesmen,” of course, are its machines and the “Class of Spring 2018” will be on display at the Las Vegas Convention Center Feb. 28-March 1 when the 2018 edition of the Amusement Expo does its pre-spring thing. (The day before the machine show, Feb. 27, will be devoted to seminar lectures and such, and you thought your school days were over!)
Considering the weather in many parts of the nation recently, a lot of operators and their employees may not have visited their local distributors in quite some time. So, apart from reading the trade magazines and checking out the Internet, they might not be up to speed on what’s new in the showroom. Actually, a lot of the new product that made its inaugural appearance at the November IAAPA show is only now getting onto the production line, so there’s still time to kick the tires on the “next great thing.”
Let’s admit it, hardly every street operator ––or even arcade and FEC owner/ manager –– got down to the IAAPA show, so the Las Vegas Expo is an ideal place to see, touch and maybe order the new stuff. It’s also a cozier environment to work in than Orlando, less crazy crowd-wise and easier for operators to find that certain person at a factory or other supplier to get help from, have a drink with or maybe yell at for some slight (real or imagined).
As the “summit meeting” for AMOA members, it’s also the scene for important association business, as well as a chance for them and other street route operators to socialize with some friends they haven’t seen for a year or two. For FEC people, in addition to the laser tag section of the Expo’s trade show there’ll be a whole new virtual reality area where they can get (pardon the verb) immersed in this newest way to vend fun and see if it’s for them or not. (And by the way, not all VR is relegated to the arcade.)
Many years ago, a promotion man in what we used to call the “record business” came to a small meeting of jukebox people I attended. I asked him what he was doing there and he said something that stuck with me all these years later: “Wherever they’re playing music, I want to be there to get them to play my music.” I think every jukebox and game operator would want to personally cover at least one of the two big national trade shows for the same basic reason: if something important’s going to happen in this trade, it’ll probably start there. Make plans now while there’s still time to get rooms and airline seats.