Just like in politics, most everything in the amusement machine business is local. A route operator in Idaho or an FEC manager in Kansas are far more concerned about what’s happening in their states, counties or, more importantly, their towns that would affect their businesses than what’s doing in other parts of the country. That’s one reason a lot of people don’t see the need to leave home to go to a business affair that requires a plane ticket and hotel reservation. They weigh the economic “discomfort” of making the trip against the possibility of seeing or learning something that might, or clearly will, end up putting some plus-money in their cash boxes. Sometimes the business affair wins. Sometimes it doesn’t.
There are lots of different personalities in this and every industry, and I’m not talking about celebrities. There are folks who absolutely wouldn’t miss an affair like this month’s Amusement in Las Vegas for anything…and then there are those who are content to wait for the show’s news to trickle down over the weeks and months that follow. In the middle are those who come to a show one year, but take a pass the next. Again like in politics, show producers wonder what factors might sway these types to decide one way or the other?
For sure, there’s always at least “one good thing” to discover at every business event if you “work” the seminar room, the equipment display and the social scene. I know you’ve read this pitch before, but it’s true. If anyone keeps his or her eyes and ears open, and isn’t afraid to share opinions with others, there’s lots to learn, and benefit from, at these things.
Still don’t know how to work a player card system? Ask someone at the Expo. Want the real “skinny” on ATM operations? Find out at Expo. Want to get plugged into a small network of non-competitive operators who will share honest collection numbers on new machines? It’s a lot easier to set this up than it was to ask that cute girl for a dance back in the 8th grade.
If you’re not going yourself, send one or two of the newer people at your company. They’re sure to feel recognized as important staffers and to cover the show like a rug to show their thanks in return. National conventions like this Amusement Expo only come a couple of times each year in the U.S. business. Keep that in mind as well. Hope to see you or yours out there.