If you “showed up” to the ShowUp virtual trade show this week from Feb. 1-3, you were likely treated to a much-needed dose of social interaction, information-packed seminars on the present and future of the FEC/LBE industries, integrating VR and all of its forms into your business model and some good, “new fashioned” hanging out with industry friends and colleagues.
Bob Cooney’s inaugural online event used a trade show-style booth setup to entice people to check out new equipment, get their questions answered with live reps from most of the major players in the VR and out-of-home sectors and even some drinking and trivia hours after the work was done.
Hot topics included standalone VR and the companies that manufacture these experiences. No less than 10 of these companies took booth space to tout their equipment, proving that VR is the hot topic today. Esports, sports betting and skill-based gaming also took stage time, as both seem to be exploding in interest and profitability. Cashless systems such as Semnox, Sacoa and a host of others argued that cashless is the only way to go post-pandemic, easing customer fears about handling cash.
Speaking of pandemic, Covid was obviously on everyone’s minds, and how to survive during and after things get to the “new normal.” It is worth noting that each state is unique in their responses with states like Florida and Texas mostly open while others like California and Washington largely remain in a lockdown. One showgoer said it best: “People who are going out are not overly concerned about Covid and its protocols.”
Perhaps the most eye-opening event of Day 3 was the seminar on “Being Black in LBE.” A large panel including industry vet Reggie Moultrie and RePlay contributor Kevin Williams took part in a frank and honest discussion about the lack of diversity in our industry and about how much money is being left on the table due to the lack of exposure of our brand of entertainment to people of color.