“It's exciting to be part of this industry and this show is the one time and place that street operators from all over the country—and beyond—gather to exchange ideas and information and to see the new equipment for their routes,” said Howard Cole, president of the Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA), the national trade group that owns the event.
Sponsorships of the AMOA Expo Charity Golf Outing and Cocktail Party along with the exhibitor advertising indicated strong support by the exhibitors.
Sixteen companies with 19 entries participated in the Innovator Award Program. Winners of this year’s event were:
- NAMCO America for its Jumpin' Jackpot;
- Brady Distributing for its Let Me Dance;
- MEI for its Combo Validator with Contactless Tech; and
- Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (I.C.E.). for its Deal or No Deal
The Fifth Annual Coin-Op Cares Golf Classic was held on Wednesday, September 26th at the Siena Golf Club, and attracted 119 golfers. A total of 47 firms served as hole sponsors, with the monies going to the AMOA PAC Program.
Proceeds from the event itself will be directed towards the association's Coin-Op Cares Charitable & Education Foundation.
The following companies took part in other tourney sponsorships:
- Firestone Financial
- Cole Vending Co. Inc.
- Louisiana Amusement & Music Operators Association
- Montana Coin Operators Association
- Ohio Coin Machine Association
- Tennessee Amusement & Music Operators Association
- Brady Distributing
- CoinStar Inc.
- Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Bureau
- Incredible Technologies
A total of 43 exhibitors offered 54 Show Specials, allowing buyers to tap into many discounts. Yellow balloons and floor stickers helped direct buyers to the participating booths.
More excitement was generated with the drawing of three jukeboxes sponsored by the Jukebox Promotion Committee. AMOA jukebox operators who license their jukeboxes with the Jukebox License Office could enter to win one of three jukeboxes throughout the show.
The All-Industry Gala, held Poolside at the Las Vegas Hilton on Thursday, September 27th was a highlight of the show. This year’s event attracted more than 1,500 industry professionals. Sponsors of this event were:
- Betson Enterprises
- Club Lucky
- Firestone Financial Corp.
- Global VR
- JLO representing ASCAP, BMI & SESAC
- JVL Corporation
- Merit Industries
- SEGA Amusements USA Inc.
- Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal
- Sterling & Sterling
- TouchTunes Music Corp.
Seven seminars coordinated by the Expo Education Committee, were held Thursday-Saturday during the show and were enjoyed by a solid number of attendees and exhibitors. The topics and attendance for these seminars were:
- Plan Now or Pay (Much More!) Later: Lessons Learned on the Path to Protecting the Family Business, 65 attendees
- Financing Options for Selling a Coin-Op Route, 52 attendees
- LCD Monitor Repair, 63 attendees
- Put Some UMPH! Into It, 45 attendees
- Selling in Any Industry in Any Position, 29 attendees
- The ABCs of Great Quality Sound, 45 attendees
- Tips for Selling Your Used Equipment, 35 attendees
The Wayne E. Hesch Scholarship raised more than $78,000, for the coin-op education program with 52 companies providing products to raffle. A new FLHT Electra Glide Standard 2007 Harley-Davidson Motorcycle was the grand prize for the raffle. John Newberry of Venco Business Music was the lucky winner of the Harley.
AMOA also conducted its Annual Member Breakfast and Meeting during the show. More than 150 members attended the program, which included an update on various association programs and services, the 2007 Innovator Award winners' presentation and the election of new directors.
Among those elected to a three-year term on the board were:
- Jack Brown, Mountain Coin Machine Distributors, Denver, CO
- David Francis, Preferred Amusements, Baton Rouge, LA;
- Michael Holley, Southeast Game Brokers, Inc., Odessa, FL;
- Steward Horne, PlayTime Amusements, Inc., Pikeville, KY;
- Rod Kruse, Nebraska Technical Services, Inc., Omaha, NE;
- Richard LaFleur, I.F. LaFleur & Son, Inc., Devils Lake, ND;
- Mary Lavine, Bullseye Games, Madison, WI;
- James Marsh, Hart Novelty, Inc., Bellingham, WA;
- Steven Toranto, Birmingham Vending Co., Birmingham, AL;
- Hal Williamson, Gardner's Up North, Rhinelander, WI
Also, John Newberry of Venco Business Music, Bland, VA, was elected to serve a two-year AMOA director term.
AMOA President Howard Cole of Cole Vending, Inc., Weaverville, NC, was enthusiastically acknowledged for his efforts during his term as President with a standing ovation by members in attendance. At the conclusion of the show, Lloyd Williamson of Williamson's Amusements, Inc., Winona, MN, became Cole's successor as the association's President.
Finally, to reflect the show's 2007, “Let the Games Begin,” a series of initiatives was undertaken to put some smiles on the faces of Expo showgoers. Headlining AMOA's Fun & Games program was a “Dunk Tank” that became a focal point for the event. “Dunkees” included: Howard Cole, Lloyd Williamson, Chris Warren and Jack Kelleher of AMOA; manufacturers headlined by Bob Mills of Merit, John Margold of Rowe AMI, Don Pesceone of Incredible Technologies; distributor Rick Kirby of Betson; trade press execs Steve White of RePlay and Carol Ann Lally of PlayMeter; and Industry Luminaries Mike Rudowicz of AAMA, Harold Skripsky of the Leisure and Entertainment Trade Shows, and Frank Seninsky of Alpha-Omega.
Collectively, the “Dunk Tank” program raised nearly $1,800 for Coin-Op Cares.
The 2008 AMOA International Expo will again be held in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center in North Halls 3&4, Wednesday, September 10 through Friday, September 12, 2008.