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Pinball Expo 2014 - My thoughts


sleazius
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biannual and bi-yearly both mean the same - twice a year. The word you might be looking for is biennial which is every 2 years:cool:

 

Bi Something and yes you are right. To clarify every 2 years :redface Bienniel.....sounds like you made it up Paul:confused: to the dictionary Robin!!

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

What thinking the same thing, but I think you mean Biyearly.

 

Regards,

 

Johns-Arcade.

 

Rectified :unsure Bi Bi :D

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The event in the first year wasn't designed to make money, so the charity thing makes no difference. Given my business dealings away from pinball being associated with a charity is likely to cause problems for me.

 

This leads me to an associated issue.

 

If we decide we don't want to do it again we'll hand it off to the community in the form of an association. The big issue with that is if Dan, Michael, or I'm not involved, where do you find even 150 machines in Sydney?

 

In reality is if we aren't involved the event won't run. You need to find someone to front almost the full budget up front (in this case almost 70k) and yes you recoup about half of it before the event opens, but that still leaves someone $35k in the red.

 

Dan when he left wasn't too keen to do this again, and Michael only wants to put in 20-30 machines if it happens again. That leaves me as the only one who really wants to do it, which makes sense as I'm the only one who can afford to absorb losses.

 

Getting this event off the ground required way more sacrifice than just money and time. All of our relationships are under strain both personally and with each other. Not only that but the level of favours you have to call in....

 

Sorry for going off on a tangent :)

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The event in the first year wasn't designed to make money, so the charity thing makes no difference. Given my business dealings away from pinball being associated with a charity is likely to cause problems for me.

 

This leads me to an associated issue.

 

If we decide we don't want to do it again we'll hand it off to the community in the form of an association. The big issue with that is if Dan, Michael, or I'm not involved, where do you find even 150 machines in Sydney?

 

In reality is if we aren't involved the event won't run. You need to find someone to front almost the full budget up front (in this case almost 70k) and yes you recoup about half of it before the event opens, but that still leaves someone $35k in the red.

 

Dan when he left wasn't too keen to do this again, and Michael only wants to put in 20-30 machines if it happens again. That leaves me as the only one who really wants to do it, which makes sense as I'm the only one who can afford to absorb losses.

 

Getting this event off the ground required way more sacrifice than just money and time. All of our relationships are under strain both personally and with each other. Not only that but the level of favours you have to call in....

 

Sorry for going off on a tangent :)

 

Exactly right. Hand it off and it'll just fizzle away to nothing. You guys have the benefit of experience, and know what not to do next time around.

 

Michael can bring 20 or 30 of his rare beauties. You and Dan can supply the same between both of you. Then see if the community can rustle up 100 more quality titles. With what you have learned over the last weekend, combined with supplying 1/4 of the machines compared to last weekend, I reckon you could spin a profit that could be rolled over into the following years budget.

 

Excuse me for talking out of my arse. Couple of Friday arvo beers will do that :)

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maybe i am out of line here..

The event in the first year wasn't designed to make money, ok then

it was for the pinball community...

 

Business in Penrith had benefits from your expo...

It is a great venue ....

 

I am sure that if you run it again with some of the learnings of the first one

it could be a viable event as you need to make a profit to invest for the next year ..imop

 

it needs to be targeted at families and the public...

 

Quote # i asked a noob i hope you had a great time mate ( his daughter is already asking when is the next expo)

Edited by Pinoffski
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maybe i am out of line here..

The event in the first year wasn't designed to make money, ok then

it was for the pinball community...

 

Business in Penrith had benefits from your expo...

It is a great venue ....

 

I am sure that if you run it again with some of the learnings of the first one

it could be a viable event as you need to make a profit to invest for the next year ..imop

 

it needs to be targeted at families and the public...

 

Quote # i asked a noob i hope you had a great time mate ( his daughter is already asking when is the next expo)

 

When I say the event wasn't designed to make money, we've seen what those events look like.

 

They usually include an auction, or some other gimmick to make it profitable straight out of the blocks. I didn't want to be involved with an event like that, so it wasn't likely that we'd make money. Even the venue thought we were doing well if we broke even the first year. Like anything these events are for the long haul, word of mouth becomes your best referrer, and year on year the event gets bigger. Supanova is a great example of this. They barely advertise at all because they don't have to.

 

I don't want anyone to think I'm having a whinge, or anything like that. My expectations were blown away. Unfortunately for the other guys, expectations were not met, so I'm having to be realistic about what we can achieve moving forward.

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maybe i am out of line here..

The event in the first year wasn't designed to make money, ok then

it was for the pinball community...

 

Business in Penrith had benefits from your expo...

It is a great venue ....

 

I am sure that if you run it again with some of the learnings of the first one

it could be a viable event as you need to make a profit to invest for the next year ..imop

 

it needs to be targeted at families and the public...

 

Quote # i asked a noob i hope you had a great time mate ( his daughter is already asking when is the next expo)

 

You're on the mark there Dave. Though a profit wasn't the goal, breaking even would have been better than losing.

 

Just "beer thinking" more about the community supplied machine situation. The dangling carrot would have to be free all access pass for those that supply 3 machines for the weekend.

 

The Illawarra boys could chuck in to rent a pantech truck to get our games there and back, starting from the southern suburbs and heading north collecting games on the way. Man, it's so easy to get psyched about something that could possibly just be a pipe dream :)

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

 

I don't want anyone to think I'm having a whinge, or anything like that. My expectations were blown away. Unfortunately for the other guys, expectations were not met, so I'm having to be realistic about what we can achieve moving forward.

 

I'm sure the other guys are on the same page as far as knowing works and what doesn't. Just a matter of whether they believe that it can be better down the track with changes. I can understand them being jaded so soon after the event though. The pinball bug has a habit of biting hard, so I reckon they'll come around.

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I'm happy to know that youll be looking more into facebook advertising if this happens again. It's such a powerful tool because you can target your audience so explicitly. You can say that you want to advertise to only people who live in certain suburbs and who have listed "pinball" as an interest.

 

Google adds would be great too! If you had a video ad for youtube (which is part of google) you can target people in Australia who search google for pinball or Australians who watch the PAPA.tv youtube videos.

Edited by jagojp
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Thank you for taking the time to explain things Leigh. Congrats on the 3 of you for getting it all off the ground and making it work. It's greatly appreciated what you guys have done. We can never really grasp the strain it was on your personal and professional lives. If expo does indeed live on to once again make appearance then I'll try and give you guys a few days of my time before and after to help with it all.

Just one question, were the drinks being sold at the venue supplied by panthers or expo staff. I thought the price was very fair for the cans at $2 each though to me the water was a bit high at $4. If it was you guys you are more than welcome to message me for the next time and I'll see what prices I can supply some drinks to help out.

All in all a big thank you for your efforts whether or not expo lives to see the light of day again.

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Thank you for taking the time to explain things Leigh. Congrats on the 3 of you for getting it all off the ground and making it work. It's greatly appreciated what you guys have done. We can never really grasp the strain it was on your personal and professional lives. If expo does indeed live on to once again make appearance then I'll try and give you guys a few days of my time before and after to help with it all.

Just one question, were the drinks being sold at the venue supplied by panthers or expo staff. I thought the price was very fair for the cans at $2 each though to me the water was a bit high at $4. If it was you guys you are more than welcome to message me for the next time and I'll see what prices I can supply some drinks to help out.

All in all a big thank you for your efforts whether or not expo lives to see the light of day again.

 

Think he was with Panthers. Correct me if I'm wrong. He was the door gaurd as well.

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I went Sunday midday towards the end of the weekend with friends and family and while there were a mammoth of games available about a good quarter of them we could not play as they were either switched off, not working or no credits. So I guess more techs and helpers next time round will be a benefit - just some feedback. I would definitely go again next time
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My brother and i love going to any pinball event, the main reason being to catch up with old and new mates

from the hobby. Duane and i spent Thursday cleaning and testing all machines for about 5 hours and just loved

being a part of things, joking around with Dan and Dave (I think my back is still in pain after the wrestle Dave gave me),

and being around pinballs whether playing or not.

The artwork and nostalgia of the machines is priceless, especially when you live in a town 5 hours from the main cities.

I don't think some people realise how lucky they have it when an event like this gets put on.

I for one was over the moon just to be in the presence of so many wonderful machines.

Thanks boys.

Just my thoughts

 

Cheers

Adam & Duane

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Well said.

 

I don't think some realize how great it was to see not only so many machines in one room with so many rarities, but being able to just play all day as well ... especially if it ends up being a one off.

 

And there was that question like Pinfest gets ...."where are you off to next when you pack up" Yeah right, how mad would you have to be to be a travelling pinball expo.

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Thanks Leigh, Good write-up that pulls no punches delivered in a soft tone. I agree with others comments about don't be afraid to ask for help to lighten the load. E.G, If you need more fully working machines donated by collectors to pump up the numbers. If you need more help to set up/bump out I'd reckon more advanced notice and you'd get more help.

Top job you 3 have done managing to pull off this extravaganza and I for one appreciated it.

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i can't believe you're thinking of doing it again! :o

 

I've got rocks for brains.

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

I went Sunday midday towards the end of the weekend with friends and family and while there were a mammoth of games available about a good quarter of them we could not play as they were either switched off, not working or no credits. So I guess more techs and helpers next time round will be a benefit - just some feedback. I would definitely go again next time

 

Any pinball event this size will lose up to 25% of games. There is no way around this.

 

Please keep in mind that we hired every freelance tech in Sydney, there were no more to hire. Also on Sunday the majority of our volunteers were helping with the comp, so stuck balls and stuff like that weren't being attended to.

 

By Sunday lunch two of my DMDs had been reduced to being parts machines. WH20 and T2 are now missing boards and parts all over the place. The solid states, coming straight out of storage you've got almost no hope of keeping those going. Half of my Gottliebs were down by mid-morning Saturday, and Dan's machines, well its a miracle that what held up did hold up.

 

EMs - are always going to run out of credits, in any future event there will be nowhere near the EMs available, just the rare stuff.

 

Lastly, there were 228 of our machines at the event. 15 were display only (all the Atari machines for example), and should have had signs on them to indicate as such, but for whatever reason it never happened. We only advertised 180 machines for this reason, if 20% went down we still had approx 180 machines.

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

Well said.

 

I don't think some realize how great it was to see not only so many machines in one room with so many rarities, but being able to just play all day as well ... especially if it ends up being a one off.

 

And there was that question like Pinfest gets ...."where are you off to next when you pack up" Yeah right, how mad would you have to be to be a travelling pinball expo.

 

Exactly, this event *if* it happens again it will only ever run in Sydney @ Panthers or Homebush.

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

Just one question, were the drinks being sold at the venue supplied by panthers or expo staff. I thought the price was very fair for the cans at $2 each though to me the water was a bit high at $4.

 

Panthers - there was much drama surrounding that which I don't need to go into however the prices were the exact same as the bar prices in the club. We didn't run a stand because they wouldn't let us, it was let them sell drinks, or everyone walks to Harry's.

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Would you consider move Vids at another event?

 

Regards,

 

Johns-Arcade.

 

Definitely. The goal had been to roll out all our vids, 20 or so, but we just ran out of time. The only ones that were working was video pinball, Galaga, and Pacman. I've since found out that Galaga shit itself at some point but it was working when we took it there.

 

I was emailing someone about a couple of vids but I ended up not being able to square it away as it was just cutting it too fine in the end.

 

If the event runs in the future I'd love to have 20 or 30 vids there minimum. They should work all weekend long - that is the theory at least :) Especially as I would like to cut down the number of pins.

 

The idea is to cut back on the EMs (there were over 100 this time) and to bolster the DMD stuff, while cutting back overall numbers to 150-160 pins. That leaves a full row down the back (44-48 pins at optimal spacing) empty. It'd be great to fill that space with vids.

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Definitely. The goal had been to roll out all our vids, 20 or so, but we just ran out of time. The only ones that were working was video pinball, Galaga, and Pacman. I've since found out that Galaga shit itself at some point but it was working when we took it there.

 

I was emailing someone about a couple of vids but I ended up not being able to square it away as it was just cutting it too fine in the end.

 

If the event runs in the future I'd love to have 20 or 30 vids there minimum. They should work all weekend long - that is the theory at least :) Especially as I would like to cut down the number of pins.

 

The idea is to cut back on the EMs (there were over 100 this time) and to bolster the DMD stuff, while cutting back overall numbers to 150-160 pins. That leaves a full row down the back (44-48 pins at optimal spacing) empty. It'd be great to fill that space with vids.

 

Well I'm happy to supply some, plus take care of maintenance before and during the event. The only issue I can see is I'll be in Qld if and when the next one rolls around, which logistically makes it a bit difficult :(

 

Regards,

 

Johns-Arcade.

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