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Pinball Expo 2014 - My thoughts


sleazius
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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...

 

I totally understand this now thanks for the response

 

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.

 

That was me I should have offered them up earlier. I'm not far away so if it happens again I'm happy to put up some vids

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Thanks for the great insight into the event Leigh, and as someone's signature says (cant remember who's) here on aa, 'hindsight is always in high definition' :)

 

I agree about dropping the EM's, With so many new games available I gotta say, I hardly walked past the first few rows of pins. I ventured down to the EM's a couple of times but didn't stay there long, and I appreciate a good EM like the best of them. For the upkeep and constant attention they require means they are just not a very efficient option in that sort of environment.

 

Also, cutting the total machines would be a big help. Quality over quantity will not only make setup and packup easier, but all the associated maintenance would drop also. I really don't believe this would make a difference on how many people go either.

 

As far as the comp goes. Being my first and who knows, maybe my last comp, I really felt there needed to be more 'prizes' over the course of the whole event. I am not saying monetary or trophies, but even say, a certificate for getting the a top 3 or highest score on a machine in qualification, something like that. I would have loved to come home with something to hang on my games room wall, and for people like me who are not going to come close to the top 4 at the end of it, these little incentive's may just give the more average players (which are the majority) something to shoot for and spend an extra $10 (not that I needed it ;) ).

 

Also regarding comp. Does a 'teams' event ever get done? Where teams of two compete for a prize's? Could be done just based on qualifying scores, or also go through to finals, all entrants into this comp are put in a hat, with teams of two randomly drawn out. I think something along these lines could be great fun, with teams going head to head in the finals, and a great chance to meet other like minded pinheads.

 

One thought that my mate had after we left was that perhaps there could of been a VIP area, much like the area for the comp, but for lock in passes only for the whole event. These machines could of had there own comps running (say as simple as posting the highest score on a machine over the course of the event), and once again, just certificates or something as prizes. With or without buy in options, but perhaps another form of revenue for the event?

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Thanks for the great insight into the event Leigh, and as someone's signature says (cant remember who's) here on aa, 'hindsight is always in high definition' :)

 

I agree about dropping the EM's, With so many new games available I gotta say, I hardly walked past the first few rows of pins. I ventured down to the EM's a couple of times but didn't stay there long, and I appreciate a good EM like the best of them. For the upkeep and constant attention they require means they are just not a very efficient option in that sort of environment.

 

 

Horses for courses I guess. But for me at least, seeing/playing stuff that you'll most likely never see wheeled out again is far more interesting than playing the cookies that are everywhere.

 

Kicking myself that I didn't pay attention to the Bally Round Up that was there. There was actually 2 of them side by side, and I figured it mustn't have been anything special because there were 2 of them. Turns out they only made 70 of them, and there were 2 together in the same room!.

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To Leigh and everyone else who played a part (large or small) in running the expo - thank you. It was an absolutely fantastic event and I was in pinball heaven. I think the most important part of this event was this it really did put pinball back on the map. I've noticed a few more pins for sale on eBay/Gumtree lately and I would be interested to know if dealers are also seeing a small increase in sales as a result of the expo drawing new people into the hobby.

 

I'm a small time hobbyist and I only just got my first machine. For me the expo was just what I had been waiting for - an event with loads of machines to try out and lots of other pinheads around to talk to, get advice from, and socialise with. Absolutely fantastic. I thought the event was run flawlessly. Sure a few machines were out of order but this is to be expected. My opinion isn't worth much as I'm only just starting out in the hobby but if I had any advice to give it would be to focus more on SS, DMD and selected EM machines. Having woodrails and early EMs to play is fantastic. I loved being able to play Humpty Dumpty, for example. However I don't think there was nearly as much interest in the old stuff. Not just from the general public, but pinheads too. The solid state half of the venue was always busy while the other half was mostly quiet.

 

Value for money was fantastic. I only attended for one day but $30 for 8 hours of pinball is great. I would happily pay more next time around.

 

The venue was perfect. I think it is more important to have a good venue than to design your event around a crappy venue. Nobody can enjoy the machines if the venue is crowded and hot :)

 

I can understand the strain of a few people supplying most of the machines for an event like this. I would happily supply my own machine (or machines, if I get more :)) to the next event. I would also check in on it regularly and make sure it was working 100% during the event. I think this is a good way to do things because then maintenance and repair issues don't overwhelm the staff. If we all have only a few machines to look after then they are much more manageable. I'm also happy to wear the cost of repairs or replacement parts (which I'm sure would be needed!). I would also be happy to donate my time to helping set up machines and other tasks. I'm sure most other collectors would be willing to help, too. While I work during the day I'd be happy to donate my evenings in the weeks leading up to the event to get everything ready. I'd also be willing to help out with minor tech issues on the day. Perhaps you can have a cohort of fully qualified techs to sort out board issues and similar problems, then a larger team of less experienced volunteer techs who can do the simple stuff like releasing stuck balls, replacing fuses, and adding credits to games. That way the experienced guys don't waste their time doing the simple stuff.

 

Anyway, that's just my 2c. I really do hope the expo happens again next year, or perhaps the year after that. Even if it is in a smaller format, I think this kind of event is a great thing for the hobby and is a great way to get new people interested.

 

Alex

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but if I had any advice to give it would be to focus more on SS, DMD and selected EM machines. Having woodrails and early EMs to play is fantastic. I loved being able to play Humpty Dumpty, for example. However I don't think there was nearly as much interest in the old stuff. Not just from the general public, but pinheads too. The solid state half of the venue was always busy while the other half was mostly quiet.

 

 

Alex

 

Cant argue with that.

I liked the chronological order within the eras. That was a nice touch :)

Perhaps just mixing them up so the punters are utilising the whole venue would work better next time. Pretty sure thats what is common from any US show video's I have seen. Place a Spirit Of 76 next to a MM.

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The best and only Expo I have been to.

 

Thanks for the great effort put into the event. I know myself that if I knew that I could help in some way, I would do it, and speaking to the very excited pinheads that were there, like myself, I think you would be amazed at the amount of people that would step forward to help, and keep this wonderful event alive. My name is Warwick from Blacktown in Sydney, the Krispy Kream donut guy. I assume that most of the AA names on here, were people that I spoke to at the expo?, but can't indentify. Anyway, no matter what it takes, we as a pinball community, we need to get together and help make it happen again with money, braun, tech support, whatever. We can't expect events like this with pinball tounaments without a little bit of help from all of us. Australia is just too small. Count me in for next year.:):):):):)

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Warwick, mate that was an awesome gesture and just one of the many things that stuck out for me in the pinball community. Everyone helping where they could and in your case, handing out Krispy Kremes put a smile on a lot of faces. Top Stuff!!
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Myself and wife naiomi both scored one of your krispy kreams. Thanks mate it was such a nice gesture.

"When" it goes ahead next year (the eternal optimist) count me in plus i can help out with numerous pins.

 

 

 

Thanks for the great effort put into the event. I know myself that if I knew that I could help in some way, I would do it, and speaking to the very excited pinheads that were there, like myself, I think you would be amazed at the amount of people that would step forward to help, and keep this wonderful event alive. My name is Warwick from Blacktown in Sydney, the Krispy Kream donut guy. I assume that most of the AA names on here, were people that I spoke to at the expo?, but can't indentify. Anyway, no matter what it takes, we as a pinball community, we need to get together and help make it happen again with money, braun, tech support, whatever. We can't expect events like this with pinball tounaments without a little bit of help from all of us. Australia is just too small. Count me in for next year.:):):):):)
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Thanks for the great effort put into the event. I know myself that if I knew that I could help in some way, I would do it, and speaking to the very excited pinheads that were there, like myself, I think you would be amazed at the amount of people that would step forward to help, and keep this wonderful event alive. My name is Warwick from Blacktown in Sydney, the Krispy Kream donut guy. I assume that most of the AA names on here, were people that I spoke to at the expo?, but can't indentify. Anyway, no matter what it takes, we as a pinball community, we need to get together and help make it happen again with money, braun, tech support, whatever. We can't expect events like this with pinball tounaments without a little bit of help from all of us. Australia is just too small. Count me in for next year.:):):):):)

 

 

Yep, the offer was great, but I reckon it would have killed me had I eaten one on an empty stomach :)

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Thanks for the great effort put into the event. I know myself that if I knew that I could help in some way, I would do it, and speaking to the very excited pinheads that were there, like myself, I think you would be amazed at the amount of people that would step forward to help, and keep this wonderful event alive. My name is Warwick from Blacktown in Sydney, the Krispy Kream donut guy. I assume that most of the AA names on here, were people that I spoke to at the expo?, but can't indentify. Anyway, no matter what it takes, we as a pinball community, we need to get together and help make it happen again with money, braun, tech support, whatever. We can't expect events like this with pinball tounaments without a little bit of help from all of us. Australia is just too small. Count me in for next year.:):):):):)

 

Those dognuts were perfect timing Warwick .... just as I was a bit sleepy, 2 of those gave me the sugar rush to go on thru pack up into the night after a long long week. :)

 

As far as putting hands up for next year, you lost my number didn't you Leigh :)

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Pinball Expo 2014 - My thoughts

 

Those dognuts were perfect timing Warwick .... just as I was a bit sleepy, 2 of those gave me the sugar rush to go on thru pack up into the night after a long long week. :)

 

As far as putting hands up for next year, you lost my number didn't you Leigh :)

 

"Dog nuts" will do that :) dam spell check lol

Edited by GORGAR 1
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Those dognuts were perfect timing Warwick .... just as I was a bit sleepy, 2 of those gave me the sugar rush to go on thru pack up into the night after a long long week. :)

 

As far as putting hands up for next year, you lost my number didn't you Leigh :)

 

Pretty sure I've been blocked forever. Let me know in January if you need a working bee at the dedshed 2 - I'll drag Dan up there and we can help get some more things off your list.

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Some really good feedback in this thread.

 

Originally there were going to be title cards on each machine with just the name of the machine, who it was designed by, manufacturer, year of production, and production run numbers. This fell by the way side when it became obvious that we didn't have the time to get it sorted. I'm glad I didn't too, cause we cut the time so fine on our setup that we wouldn't have had the time to put the titles on top of the machines anyway.

 

It would have been really helpful with Michael's machines because there were a bunch there that had production runs under 100 machines total. Even with Dan's and my solid states it would illustrate exactly how rare some of that stuff is.

 

- Defender had a production run of 369.

- Eclipse 193

- Algar 349

- Hercules due to its size there are only a handful left world wide, most operators smashed them to bits

- Asteroid Annie 211

- Even something like Q*bert's Quest - 884 units.

 

I like the idea of an area for 'all access' pass holders, and certificates in the comp for high scores makes sense, but it'd be hard to get those done during the event. Its unlikely that we'd ever run more than one comp though. Two of the vendors (Luke and AMD) were running their own comps, and these added to the event I thought. The issue with adding more complications is that it requires more people to run. Initially the event was going to have a dinner and seminars, but we cut these in March/April when it became clear that we wouldn't have the manpower to run them.

 

One of the big issues that I didn't address was the venue hours. The original hours for the event were 10am - 6pm, I think in any future event we'd probably look at moving hours to that. I'd also chop an hour off the lock-in. By 4am on the Friday there were maybe 30 people left in the venue. There were probably closer to 50 on the Saturday. It'd be a better idea to shut up at 3am I think at least on the Friday. Just give everyone a chance to sleep for more than 2hrs (which was about what we were getting).

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Pretty much the only reason I am playing pinball again is the people on AA....Will look forward to another expo and or comp next year.... fwiw when I was coming down the freeway I saw a banner for something else and thought wouldnt it be great to see one for Expo... sure enough there was one at the next bridge. Great work that was. I also was talking to people that had no idea it was on and only came cos they saw the banners..
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Some really good feedback in this thread.

 

Originally there were going to be title cards on each machine with just the name of the machine, who it was designed by, manufacturer, year of production, and production run numbers. This fell by the way side when it became obvious that we didn't have the time to get it sorted. I'm glad I didn't too, cause we cut the time so fine on our setup that we wouldn't have had the time to put the titles on top of the machines anyway.

 

It would have been really helpful with Michael's machines because there were a bunch there that had production runs under 100 machines total. Even with Dan's and my solid states it would illustrate exactly how rare some of that stuff is.

 

- Defender had a production run of 369.

- Eclipse 193

- Algar 349

- Hercules due to its size there are only a handful left world wide, most operators smashed them to bits

- Asteroid Annie 211

- Even something like Q*bert's Quest - 884 units.

 

I like the idea of an area for 'all access' pass holders, and certificates in the comp for high scores makes sense, but it'd be hard to get those done during the event. Its unlikely that we'd ever run more than one comp though. Two of the vendors (Luke and AMD) were running their own comps, and these added to the event I thought. The issue with adding more complications is that it requires more people to run. Initially the event was going to have a dinner and seminars, but we cut these in March/April when it became clear that we wouldn't have the manpower to run them.

 

One of the big issues that I didn't address was the venue hours. The original hours for the event were 10am - 6pm, I think in any future event we'd probably look at moving hours to that. I'd also chop an hour off the lock-in. By 4am on the Friday there were maybe 30 people left in the venue. There were probably closer to 50 on the Saturday. It'd be a better idea to shut up at 3am I think at least on the Friday. Just give everyone a chance to sleep for more than 2hrs (which was about what we were getting).

 

 

The rarities were amazing !

wish I had a chance to play

but I played up and missed the lockin

for that I was crucified

 

Yeah some sleep would be a great idea

for you guys

the lack of sleep and high stress levels

only made for hard times

 

why do it if you cant enjoy it ?

 

its all about fun right ?

 

and your health and friends have to suffer ?

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Should have bought this beauty along that i found the other day

http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/14/11/24/5dc87f52a1d2058d6a2867918c4a9dd1.jpg

http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/14/11/24/8ba36e61d84bf58dc0a9e8a4982f504b.jpg

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Should have bought this beauty along that i found the other day

http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/14/11/24/5dc87f52a1d2058d6a2867918c4a9dd1.jpg

http://tapatalk.imageshack.com/v2/14/11/24/8ba36e61d84bf58dc0a9e8a4982f504b.jpg

 

You should have, we could have set it up next to video pinball, i'm guessing the nintendo one would have been the better game :)

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Some really good feedback in this thread.

 

Originally there were going to be title cards on each machine with just the name of the machine, who it was designed by, manufacturer, year of production, and production run numbers. This fell by the way side when it became obvious that we didn't have the time to get it sorted. I'm glad I didn't too, cause we cut the time so fine on our setup that we wouldn't have had the time to put the titles on top of the machines anyway.

 

It would have been really helpful with Michael's machines because there were a bunch there that had production runs under 100 machines total. Even with Dan's and my solid states it would illustrate exactly how rare some of that stuff is.

 

- Defender had a production run of 369.

- Eclipse 193

- Algar 349

- Hercules due to its size there are only a handful left world wide, most operators smashed them to bits

- Asteroid Annie 211

- Even something like Q*bert's Quest - 884 units.

 

I like the idea of an area for 'all access' pass holders, and certificates in the comp for high scores makes sense, but it'd be hard to get those done during the event. Its unlikely that we'd ever run more than one comp though. Two of the vendors (Luke and AMD) were running their own comps, and these added to the event I thought. The issue with adding more complications is that it requires more people to run. Initially the event was going to have a dinner and seminars, but we cut these in March/April when it became clear that we wouldn't have the manpower to run them.

 

One of the big issues that I didn't address was the venue hours. The original hours for the event were 10am - 6pm, I think in any future event we'd probably look at moving hours to that. I'd also chop an hour off the lock-in. By 4am on the Friday there were maybe 30 people left in the venue. There were probably closer to 50 on the Saturday. It'd be a better idea to shut up at 3am I think at least on the Friday. Just give everyone a chance to sleep for more than 2hrs (which was about what we were getting).

 

The rare SS pins made my weekend, and of course the first game with flippers, Humpty Dumpty.

Things to make the next one better?

1.You guys need to work in shifts, ie some guys leave at midnight to come back at opening time, while the guys that suffer through to closing time can come in later the next day.

2.Definitely need more volunteers. I'd gladly take more time off work to help if there was a next time, hopefully other locals would too. ( in saying that if you had more machines from different people, they would also almost certainly be a volunteer( hoping Wildball would be more involved))

3. You need a contact that is available 24/7 for ticket sales etc.

4. Now remember when wonderland had $5 after 5?, I think you need something like that, ie $10'after 3 (or 4)!so punters not used to pinball can get a go for 2hrs for $10 but still have to finish at 5pm with everybody else. ( I think $30for the day is great price, but people are tight arses)

5.having a little bit of a4 paper? Saying the age of the machine plus any extraordinary details would of been tops.( like first machine with flippers etc..)

6. The comp was well run, but maybe have the top 16 from Friday (lock ins) and the top 16 from the Saturday form up the top 32 would of been good.

 

I'm not bagging you guys, I know it was a massive effort for virtually no return, and if you did get a return, it didn't no way pay for your efforts.

But if you want it to be successful, it needs to be anually, so people who miss out can look forward to it next year. ( or maybe I am just dreaming thinking pinball is back from the dead!)

Edited by skids
Bloody auto correct
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