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IISA Trade Show -- Closing Day
By Ron Weber, Editor
Gibsonton, FL -- The final day of the IISF Trade Show began with some threatening weather. Skies were overcast and there were even some drops of rain in the early afternoon but as skies cleared, attendees rushed around conducting last minute business and finalizing deals.
Closing Saturday is the day appointed for the annual Memorial Service held in the Carousel Pavilion. Paul Jeonotte, the IISA's Cemetery President, works tirelessly to assembled the names of the deceased so they can be remembered during the ceremony.
Beginning with a welcome from IISA president Karen Arnold, prayers are given by Rev. "Mac" Clements. Rick Drake provided the music for the ceremony. Fr. Mike Juran preached the sermon for the event. Father Juran has had a long history serving the amusement industry. He traveled for many years with Joie Chitwood and his thrill show where he ministered at fairs and events on their route.
The list of the deceased for 2007 and early 2008 as listed in the program are:
Jack Bibbins Amy Brutsch
Richard Brewer Sherrie Brubaker
Vaughn Colegrove Perry Clauss
Richard "Mutt" Coleman Tom Cooper
Owen Cox Michael Cunningham
Cindy Curl Charles Dalton
J.D. Floyd Vincent Fozi
Jim Gazella Kenny Green
Bill Harris Alan Hill
David Johnson Emmett Kelly, Jr.
William Kourmpates Richard LaGrou
Lynda McCafferty Harold Mobley
Paul Miller Pedro Morales, Jr.
William Myers Chuck Osak
Donald Pratt Joan Rayson
Patrick Reithoffer, Jr. Edward Roller, Sr.
Robert Schubach Claude Skrivannie
Virginia Simons Stu Sislak
Jacqueline Swika Jack Swenson
Wendy Trombetti Ronald Totten
William Walkup Charles White
Pete Wilkerson Archie Williams
Mark "Renny" Zachini
Marathon Homes Corp.
Ron Berg of Marathon Homes Corp. was among the vendors who had a good show. The company enlarged their space by a significant amount and the company sold several units this year.
Wright Amusements bought 2 bunkhouses, Paradise Amusements purchased a toy hauler/bunkhouse, Aunt Martha's bought a living quarters and Gambill Amusements also bought a living quarters. "This show always treats us well," he said
About 50% of the company's business is outdoor and the other 50% is indoor, doing mainly movie and production sets. Berg was hoping the writer's strike would be coming to an end soon so it would not have an adverse effect on his business.
Showmen's Supply is coming off a very busy year that included the acquisition of Dial Lighting and a new partnership with KMG. Scott Siefker said his company had entered into an agreement with KMG to provide parts for their rides.
Siefker said his carnival business was "up slightly" this year. The purchase of Dial Lighting bolstered the company's product line, especially in the lighting arena. Showmen's is increasing its infrastructure to accomodate the increase in revenue from the purchase of Dial.
One interesting product Showmen's is currently selling is a biodiesel processing machine that converts waste fryer oil into biodiesel. The process takes 48 hours for a 100 gallon batch. The product will help take waste product out of landfills and put them to good use. Siefker said he sees an important possible application for fairs to conduct a recycling program, process the oil and possibly have their carnival company use the finished product. It is "an excellent opportunity for fairs and carnivals to work in partnership," he said.
LED lighting is a coming growth area in the business. The company recently converted a wheel for Danny Brown to LED lighting. The change over will dramatically reduce the power required for the ride. In addition, LED lights have about 25 times the life of standard bulbs.
There are several types of LED bulbs. One type can replace your current bulbs without a ride retrofit. The newer LED bulbs, RGB (red, green, blue) LEDs feature color mixing with an infinite range of colors and programming abilities for each bulb with its own address. The data stream tells each bulb what to do, giving the ride an incredible range of lighting possibilities.
Siefker said the company was also building a fuel analysis box that measures and records diesel fuel used and kilowatt hours for the generator. From the data collected you can determine the dollars per killowatt hour used and compare the efficiency of a newer generator to see if its purchase makes economic sense.
Sales for new generators have been going well. Frank Zaitshik bought two 500 KW generators for his Wade Shows. One was delivered in West Palm Beach at the South Florida Fair and the second will be delivered this March. John Ring of Wright's Amusements also purchased two generators, a 500 KW for mid-2007 and a 410 KW for early 2008.
With all the irons Showmen's has in the fire and relying on exciting new technologies to assist carnivals in fuel use and consumption, Siefker is optimistic about the 2008 season.
National TIcket Company
Gary Chabot, Account Manager for national Ticket Company said business at the show was "about what we expected." He said traffic did not seem to be as busy as in some past years but business turned out to be fine.
National Ticket was promoting their new Ultra RFID Wristband this year. The band can be loaded with money like a credit card and scanned at the point of use. Ideal Software in Mississippi manufactures the hardware for use with the wristband. Although no carnivals have yet moved to the system, National has several theme park and water park clients who are having success with the wristband's use.
Traingle Poster Company
The winner of the "Most Improved Booth", Triangle Poster Company, reported excellent sales and traffic for the show this year. "We did better than last year," said Al Rosenberg, president of the company, "sales and traffic are up." Rosenberg said traffic has steadily increased at the show from 5 years ago when he believed the show hit a low point.
One of the most popular items in his booth was a scrolling banner which can be used for indoor applications including trade shows. Many carnivals use the banners in the off-season at fair meetings.
Holographic posters were also doing well for Rosenberg as were his posters mounted on stakes. With the increase in traffic this year, Rosenberg believed he would reach his sales goal of tripling his posters on stakes business.
As the show came to a close, vendors were still reaching agreements with purchasers, trucking was being coordinated and rides were beginning to be torn down. Another IISF Trade Show has come to an end.
We'll have a wrap-up article with purchases and comments from manufacturers, suppliers and trade show officials on Monday.