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IAAPA Report -- PART II
Manufacturers and Suppliers

12/4/2008

By Alan Nogiec

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IAAPA Expo 2008 (Part II)

While rides are a big part of the IAAPA show, it is all the support equipment and new technologies that many come to see. The big new ride may be out of the reach of some but buying new stock, safety devices, lighting and wiring are all necessities trade show visitors need every year.

In relation to suppliers of support equipment, Cathi McBride Marketing/Trade Show Manager with Checkers Industrial Safety Products displayed a variety of configurations related to their Guard Dog Cable Protectors. When asked about the show, Ms. McBride stated that Checkers Industrials participated in about 22 trade shows this year. It seems as though the traffic associated with the shows in the last few months is less than the shows earlier in the year. It may be that when the economic crisis was primarily associated the USA, the foreign market was very active in these types of events. Now that the economic crisis is global in nature, this seems to be having an impact overall.

It was interesting to note that with a large number of inflatable units on the market, there was only one company that offered maintenance services to repair these units. Roxane Meroles was representing Tear Repair Inc. This company has a peel and stick see-thru patch with extreme bond. Although this product has a number of applications, the repair of vinyl inflatables is one of the primary usages.

A number of new exhibitors such as Tom Weigl with Virginia Toy & Novelty, Virginia Beach Virginia, were pleased with their experience.
"This show was steady but not stellar", he said. When asked if they will participate in next years trade show, the answer was yes.

As with any trade show that is targeted to the amusement industry. The Novelty and Stuffed Animal venders were out in force. Art Rogers of Berk Paper & Supply was promoting their line of custom designed cups, while the Plush distributors such as Toy Network and Classic Toys were busy making contacts and researching different carnival routes. Jay Rubinstein explained that last March the Toy Network merged with Manley Toys, so now they are in a position to offer a wider variety of products.

In the accountability area, National Tickets Co. has partnered with Synergy ID to create solutions for all aspects of event or park management and control. KLOPP International Inc. manufacturer of coin handling equipment, seems to be a victim of their own success, according to Dan Nelson. The all-metal machines, are so durable, they last 20 to 30 years.

In the food concession area, National Pizza Products was busy handing out samples of Connie's Pizza, while the staff of Lil Orbits, manufacturers of innovative food equipment, handed out samples of their mini donuts. Dippin, Dots ice-cream products, which has been on the market for many years, now has competition from Mini Melts.

Food trailers were also on display. John Hammon of Show Me Fabrications has what he refers to as the concession trailer where you get the "Most Quality for the Money"

On the other side of the hall, Bob Dills of Uni-glide Trailer Co, displayed a unit with digitally designed graphics and the latest state of the art equipment. Dills understands the concession business from the inside out, as he was a concession operator for many years and brings this experience to bear in the design of the trailers.

"Build a Box by Veto" is the brainchild of James Veto Blake, who works as an electrician in the carnival business with Reithoffer Shows. Understanding the electrical issues that can come up with moving a show, sharing power with an event, and making things work either with conventional power or from a generator, he developed a system that is very durable, flexible, and easy to make work. He is hoping to market his products to shows and fairs.

If you have an appreciation for the creativity that is associated with the amusement industry, and are interested in gaining knowledge that will help put you and your theme park, carnival, museum or any other aspect of this industry on the cutting edge, then you should plan to attend the 2009 IAAPA EXPO November 16 to 20, 2009 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas Nevada. It will be an experience you will not forget.

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