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By Ron Weber, Editor

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The annual IISA Trade Show and Extravaganza will be held in Gibsonton, FL February 10 -14, 2009. Many come to see what is new in rides and equipment, purchase supplies for the season and cut jackpots with old friends and make a deal or two for the season. One of the areas of the trade show that is becoming increasingly important is the educational seminars and workshops offered by the club and industry experts.

Club officials have been working to put together a interesting, topical set of talks so trade show visitors can learn about current issues, discuss important topics or even get certified for specific skills from industry experts.

The educational seminars are held every day in the Carousel Pavilion unless otherwise noted. Topics for the show include:

Tuesday, February 10

noon - 2pm
Bill Peeler of the Peeler Group will once again bring his expertise to important topics facing carnivals today. Topics for this talk will include background checks, new state regulations and how they affect you and how to work with regulators towards compliance.

Wednesday February 11

10:15 - 11 "Marketing Our Product Through Guest Relations", Sponsored by Bob's Space Racers.
Amber Swedgan, Director Communications for North American Midway Entertainment, along with Chris Lopez, Director Of Guest Relations for Ray Cammack Shows will speak on this topic.

11:00 - 1:00 Industrial Truck/Forklift Training
Sponsored by PLH Consulting, this class includes a handbook, certificate and permit card. A DVD and manual review will be followed by a provided lunch and on-site outdoor training. The training is limited to the first 50 participants and the cost is $35 or free for T.H.E.-insured clients.

2:00 - 3:00 Jerry Smithson of Amusement Risk Management will review some of the risks in the business and how to avoid them.

3:00 - 3:45 "Equipment Financing 101", Sponsored by the OABA, Larry Yaffee of Firestone Financial, associated with the industry for many years, will talk about the ins and outs of getting that equipment you want without putting your company in a bind.

4:00 - 4:30 "Safety Issues With Industry Merchandise" Hank Mackin of Good Stuff Corp. and Arl Ohnona of Peek-A-Boo Toys will talk about merchandise safety issues facing the industry in this Bob's Space Racer's sponsored seminar.

Friday, February 13th

2:00 - 3:00 "Midway Safety -- What Are We Missing?". Ed LaSalle of PLH Consulting will review general safety issues and potential risks on the midway and off. Sponsored by T.H.E.

3:00 - 4:00 "Choosing Correct Graphics For Your Equipment"
Charles De Vore and Kenny Smith of Rocken Graphics will be presenting an all-new topic at the show. Choosing colors, signs and designs for every aspect of your business can affect your bottom line. Learn how to choose best to build profits.

Saturday, February 14th

11 - 1:00 Bill Peeler will reprise his important talk on background checks and new state regulations from Tuesday morning. The laws are changing -- see how you can best comply.

In addition to the seminars the Carousel Entertainment Pavilion is also used for several special events during the trade show. On Friday, February 13th, the World Wide Past President's Fry will be held from 11:00 am - 1:30 pm.

Headlining the festivities will be the Annual Banquet and Ball on Thursday, February 12th. "Live. Laugh, Love" will be the theme for President Dee Dee Starkey's event. Cocktails will be served at 6pm and Dinner is to follow at 7pm. Tickets are available in the main office for $50.

More information on the trade show can be found on the IISA web site:

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