Warm weather greeted attendees on Day 2 of the IISA trade show in Gibsonton, FL.
Carl Carbon of Trailex was one vendor who was on the fence about coming to the show in 2015. His company, which acquired Caravans Unlimited, had all of the trailers they built for the year on the road and didn't have a trailer to showcase at the trade show.
After getting his team together, they incorporated another aspect of their business and came up with a unique marketing plan to come to Gibtown. Trailex rents and sells large digital screens for major sports clients such as Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NFL and events of all sizes.
They decided to bring a rental trailer they own with a 16' x 9' sign that raises up out of the trailer. Displayed on the sign were images of the many trailers they have built. The images can be seen all around the trade show and garnered a lot of attention. Potential customers can be brought into the trailer to get more information about trailer design and pricing.
At the conclusion of the show, the sign is hydraulically lowered into the trailer and locked in place for transport.
The company has several trailers, the largest of which has a screen 27' x 15'. Incredibly, the 27' screen fits into 25' trailer. After being told the design would be impossible to build, the company came up with a solution of their own, involving a screen where the sides fold out once the screen is raised.
Inside the trailer is a control center where images can be streamed, taken from DVD, memory stick, laptop and many other media. The possibilities for the sign are almost endless.
Trailex has rented to some of the biggest in the business, including a World Cup live viewing for 60,000 at City Hall in Boston.
National Marketing Director Carl Carbon said he was excited to find quite a bit of interest not only in the company's concession trailers, but also in the signs for use at events. "We booked two rental jobs already from fair people", he enthused.
He added that while single day rentals for the mobile units can be expensive the company makes deals for multiple day events and frequent renters would likely be interested in purchasing a screen to be used throughout the year.
OABA Opens Hall of Fame at the IISA Museum
The big event of the day was the grand opening and ribbon cutting for the OABA Hall of Fame and Industry Pioneers section of the International Independent Showmen's Museum.
Tom Gaylin, owner of Rosedale Attractions, the man who first presented the idea to the OABA Board of Directors in the Spring of 2011, gave a recounting of the history of the partnership for the audience of about 50.
Gaylin believed preserving the organization's history was very important and with no one stepping forward to do so, he decided to take the case to the OABA.
When the OABA turned the responsibility over to the Hall of Fame & Historical Committee, Gaylin gained the support of then IISA President Beau Pugh. In February of 2012, a guided tour of the Museum led by Pugh and Chuck Waterman was given to OABA officials.
In March of that year, a more formal plan was submitted to the Museum Board of Directors. The next month, at the spring OABA meeting, an agreement between the two parties was directed to be written up and the document was presented to the Museum Board in October of 2012.
In November of 2012 a private meeting was held between Gaylin and Ivan Arnold at the IAAPA Trade Show in Orlando and the two representatives cemented a deal.
In February of 2013 a press conference was held to announce the agreement and an installment check of $5,000 was presented. The organizations began to raise money in earnest to realize the short term plan of having cabinets for displays, an interactive video presentation about Hall of Fame members and other build outs.
The fund raising was successful and to date, $60,000 has been raised for the project.
At the meeting, a plaque was presented to Museum curator Doc Rivera, along with a check for $5,000. With the addition of the new museum area, the OABA's Hall of Fame now has a permanent home.
Rivera, in a short talk following the presentation called the partnership a "strange alliance", in the sense that, at least on the surface, the OABA looks to the future and the museum looks to the past. The past however, Rivera reminded the crowd, is vitally important for moving forward. The past informs us and is part of who we are moving ahead. Rivera called upon showmen to take up the responsibility of preserving and documenting the past so it would not be lost to history. He asked listeners to think about what they could give to the museum that might have historical significance and even loans of artifacts would be greatly appreciated by both museum administration and the public.
The OABA then announced their Hall of Fame and Pioneer Award additions for 2015:
Pioneers for 2015 were:
Jerry Barber - Ride Manufacturer, Educator, Finance mogul and inventor all describe this unique man. Barber started a ride manufacturing business and later in his career began Sunbelt Capital and two other finance companies. Barber, a gifted inventor, has contracts with the federal government to create perpetual wind energy, according to Gaylin.
Dan Dudley - Dudley was presented his award in an introduction by Gaylin that was equal parts praise and roast. Gaylin told the story of Dudley, a State of Maryland Ride Inspector, red tagging a ride Gaylin had brought to Baltimore that Dudley had never seen before. He said the relationship took quite a few years to improve and Dudley eventually left his state job for a career in amusement ride safety working for fairs and carnival clients. He preached that the industry's #1 asset is its employees.
Hall of Fame Award Winners:
Jean Clair - The first female Chairman of the OABA, Gaylin called her one of the best leaders the OABA has ever had. She is a pioneer and proud show owner, following in the footsteps of her father.
John Hanschen - Co-owner and President of Thomas Carnival. Gaylin said Hanschen was the kind of guy that "flew under the radar" but has made great contributions to the industry.
The 50th Anniversary Celebration for the OABA will be held Friday at the Sheraton hotel at 6pm.