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IAFE Convention 2023: K9 Outlook Event Security; KMG & Lambrink Ride Purchases & More Highlights from Salt Lake City

Artists & Attractions Represented over 80 Artists & Acts at the 2023 IAFE Show

Rides 4U - New & Used Rides Giant Wheel Foreman Wanted
The IAFE Convention moved to Salt Lake City this year.  The convention center and hotels are centrally located and easily accessible, making for easy movement between venues.  The trade show was sold out, with over 200 vendors represented in Halls B and C. 

In the trade show, ticketing companies seemed to proliferate, with many companies, old and new represented.  Also present were entertainment acts, with the Artists and Attractions booth representing over 80 different entertainment options. As times have changed, many of the popular animal acts have disappeared, to be replaced by circus-type attractions and the like.

 

K9 Outlook

Dexter and Megan Osbourne of K9 Outlook are an example of the change in the animal entertainment. The couple had a popular bear show from 2007 until the Pandemic, traveling the country and delighting audiences.  The Pandemic, along with increasingly stringent regulation and permitting, forced the Osbournes to give up having a traveling show and they purchased land in Alabama where they built a 22 acre habitat for the bears.  They also built two cabins which guests can rent through Air BnB, an experience he laughingly calls “Bear BnB”.  Guests can stay overnight, watch the bears and get a true “Grizzly Experience” with bears that have appeared in motion pictures and entertainment venues.

Throughout his time with the bears, Osbourne also trained K9s for security.  With his kids in school, he began thinking about school security and he began gundetection training for school safety.

With strong roots in the business, he saw the potential for K9 security at large events, especially given the issues many facilities have been facing the past several years.  Seeing the need to enhance security at special events, Osbourne's K9 units can detect guns, bombs, narcotics and perform security patrols. 

He began doing concerts, festivals and government contracts and last year, he provided K9 units for his first fairs. “We had a 98% success rate,” said Osbourne.  During the Bonaroo Music Festival, the teams found 37 guns during entrance searches.  In Gulf Shores at the Hang Out Festival, they were able to confiscate 4 weapons prior to entry.

The K9 team can either work the entrance gates doing kinetic detection — dogs smell people coming in and can detect guns and explosives.  They can also assist with crowd control.  The dogs can help move crowds around, or clear the facility at the end of the night.   The dogs can perform actions like barking on command to assist with the operations.  They also help search back stage areas and vehicles, doing sweeps for explosives or guns. “Dogs are a wonderful visual deterrent as well.  People coming in can see the dogs are present and they refrain from entering with items they shouldn't have,” said Osbourne.  “It also makes other guests coming in feel safe,” he added.

“Our security programs can be tailored to an individual venue's needs.” From static detection for vehicles and bags, to walking the grounds and sweeping crowded areas, K9 Outlook can provide many services to fairs and large venues. 

Osbourne's company is nationally certified through USPCA and NADDA, so they are able to work in all 50 states and internationally.

“We can customize from 2 teams up to 12 teams, depending upon the size of the event”, said Osbourne.  “We work closely with local law enforcement or event security to provide an added layer of protection and a great visual deterrent,” he added.

 

New / Used Rides Europe:  KMG, Gosetto, & Lambrink


Peter Theunisz of KMG, Gosetto and Lamberink was also present at the show.  Theunisz is coming off a strong run at the IAAPA convention where he was able to make several deals  with carnivals and parks.,  Business is booming for KMG and Lamberink Wheels and Theunisz is here in Salt Lake City to close a few additional deals.

At IAAPA, Davey Helm bought a 108' Lamberink Wheel to add to his growing ride arsenal.  Corky Powers, of Powers Great American Midways purchased a KMG X-Drive ride for his route.  Additionally, Theunisz is finalizing a deal for a Gosetto Fun House to a NJ-based company which will be announced shortly. 



Theunisz is hoping to announce some more deals during the convention this week and is looking forward forward to the carnival trade show in Gibsonton, FL in February 2024.

 

Ohio State Fair

The Ohio State Fair had one of the largest contingents in recent years in Salt Lake City.  Retiring manager Virgil Strickler was on hand along with many members of his staff including long time Director of Events and Commercial Sales Kathie Amspaugh.  Amspaugh has successfully run the commercial sales division at the Ohio State Fair for decades and has kept one of the busiest fairgrounds in the country going strong.

Strickler said the Ohio State Fair is actively working on finding a replacement for him.  The nation-wide search is reported to have garnered interest from over 100 candidates. 

Strickler capped his 30+ year career at the fair with a modern record run of over 1,000,000 attendees.  Strickler said he never thought he would be around to see that milestone be passed but after speaking with his Finance Director on the final day of the fair, he realized the revenue and numbers were there to pass the mark, which is a fitting cap to a storied career at one of America's most iconic state fairs.

 

NY State Association of Agricultural Fairs


Mark St. Jacques, Executive Secretary of the NY State Association of Agricultural Fairs led a large contingent of NY fairs at the national convention. 

The NYSAAF is a strong association — 50 members strong and with approximately 75 associate members.  St. Jacques is busy at work planning his organization's state convention, to be held Jan. 12 - 14 in Syracuse NY.  This is the first time the convention will be held in Syracuse in 30 years and the team is excited for the return.  St. Jacques said there has been a lot of interest in the convention this year and the trade show is sold out. 

St. Jacques leads the organization after a 23 year career at the Washington County Fair.


2023 IAFE Convention Coverage

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