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Fun Expo 2002 Produces Phenomenal Results
September 27, 2002

The mood was upbeat.  Seminars, which started on Monday, September 16, were well attended.  The “buzz” from both exhibitors and attendees on the show floor in the new South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center was optimistic.  This was the general feeling at FUN EXPO 2002 from beginning to end.

At a joint Fun Expo/AMOA Press Conference held on the closing day of FUN EXPO 2002 in Las Vegas, incoming IALEI President Jack Cohen began his report by saying “This year’s FUN EXPO has been phenomenal!  We recovered from last year when 9-11 had such an impact.  There was a lot that was new this year and a lot of excitement on the floor, as well as traffic.  Exhibitors are happy, and attendees are saying WOW!  IALEI believes we have turned a corner this year.”

FUN EXPO, which took place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, September 19-21, 2002, featured 175 exhibitors occupying nearly 350 booths, which is comparable to last year’s statistics.  FUN EXPO was attended by nearly 3,000 owners, operators and developers involved in the leisure, sports, recreation and entertainment industry.  “While attendance figures were off slightly compared to last year, we believe that a post show analysis of companies attending FUN EXPO will confirm that companies are simply sending fewer people to the shows, but facilities and developers representing the major buying power are attending FUN EXPO” according to Harold Skripsky, Chairman, Leisure & Entertainment Trade Shows (LETS).

Other show highlights included:

Action sports arenas were new this year featuring Paintball and Skateboarding, and generated a great deal of interest both on the show floor and in seminars specific to these markets.  IALEI President Jack Cohen added, “We have a foundation with paintball that has tremendous promise.  This segment of the show will be dramatically bigger and better next year.

Inflatables were back in the show this year, with a very strong presence. This is an area where we expect even more growth next year.
FUN EXPO Academy featured 44 sessions over three days, and for the first time offered certificates recognizing the achievements of those who advance their industry knowledge through THE ACADEMY.  Attendance at these sessions was strong, with audiences ranging from 20-80 people depending on the topic.

A 1-1/2 day workshop, Rookies & Newcomers, moderated by Randy White, White Hutchinson Leisure & Learning Group, which began the afternoon of Monday, September 16, attracted nearly 70 participants representing new buyers.  Now in its second year, this year’s expanded Rookies & Newcomers program was designed to teach “newcomers”, or those who are considering development of a new facility, about all aspects of the business before they make mistakes that can cost them many dollars.   

Through an affiliation with Frank Price’s Birthday University, a full day workshop was held on Tuesday, September 17, which had 45 participants.  FUN EXPO featured  a condensed version of his 2-1/2 day program he presents at various locations throughout the country.
Four General Sessions were open to all FUN EXPO and AMOA attendees.  For the first time, a session entitled the “New Product Showcase” was held the day before the exhibits opened, to give buyers and the media an opportunity to preview new products that would be introduced at the show.  Moderated by Susan Snyder-Davis, Kids Marketing, this session was attended by 50 people.
IALEI sponsored an Opening General Session and Keynote Address by Barry Eigen, in conjunction with their annual membership meeting.  Barry Eigen was a big hit with his humor and common sense ideas for success in business as he presented to an audience of 150 people.  In addition, IALEI presented nine Golden Token Awards, given annually to facilities for excellence in design, advertising, promotion, display, and community service.

FUN EXPO’s co-location with the AMOA International Expo continues to provide mutually beneficial opportunities for show attendees, exhibitors and the organizations involved.

IALEI President Jack Cohen concluded the press conference by stating, “We are delighted with this year’s show and think we’ve built a foundation for substantial growth in the future.  With other industry shows showing declines, we believe FUN EXPO’s numbers this year are reason for optimism.”  

FUN EXPO is sponsored by the Leisure & Entertainment Trade Shows (LETS), which represents show owners IALEI (International Association of the Leisure & Entertainment Industry), AMOA (Amusement & Music Operators Association) and AAMA (American Amusement Machine Association).

FUN EXPO returns to the Las Vegas Convention Center next year, Wednesday, September 17 through Friday, September 19, 2003.

FUN EXPO is managed by William T. Glasgow, Inc.  For information on exhibiting or attending call (708) 226-1300; fax:  (708) 226-1310, email: or visit the website at:

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