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Paintball Extravaganza

Paintball Extravaganza 2009
February 2009 - by Bill Mills - Photos by Dawn Mills

For the fifth year in a row, paintball field and store owners came together with manufacturers and promoters for the Paintball Extravaganza. Several years ago, Rick Chard of Paintball Events realized that although there were products exhibited at paintball tournaments, the paintball industry was lacking a true trade show, where pro-shop and field owners could meet face to face with their suppliers and learn about new products and business practices.

From this simple recognition, the Paintball Extravaganza was born. Through the following years, it quickly grew, and has filled in the void left by the International Amateur Open's Paintball Industry conferences of the late 90s and early new millennium. This year, the exhibiting manufacturers offered a combined $1,400 dollars in product credit to event attendees making orders at the show, meaning that a trip to Atlanta could easily pay for itself for many dealers.

This year's Extravaganza began on Thursday at noon, at the Crown Plaza hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. Filling more than 8 conference rooms on two floors, and even spilling out into the hallways, the trade show was a major draw with several new and ground-breaking products making their debut – take a walk-through of the booths in our photo gallery.

Paintball ExtravaganzaIn addition to the products on display, classes and discussion groups offered a chance for education. Factory tech certification classes were available from Planet Eclipse, DYE Precision, Smart Parts, Tippmann Sports, Tiberius Arms, KEE Action Sports, Alien, JT Sports, MacDev, Virtue and Spyder. A retail owner's round-table gave front-line business owners a chance to give feedback and have candid discussions about the direction of the industry with Dave “Youngblood” DeHaan of DYE Precision, Adam Gardner of Smart Parts, Howard Kosick of Tippmann Sports, Mike Lucas of KEE Action Sports, Chuck Geiling of JT Sports and Ian “Jacko” Parsons of Planet Eclipse.

Additional workshops on field and store marketing were taught by Dennis Bukowski and Giovanni D'Egidio of SC Village and Hollywood Sports Park, Mike Peveril of the Pev's Paintball chain, and similar successful leaders in the field.

Along with the classroom learning the event also offered ample opportunity for networking, as business owners were able to openly share ideas for improving their operations, often with people in similar situations who were in no way competitors, due to their geographic locations. Thursday event sponsor PBNation hosted a dinner buffet at a nearby Irish Pub creating further opportunity for networking.

With three full days of activity, the Paintball Extravaganza came to a close on Saturday afternoon, leaving Sunday as a travel day before beginning the new work week.

Watch a 25 minute video with product and news interviews from the show on PigTV.


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