This week Big Al is at the BCA "Summit" industry trade show in Chicago and will be periodically updating his blog. Stay tuned for real insider info on new products, equipment, and juicy rumors!
July 18th: Trade show blog
Well it is Tuesday and I'm In Chicago at the annual Billiards and game room products show. Interesting displays of new pool tables, shuffleboard and table tennis. Also some really cool new cue stick designs. You should see some of these pros playing! I'm going to get some words from Eva and hopefully a picture to post on our Facebook page...
July 19th: Trade show blog
The highlight so far has been the BCA cocktail party, over 600 folks from the billiards industry spent hours sharing notes and ideas. Home recreation and game room products are still in demand and evolving like any other product area. Spent time visiting with 8 time world champion Nic Varner, his game is still amazing. Watched Eva shot 9 ball off the nose of the Pres. of Brunswick billiards, Austin was a great sport.
July 20th: Trade Show Blog
Headed home today with a boat load of new product ideas and designs for the stores. Great news is that dealer attendance was way up this year over the last couple of years at the show. Most dealers in attendance see positive progress in their stores with more people showing interest in home entertainment. Perhaps we have turned the corner as an industry? Anyway, keep checking the blog for new product introductions over the next couple of months, we are very exited about the things you will see in our Maryland showrooms in the 3rd and 4th Quarter of 2012!
Summit 2012 Draws Solid Attendance in Chicagoland
Exhibits, Education and Social Events Highlight Event
Broomfield, Colo. - July 23, 2012 - The 2012 edition of the Billiard Congress of America's (BCA) Summit 2012, formerly the International Billiard & Home Recreation Expo, was held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center and Hotel in Schaumburg, Ill., July 18 - 20, 2012.
Total buyer attendance for the three-day event was 965, a 36% increase over the 2011 show and the largest attendance since the event in 2008.
"Despite continued economic challenges, we are very pleased Summit 2012 generated a substantial increase in attendance," said Summit 2012 Chairman Skip Nemecek. "There was a real energy on the show floor, in the seminars and during the social events that was shared by both attendees and exhibitors resulting in an all-around compelling event."
With 293 booths and 98 exhibiting companies, the show floor was comprised of 35,000 net square feet of exhibit space, with an additional 10,000 net square feet of educational and training space. Of the 98 exhibiting companies, 21 were first-time exhibitors or returning to the event after an absence, including: Altivo Pedras, Ltda., American Classic, Inc., Ball Teck Korea, Boraam Industries, LLC, Carrom Company, Cosmos Industry Co., Ltd., Cyclop Phenolic Billiards, DFI Casual Dining & Barstools, ES Billiard Tip Mfg., H. Home, Harmon Designs, LLC, Incredible Technologies, Inc., Jiujiang Jiuxing Sports Co., Ltd., Montage Furniture Services, Nanjing Kanghom Sporting Goods Co., Ltd., Petro Enterprises, Primo Craft, Inc., Robertson Billiard Supplies, Inc., Tobias Designs, Triumph Sports USA, and Venture.
"The show this year was beyond our expectations," said exhibitor John Bertone of Kamui Tips. "We picked up many new customers and we were happy to see all of our old friends and peers. We look forward to coming back to Chicago next year, not only for the pizza, but also the social interaction this venue provides."
In addition to Summit 2012's show floor activity, the Business of Billiards Seminar Series offered six seminars designed to provide tangible, immediately implementable business improvement solutions.
"The education alone was worth my BCA dues," said retailer Michael Zimmerman of Zim's Rack. "Everything else that was included as part of Summit 2012 and the BCA member benefits are added benefits for our business."
The industry social, sponsored by the Billiard Congress of America, on Wednesday, July 18, attracted hundreds of show participants who enjoyed free cocktails and soda, while mixing and mingling with old friends, networking with industry leaders and watching a trick shot exhibition by BCA Hall of Famer Ewa Laurance.
"We can't wait to come back next year," said retailer Anthony Been of Bill's Recreation. "The variety of exhibitors was above our expectations and the opportunity to meet people during the industry social and on the exhibit floor was great. We also gathered more information from the seminars than ever before."
Sponsors of Summit 2012 included: Ace Product Management Group, Inc., Atlas Billiard Supplies, Cue & Case Inc., Championship, LLC, Imperial International, Iwan Simonis, Kamui Tips, Tweeten Fibre Co., Siriani & Associates and Viking Cues.
During the event, the Billiard Congress of America also announced Summit 2013 will return to the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center and Hotel from Wednesday, July 10 through Friday, July 12, 2013. More information on Summit 2013 will be available as it develops at www.bcasummit.com.
"Coming back to Chicago is a wonderful choice," said exhibitor David Start of California House. "The location is great, the venue is outstanding to work with and we look forward to returning to Chicago. As a matter of fact, we have already increased our booth size for next year."
About Billiard Congress of America
Founded in 1948, the Billiard Congress of America is a non-profit trade organization dedicated to growing a united, prosperous and highly regarded billiard industry through BCA leadership. The BCA seeks to enhance the success of its members and promote the game of billiards though educational, marketing and promotional efforts, an annual industry trade show and other programs designed to encourage billiards as a lifestyle and make pool everybody's game. For more information, visit bca-pool.com or call 303-243-5070.