The 2018 Laser Tag Convention was a positive event for all who attended. The convention was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev., and operators, developing entrepreneurs, equipment suppliers, and industry experts came together to attend and present educational seminars and to offer and purchase equipment. With 12 seminars divided into two tracks, one for developers and another for operators, attendees were able to network and gain revenue generating ideas to take back with them to their locations.
Out of the 12 classes, there were nine new speakers, such as: Operator Jeremy Gaddy from Ultrazone Baltimore, who spoke on turning around downward slumps in sales; Kevin Williams from the Future of Immersive Leisure, who spoke about Virtual Reality trends; and Tony Tallarico with Quibica/AMF who spoke on bowling’s and other attractions’ impact on FECs. Additionally, Ben Jones, with Live Oak Bank, spoke about getting funding for family entertainment centers.
And Dave Wallace, president of Turfway Entertainment Management Group, spoke about increasing food sales; Bryan Severance, an industry consultant, spoke about feasibility studies; and Bernie Robinson and Alan Kumpf with Funstruction Results, spoke about fraud and cash controls and controlling labor costs. Also, George Speakman, vice president of Shaffer Distributing, presented on successful arcade layouts.
There were also three returning speakers to the event’s education line up: Jeff Swanlund with Rec Center in Las Vegas gave a very entertaining group audition example for the attendees to participate in; Beth Standlee, with Trainertainment, spoke on providing VIP guest service; and Lathan with ARC Arenas highlighted the future of immersive arenas in laser tag facilities.
The roundtable discussion was very interactive as operators, developers, and various industry experts shared ideas and strategies while looking ahead to the future of the laser tag industry and the impact of various trends and topics. One hilarious note was Erik Guthrie, curator for the Laser Tag Museum, showing a video of his appearance on the hit television show “Storage Wars” as the laser tag industry expert.
Later, there were drinks and discussions at the Laser Tag Reception, where attendees and speakers were able to chat one-on-one with each other and discuss more topics relevant to their businesses and markets.
The 2018 trade show had a fantastic turnout with more exhibitors than ever, including: Adventure Sports; ARC Laser Tag Arenas; Art Attack; Battle Company; Creative Works, Inc.; Delta Strike Laser Tag; FetchRev; ICombat; Laser-Blast; Laserforce; LaserTag.com by Zone; Laser Tag Museum; LaZer Runner Laser Tag Systems; Northeast Insurance Center and Steradian Laser Tag.
The Laser Tag Museum focused its display on classic laser tag equipment that utilized helmets, such as Photon, Vultrek, Laserforce and more. This was a nod to the International Laser Tag Day poster selection to use Vultrek’s equipment for their focus, as the company’s 30th anniversary was acknowledged this year.
Images courtesy of the Laser Tag Convention.