clash royale hack gunpixel.com mobilelegendstool.us robloxtool.com clashroyaletool.info mrcoinsfifa.com besthomescapes.com
HomeAbout Billiards DigestContact UsArchiveAll About PoolEquipmentOur AdvertisersLinks
From the Publisher
By Mike Panozzo
Mike became editor of Billiards Digest in 1980 and liked it so much that he bought the company. He has served on the Billiard Congress of America board of directors and as president of the Billiard & Bowling Institute of America.


Archives
• November 2017
• October 2017
• September 2017
• August 2017
• July 2017
• June 2017
• May 2017
• April 2017
• March 2017
• February 2017
• January 2017
• December 2016
• November 2016
• October 2016
• September 2016
• August 2016
• July 2016
• June 2016
• May 2016
• Apr 2016
• Mar 2016
• Feb 2016
• Jan 2016
• Dec 2015
• Nov 2015
• Oct 2015
• Sept 2015
• August 2015
• July 2015
• June 2015
• May 2015
• April 2015
• March 2015
• February 2015
• January 2015
• October 2014
• August 2014
• May 2014
• March 2014
• February 2014
• September 2013
• June 2013
• May 2013
• April 2013
• March 2013
• February 2013
• January 2013
• December 2012
• November 2012
• October 2012
• September 2012
• August 2012
• July 2012
• June 2012
• May 2012
• April 2012
• March 2012
• February 2012
• January 2012
• December 2011
• November 2011
• October 2011
• September 2011
• August 2011
• June 2011
• May 2011
• April 2011
• March 2011
• February 2011
• January 2011
• December 2010
• November 2010
• October 2010
• September 2010
• August 2010
• July 2010
• June 2010
• May 2010
• April 2010
• March 2010
• February 2010
• January 2010
• December 2009
• November 2009
• October 2009
• September 2009
• August 2009
• July 2009
• June 2009
• May 2009
• April 2009
• March 2009
• February 2009
• January 2009
• October 2008
• September 2008
• August 2008
• July 2008
• June 2008
• May 2008
• April 2008
• March 2008
• February 2008
• January 2008
 
July: Balancing the Budget
July 2011
YOU HAVE to give the Billiard Congress of America credit. It remains one of the most optimistic groups around. Last year, bells and whistles could be heard as the trade group announced that the 2010 International Billiard & Home Recreation Expo in Las Vegas realized a 14 percent increase in exhibitors. Never mind that the one-year increase was 16 exhibitors from 116 to 132. And never mind that just four years earlier the number of exhibitors was 300.

Heading into the 2011 expo, slated for July 13-15 at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, the BCA office proudly announced that it expects to reach its "projected number of between 390 and 400" total booths. That would be 65-70 fewer booths than were filled in 2010.

"We're satisfied with those numbers," said BCA CEO Rob Johnson.

I feel for Rob. He's far and away the hardest working and most positive executive director the association has ever had, and I've seen them all dating back to the Bob Goodwin days when the BCA was run by the National Sporting Goods Association.

I also know that Rob's hands are tied, as are the hands of the entire BCA board of directors. The industry continues to shrink by consolidation and attrition. And I understand that the expo has become, as BCA chairman Ivan Lee calls it, "a revenue model." You project what you think sales will be and chart your budget accordingly.

But too much emphasis is put on the exhibitor. What's missing in this "budget" is the attendee. Last year booth sales were up, but buyers were down. Did that make it a successful show? By the budget, yes. By substance, I'd say no. The number of buyers is expected to be down in 2011 as well. And the simple fact is that if the attendance number continues to drop, those "projections" that the board puts together will likewise continue to plummet.

Budgets are one thing. Low expectations are another. The latter becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when the former is continually scaled back.

What were the projections for attendees? The BCA has long been a prisoner of booth sales, and the buyer has always been secondary. If that trend continues, booths at future expos will come with carpet, drape and a Barcalounger.

I'm not insinuating that the BCA doesn't put any effort into drumming up attendees. I am saying that I believe that effort to be less than it should. Johnson told me that the BCA is trying to increase the number of employees from each buying entity that come to the show. That's noble and necessary. That needle, however, moves because of education, not because of booth spaces. The BCA's expo model is old and outdated. Successful trade shows today are more conference than exhibit. More education than product. This is the direction that the BCA must move, and it must be willing to invest in that philosophical change.

But even then, increasing the attendee-per-company from 1.5 to 2 is a small fix that won't have significant impact on the floor. Are we missing anyone?

For starters, the BCA continues to leave the poolroom category on the table. Its attempt to reconnect with room owners through BankShot Entertainment has ground to a crawl. That's a shame, because while the 500 or so retail outlets that attend the expo probably represent 40 percent of that market, only a handful of the 2,000 legitimate poolrooms attend. That's a lot of potential. But that, too, will require investment to corral.

The bottom line is that the BCA, and the billiard industry, will continue to meet projections as long as it continues to aim low.

MORE VIDEO...