Attendees rate 2012 Summit as ‘excellent value’

Survey says: Attendees rate 2012 Summit as ‘excellent value’

Attendance up 34% — product dev panel receives most positive feedback

LAS VEGAS (April 9, 2012) – Retailers who attended the 2012 Industry Summit evaluated the annual trade event as “excellent’’ in each of five key evaluation areas, organizers announced today.

The Summit, held March 18-21 at The Orleans Hotel & Casino, brought more than 360 leaders from the sports, entertainment and trading card game industries together for four days of seminars, discussions and target-market meetings. The 2012 attendance marked a 34% year-over-year increase, and is the largest gathering of independent retailers at any industry trade event.

“We are thrilled and humbled by the incredibly positive feedback from our attendees,’’ Summit host Kevin Isaacson said. “We are already working on enhancements for next year’s conference.’’

More than 85% of respondents to the Summit’s annual post-event survey rated the event’s service as “excellent,’’ with similarly positive responses in the “value per price’’ and “quality of business sessions’’ evaluation areas.

In addition, the Summit attendees provided feedback on the following 2012 events:

PANEL DISCUSSIONS: The product development panel, featuring Dr. Brian Price (SportKings), Clay Luraschi (Topps), Grant Sandground (Upper Deck), Karvin Cheung (Panini America) and moderator Doug Cataldo (Cardboard Connection), received the most positive responses from Summit retailers. A close second was the opening “State of the Industry’’ panel, featuring Mark Warsop (Panini), Yumi Hoashi (Konami), Mark Sapir (Topps), Jason Masherah (Upper Deck) and Scott Gaeta (Cryptozoic). Each panel discussion received an “excellent’’ overall rating from attendees – again signaling the positive response from participants.
INTERACTIVE EVENTS: The Magazine Exchange/Topps bowling bonanza took top honors, narrowly edging the Ultimate Case Break hosted by GTS & Panini America. Retailers also gave high marks to the opening reception, which featured autograph guests Trent Richardson (hosted by Panini America and Peach State Sports) and Carmen Electra (hosted by Leaf Trading Cards).
SUMMIT ADDRESSES: The Magazine Exchange/Konami luncheon, featuring presentations from MagEx’s Roger Barry and Konami’s Yumi Hoashi, Bob Caruana and Jason Chai, took top honors, narrowly outscoring the luncheon hosted by the NHL (Dave McCarthy & Jen Kallas), the NHLPA (Adam Larry) and their licensees Panini America and Upper Deck.
Retailers were also asked to share their improvement ideas for the 2013 Summit, which is scheduled Saturday, March 16 through Tuesday, March 19, once again at The Orleans. Responses included:

“Keep the manufacturers & distributors involved – they are obviously the key to the event. Licensed goods and tailgate supplies are becoming a major part of our business but manufacturers from this area were not involved.’’
“How can you add something to an event that is first class all the way?’’
“Maybe some entertainment releases from Topps and Upper Deck / Cryptozoic being previewed for the upcoming year in the schedule? Entertainment /non-sports stuff in the case break?”
“If there was more time to walk from booth to booth with the sponsors and manufacturers that would be great. That is the only thing I would add to make improvements. You all have done a great job making this event a must attend each year.”
“Very kind to us shop owners – the free items will help pay for my flight over. I took a lot of ideas back over with me – having been in the business for 22 years (Your show made me work that out….lol). It’s always good to see new ideas and make them work.’’
“I feel every shop across the country should come to the Summit. ALL the different people/shops U can meet with, do business with is unparalleled in our industry. Meeting the manufacturers face to face, hearing about new products all helps make each shop better. Including Benchwarmer cards was a tremendous success I thought as every retailer stood in line to get their Summit box and it shows that this industry is just more than “sports cards”.
“At points the panels stopped being about honest discussions, and were just times for companies to plug their product, and provide generic answers. Every single manufacturer said that redemptions are awful, but no one really talked about why their companies are still doing them.”
“Ship dates is a major problem, and I do not believe that the concerns of the hobby shops were addressed. Again, I think the card companies approach concerns with a “closed” mind.”
“Nice not to be on the strip – was at GAMA the week before – was happy to get off the strip.’’
“What a great facility! I did not leave the building for 72 hours! The only time I saw the outside was from the Stardust Suite balcony. Cost and convenience with all the bells & whistles say book this place again.”
“Continue to expand on the educational aspect of the events. A crash course in marketing, management, sales, cash flow management or human resources could help many of us. Maybe a number of topics like this and pick three for the business sessions as we all have our strengths and weaknesses.’’
“You cannot put a price tag on this. I leave my family each year for my birthday to attend this. It is a can’t miss!”