Halfway Through 2015: So Far, So Good
Fundamentally, trade associations (like AMOA) are mere reflections of the industries (like coin-op) they serve.
For example, it stands to reason that when collections are down on street routes and other types of locations around the country, it has a negative effect on things like equipment sales, trade show attendance and membership.
And when business is up, there is a corresponding uptick in association programs and events.
Closer to home, a reliable barometer on business conditions can be found by taking the pulse--and gauging the participation and vibe--at state association gatherings.
As we turn the corner and move into the second half of 2015, I see evidence of increased optimism and signs of improvement within AMOA and for the marketplace.
What evidence and which signs, you ask?
Here's a few facts to support my contention:
--While AMOA's membership remained flat this year, it suggests, after five years of contraction, there's confidence returning to coin-op;
--Attendance at both AMOA's State Council meeting and this year's Amusement Expo were solid, and the upbeat tone at both signals better days ahead;
--Sponsorships at the Council meeting and advertising in the AMOA Membership Directory are up this year. Such marketing/promotion/advertising budgets are often the first to be trimmed when business slows, so an uptick in these areas portends a positive turn.
--And, after attending a trio of state association meetings during the past month, there was a palpable sense of optimism about the future. Attendees at these gatherings seemed genuinely engaged and energized.
While there are segments of the industry that are not so rosy, I sense there is less looking back and not as much hanging on to the status quo. Rather, I'm encouraged to be seeing and hearing more of a focus on the future, accompanied by a greater openness to pursue new, different segments and opportunities.
Admittedly, I'm a glass-half-full kinda guy, but as we enter the second half of the year, I like the reflection I see between AMOA and coin-op.
So, at the mid-point of the year, I like the view. I hope the balance of 2015 is a good one for you, both in your professional and personal worlds.
-- Jack Kelleher