AAMA members and FEC owners/operators gather for a photo at the first-ever FEC Connect, which was held Jan. 16 at Bonkers FEC in the northern Boston suburb of Peabody. These smaller, regional events are designed to make it easier for FEC leadership to learn more about AAMA and the programs and services it offers without having to travel far from home.

Las Colinas TX. AAMA has further connected with FECs to encourage more FEC owners to join the association.  FEC Connect was held at ‘Pinstack’, winner of AAMA’s 2017 FEC of the Year Award, on February 26 with 27 attendees.  The Dallas-area event comes on the heels of last month’s successful “FEC Connect – Boston,” which was held Jan. 16 at Bonkers FEC in Peabody, Mass.

AAMA Exec VP Pete Gustafson said, “Both events were attended by a mix of current AAMA member companies and owners of FECs from the greater metro areas.  We had 36 attendees in Boston and 27 in Dallas. The success of these two events shows we’ve really landed on something that works.”

“Since coming on board at AAMA, I considered my most important job was to create clearings for members to show up and be great,” he continued. “With the extraordinary efforts and talents of my team here at AAMA HQ, Tina Schwartz and Alex Ritschdorff, as well as contributions from our volunteer leadership, we’ve been able to make these clearings a reality. FEC Connect is an extension of this idea allowing us to engage both AAMA members and these FEC owners where they live. The success of these two events dramatically demonstrates we’re filling a long-neglected need.”

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“AAMA leadership will confer during the upcoming Amusement Expo International to plan future FEC Connect events. Concluded Gustafson, “I think it’s very safe to say Team PTA (Pete, Tina, and Alex) will be planning more of these events in the not too distant future. We’re just getting started.”

Read Gustafson’s thoughts about the new FEC Connect program in RePlay Magazine’s interview in the March 2019 issue. Of course, Team PTA will be at Amusement Expo International the week of March 25.

What this could mean? Simply stated, it means that FEC’s have opportunities for a voice in our great industry and AAMA is certainly one that is making a great effort to give them a home. Truth is, FEC’s are fragmented and need a legislative voice at the state level and the national level (and local level). Small businesses will always have to stand up for its rights against government laws and regulations, if for no other reason than to educate the legislators who in general know little or nothing about our industry.  Game operators, game manufacturers, and all of the suppliers of attractions and services all have many concerns in common. Smart FEC owners need to know the strengths of each of our industry’s associations (IAAPA, AAMA, AMOA) and for sure join more than one to cover all of the bases.  After all, IALEI is no more!!!!!!