By Michael Cousins
It is coming
Bowl Expo is coming.
You know what that means, right? New product galore!
I have had many customers come in recently asking me about new balls, shoes, and bags, and I have told every one of them the exact same thing . . . they’re coming — in masses.
Every year at Bowl Expo — the single largest bowling trade show of the year — every company announces their newest, latest, and greatest products. And, every year — for the most part — there is a lull just before bowl expo. We are experiencing that lull right now, but it will not last much longer. I promise.
Bowl Expo is in June, and this year it is in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. During the event, and sometimes just before, brands will begin to announce their upcoming balls, bags, and shoes.
While there, we — the Pro Shop Operators — get to see these balls, learn about them, and — in most cases — throw them at the Product Showcase. Personally, I always enjoy this event. I think it is a great learning tool, and really helps give us adequate information to pass onto you all, our customers.
Last year, some of the balls I tested at the Product Showcase went on to be some of the year’s best sellers. And this is no coincidence.
Since we get to throw all of the balls at the showcase, it really helps us to learn the balls tendencies and performance quality, which, of course, helps us better educate our customers as to what each and every ball does.
Sometimes when I am selling a ball, I haven’t personally thrown them, and I have to give them my opinion based on what I have seen, rather than what I have thrown; essentially, I am giving them second hand information, rather than first hand. Which, no doubt, works effectively. Good PSOs have a good eye and know what to look for in performance and ball motion, and can generally use that to make an accurate and effective recommendation.
But with the Showcase, I am able to give them my recommendation based off of my experiences with the balls. And I really love that. And I think it benefits the Pro Shops greatly, but, honestly, benefits the customers even more.
And, guys/gals, let me tell you something: I am excited about this year’s releases. Now, don’t think I know everything that is coming out, because I don’t. But I have been so impressed recently with every brand, honestly. And I don’t think that is going to change any within the next month or two before Expo.
I know everyone has their favorite brands. I get it. That is fine. But I also know that every brand has great product to offer right now. Every single one. Which is a great thing. It is good for bowling, good for PSOs, and good for the bowlers. And I expect this to continue going into the summer/next fall season.
Once Expo gets here, I will — as I did last year — do a blog on some of the standout products of the event. Last year, there were many. This year, I expect there to be even more. So be on the lookout for my initial thoughts and reactions to this year’s crop of equipment.