ROCHESTER HILLS, MN — Three longtime innovators in the family entertainment center industry are planning to stage a comprehensive FEC conference in February 2015. Rick Iceberg of C.J. Barrymores (Clinton Township, MI) again has teamed up with Ben Jones, Live Oak Bank (Rochester Hills, MI), and George Smith, Family Entertainment Group (Barrington, IL), to organize F2FEC (Face to Face Entertainment Conference). Known familiarly as the “Three Amigos,” all are veteran operators, industry supporters and active volunteers with 95 years’ combined experience in family entertainment.

The Amigos last joined forces for an FEC workshop in Phoenix under the auspices of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions in 2013. “FEC Phoenix was groundbreaking, well received — and we feel that we only got it 70% right,” Iceberg said. “We can do better, do more, and we can create a better experience and value for everyone attending.” They therefore will return to Phoenix from Feb. 24 through 26 of next year with a pledge for the new F2FEC: “Bigger, badder, bolder, better and different.”

F2FEC is being planned as a North American conference for the benefit of entertainment center professionals. It’s open to all industry supporters, and the organizers are endeavoring to attract veteran owners and operators, as well as senior-level professionals, for an event that promises an “all-in” format on a level playing field. The presentations will be made in 17-minute “TED-style” increments inspired by the Sapling Foundation’s popular technology, entertainment and design conferences. These will work together with table talks and “group think” open forums to sustain a highly engaging atmosphere. Debates and keynotes will alternate with receptions, group meals, prizes and entertainment to enliven the conference format.

“By combining genres and sectors, and fostering camaraderie and idea-sharing among high-level professionals, F2FEC will be able to drive business growth and needed change,” Jones explained. “We share a sense of responsibility and purpose to the industry,” Smith added. “We feel strongly that F2FEC will be a premier event, challenging and leading the FEC industry. This is why we’re producing a conference event.” F2FEC is independent, and membership or affiliation with specific organizations or trade associations will not be required for registration. Details on the site, registration, alliance partnerships and affiliate sponsorships will be available soon. Information may be requested from Rick Iceberg at (810) 444-2222 or George Smith at (630) 240-8261.

See this article in the Vending Times.