The International Bowl Expo is the premier tradeshow for all things bowling. After a 2-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Bowl Expo resumed in Louisville, Kentucky for a jam-packed and energetic few days. REX attended as a first-time exhibitor in booth 613 and had the opportunity to meet many of the industry’s movers and shakers.
It was an eventful week as we chatted with bowling proprietors from across the country and listened carefully to the ins and outs of their business. It was inspiring to see many bowling centers that were closed for much of the pandemic collaborating and looking for ways to bounce back stronger than before. There seemed to be a general consensus for many venues that a shift towards a more digital presence was necessary. Bowling Centers that previously did not offer reservations now understand the importance of generating cash flow, minimizing no-shows, and giving guests the flexibility to plan ahead of time.
Like most others, the bowling industry took a hit during the pandemic; but regulars are finally starting to flock back to the alleys. Although still not back to 100%, industry experts are targeting September as the month where casual bowlers (who skew older) will feel fully comfortable visiting their favorite bowling centers again.
Two areas of concern for bowling proprietors however are staffing and generating more private events. Almost all the proprietors we spoke with this at Bowl Expo expressed that their staff feels overwhelmed and that private events and birthday parties are much slower than pre-pandemic. If this sounds familiar, see how REX can help provide ease of mind.