SCHAUMBURG, IL. – The longest running event of its kind in the world, Pinball Expo celebrates its 37 th anniversary this coming October 27th through October 30th . Advanced planning is already indicating this will be the largest gathering in Pinball Expo’s history when the doors open at the Schaumburg Illinois Convention Center. Located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, the new venue will provide more than 60,000 square feet of exhibition space for the pinball extravaganza, nearly tripling the amount of space required to host the event in recent years.
Although last year’s virtual Pinball Expo was deemed a success, this year’s event is now poised to surpass all previous live outings. Pent up demand and abundance of exhibit space have resulted in the single largest expansion of vendors and pre-registered attendees in the show’s history.  As show founder Rob Berk noted, the generous room allotment in the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel has been fully booked for months with other local area hotels stepping up to accommodate the overflow.
Although some credit for the fervor surrounding the upcoming show can be attributed to a desire by pinball enthusiasts to return to normal, some of the dramatic expansion is also by design with show organizers enlarging the scope of games included in the event. “From year to year we’ve always tried to expand and diversify the show,” Berk explained. “That has expanded our audience and given the attendees a better experience. This year we’re closing in on a hundred vendors and included new types of game categories.” As Berk is quick to point out, this year’s event will also feature exhibits and sessions on classic hand-held games put out by companies such as Sega
and Nintendo as well as classic arcade games dating back to the Golden Age of Video Games. Also announced was an expanded Flip Out Tournament to include a women’s competition.
Berk additionally noted the increased interest in so-called “home brew” games. This niche section of the industry includes pinball machines built from scratch by dedicated hobbyists. At present time Berk expects more than 20 different home brew games to be on display. These unique and often one-of-a-kind games reflect the creativity of
hobbyists from across the country who often spend years designing and building the machines.

 “Pinball Expo is still ground zero for everything pinball no matter what level of interest you have, and whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional,” Berk said. That is to say, in addition to the many new elements, this year’s show will offer all of the popular features that have attracted pin enthusiasts from around the world over the decades. These perennial favorites include a factory tour of the world’s major pinball manufacturer, Stern Pinball. There are also autograph and selfie-sessions with legends of the game, and a wide range of seminars by some of the world’s foremost experts of the game and historians. Among the line-up of guests of honor at this year’s event will be Doc Mack, video game legend and owner of the Galloping Ghost Arcade (Brookfield, Ill.).
Show organizers have noted the challenges associated with launching such an event as the nation emerges from the COVID crisis. “We’ll be prepared for whatever we have to do when it comes to safety, including social distancing of the machines,” Berk said. “We will follow whatever local or state guidelines are provide, practice all the safety
precautions, and insist attendees follow those guidelines.”
This is the can’t miss event of the year. Mark your calendars for Pinball Expo ‘21 and be a part of pinball history. Maybe you will even make your own pinball history. For more information visit the official website for Pinball Expo 2021 www.pinballexpo.com and for special event packages, please contact Rob Berk at (info@pinballexpo.com) or call 330-716-3139.