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Reno Chris

Minelab Partner Conference Report

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Well, I attended the Minelab Partner conference this last weekend and got to visit with a number of friends, both dealers and Minelab company folks as well. The ICMJ may not be a detector dealer, but we are a business partner in the sense that we run their ads and help them get the word out on their products. Of course I signed a paper that I could not talk about anything I saw, so that limits what I can say. However, I can say that Minelab has long been a very research and development focused company (no secret there) and everything I did see showed that they are continuing in that direction, with good stuff in the pipeline to come and good stuff in a number of categories. These items under developmentĀ  will all come out in their own good time when the products are ready. The dealers I spoke with were looking forward to the release of the items that were discussed - and that's about as much as I can say without violating the NDA I signed.

I could not make the last conference which was held in New Orleans because of conflicting commitments to the magazine, so it was good to make this one. Lots of folks were there who are involved in prospecting and metal detecting. As an example, Steve Herschbach and I had visited Reed's prospecting shop in Perth, Australia when we were there years ago, and the owners were attending in Las Vegas and I had a fun chance to catch up with them while I was there. There were quite a few folks from the land down under present at the conference and not just folks who work for Minelab, but dealers too. The event was very well attended and I think the fact that it was held at the end of the Vegas Shot show was a factor in bringing more people there.

There was a lot of good, open give and take communication. Minelab even gave out little wireless voting devices that were like a small calculator, and then they would ask to get opinions from the dealers and take input via these little voting devices - it was very cool and interesting to see the opinions of the dealers as a group in real time. It didn't take long to see that although there were a number of dealers who were prospecting focused, there were even more that were coin and treasure focused. There were also times to ask questions and make comments, with lots of good questions and comments from Gerry of Gerry's detectors in Boise and Nevada's own Doc Lousignont from Las Vegas. I also got to meet Ben Harvey, the new gentleman who will be leading Minelab North America (Gary Schafer's replacement). Ben seems like a good guy and I'm sure that folks will get to know him better over time - he's only been on the job a short time. So all in all, an excellent trip and the meetings I think were a big success.

Although the weather forecast looked brutal for my drive down there with a bad snow storm both the day that I was going down and on the day I was coming back, it was not nearly as bad as it could have been as a fair amount of the storms from Fallon south fell as rain, not snow. Going down the snow lightened up considerably east of Sparks and cleared out before Fernley and then coming back I had bad snow over Goldfield summit and also from Fernley to my house, but I've seen worse. I had feared it would be bad most of the way and turn what is a 7+ hour trip when the weather is good into a 15 hour fight with the snow and ice, and it was just not that way. I think it took a little over 8 hours to get there and about 9.5 coming back. When I was there, I rode the monorail back and forth from my hotel to the Conference hotel and that was a fun thing.

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