How It All Started

The Pinball Expo started way back in 1985 by Robert Berk in Chicago which is known to be the city with the most pinball manufacturers. Robert started playing pinball as a child and was immediately drawn to it. He knew his dream was to be able to give recognition to his inspirations, which were the pinball designers and artists. With the help of his friends Bill Kurtz and Mike Pacak they were able to make Pinball Expo into a reality.

The trio held their first event over the weekend of November 22–24, 1985 at the Holiday Inn O’Hare/Kennedy in Rosemont, Illinois. The event attracted around 100 attendees from all parts of the world and a dozen vendors. The expo offers seminars, a tour of a pinball factory, an autograph session, tournaments, an exhibit hall of pinball machines, parts, and related paraphernalia, and much more. Source

The Pinball Expo 2020

After that they continued to host The Pinball Expo annually for 35 years and hopefully many more years to come. Due to COVID-19 this year, The expo was streamed online instead. Once there is a vaccine, the expo should be able to continue in the later years.

Dear Friends of Pinball Expo,

The Governor of Illinois mandated all events of our size to remain closed until the state moves to Phase 5, which includes having a vaccination for Covid-19. Illinois, like many other states, is currently in Phase 4. We knew we had to take matters into our own hands, and we did. In keeping with the tradition of having a yearly show, we are excited to announce that we will be having a free virtual event, to be held October 15th – 17th, 2020. Included will be virtual factory tours, seminars, vendor showcases, and much more. Stay tuned to our website (, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more information.

If you booked your 2020 room through our Pinball Expo block of rooms, the Westin hotel will automatically cancel your reservation and no charges will be applied. If you need to speak to someone at the hotel directly, please call them at 1-847-777-6500. In addition, if you paid for any event packages, tours, seminars, etc. through our website, you as well will receive a full refund.

We hope you can tune in for what will be a spectacular, action-packed, pinball fest! Thank you for your support and we wish you continued safety and good health.


Robert Berk and The Pinball Expo Team


The Growth of Pinball Expo

As early as Pinball Expo ’88, Rob Berk was championing the idea of a Pinball Expo Hall of Fame. In 1991 the Hall of Fame was created with the induction of Harry E. Williams, Sam Stern, Ray Moloney and David Gottlieb. The event is open to the general public. Ever since their first event, the expo kept on growing and growing over the years. Because they kept having annual events, without them realizing it they now holding the world record for the longest running pinball event in the Guiness Book of World Records. The Pinball Expo started from having a hundred to couple hundreds to now thousands of people (2019).

We wish Robert and his team the best and hope to see everyone at the next Expo!



Pinball Adventures is a North American manufacturing company producing fresh and unique Pinball machines. Our goal is to create to the highest standards, and spark the same joy we found as gamers when we rolled our first quarter into that coin slot so many years ago. Stemming from a lifelong passion, Pinball Adventures is created by gamers, for gamers. We strive to bring high quality, innovative, and captivating experiences for all to enjoy.

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