By Zjan Shirinian at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando

United States bowler Chris Barnes was signing plenty of autographs at the trade show ©ITGThe trade show of the International Bowl Expo 2014 opened here today, after former United States President George W. Bush spoke at the annual event's General Session.

Bush, the 43rd President of the US, spoke for an hour to an audience of more than 300.

Earlier, former Bowling Proprietors' Association of America (BPAA) President Michael Ducat was presented with the 2014 Victor Lerner Memorial Medal and inducted into the BPAA Hall of Fame.

The Lerner Medal is the highest honour in bowling and is awarded for service over a significant period of time to the bowling industry.

Ducat was introduced on to the stage to receive the Medal by 2012 BPAA Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Bojé, formerly President of the United States Bowling Congress.

The trade show at the Orange County Convention Center, a short distance from the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel where seminars have been taking place as part of the Expo since Sunday (June 22), has hundreds of exhibitors.

They include not just bowling industry professionals, including equipment manufacturers, but companies who provide food and other entertainment to help draw people in to bowling centres.

Some of the world's best bowlers, including recently crowned European champion Diana Zavjalova of Latvia, are at the trade show which ends tomorrow.

More than 2,000 people are here in Florida for the Expo.

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