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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 11:03 AM
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For years I had season tickets to the Nascar race at Bristol. Any seat was a good seat.

Then, beginning about 1996, they added about 25000 seats. A few years later they added more.

The intimacy was lost. No longer were all the seats good. Longer times to get in and hours to leave the parking area. Concessions went out the roof on price.

In 1999, I sold my season ticket position for a tidy sum. Now I can watch the race on a 53" television with surround sound, eat my own food, avoid the drunks, use my own bathroom, and have no traffic or travel except walking my dogs in my quiet neighborhood cul-de-sac.

Nearly 98% of my business is done online with video calls, the other 2% is meeting with local clients to eat lunch and have some laughs.

I do not miss Bristol or the long travel and the expenses of meeting with clients.

Same with trade shows. I can do everything but touch the merchandise, and with the generous return policies of online vendors, I can order, touch it, and decide whether or not to keep it.

Like button hooks and buggy whips, trade shows for most people are in the past.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 11:25 AM
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The Indianapolis working working show was early February. I decided not to go last year , but thought about going this year until I realized how much it would cost to park and enter show for both wife and I. I can remember when spouses got in free. Also, as many of you stated, many “woodworking” suppliers have been replaced by low end junk suppliers. Over the years, I have made many of my purchases at the show. I January, I ran out of foam brushes that I usually purchased in bulk at the show. I decided to go on Amazon and purchased what I thought was a quality foam brush. I have used several of them and have been very satisfied. I agree that the ability to purchase and have delivered in two days hurt the shows.

When I was working, I was responsible for the companies and one problem was that the cost per square foot of space was increasing each year. I would evaluate the show versus “qualified leads” to determine if the show was that important to my company. The other factor that was hard to measure was whether the company was sending bad signals for not attending.

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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 12:33 PM
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I had a different experience this year at the show in Toronto. It's held next to Pearson International Airport. The parking is always free and I went the first day of the show which was on a Friday, running for 3 days. $15 dollars to get in and hand stamped to return if you so desire. A lot of exhibits. Two or three seminars a day. About half of the exhibitors would take orders to ship later and the others had plenty of stock. Bosch, Dewalt, Makita, etc. were there with stock. A separate section had carving and inlaying, (I forget the term) demonstrated as well as some lesser pursuits. I've been to others, Woodstock, about 100 kms. west, was borderline waste of time, and Hamilton which is rather small and they charge a mint for parking so they lost me. A couple of vendors at Toronto remarked on the unusual crowd size this year. The guy from Trend, he came from North Carolina, said he'd never seen so many people here. He put on a good display of their sharpening equipment. It comes and goes, though. Next year may be just the opposite. It's good to see and touch and feel. (the tools). I'll go again next year because of proximity. It's just up the road aways.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sgcz75b View Post
Another thing killing such shows is the availability of youtube videos. One video by a manufacturer/supplier on youtube will reach more viewers than all the attendance numbers at woodworking shows. Plus, there's no fighting the crowds, travel, expenses to watch.

While open houses at brick and mortar operations will continue, a well-done informative video is far cheaper and light-years ahead of trade shows.

Economics is on the side of information through the least cost to reach vast numbers of interested parties.

With the exception of Home Depot and Lowe's which are within 4 miles of my home, I've spent thousands online and nothing at any brick and mortar "woodworking suppliers/retailers."

Even my recent purchase of a Jet dust collector was made online. I went to a "woodworking" store to look at Laguna bandsaws, examined the Jet dc and talked to a salesman, but the 220 model wasn't in stock, the store price was higher and didn't include shipping.



I came home, ordered it from Amazon for cheaper and with free shipping, and two days later it arrived at my shop and one hour later assembled and working.

This is how business is done today.


Sadly, that is true.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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The Indianapolis working working show was early February. I decided not to go last year , but thought about going this year until I realized how much it would cost to park and enter show for both wife and I. I can remember when spouses got in free. Also, as many of you stated, many “woodworking” suppliers have been replaced by low end junk suppliers. Over the years, I have made many of my purchases at the show. I January, I ran out of foam brushes that I usually purchased in bulk at the show. I decided to go on Amazon and purchased what I thought was a quality foam brush. I have used several of them and have been very satisfied. I agree that the ability to purchase and have delivered in two days hurt the shows.

When I was working, I was responsible for the companies and one problem was that the cost per square foot of space was increasing each year. I would evaluate the show versus “qualified leads” to determine if the show was that important to my company. The other factor that was hard to measure was whether the company was sending bad signals for not attending.

Frank

I find it interesting that the largest number of sq ft at the show were occupied by the junk dealers, selling $2 router bits and other stuff that I would never consider buying.
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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:58 PM
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Bill,

I wrote a review on our local woodworking show in October. Trust me you show had much more than ours and I had to drive over an hour to get there. It was terrible, bad enough to make me say I will not go back !

Dan
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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 01:59 PM
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I went to the Woodworking Show in Kansas City. It was very disappointing as you experienced. Peachtree was not there. They were the largest vendor last year. My understanding Peachtree is a family owned business and had family issues and were skipping this year. They plan to be back next year. There are a significant number of vendors that have left over the last 15 years. If it weren’t for sitting through Jim Heavy’s presentation and Carter’s presentation, I could have been through the entire show,on a Saturday, in about an hour.
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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 02:07 PM
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It it was closer(6hr drive) I would go to the Toronto show, it sounds way better than ours. Montreal doesn't even have a show except for the pros with high priced equipment that only pro shops can afford or justify. I work as a technical rep for a Mississauga based company and I asked my boss if we could attend the show together and he said he could not justify the expense of my travels.

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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 03:39 PM
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Sorry to say I've never been to a woodworking show. Doesn't sound too promising anymore. My daughter and I exhibited for years at an annual doctor meeting, but after assessing the results, determined it really isn't worth all the cost (20 perent increase over last year plus premium hotel cost). We find that most of our business comes from articles in journals, Facebook and our newsletter. I will try to go this year as an ordinary participant, mostly to speak with friends, but will have something to promote our do it yourself offer. Sell one and all my expenses are paid. Bet my only competitor will be happy, but she's getting older and needs a cane, so I don't think she'll be around forever either. After 37 years in the field, I have some residual good will. Maybe I'll find someone ambitious to carry the business on. My daughter isn't doing that well at it.

The market for power tools is pretty small when you think about it. The consolidation and buy outs of smaller tool makers is proceeding apace. If we don't go, the tool cos. won't either.
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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 05:32 PM
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Booth rental is a big factor, I think. Plus paying to staff it if you're a major exhibitor, as well as travel expenses. I pay $2-300 for the "major" events I do go to. Twice that for a double booth at the Polish Festivals. This year, the 3rd biggest outdoor/hunting/fishing show raised the price to $450 for a 10 x10 (but with storage behind). Add to that a couple nites at a hotel and trailer rental on top of usual personal expenses, you need a pretty big crowd. Thought we'd do the really big Outdoorama this spring too (falls in the right time of year for me). $975 for a 10 x 10 with no storage. Too high when you're selling $10-100 items. Would hate to see what the bigger spaces were going for.

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