The Woodworking Shows going away?

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I know this comes up every season, but The Woodworking Shows may be about over. They have been losing participants each year, and it's getting really easy to get around the last couple of years so they may be getting fewer customers too.
This info may or may not be worth anything, of course. But I did get it from someone who has a position in the industry that should make inside info available to him.
Now like I say, this may just be the usual BS, but if anyone out there hasn't gotten around to attending but has been considering going, this might be one of the last years for it. Or it might go on forever.
PDX David
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"Jane & David" wrote

From my perspective, at the root of this phenomenon is the natural waxing and waning of any leisure time pursuit. You can probably also see it reflected in the recent "decline of the woodworking magazine" discussions hereabouts.
While there's always been the hardcore woodworker, you can make a good case that this latest upswing in woodworking's popularity, for the past ten years or so, is due mainly to TV exposure.
Now, those who have gotten their wannabe cues from Norm, the DIY channel, Bruce Johnson, and David Marks are starting to fall by the wayside as their short attention spans kick in.
It's also becoming harder and harder to hold onto your home, and therefore the "shop", in your advancing years (the usual time when many take up the pursuit) due to the insatiable appetite of the property taxing authorities.
I'm seeing a lot more 'complete shops' being sold the past year on places like craigslist, and five years ago it was rare to see a used Unisaw for sale, now one seems to pop up every month or so around here.
Eventually it'll go back the other way, if we survive ...
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Swingman wrote:

The Internet.
Once upon a time, shows were the places for demos and deals. Deals can now be had every single day on the web, and demos are easily downloaded. While you still can't fondle an item or shake Sam Maloof's hand over the web, I think the first two points attracted lots of folks to shows.
I've seen similar changes regarding shows and expos in every pursuit I've been involved.
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wrote:

True, but the fact is, a lot of shows just suck. I've stopped going simply because there's nothing really worthwhile seeing there and I can beat their prices online any day of the week. Once you figure in parking and fees... why bother?
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You nailed it. Quality wins and schlock dies. Why pay for parking, pay for entrance and then find nothing other than the guys who can't sell anywhere else, the guys whos catalog is online and Chiropractors telling every person they touch that they have serious problems with their back and one short leg.
If the guys that run that traveling circus event that has been milking the local conference halls for years now don't add some quality to their offering, the shows will die a deserved death. I hope they figure it out, it will be a great channel forsome of my products once ai get them in production.
BW
On Oct 9, 2:07 pm, Brian Henderson

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On Tue, 09 Oct 2007 15:13:00 -0700, "SonomaProducts.com"

The problem is, I don't see what they could possibly do to add quality or make it worthwhile. There really is no way they can compete price-wise or selection-wise with the net and how many times can you see the same turning demonstration? I know the last show I ever went to, a couple years ago now, I took a couple of prices from the net along and wanted to see if they could beat them, just because they didn't want to drag everything back on the plane to wherever. The best price I found was about 10-12% above the net price including shipping. I left and ordered it.
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The biggest knock I have about the shows is that the hawks are yelling to EVERYONE with loudspeakers so that if I'm talking to a salesdude/dudette in one booth, the guy two or three booths away is so loud I can't hear a thing.
And if you have a booth and have to hire locals to actually do the sales, fine, but be prepared to fire them...they are just temps, after all. I was at the Milwaukee show 2 or 3 years ago and was in a booth...large one, heavy into turning stuff...might have been TWC... and the young lady working the booth was too busy trying to sell a single turning smock to a dude that just wanted to look down her shirt and ignored me as I'm standing at he check-out with several hundred dollars worth of stuff. Not a word from here until I walked away, then it was to tell me that I need to put the stuff back. I wasn't nice to her at that point.
Mike
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BTW...
Any folks who are serious about making furniture (regardless of intent to sell it) should check out one of the "Fine Furnishings" shows, such as held in Providence and Milwaukee.
You won't find jigs, bits, or blades, but you will get GREAT ideas, all kinds of designs, and an appreciation for the look and feel of a terrific finish.
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For those of you who live in the Southeast, Klingspore has been putting on their own show for the past 6 years and each year it has gotten bigger. Last year it was almost the same size as The Woodworking Show when it last came to Charlotte, NC (didn't last year). Klingspore's show will be held October 26 and 27 at the Hickory Convention Center, right alongside I-40 near exit 125 in Hickory. Parking and show entrance is always FREE and they have lots of FREE classes and demonstrations, and a free tour of Klingspore's nearby facility via free tour busses from the show. For more info go to www.woodworkingshop.com
I have no affiliation with them other than being a happy customer.
I'll be there on Friday Charley

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Yep, the Internet has impacted physical shows across the board in most industries. The weak ones died and the stronger segments are bouncing back and showing growth again as the innovate and expand their offerings. AWFS was huge this year.

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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

Interbike does very well, too. Interbike and AWFS are industry / wholesale oriented shows.
I think the 'net did more of a hatchet job to the retail oriented shows, public welcome shows.
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wrote:

AWFS is a mixed bag. Wholesale on the furniture supply side, industrial user on the big machine side, and a whole lot of retail for the brands that would be discussed in this forum.
Many of the machinery brands are there because they have to be. Certainly a money loser but wouldn't want to be the competitor who didn't show. Who makes out is the local distributor who has a lot of company pro's selling product that they did not have to stock or floor plan. And in Delta's case, the prices usually were the best of the year, with the exception of some overstock situation that might come up later in the year. The show machines were a great deal (show price plus additional discount for the machine never having to be handled by the sponsor distributor) if you can handle the logistics of hauling it out on Sunday, otherwise it was a matter of picking your distributor and having it shipped to them.
I bought a number of items at AWFS and never saw a better price later on. Kreg and Forrest products come to mind.
I don't think AWFS will decline, however, the smaller regional shows and distributor shows have to be profitable for the distributor to keep going. The big manufacturers just write the show loss to the marketing budget
Frank
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The facts are actually showing a trend in the opposite direction. WW is still showing strong growth across all demographic breakdowns with Women coming on strong. Get the media kit form any ww magazine, look at the phenominal growth in paid subscriptions and off the shelf sales and these numbers are audited so there is just no cooking the books.

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"SonomaProducts.com" wrote

People are much easier to fool with "facts" ... and WW tools are much better made now than they were twenty years ago, eh?
Then again, another WoodCraft is opening in Houston, that'll make two ... and the old one is as empty as a tomb most of the time. Walk in the local Rockler at any time of the day on a week day and the salesman are playing pocket pool.
Fronts, tax dodges, or one helluva markup on Chinese made crap?
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Another Woodcraft in Houston? Cool. Maybe it'll be closer to me. Actually, it couldn't be further away from me than the current one and still be in Houston.
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"Scott Zrubek" wrote

I think that fact, rather then demand, is probably the rationale. Houston is so big and the traffic so bad that if you live anywhere but Jersey Village, the original location may as well be in Brenham as far as ease of access.
The new one, from what I hear, is going to be in the SW area, not too far from "The Cutting Edge" ... (hmmm ... do we have a Lowe's/Home Depot thing going here?).
I think Leon may know its exact location.
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No kidding, the NW location is in the middle of a parking lot that looks like a tiny freeway.

I wonder whats going on there. I would like to see the store succeed along with the Cuttin Edge but my gut tells me that there is not enough demand for those two stores that close together. On the SW side of Houston there is a Texas Tool Traders, very close to me, within walking distance, Rockler, The Cutting Edge, and the soon to be new WoodCraft. There appear to be 3 employees at the Cutting Edge and that includes the owner, Steve and his son. Steve has been around for several years but I wonder which store will have the deeper pockets. I see one folding.
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I agree - not enough interested traffic with money in their pokes - and if folks just use convenience to provide price comparison, eventually some will have to fold. Used to be a great shop called Woodwright in Spring (N of Houston, off I-45) but they're all shuttered now...... Staff & depth of pockets make a bit of difference, but eventually (buyer) traffic wins out, IMHO.
NGA
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wrote:

Yes, very close to The Cutting Edge on the West Belt south of the SW freeway. It will be on the south bound side on the belt between West Belfort and West Airport. IIRC it will be next door to SOS Armorery, a law enforcement supply store. The store will be large compared to its competition and IIRC compared to the NW store. They will stock a bigger supply of lumber and should open in November, originally Nov 1 but now it has been pushed back a few weeks. Norm Abram and David Marks are "supposed" to be at the store shortly after opening.
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Well, at least it is *closer*. It's still a bit of a drive from Clear Lake.
This might be perfect timing. I'm going to be buying all new tools for my soon-to-be-finished shop and this will make it easy to compare prices.
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