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.
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
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 ...
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.
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?
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.
On Oct 9, 2:07 pm, Brian Henderson
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
Fronts, tax dodges, or one helluva markup on Chinese made crap?
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
I think Leon may know its exact location.
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.
I agree - not enough interested traffic with money in their pokes - and
just use convenience to provide price comparison, eventually some will have
Used to be a great shop called Woodwright in Spring (N of Houston, off
but they're all shuttered now...... Staff & depth of pockets make a bit of
but eventually (buyer) traffic wins out, IMHO.
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
Well, at least it is *closer*. It's still a bit of a drive from Clear
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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