Woodworking Show disappointing

SWMBO and I went to the Indianapolis Woodworking Show yesterday -- wow, what a disappointment. Fewer vendors than ever, it seems, in the smallest exhibit hall yet, and more than half of the show floor was taken up by just two vendors(Peachtree and Tool Time Liquidators). There were at least three or four vendors whose products had nothing at all to do with woodworking. And several vendors who had been there at many previous shows were absent.
Normally, we'll spend the entire day there on Friday and Saturday, and part of Sunday afternoon as well. Not this year: we decided we were done for the weekend by about 4pm on Friday.
And I'm not sure we'll be back next year.
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On 2/4/2017 11:44 AM, Doug Miller wrote:

Fwwl your pain. Gave up going to our local show, which is no longer all that "local" to me, about four years ago.
About the only thing I miss was the annual Forrest WWII discount, and jig supplies/stuff you normally didn't get a chance to pickup locally.
Having a Rockler and WoodCraft in the area, coupled with online shopping, pretty much killed the need.
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+1
Add Peachtree and Highland to the "locals". ;-) I rarely go to Rockler, anymore, though.
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Doug Miller wrote:

Hi Doug, I reviewed the seminar list in recent weeks and was disappointed. The fellow (John ?) from Colorado who has a chair-making school wasn't going to be there, Marc Adams (from the Marc Adams School of Woodworking) wasn't going to be there. Unless one wants a seminar on using lathes or 3-d printing, it didn't seem like there was much excitement in the air (no offense directed at the traditional presenters). I passed this year. The fact that they could not get Marc Adams, or one of his possible representatives, to make the 20 minute drive says something! Maybe Woodworkingshows is over-charging the vendors? It seems like they raised the ticket price $2 this year too, no? So with advance purchase, I think it would be $29 for a family of two, including parking (maybe another $20 for lunch?) I would like to be "supportive" of any activity in the woodworking (and woodcarving) community, but it works both ways.
Bill

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On Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 12:46:43 PM UTC-5, Doug Miller wrote:

You might not want to make your decision for next year so early. I'd change "not sure" to "I'll do some homework before I go next year, then decide". ;-)
I'd check out the stats once the dates are announced. If it's back to a bigger hall that might indicate a better show.
How accurate is the listing of vendors found here?
http://www.thewoodworkingshows.com/indianapolis.html
If it's accurate and next year's list is longer and/or includes the vendors you are most interested in, you might make a different decision.
I'm just trying to save you a year's worth of negative thoughts. ;-)
Did you travel to Indy just for the show (hotel, etc.) or is it close enough for a daily commute?
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Misleading at best: -- Stoll Brothers, General, Makita, and ShopFox are all the same booth (Stoll Brothers is a tool vendor that sells those brands) -- Jet and Powermatic, same booth -- Peachtree sells products by Mirka, Norton, and Bessey, but there were no separate booths for those brands, just part of the Peachtree merchandise -- If MicroJig or Earlex had booths, I sure didn't see them -- Fine Woodworking and Wood were running demos and seminars, but FWW usually has a booth selling books and they don't this year
And of course, Leaf Filter, Faerber's Windows, USA Insulation, and SealSmart haven't a damn thing to do with woodworking.

We live in Indy, only about ten minutes away from the Fairgrounds.
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On 2/4/2017 4:13 PM, Doug Miller wrote:

Think about it. The show has nothing to do with woodworking. Its about money. The companies you list look at the demographics of attendees and see it as an opportunity to sell their product.
A large percentage of woodworkers are home owners. They would be the perfect market target for Seal Smart so they hop aboard. How many woodworkers have built their own shop? The ones that did probably bought windows and maybe insulated.
At least they are closer than a huckster for veg-o-matic.
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On 2/4/2017 3:33 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Not to mention the jewelry booth for the wives that get drug along. ;~)
I don't care for the insurance sales booths.
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Same at gun shows.

Now *they* don't show up at gun shows. ;-)
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A few years ago the Atlanta show had an antiques show on the other side of the conference center (admission covered both). The wives were happy. Everyone was happy. ;-)
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On Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 9:45:23 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@notreal.com wrote:

We used to go to this strip club on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. Entertainment for the guys downstairs and entertainment for the ladies upstairs. Everyone was happy.
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On Sat, 4 Feb 2017 17:44:56 -0000 (UTC), Doug Miller

That's dissappointing to hear. We'll probably go to the one here again this year but if it, too, has gone done that far it'll probably be our last. P'tree and some junk seller (could be the same) were a good share of the floor space last year. If it gets that bad, there won't be anyreason to go. I can go to P'tree and HF any day I want. No reason to pay anything.
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On 2/4/2017 11:44 AM, Doug Miller wrote:

The one that comes to the Houston area is The Wood Working Shows. About 7 years ago a couple of women apparently took over and were clueless. Not that them being women was the issue, I was just surprised that they had changed from a central location that was best for all in the Houston area to a HS gymnasium. And of course the parking lot was shared with the school kids cars. I mention to them that this was not ideal and their response was that they felt it was very successful. That was on the first afternoon. They had the attitude of "we own the show therefore we know better than you".
Fast forward a couple of years and they did not even show up. A local woodworker had the show himself in a much better venue and charged only enough to pay for the building, he did not charge the vendors at all, IIRC. He had indicated that the women that owned The Woodworking Shows had pissed the vendors off so badly that they refused to come again.
Fast forward another 2 years and The Woodworking Shows is back under new ownership. AND the show is as bad as it gets. The show 2 years ago was held in what I call a covered live stock pen just out side of Fumbuck EG. About 35 miles north fo down town Houston. What the hell are they thinking.
10~15 years ago there was hardly a vendor that did not show. Now about 1/20th show.
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On Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 2:03:20 PM UTC-5, Leon wrote:

I'd like to hear from the vendors on this. We can assume from our own experiences related to the venues, the organizers, etc. that that is why the show experience has fallen off, but we don't really know.
A whole lot has changed in 10-15 years. Hell, even more has changed in just the last couple of years. I could probably find more than one video and/or website that reviews (or at least features) the products from every one of the vendors listed at the Indy's woodworking show website. Sure, for many of us the hands-on experience and face-to-face chat with the vendors is fun, but for others, staying home and accessing readily available information is easier and possibly more efficient. Maybe it's reached the point where it's just not worth it for the vendors to showcase their wares at these shows.
With price compression increasing every day, if they are not getting their money's worth by displaying their products at the shows, it may not be the "show's" fault, it may be the choice of the vendors.
This then causes a cascading effect. Fewer vendors leads to smaller/cheaper venues. Fewer vendors and smaller/cheaper venues leads to less satisfied attendees. Less satisfied attendees leads to fewer attendees which leads to fewer vendors which leads to smaller/cheaper venues which leads to less satisfied attendees.
Bottom line, it may all be the fault of our rapidly changing technology. We don't have to wait for an annual show to see the latest products. The vendors already told me about them in the email they sent out the day before the products were released.
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

Maybe the owners think that if they just keep running the same show that people will still come? This year they offered "less than" the usual show. Marc Adams School of Woodworking could definitely host a great show of their own if they wanted to--probably all sorts of liability issues with that. I'd pay $100. Their multi-day workshops are closer to $200/day+ expenses. I may go visit Roy Underhill at his school someday--maybe partly for sentimental reasons. I inquired about a position at Colonial Williamsburg but there was not an opening at the time. Maybe I'll re-inquire.
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On Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 3:24:45 PM UTC-5, Bill wrote:

But that's my point/question. Do you actually know why the Marc Adams school didn't show up? There are 2 ways to find out: Ask the organizers that you feel offered a "less than the usual show" and also ask the Marc Adams School.
I used the word "and" because by asking both you might get both sides of the issue. Maybe it was "less then usual" because the school chose not to participate through no fault of the organizers. Maybe the organizers decided not to ask the school or decided not to pay their asking price. I could list a whole bunch of other possible reasons why the school wasn't there, but it would be nothing but speculation/questions. For all we know, 99% of the vendors and the venue were available on the weekend of the show and the school just simply wasn't. We shouldn't assign blame until we know the specifics.
As far as the many other vendors that did not show up, we also don't know why. Did the owners invite all the usual vendors and get turned down? If so, why were they turned down. Did the owner's not even ask the usual vendors? If not, why not?
All I'm saying is that we (well, at least *I*) don't know why there were less vendors at the shows you guys mentioned. I don't know why they are using smaller/cheaper venues. Which came first? Lousy organizers? Cost-benefit analysis by the vendors? Less attendance because of more immediate sources of information? Fewer woodworkers in general? Any of those - or *all* of those - reasons might be the cause(s) of the less than satisfying experiences at these shows lately.

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DerbyDad03 wrote:

I expect that some of the truth will eventually leak out, one way or another. Neither of these profit-seeking entities has any obligation to me, and I wouldn't request either of them to expend resources answering any questions I have. It's curious that the Indianapolis show is the first one mentioned here, this year. Is it exceptional? I think Leon's post mentioned another example of a less than remarkable show. How about others who attended a show this year?
Actually, to clarify: It appears that the MASW (Mark Adams...) showed up, and probably had a table, but they did not run any seminars, to the best of my knowledge.
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On 2/4/2017 1:45 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

In the old days you could get decent discounts on products at the shows. There is still a pretty big show, huge actually, that is held annually at a specific location. That would be one cool show to go to, I think every vendor shows up, even the ones you have never heard of. IIRC it is in LV.

I will have to agree that the internet has probably killed the shows for us little folks.
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There is a huge show here in Atlanta every year but it's for businesses only. A friend did a DBA just to get in the show but that seems extreme.
I guess it's every other year. <http://www.iwfatlanta.com/default.aspx

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On 2/4/2017 8:50 PM, snipped-for-privacy@notreal.com wrote:

That might be one I was thinking of too, I thought it was some where east of here. I'll be going to that one one day.....

Maybe LV on the off years. ;~)
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