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Thread: Decline at the Woodworking Show @ The Big E in W. Springield, MA

  1. #16
    Don't know if I can post a link since it might be advertising but there will be a show happening here in Austin this April that we will be attending. Small venue but the promoter is a young guy, very media-savvy, and has really curated the exhibitor list. Local bespoke furniture makers + more high-end ww'ing products like Lie Nielsen, Festool, etc. No glue and router bits, LOL. They have a really good social media campaign, targeted more at millenials and younger folks just getting into the hobby. Last year was his first year and the show had 700+ attendees in one day. My feeling is that there is a definitely a market for regional shows but that we need to re-think who we are marketing to. I agree with Richard that the old timers with measuring-tape suspenders (sorry if you own those) have bought what they are going to buy but there is a younger market that just needs a different approach.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  2. #17
    My trade show theory developed over the years is that every three day show can be improved by making it two days. Every two day to one and every one day show to every other year. The big shows in the major metropolitan areas are big money events just to attend.

  3. #18
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    Never been to an IWF show, but would love to attend if it ever made sense. Later in life if i ever open the purse strings for new equipment, I think I would be foolish not to attend one. Youtube is great for some things, but comparing equipment is not one of them. Felder's digital marketing is great. Harry presents things in an intelligent and exciting fashion. Their mute austrian carpenter using their tools to build hot tubs and bee hives are very entertaining as well. But, how do you compare the Felder video to the Minimax video, its hard to tell which machine you prefer when they arent in person or side by side. Not to mention, who doesnt want to atleast touch the very high end equipment?

    I do wonder who attends the rinky dink local/regional trade shows. The demos never seem that appealing.

  4. #19
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    That sounds very interesting Erik..............regards, Rod.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    LOL! Count your blessings.....@ gun shows, it's 10 vendors selling beef jerky, "Kill em & Let God Sort em Out" t-shirts and knives made of some poor freighter that got washed up on the shore in Asia someplace..... .
    OK, I'll concede..........The wood working show doesn't seem so bad now.

  6. #21
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    Not to pile on, but I lost interest when the big manufacturers stopped coming. It used to be that Powermatic would have a giant section where you could see, touch and operate big machines like 24" planers. But those days are gone. In Kansas City, PM started working with at the local Woodcraft. The guys would clear out the front of the store and PM would bring stuff in. That worked so well that both PM and WC stopped going to the WW show. Woodcraft worked out deals with Festool, Delta and so on. It brought people into the store and they sold a lot of equipment. Once the big guys dropped out, it was a lot less interesting and I certainly wasn't willing to pay $15 to go in.

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Frederick View Post
    My trade show theory developed over the years is that every three day show can be improved by making it two days. Every two day to one and every one day show to every other year.
    Agree with this 100%. In fact, I think the IWF and AWFS are have shifted their shows from Weds-Sat to Tues-Fri since Saturdays were historically so dead.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    -The used machinery market is the one which is in decline and itís a supply-side issue. Since the post-recession recovery, the flood of used equipment sold through a long time ago. I have several professional contacts who specialize in brokering used equipment and basically, they canít get their hands on enough of it. As newer machinery with newer features comes out at more competitive price points, the gap between older machinery (regardless of price) and the new stuff makes used less appealing. Lots of shops willing to pass on used and rather pay for the new, since they know the business will be there.
    I find this comment to be self-contradictory. The first few sentences seem to indicate there are few old machines for sale. Then you say that the new machines come in with better features, at similar prices, so the shops don't want older equipment. Could you expand on this a bit. IS there a large used tool market or not?

    From my personal experience at watching craigslist for the past couple of years it really seems to be hit or miss. Some things that are overpriced IMHO, because of the brand, while other things are never seen. For example I have seen only one instance of a used SawStop being listed, and that was gone almost immediately. However sometimes you'll see old iron in various states that will just sit for weeks or months. Often times it's because people don't want to mess with 3 phase motors, but others it's just too large for hobbiest like myself.

    Also I find this focus on just woodworking shows might mean that the maker movement shops have been missed? I've seen reports from a few of the channels I follow on youtube which have reported great things at maker fairers and shows, such as Benchcon.

  9. #24
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    I started woodworking over thirty year ago when I lived in Chicago. I went to my first "The Woodworking Show" there. I was in heaven - It was huge and well attended by vendors.

    I live in Denver now and went to the last one that came through here. - It was pathetic and I walked around trying to figure out if I missed something.

    I'll be headed for Atlanta or Vegas next.

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew More View Post
    I find this comment to be self-contradictory. The first few sentences seem to indicate there are few old machines for sale. Then you say that the new machines come in with better features, at similar prices, so the shops don't want older equipment. Could you expand on this a bit. IS there a large used tool market or not?
    Andrew, I think I was was referring more to the professional side of the used machinery market: CNC's, edgebanders, big panel saws, etc. There will probably always be demand for hobby-level machines. The local show I mentioned is going to be maker-centric. You're right: That's what will get folks to come, not the same stuff they can buy on Amazon.

    Erik
    Felder USA Territory Representative: Central & South Texas

  11. #26
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    I love a good ww show... attended Vegas show a few times...so much to see outside of machines! I can see how all trade shows are slowing with the advent of digital marketing and YT. In some trades, its more than the show...its establishing relationships, setting up dealerships, volume pricing, etc, etc. But with ww, this is less significant, as distribution is limited to most of the big players. I am sure Amazon threw a monkey wrench in the marketplace for many re sellers.
    Things like CES still booming, cause you have to see a TV in person, u cant watch it on YT or trust a review. I do agree though, it seems the hardcore hobbiest or semi pros, are mostly 50+....most of the younger crowd prefers electronics vs. sawdust, cant blame em.
    Same true with astronomy... with the internet, you can see imagery that cost billion$ to produce... hard for your $5k scope to get you as excited vs. the pre technology days, so the hobby was / in in massive decline.
    Erik deals a lot in the trades, of course, that will stay strong, as there will always be custom cabinet shops and millwork shops. Although, all the higher end makers have created nice product lines for the hardcore enthusiast as well. Lots of great choices, we are lucky.

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    Don't know if I can post a link since it might be advertising but there will be a show happening here in Austin this April that we will be attending. Small venue but the promoter is a young guy, very media-savvy, and has really curated the exhibitor list. Local bespoke furniture makers + more high-end ww'ing products like Lie Nielsen, Festool, etc. No glue and router bits, LOL. They have a really good social media campaign, targeted more at millenials and younger folks just getting into the hobby. Last year was his first year and the show had 700+ attendees in one day. My feeling is that there is a definitely a market for regional shows but that we need to re-think who we are marketing to. I agree with Richard that the old timers with measuring-tape suspenders (sorry if you own those) have bought what they are going to buy but there is a younger market that just needs a different approach.

    Erik
    Thank you for posting this Erik! It sounds like the kind of show I would like to travel to attend.

    Couldn't agree with you more, there is a very different market of woodworkers today than 20 years ago. The Internet has really allowed artisan furniture makers to collaborate and inspire one another. To see that starting to happen in live regional shows along with the vendors that cater to the niche, is very cool.
    Last edited by Edwin Santos; 01-15-2020 at 11:49 AM.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    Don't know if I can post a link since it might be advertising but there will be a show happening here in Austin this April that we will be attending. Small venue but the promoter is a young guy, very media-savvy, and has really curated the exhibitor list. Local bespoke furniture makers + more high-end ww'ing products like Lie Nielsen, Festool, etc. No glue and router bits, LOL. They have a really good social media campaign, targeted more at millenials and younger folks just getting into the hobby. Last year was his first year and the show had 700+ attendees in one day. My feeling is that there is a definitely a market for regional shows but that we need to re-think who we are marketing to. I agree with Richard that the old timers with measuring-tape suspenders (sorry if you own those) have bought what they are going to buy but there is a younger market that just needs a different approach.

    Erik
    About 15 yrs ago the Radiant Heat Assoc was having their national show in Providence, RI. I, as a Rep in the industry, saw a great opportunity and lined up all of my manuf to participate. All hands on deck. Got all set up and the show was a complete bust. The Assoc never marketed to all of the local New England contractors, the largest group of radiant contractors in the country. I think I spoke with more contractors from AZ than I did from MA. Incredible and a huge loss to everyone. They didn't do the work and it was a bust. To bad, a great opportunity lost. A well promoted and attended show can be a real pleasure. You are fortunate to have a guy like him, Eric. Tell him to go national!

  14. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Loza View Post
    Agree with this 100%. In fact, I think the IWF and AWFS are have shifted their shows from Weds-Sat to Tues-Fri since Saturdays were historically so dead.

    Erik

    Saturday was nothing but a bunch of "tire kickers," according to a friend who worked a booth there.

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