The Woodworking Shows


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1 hour ago, Minnesota Steve said:

It's going to be up near St. Cloud... weekend of st. paddies day.

heh I've seen patty's and paddy's but never paddies.

I'm not Irish nor do i drink so the holiday never got me excited, defiantly full of entertainment of drunk people watching.

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St. Cloud is my hometown, have fun if you do go for that. I've never been to a woodworking show. If I did, it seems like it would be for social reasons as much as technical. Would be fun to catch up with people with similar hobbies. To be honest,  this forum satisfies some of that need.

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1 hour ago, K Cooper said:

I went to the Amana Show last year and had a blast. You meet some of the nicest people there! I don’t think it was your normal WW show though as I have nothing to compare it to. 

You mean Handworks? If yes I have been to the last two and found it to be an awesome show as well. I went to IWF and the big one AWFS years back and they are fun see some really big equipment at those two. I have been to several of the Wood Working Shows in in MPLS and they are OK but I personally just don't think the last few I have been to would be worth driving more than a few hours for. I have heard that each location is different and some are more well attended by the vendors but don't know if that is true.

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On 2/7/2018 at 11:05 AM, gee-dub said:

My personal thanks to all who 'dis' the Woodworking Shows on the forums.  Talking them down over the years has successfully reduced attendance to the point where they don't even come to the left coast anymore.  Here we are given a cornucopia of products all under one roof brought to a reachable venue and all people can do is complain about the cost of parking or the number of vendors (btw, they don't spend to money to come to events that you don't go to) or the fact that a certain tool wasn't 50% off.  Thanks a bunch :angry:.

-- Tantrum over ;)

In the last 7-8 years that I have been going to them, I have never seen a strong presence on the west coast, but to your point, this year especially, I have notice that the number of shows has declined.  The educational sessions have gotten to the point that they are very repetitive and basic, so that is no longer my driving reason to go as it once was.  Many of the prices on the products I see at the show actually are on-par with what I have seen at my local Woodcraft.  Frankly my local Woodcraft is a much better resource on products and education.  My rule of thumb is when I go to a show, I won't buy products that I can get for about the same price at the local store, as I would rather continue to support them who are there year round, rather than a once a year show.   The cost of parking is a factor.  Between that and the drive time, it is the main reason I now only go to one day of the show, rather than go all three days as I have in the past.  In otherwords, if I don't feel like I am getting a good value on attending, I am not going to go.  And yes, if someone asks my opinion on a forum, such as this, I will happily give my impressions.

When you compare other shows like WIA (Hoping they start these again), Fine Woodworking Live, Handworks, the runners of these shows have folks who reach out to the community and get the feedback they need to keep their shows fresh and new each year.  And many of these shows have vendors that sell products that you can't readily find at Woodcraft or Rockler.  Frankly, I don't see the guys who run the woodworking shows doing that.  The woodworking shows have gotten themselves into a rut of doing the same thing every year.  

You can blame the forum members/consumers all you want for the decline of these shows, but as with any other business they need to know what keeps customers coming, and to make changes as they go.  Business who don't make these changes, like the woodworking shows, start to decline.

What I would like to see, to keep me coming back:

More and varied presenters.  When of my favorite presentations at one of these shows was by Paul Sellers.  Would love to see him back.  I don't always agree with some of his opinions, but his sessions are engaging and thought provoking.  The last few years its been the same guys, doing the similar presentations.  In fact as I walked past the presentation areas this year, I noticed more open chairs than usual, though the show overall was packed with attendees.

More and varied vendors.  A small number of booths have local businesses and clubs, which is nice.  However the bulk of the show is one company, Peachtree.  Also, they tend to have some vendors that aren't woodworking at all.  Would rather see some of the boutique tool makers their rather than gutter guard.  If the products are unique, the prices don't have to be discounted, sometimes getting my hands on new tools is more than enough to get me spend multiple days at a show.  However, if the tools you are selling are mostly what you can get at Woodcraft, Rocker, or even Amazon, yes, I am expecting a better price on them.

 

-Counter Tantrum Over

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I shut down early today to run to Peachtree before they closed at 5. I got there at 4:45 and they were closed. The guy said most of their staff is working the shows.

I think enough manufacturers are using the set price no discount business model and the internet sells "deals " year round. So Woodworking shows are getting squeezed . The classes , independent booths, new products...all the stuff we go for gets sacrificed when the profitability of the shows falls.

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On 2/7/2018 at 10:06 PM, pkinneb said:

You mean Handworks? If yes I have been to the last two and found it to be an awesome show as well. I went to IWF and the big one AWFS years back and they are fun see some really big equipment at those two. I have been to several of the Wood Working Shows in in MPLS and they are OK but I personally just don't think the last few I have been to would be worth driving more than a few hours for. I have heard that each location is different and some are more well attended by the vendors but don't know if that is true.

Were you at last May's Handwerks show?  There were four of us looking for another member that we could talk into buying us a meal, we coulda used having you handy.

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1 hour ago, RichardA said:

Were you at last May's Handwerks show?  There were four of us looking for another member that we could talk into buying us a meal, we coulda used having you handy.

LOL I was. I really like that show and my wife likes Amana so it works out well.

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50 minutes ago, pkinneb said:

LOL I was. I really like that show and my wife likes Amana so it works out well.

Damp and cool, but the four of us had a good time, We even got Roy Underhill to pose with us for a modified "Feet up" photo. I'm gonna try and make next years if I live that long.  Maybe we'll see you then.

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23 hours ago, RichardA said:

Were you at last May's Handwerks show?  There were four of us looking for another member that we could talk into buying us a meal, we coulda used having you handy.

I was there. I ran into you guys a couple of times. Nobody ever mentioned lunch!!! Seemed like you guys had other things on your minds. 

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On 2/9/2018 at 9:17 AM, Pwk5017 said:

I havent been to a show, but ill probably go to an IWF in vegas or atlanta when im ready to put together my last shop. Supposed to have good deals, and when else are you going to compare SCMI, Martin, Felder, etc under one roof?

On "big ticket" items, I want to see, touch, feel, and try the product before buying it. I go to shows mainly for this purpose. The Woodworking Shows stopped coming to Charlotte some years ago, but they have been going down hill for the past 10 years or so. If I want to go to one of their shows now I have to go to Chantilly, VA or Atlanta, Ga, and spend at least one night in a hotel, so I haven't been going lately. We have another woodworking show in NC in the fall every year that's put on by the Klingspore Woodworking shops,  and that's where I've been spending my money on the big ticket items now.

Charley

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On 2/9/2018 at 8:17 AM, Pwk5017 said:

I havent been to a show, but ill probably go to an IWF in vegas or atlanta when im ready to put together my last shop. Supposed to have good deals, and when else are you going to compare SCMI, Martin, Felder, etc under one roof?

I have been to both they should be on every ww bucket list LOL, some of the stuff is huge industrial machines but still cool to look at. My Hammer J/P was the show demo from AWFS.I was able to get a pretty good deal and have never had any issues with it until this year when I had to change the capacitors but apparently that isn't uncommon on a 12 year old machine.

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I always intended to go to the one that had the hand tool competitions, but there was never one close enough to be worth the expense of going, and not staying here to make money, so it was effectively a double hit.  The competition was the only thing I wanted to do, so I guess there was never enough draw from anything else to get me to go.

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