JimB1

What's up with the Woodworking Shows...

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Looks like they dropped about 1/3 of their venues this year...

http://www.thewoodworkingshows.com

I went to the ones in NJ and VA last year and they seemed like they were attracting pretty good crowds. I had a good time and thought they did a good job of turning around the downhill slide of the last couple of years but maybe it was too little too late...

Thoughts?

-Jim

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I went to the one in Fredericksburg Va and had a very nice time. I dont see where they are even having one close this yeqr. The amount of people that attended was wonderful I thought so I'm not sure why they wouldn't do it again. Maybe the schedule isn't complete yet?

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The Modern Woodworkers Association podcast recently included (part of) an interview with Jim Heavey where they discussed this very show. He mentioned that the show promoters were stacking the show into certain locations and dates to better accomodate some of the major vendors.

I know the MWA podcast guys frequent WTO, maybe they remember better and can elaborate.

I manned the Lumberjocks booth for a day, two or three years ago, in Springfield, MA, and I also thought the show was worth the trip.

These types of shows took a beating from the Internet from the late 90's on. From a vendor's standpoint, there's a pretty good chunk of expense required to put a road show on. Online sales have creamed "show special" deals, and the web and YouTube, make it very easy to demo a product cheaply. A vendor needs to sell A LOT of product, product that would not have sold elsewhere, to make the show investment profitable.

Having seen the online world put the beat-down on woodworking, radio control models, music, and other industry shows, it was nice to see The Woodworking Shows pursuing more of an hands-on and in person educational angle over "smokin' deals" to draw traffic.

To me, the education is what makes events like Woodworking in America work, but I don't know the details of how much money there is to be made, or how profitable they are...

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The Modern Woodworkers Association podcast recently included (part of) an interview with Jim Heavey where they discussed this very show. He mentioned that the show promoters were stacking the show into certain locations and dates to better accomodate some of the major vendors.

I know the MWA podcast guys frequent WTO, maybe they remember better and can elaborate.

I manned the Lumberjocks booth for a day two or three years ago in Springfield, MA, and I also thought the show was worth the trip.

These types of shows took a beating from the Internet from the late 90's on. From a vendor's standpoint, there's a pretty good chunk of expense required to put a road show on. Online sales have creamed "show special" deals, and the web and YouTube, make it very easy to demo a product cheaply. A vendor needs to sell A LOT of product, product that would not have sold elsewhere, to make the show investment profitable.

Having seen the online world put the beat-down on woodworking, radio control models, music, and other industry shows, it was nice to see The Woodworking Shows pursuing more of an hands-on and in person educational angle over "smokin' deals" to draw traffic.

To me, the education is what makes events like Woodworking in America work, but I don't know the details of how money there is to be made, or how profitable they are...

Nicely said! I called the organizers of TWWS a couple of years ago to talk with them about what I liked and didn't like. They said to look forward to major changes to kick start a dying show.

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I went to the one in Fredericksburg Va and had a very nice time. I dont see where they are even having one close this yeqr. The amount of people that attended was wonderful I thought so I'm not sure why they wouldn't do it again. Maybe the schedule isn't complete yet?

Not sure if the list complete or not, but there is a show in Baltimore. Jan 4 - 6. (Think those are exact dates).

I went to the Fredericksburg show last year and really enjoyed it. It was my first time attending. I am going two days this year. I want to try and see as many demo's as possible. One day just didn't seem like a enough last year.

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The list on their site is the final list for this year as I understand it. They now have a message on the front page about the reduced schedule.

The Woodworking & D.I.Y. Shows will be taking a one-season hiatus from the California, Pacific North West, and Texas markets. We look forward to seeing you there for our 31st season (Fall 2013 / Spring 2014). We invite you to join us for our 30th season at one of our 13 exciting shows.

From 23 shows in 2009 to 11 now, it doesn't seem like a good sign. (I know their statement says 13, but there are only 12 on the list and one is TBD.)

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While the special deals have all but vanished from these shows, I always look forward to attending simply to test drive the hand tools. I really have a hard time spending $100.00 on a saw just because I think it will fit my hand judging from what I see in the pictures. But it is true, these shows need to be profitable to continue...

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I went to the Baltimore show last year and found it worth the trip. I also like getting my hands on tools before buying (the Veritas booth was excellent). The demos and lectures were useful. In particular, I enjoy Paul Sellers' presentations. If you can easily get to one of the shows, it's a nice way to spend an afternoon.

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The two that I attended up in Minnesota were not that impressive...still fun, but not like "Wow!" We've since moved to the Denver area (I missed last year's show) and I'm glad to see we still made the list. Maybe with a smaller schedule, they'll be better shows.

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Resurrecting an older thread....

Is anyone planning on going to the show this weekend in Springfield MA?

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Thinking of it!

Friday's definitely out for me... I'll know more as we get closer to the weekend. There's a LumberJocks group who will be there varying days. Sam from Earlex is working.

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I'll be at the Somerset show with my club on Saturday, February 23rd. This venue usually draws a good crowd. I'm curious to see how things are this year compared to the last several years. For the last few years the show seemed to be getting a lot more commercial. However, the old management company sold the show to a new trade show management company and it sounds like they have some good ideas for this year.

From what the show committee chairman from our club told us at our last couple of meetings, the new show organizers want to try and have more educational seminars by speakers who are not selling a product vs. just having product pushers do "seminars" that are just glorified infomercials. It sounds like they are somewhat tuned in to what has been working for other shows (WIA, FWW Live) and they want to capitalize on that a bit. I think it's a good idea. I know these things are mostly paid for by the vendors, but eventually, all of the Shamwow pushers and other barkers gets old to people and they figure they've seen it all or have purchased all the machines they need so they have no reason to go. Adding an educational component, in my opinion, seems like a good way to attract more people than those who are only there to try and get a deal on a tool. I'm curious if that has been the case with any of the venues that have already passed (Baltimore was recently I think).

In order to try and foster some of the educational aspect, they have asked our club if we had anyone who could do a seminar or two per day. I'll be doing a seminar on hand saw sharpening at some time on Saturday. Plus, we'll have ongoing demonstrations all three days at the CJWA booth. Last year Wilbur Pan & I did a sort of East meets West type demo based upon the article we co-authored for Pop Wood. It ended up being more of a fly by the seat of our pants kind of Q&A thing vs. a structured demo, but we still had a good time and attracted a good crowd. I'm sure we'll have a bunch of good stuff going on again this year; lots of talented folks in the club.

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I went to the Baltimore show last weekend. A couple of impressions:

  • It felt like there were more speakers while also there was less "infomercialization" of them
  • There wasn't any big iron tool makers (haven't been for a couple of years), but the handheld/cordless tool spread felt very wide
  • Felt like there were fewer "random flea-market" tool vendors
  • There were a lot less of the borderline related vendors. The "crown molding cutting jig" guy was there, but I didn't see any gutter cleaning systems or garden tool-only vendors

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