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  • Woodworking shows

    Hope this is a good spot for this topic.   I'm quite envious when i read issues of the magazine and see the ads for upcoming woodworking shows, primarily in Ontario it seems. Many years ago I was a regular attendee at every woodworking show in Edmonton, Alberta, but for some reason, woodworking shows just stopped happening and have never come back. I don't remember when the last one was, but I suspect probably a decade ago. And it's not just Edmonton, I don't see any happening anywhere in Alberta. I'd love to know why! I used to wait for the shows to come because the show deals were often quite good. In fact, i would often renew my subscription to Canadian Woodworking magazine at the show. Didn't mean this to sound like a rant, but it's a bit disappointing and frustrating to be sure.
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  • #2

    Re: Woodworking shows

    Personally I stopped going to any shows many years ago. I don't usually buy things just because they are on sale. I buy them when I know they will produce something for me and I don't have the necessary equipment to do the job. That event rarely occurs at the exact time that a show is on.

    Also, I am a cheapskate .... I find it very difficult to buy the gas for the truck, drive to town, fight traffic, pay for parking, then pay for admittance, just so that manufacturers can advertise to me in person, especially when I am not looking for anything at the moment. I have yet to find a deal at an event that can't be replicated by my local dealer at their place of business.

    Sorry to sound so negative, but I am not susceptible to advertising and have never been a social butterfly that likes the group gathering aspect of these shows.
    Last edited by John Bartley; 07-07-2020, 08:44 AM. Reason: spelin

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    • #3

      Re: Woodworking shows

      Shows are not happening now or for the rest of 2020 in Ontario.

      However, you can sign up for a virtual woodworking show in Novermber.   Prices are from free to just over $8.00.   Have a look at:
      https://woodshows.com/

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      • #4

        Re: Woodworking shows

        Are you talking about shows to see woodworking projects or shows to showcase manufacturers' wares?

        Around here we have craft shows but the woodworking booths are usually just turned items. The last large show I went to I saw 1 non-turned booth and they stuck the poor guy in the back. He actually had some pretty nice furniture. I think pretty much only the turned items (and I mean mostly simple turned stuff from solid pieces nothing complex) are profitable. For a basic turned non-segmented bowl it was anywhere from $50-$75.

        I would love to see an all-woodworking show around me. But if you can't make it work where I live (Washington DC metro area), I doubt you can make it work anywhere.
        Last edited by John Bartley; 07-07-2020, 08:29 PM. Reason: We'll stick with woodworking shows in this thread and try not to go too far off topic please.

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        • #5

          Re: Woodworking shows

          The woodworking tool shows died off I think because of so much being viewable and available on the web. People cruise the web looking for the best possible price and order or go there to get it. Wood working shows cost a lot to put on and therefore the booth costs are high. It is more profitable to sell from a website than stock and staff a booth. People aren't crazy about spending money on parking and admission only to find there is virtually nothing new to see. So except in a few high population areas you aren't going to find the shows returning.

          Pete

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          • #6

            Re: Woodworking shows

            All I can suggest is that you visit woodshows.ca, and see if the November virtual show is of interest.

            You can also google "Toronto woodworking show", and you will get lots of listings for the 2019 event.   See if that is the sort of show you are looking for - once we can have shows again.

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            • #7

              Re: Woodworking shows

              Every woodworker should make at least one visit to either the Vegas or Atlanta machinery shows. You will spend 3 days looking at all levels of machinery from hobbyists to large corporations and not see it all. They are the Mecca’s of woodworking shows. Unfortunately Atlanta has been cancelled this year due to pandemic. It goes back to Vegas next year.
              Last edited by Brian @ Muir; 07-08-2020, 07:58 AM.
              If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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              • #8

                Re: Woodworking shows

                Originally posted by Brian @ Muir View Post
                Every woodworker should make at least one visit to either the Vegas or Atlanta machinery shows. You will spend 3 days looking at all levels of machinery from hobbyists to large corporations and not see it all. They are the Mecca’s of woodworking shows. Unfortunately Atlanta has been cancelled this year due to pandemic. It goes back to Vegas next year.
                This ^^^ I think would be the type of woodworking show that I would pay to see if I was in the area. At a show like this you'd probably get the "new", "big", "small", "different" stuff, all the things you wouldn't normally see at your local dealer. For something like this I might be convinced to part with my coin.

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                • #9

                  Re: Woodworking shows

                  Originally posted by John Bartley View Post
                  For something like this I might be convinced to part with my coin.
                  Brian seems to search for a driving companion most years.
                  Noel

                  "Being so impressed with the beauty of nature, I never cease to be amazed at how the
                  'touch of the human hand' can transform it into another kind of beauty that is so uniquely human.
                  "

                  John Snow, Outdoorsman and Retired Teacher

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                  • #10

                    Re: Woodworking shows

                    I love wood shows. I even used to run the shows in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Red Deer once and yes the last couple years in Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. I used to love working our butts off traveling through western Canada like we were part of a traveling circus. Five weekends in a row we would load multiple 53’ trucks full of machinery and tools and travel from city to city meeting woodworkers of all types. That was when the wood shows had a lot of support from the local dealers. House of Tools was a big supporter as was Canadian WoodWorker, Lee valley Tools and many of the Eastern Canada small vendors that also loved to travel to these shows. When House of Tools went out of business everything changed with the western dealers all struggling to gather up some of the territory left by the loss of HOT. Some of the new players did not get along well with others and at the end of the run the shows became a Canadian Woodworker/Lee valley show with some other western dealers actually putting on competing in-house shows on the same dates. Then the complaints came from customers expecting more and the attendance deteriorated too much to keep the traveling shows viable. The other big factor was the internet. I always say in 2008 it seems everyone in Canada bought a computer and went surfing on Google. It completely changed how events like wood shows or even in house sales events would survive…..they all died right across the country.
                     
                    Recently we have seen a bit of a rebirth. It has been such a pleasure participating in the new Toronto Wood Shows the last two years….they were absolutely fantastic. Lots and lots of traffic and lots and lots of happy attendees. A wood show for the attendee is what he or she wants to make of it. As on this thread there are always going to be different opinions on what a certain woodworker can take from a wood show. It is really easy to walk in the door…walk up and down the isles…and then leave 15 minutes later and claim that you got nothing out of the show. But there are also woodworkers who love the whole experience and will be back all three days just to try take it all in. For the vendors at the show we are there to showcase our stuff…hopefully make some happy new woodworkers taking home their new toys…and yes hopefully it all made sense financially for all involved.
                    Personally I believe “kicking the tires”…getting multiple opinions from sales people…negotiating your best deal…and loading up your new toy is way more fun than placing an order on Amazon. But I am old school…I love the interaction with the customers and even the competition at the shows with other vendors even though most of us are business friends.
                     
                    I too miss the wood shows in Western Canada but I just don’t see them being viable again here based on the participation levels required by local vendors. Maybe someday things will change.
                     
                    Cole Moore
                    Canadian Woodworker Ltd
                    CWI Woodworking Technologies
                     

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