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Atlanta Trade show.

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Pat Kotnour, Jun 29, 2009.

  1. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I wanted to bring this to a new thread because I think it is important and don't want it to get lost on an unrelated subject.

    There are so many rumors going around and as far as I know as of last Fri. the show is on. The Atlanta show is now and has been since I paid my booth deposit several months ago, combined with the gift and furniture show at the Gift market. It is Sept. 12-14th. If there is any down sizing, it is only because the vendors haven't committed to the show, which makes it very hard for Decor to plan for space.

    In this combined show they are going to allow all gift buyers to attend the Art & Frame show and visa versa. To me it sounds like a great plan because many of the shops and galleries also have gifts. This way they can get it all done in one trip.

    The show has not been canceled, but I'm afraid if the rumors keep flying the way they are, people will be afraid to commit to the show. Attach-EZ is in, and going to stay in, and I hope that other companies will follow my lead. If we all just stop advertising, just stop spending money on promotion, just stop doing the things that have made us successful, then we are creating our own destiny. The best thing that could happen to our industry right now is for people to start spending their money again. There might be 8% unemployment, but there are still 92% working. Maybe we should start to focus on that. If we focus on the possitive, the negative will take care of itself.
    Please, the sky won't fall if the industry doesn't let it.
    American Picture Frame Academy 1-888-840-9605

    The American Picture Framing Academy Learn Picture Framing Now
  2. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    That is a really really bad idea. Why not just go ahead and open it up to the public. It is almost there now.

    Or make it like a big flea market.

    It looked like that the last time I attended with all the Asian canvas 'paintings' stacked six feet tall and reeking of ammonia.
  3. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Trade Shows in general....


    What I posted in the previous thread was not a rumour....it was based on the fact that I was aware of 4-6 major vendors that had not planned on attending the Atlanta framing show in 2009. Shows are expensive and trade shows are in decline, in the hardware industry, in the gift industry, in the art and framing industry - it's just a fact of life.

    When the major players elect not to participate, it doesn't mean the show will not happen, but it will not be the same, and it will not be a major trade show.

    As you may know, we do almost 50% of our gross sales in gifts and collectibles and we typically shop at one of the major gift markets every year, for 4-7 days! We went to Atlanta in 2006-2007-2008. We went back to Chicago in 2009. New York has been traditionally the third big gift show.

    These big gift shows are in the January markets. The September show is typically a much lighter and less attended event, as are the July markets
  4. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Sorry John, I didn't mean to make it sound like I thought it was you who was starting the rumors. That is not the case at all. The rumors have been around for awhile now.

    Jerry, the Asian art dealers are at the WCAF show as well, and I'm sure that they were glad to have them. As a matter of fact, there was one on either side of my booth at the last show and never once did I feel that their presents presented any kind of flea market feel or negative stigma to the show. Without the art dealers, Asian or otherwise, the WCAF show would have a hard time filling up the hall. I'm not sure I understand your point of veiw about combining the art and frame show with the gift market. Please explain, because to me it makes so much more sence to put them together....especially since so many frame shops and galleries also sell gifts.
  5. Luddite

    Luddite PFG, Picture Framing God

    No they don`t...The requirements to get a buyer`s badge are pretty strict,with one WEIRD exception....They are stunningly loose with INTERNET "stores".Pity the trade show isn`t during one of the bigger Mart shows(July,Jan) I work these shows,and could easily slip out for a long "lunch". :) L.

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    These 2 shows have always been the same weekend with one or two exceptions over the past 15 years. In the most recent years I have got more benefit from the gift show than the art/framing show.

    Having everything all at one location should be good but unfortuneately many who really need to look into the gift / home decor product line will probably not do it since they are a framer and not a gift shop.
  7. JWB9999999

    JWB9999999 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've already booked my hotel rooms, and I'm glad the shows are co-habitating, as half my store is gift type stuff. But... I really wish they didn't run at EXACTLY the same dates. Going to be hard to cover everything in so little time, what with the classes I'd like to take, all the moulding and other stuff I plan to buy from the framing show, and all the thousands of gift vendors from the gift show. I could easily spend 3 days at each show alone!
  8. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    This might already be something that happens, but do they
    ever make a DVD of the seminars at trade shows and
    have them available later? It seems like that could be
    an interesting idea. They could have them only be available
    to the people who had gone to the show, and make them
    available by mail after it ended. That way, if you missed a
    class, you could see what had been covered.

    There are probably fifty reasons about to be given as to
    why this would never work, or why it's already being done
    but in some better way. Still, the idea came to mind, so
    here it is.
  9. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Shayla, That is a good idea, but the biggest problem would be the expense. To get a DVD that is clear enough in sound and picture is very expensive. When I did my first DVD it took almost 10 hrs of filming with 2 cameras to get 1 1/2 hrs of material, and about 30 hrs of editing after the fact. It would be nice if it were possible for the educators to be able to film their classes during the show and sell them, but it probably wouldn't be cost effective, nor would the end results be clear enough to get much out of it.
  10. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    Since 50% of our business is home decor/gifts we always hit both places anyway..this will just make it easier...also a WCAF we always spend 2-3 days at the gift markets as well.....if you have room and a little $ to invest I recommend trying gifts and home decor in your shop, start small and see how it goes.
  11. Kyle Henson

    Kyle Henson CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Gifts/decor has always been part of our product mix since we opened five years ago. I usually hit both the Jan. and July markets every year. I find it a must for our gift line as trends tend to change much more quickly than framing trends. I try to make it to one of the framing shows once every two years. I think it is a good opportunity for attendees that the shows run together. However, I would think it would waste a lot of vendor time with looky-loos who don't even do framing.
  12. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Trade Shows in general....


    Please note how Kyle's comments here mirror my comments to you in a PM about this subject. Retailers that sell Art of Gifts tend to find it more imperative to attend trade shows than framers would.

    Trade Shows in multiple industries have been on a slow decline for the past 10-12 years. The current economic environment is going to make any further slide even more dramatic.

    The key to the success of the WCAF Show in Las Vegas has had everything to do with Education.

  13. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    John, I have to wonder why you are so insistant on making sure that everyone knows that in your opinion the Decor show will not be worth the trip? It seems to me that you, as an educator, would be trying to promote any show...not trying to keep people from going. Not everone on the east coast wants to go all the way to LV to a trade show. Atlanta is still the best choice for those who don't want to travel so far and who normally attend the Atlanta show.
  14. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    If I recall right, didnt the earliest Decor show also feature gifts and jewelry?
  15. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I believe you are right, but it was before my involvement in the trade shows so I'm not sure if it was a good thing or not. Is there anyone here who can give us information on the subject?
  16. treeves

    treeves CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Gift Market....Atlanta

    You can find tons of gift items, they have just opened another gift building behind the old gift building, which is 18 stories, the new one is 10 stories. They are numbered 1-4, the old merchandise mart, the apparel mart, the gift mart, and now the new gift mart addition. I am not sure what each number is, but they will give you a show guide on registering.
    Buying gifts is really tricky, candles are always good, tyler candles, yankee candles, seemed to be the best for us, but their are literally thousands of suppliers of candles located throughout the mart. Figure out what catagories you would like to buy in and stick to buget.
    Their are several buying groups that you can join and buy at substantial discounts, saving freight cost, as much as 25% off, with December dating. If you are not in one, you are buying at a disadvantage, not only price wise, but normally you don't have to buy at the minimal original order amount. If its 500$, you can have an opening order of 50-100$. Check it out......
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2009
  17. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Have any suggestions and/or contact info for a few different buying groups?
  18. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I can't find any information on class opportunities in Atlanta... they just say "AmericasMart has plenty of classrooms available for more hands-on and lecture style seminars. If you are interested in hosting a class contact your sales representative to see how the new DECOR Expo Alliance Program can help."
  19. Luddite

    Luddite PFG, Picture Framing God


    ....And greetings from said Market! Here til Wed. L.
  20. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    July Show traffic...


    Enjoy the show at the Atlanta Market - you're past the halfway mark! Share with me a report on attendance if you would - curious.

    We received a load of email newsletters and offeres from Gift vendors attending both the Atlanta Show and the Chicago show which follows July 16-22. It looks like both venues and their respective exhibitors were promoting these July shows more than usual.

    Do say hello to Dorry at the Inge-glas showroom 20-C-2 if you have a moment - Appreciated. She might be working the showroom solo. Thanks!

  21. DTWDSM

    DTWDSM SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    I would be interested as well in the traffic. I am going to the Chicago show next week, I am guessing it should be interesting talking to the showrooms.
  22. Luddite

    Luddite PFG, Picture Framing God

    Mart report ,at least from my bit of real estate...

    Attendence was down,considerably...BUT our(at least) sales were about the same ,$ wise as last July.January is the biggest show by far,but the halls still were pretty darned empty!Lots of buyers are calling,or using the internet for buying instead of paying for a trip.On a more "me me me" note.I picked up my usual asst. of Swarovski stones,wholesale(unholy inexspensive!!)pearls,and gemstone beads,and personal goodies,in record time.Back to reality: there are LOTS of empty showrooms now,hope all my friends here are surviving.they are all nice ,hardworking people. Later,I crawl off to shower:eek:......L.
  23. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    It seems that companies could still go to the shows, even if
    they decided to scale down their booths to be a bit smaller
    than usual. It's better to support the show and have a presence
    than to let it atrophy. There's a lot of expense involved in having
    a big, fancy layout, and maybe they could strike a balance by
    still going but setting up something less elaborate.
  24. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Placing a booth at a major trade show is very costly for the exhibitors. Reducing the size of the booth space would save some money, but the cost would not be reduced proportionally. Packing, shipping, drayage, and labor costs remain high. I'm guessing, but reducing the booth/exhibit size by 50% might save only 25% of the cost.

    Exhibitors at trade shows must have attendee traffic and a measurable return on their trade show investment. That is a huge issue for them. After one show, an exhibitor mentioned to me that the cost of exhibiting exceeded $50,000. But due to declining attendance and framers' hesitation to buy, they sold much less at the show than in previous years, and saw no assurance of a residual benefit.

    In that case, if they could save as much as $20,000 by economizing at the next show, they might still lose $20,000 or more in the effort. It's no wonder exhibitors are saying, "Why bother?"

    It would be great if the Atlanta show can regroup in this new format & venue, and continue to be profitable for Decor, for the exhibitors, and for the framers who attend. Let's hope WCAF continues with good attendance in January, as well. If these trade shows can not produce a return on the investment of exhibitors as well as organizers, they would follow the demise of New York, Chicago, and other now-defunct framing shows. That would be a shame.

    DecorExpo-Atlanta needs you.
  25. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Jim, you are way off on your calculations. I'm pretty sure I know who you are basing your calculations on and there is a very good reason for the high expense with the company you are referring to. When a vendor has huge display units that require many people, drayage, and labor costs to assemble it, it is very expensive. But these same vendors go to smaller shows all the time, with minimal costs to show the same products they demonstrate in the more elaborate displays, making it more profitable.

    The trade shows are part of most companies advertising programs and has always been the most efficient way to demonstrate new products. It has been my experience that more people are likely to buy at a trade show or after they have seen a product demonstrated, than by reading an ad. Those same buyers will also pass on information to other framers after they have purchased a product they like.

    For any company to just say we can't afford to show because it's too costly is really doing a disservice to the industry, and to the shops who always attend and depend on their products. None of those larger companies need to spend so much to exhibit, they choose to. It is very costly to create a aura of success, but I have to wonder how long it will be before these same companies will go out of business for lack of exposure.

    I show at these same trade shows all the time and have been very successful through my own efforts. I assemble my own booth and tear it down, and when the show is over I am always in the black because I don't spend more than I can afford...and.... I always try to have something new to show at every event, no matter how small. It gives people a reason to want to stop at my booth. I may not have a big elaborate booth, but I am almost always one of the busiest booths at the shows. If other companies would do the same, the show would be more exciting and give people a good reason to attend.

    As Jim said, Decor-Expo, Atlanta needs you.
  26. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    For all of the those who are planning on coming to the Atlanta show, I suggest that you e-mail Decor to let them know. I have been told daily about shops who were planning on coming , but can't find any information on the show. Let them know you want the show. http://www.decor-expo.com

    Mark Shapiro
    Western Canada

    Sara Vesely
    Eastern Canada

    Rita Popowicz
    International (except Canada)

    Mark Tugendlieb
    International (except Canada)

    Executive Sales/Administration Staff

    Eric Smith
    Group Vice President

    Geoff Fox
    Director of Business & Show Operations

    Jill Yacovazzi
    Operations Coordinator

    Laura Novak
    Product Marketing Specialist
  27. JWB9999999

    JWB9999999 SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm still waiting for them to publish classes and such so I can sign up. They are a bit late on doing that it seems.
  28. Mike Labbe

    Mike Labbe Member, Former moderator team volunteer

    Yes. The show is only 7 weeks away.

    In previous years I think they posted the class, participating vendors list, and signup info back in May or June. This gave extra time to find airline deals, make hotel reservations, etc.

    I won't be attending this year, but hope everyone who does has a great time!

  29. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Show information...

    Many of us are waiting to hear from Decor Magaine about the piggy-backed show and the educational opportunities presented. (I'm sure that we'll hear soon.)

    In the meantime, the other half of the piggy-back is the Atlanta Fall Gift and Home Furnishings Market, September 12-14th.

    An email blast was received this morning from the market about travel and hotel bookings, so the link about takes you directly to those web pages.


  30. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    There will be trade events and classes associated with art, framing, home furnishings, gifts, and gourmet foods, all at the same time in the same place?

    Wow, that's a "Big Tent" approach if ever there was one.
  31. Luddite

    Luddite PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well,I suppose if you don`t learn anything,you can at least find food...Scary fact: some of the gift buyers I met planned a whole day of their mart time following the free food/drinks,parties! A whole day!!!OOH KAAY...................... :icon11:L.
  32. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Well it's official, the Decor-Expo is canceled, or as I was told, postponed for a year. I can't tell you how sorry I am to hear that, but it isn't surprising given the negativity that so many were expelling about the show. From my perspective, it is a self fulfilled prophecy. The big companies wouldn't commit to the show until they knew others were going to be there, making it impossible for Decor to commit to the space to even have the show.

    My question to the larger anchor companies who have always supported this show; how do you expect the shops to get on board if you won't? Attach-EZ is a very small company, but I was committed to being there, and so should all of you have. It is so disappointing to see the show canceled due to lack of commitment on the part of the vendors. Every time we loose one more shop or one more company to the poor economy we are chipping away at the very foundation of the industry. I hope you all remember that when it comes time to sign your contracts to WCAF show and hopefully Decor Expo next year. The industry is only as strong as we make it and if you are going to sit back and wait and see, you will be responsible for what comes next.
  33. Jerry Ervin

    Jerry Ervin PFG, Picture Framing God

    It's not like we didn't see it coming Pat.

    I may be absolutely wrong, but that thing just couldn't live in the Gift Mart.

    Smaller venue if needed I understand. But do it somewhere else.

    The Convention Center here in Charlotte is smaller and cheaper to be in. We have have a lot of industries that do their shows here because of that.

    Besides 1/3 of all US framers seem to be here anyway...
  34. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That's too bad. Aside from economic conditions, our industry is changing rapidly. Both of those influences have affected Atlanta, but I believe framers could still support two major trade shows. We'll see, when retail industries stop shrinking and start growing again.

    Maybe next year will signal a rebirth of Atlanta, or maybe an annual event will be established in a new city. Or maybe PPFA chapter meetings will become more attractive gathering opportunities, in partnership with local, regional, and national suppliers. Maybe a publisher/trade show organizer and PPFA will once again find a way to work together for mutual benefit.

    There may be several trade show possibilities in the future, but Pat is right: all such events are dependent on the support of framers. In the future as in the past, suppliers will exhibit where framers go to buy.

    At this low ebb, the suppliers who are potential trade show exhibitors and sponsors of education probably will watch for signs that their customers (we) are coming back to life and want to attend a trade show. It might be a good idea for framers to communicate their preferences to them.
  35. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well like I said in another thread there were very few "big" names at the NAMM show in Nashville last week. Gibson, Fender, Marshall, Peavey, Carvin, Paul Reed Smith, and others weren't there. That is right in Gibson's back yard! Maybe the problem is widespread.

    I don't think the show promoters are without fault. The first show I ever attended there were something like 20+ educators with many owning and operating frame shops. Those names were mostly recognizable, Markoff, Bluestone, Carter, Goltz, Raines, Parker.... The last time I looked there were like 10+ "educators" with 1 or 2 even owning a shop - ever. The offerings were weak and led mostly by people from outside our own industry or consultants loosely grounded in reality.

    This year NAMM started up a series of classes specifically for praise and worship leaders. That is why I was invited and that is why I went. I wonder what, if anything, Décor has planned to improve the “amenities” of the show? For several reasons I may never attend another framing show ever again. If every vendor in the United States were there I probably wouldn't be any more inclined to go. Yet some really great classes or a well designed networking scheme may draw me out.
  36. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    With all due respect to the current owner/operators of DECOR and the Decor Expo-

    I would LOVE to be an instructor at any DECOR event- however the policies of the new regime made it unaffordable for me to do so.

    If I were to teach, I was required to transport myself and all of my teaching supplies to the venue, pay for my own hotel and expenses, and they had the right to cancel my contract at any time, even after I had already purchased my ticket. So if the show was cancelled, or of if my class did not have sufficient enrollment, I would be SOL for my out of pocket expenses. And, if I did teach, my cost to get to the venue, etc. was not even covered by the honorarium they were paying (unless I were offered the opportunity to teach multiple classes).

    This was not the case in the past (as Jay H remembers) - and it could be a good reason why the instructor level and class offerings "suffered."

    Many of the instructors today are retained/sponsored by companies and that is why they are at the venues. With today's economic conditions, unfortunately education sponsorship may also suffer.
  37. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I didn't see any calculations. He provided information about a specific example. While I can't imagine even a large company spending that much money for a show, I believe that very thing is what enabled shows to be a success for so long. Without the big vendors spending megabucks the shows would have never gained the momentum they did in the '90s and early '00s.

    Our last trade show cost us over $6000 for a single booth, set up and taken down by ourselves (two people). We shared a hotel room and flew coach on tickets booked at an opportune time. We did have a few extravagant meals, but I don't see anyone (as a vendor) spending less than $5k on a show unless they are local. The only time we've come out financially ahead (over the long term - we don't generally make sales at the show) on a show was the first time we were in the venue, as it gave us access to a lot of people we'd never seen before. Followup shows return less and less each year.

    We (the framing "industry") is a primarily visual business. As color accuracy and 3D rendering abilities grow I imagine that someday shows will be nothing more than a fond memory for those of us with grey hair. Yes, there are some things that are difficult to sell except in person, those niches will have to figure something else out. Even the social interaction becomes less and less necessary. Look at the huge success of MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter et al, never mind the entry level formats such as The Grumble. The internet makes it easier to have a relationship with someone far away. Ok, there is nothing like a face to face chat over a beer or whatever, but is it worth what it costs? More and more people are saying no. Do you like it? Do I like it? It doesn't really matter. What matters is what the people want - if you don't give it to them you'll be gone the way of the framing trade show.
  38. surferbill

    surferbill SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Twenty years ago, I used to go to the NY Expo/framing show every year, but it finally got too expensive and too much trouble for me to attend.
    Evidently everyone else felt the same way and they stopped having it.

    Atlanta was nice for a few years, but when I went two years ago, it seemed like it was much smaller and dominated by vendors selling chinese oil paintings.
    It just wasn't worth my while to go anymore, and obviously in a bad economy this year a lot of framers felt the same way.

    I would guess in a year or two when the economy picks up another show will pop up and take the place of Atlanta.

    It's a shame Atlanta had to end, but life goes on.
  39. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I hope you're right, Bill. I'm not sure we couldn't survive without an east coast framing show, but it sure would be good to have one.

    Atlanta was the biggest and best framing show in the country until a couple of years ago. The WCAF/National Conference organizers had two moderately successful shows in Philadelphia, and started planning for one in Atlantic City a few years ago. Maybe they will try again to raise an east coast to complement their successful Las Vegas show.
  40. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yes David, there were no calculations and the example was real.

    Whether an exhibitor invests $5,000 or $50,000, it's always a major expense in porportion to their sales. Each one surely must have a return on that investment. Kudos to all the exhibitors who can find ways to make it work for them.
  41. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What I was getting at was the fact that the large companies spend so much on their displays that they lose money on every show. It doesn't have to be that way, they have chosen to make it so. No company wants to lose money, but to not show at all only hurts the industry. Scale down for awhile if you have to, but don't give up on the trade shows. It's part of advertising.

    I just got off the phone with the Americas Mart booth people and they told me that they have had calls that started yesterday from vendors wondering if they have a place for them in the gift market booth section and I have had many accounts tell me that they were planning on attending. Guess I may just have to go to the Canadian Expo.
  42. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I remember the first trade show I ever attended. It was in the convention center in downtown Charlotte. It was called the ABC show (Art Buyers Caravan). This was at least 25 yrs ago. There were at least two floors and it was over whelming. Imagine what it was like 10 yrs later in Atlanta. Times were good.
    Okay, now, times are not so good. What I have noticed is that many of the distributors are holding their own shows in house, complete with classes.
  43. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    A canceled show is better than a bad show.

    Vendors and attendees travel to trade shows with high expectations. Imagine the complaints if the show were a failure.

    I give them credit for acknowledging the dismal state of the economy and saving everyone a lot of grief.

    I would say to Decor....why not plan a trade show to coincide with the PPFA convention?

  44. Luddite

    Luddite PFG, Picture Framing God


    Holy Farglesnot! SO CLOSE. Actually thought I was gonna get to see one of these (art/framing) shows,up close! Ah well.............L.
  45. Kyle Henson

    Kyle Henson CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Dissapointing. I did not attend the Summer gift market because I was planning on attending the combined shows in Sept. I booked plane/hotel reservations long ago. I guess I will still be going to the gift show. Decor has lost me ever planning on attending another of their shows.
  46. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'll echo Rob's post

    Educators, certainly the ones I know, do it because they enjoy the shows and like to share. The Decor group simply did not pay well; didn't cover expenses. I'll share an experience in Baltimore a few years back

    It's pretty much travel all day going from az, all day returning, two days at venue and you're gone from home for 4 days. Airfare for two (i always have my wife travel or i don't go), meals, cabs, tips and it becomes real money. Hardly any of us rely upon this very small income as anything meaningful. (Every consulting gig i do pays more than all the honorariums for the entire year and i stay at home)

    Then we get 20 people in a class; tough for Decor to do (or pay)much more

    Think of all the framers that didn't show, take classes, support the "big guys" with their huge expenses

    Lay it back on the vendors all you want, but no attendees; no exhibitors. No attendees, no education

    When we had a chance to support the concept, we didn't. Anyone (sorry, Pat) that wants to blame the vendors is free to pick up the reins and operate a show

    Chicken or Egg? No, it's all about attendance of framers

    No framers, no trade show
  47. Jay H

    Jay H PFG, Picture Framing God

    Bob, I opened my business two doors down from an art gallery featuring only local artists. It had some potential and briefly during the first year it was in business, it had a little buzz around town about it. By the time I opened there the gallery was about 3 years old. Already they had some convoluted hours, shotty looking walls, stale/dated art, and extremely high prices. The owners were tired and only putting the minimum effort required to keep the doors open. They closed.

    A few weeks later one of the owners wrote into Readers Wrights roasting the people of this fine city for not supporting them or the arts. It was like the city should so love this gallery that they buy over priced garbage just for the honor of keeping the gallery open. They were all to happy to blame the chicken but it was the other way around.

    The gallery had the responsibility to become and stay relevant in the eyes of it's would be customers. Thats the way it works and never the other way around and I think you would agree. You have said 1000 times that it's easier to sell what people want than try and convince them to buy what you want to sell. I always thought that their accusation was a cop out and so is "no framers, no trade show".

    To support something that has little or no value is called charity. Why not just have decor ask for a donation? Framers who want to support decor for the "love of the industry" can just write them a $20 check and stay home.

    1000% of the responsibility of building attendance falls on the shoulders of the promoter. It's not the other way around. If I'm going to sink a grand or two for a weekend at a trade show I don't think it's unfair to ask "what's in it for me". Other than a really good weekend with friends I'd have to say very little was in it for me in the last show or two I have attended. I'm pretty sure that wasn't my fault. I have way better charities and hobbies to keep pumping money into trade show weekends that offer very little.
  48. etlock

    etlock CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Sour Grapes!

    To Art business News / Art Expo

    To Decor Magazine / ABC Shows

    To Picture Framing Magazine / WCAF

    The old adage of "What goes around , Comes around " , translates to " What went around, Came around " , for two of the three so far.


    Tom Pavlock
  49. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Bob, I realize that it isn't just the vendors who caused the cancellation of the show, but it would be pretty hard to encourage anyone to commit to coming to a show unless the vendors were on board from the beginning. The vendors never got on board this year, making it impossible for Decor to commit to having it. In this case the vendors are the chicken and the attendee's are the eggs and the way I see it, the chicken has to come first.

    Two years ago Decor had me do a class the day before the show started and almost 60 people showed up. These same people came from all over the east coast and Canada. It was also a great show for many vendors. I can't speak for the larger companies, because many of them don't realize the impact the show has had on their business until after the show is over, but I do know a bit about how to get people interested in coming to the show. It starts with creating excitement about your products and what you have to offer. A big fancy display that costs a fortune to bring in won't do it as much as a GWP or a special deal they won't get anywhere else. It seems to me that many companies, including Decor, have gotten caught up in the same old...same old...syndrome. All you have to do is look at the success of the WCAF show to know that it takes the support of the entire industry to make a show successful. It's a great show for many reasons; vendor support, an excellent educational program, room inclusion in the booth package, and a location people want to go to. Decor could learn a lot from them. The east coast or the midwest could have an equally good show if it were done right.

    Since the subject was brought up, I would like to ask those who have attended the shows on the east coast and the midwest, where would you like to see a show held? Somewhere on the east coast or some place in the midwest and why?
  50. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    New York!!! The pier not the high priced Javit's. (I'm selfish - from NJ) :p
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