Too Many Audio Shows? Gary Gill, CAF
John Atkinson's story is well-written and I agree with most everything he says. A few things that may be considered include:
Companies that are mail-order only and or do both mail order and sell to sticks and bricks (SAB) strongly effects the SAB stores. It's hard to compete with a mail-order retailer as the margins are not the same on a comparable product. On the other hand most buyers want to kick the tires of the products they are interested in so how does one resolve this?
The relationship between manufacturer and SAB should be reconsidered and possibly move away from the typical 50/50 split or whatever the present financial relationship is. Maybe retailers should not have to buy in completely to bring in a new line?
The attendance of my first three shows clearly proved that there was a pent-up desire for smaller regional shows but often depends on the demographics.
I was told by several manufacturers that they actually sold things and took orders! Can that be said at the larger shows?
New or smaller manufacturers often get lost at the larger shows whereas they are well received and patronized at smaller venues.
The larger shows are often so large that most attendees have to budget their time as to what they want to see and or hear and often they go back to the same old manufacturers. Each show fills its own niche.
I look at the Audio Shows like auto shows in that the large ones are where you look at the exotic and the not so exotic. The following week you go to your respective dealer (or small regional audio show) to buy what fits your wallet.
Who really knows? I haven't figured it out yet and am still having a difficult time even with the wonderful press and feedback I've received.Gary Gill, Capital Audio Fest