I attended AXPONA Atlanta with the primary purpose of learning who my local dealers were, and I've been here 10 years. I considered myself lucky to stumble upon a few.
(Well, not looking for 10 years, but still ...)
You'd be surprised how unhelpful Google can be at finding local sales of high end audio. One, maybe two bigger places mostly selling home theater and nothing from the guy does audio on the side but is nevertheless a legit outlet for this or that.
Anyway, JM's conclusion seemed spot-on, and I'll never understand why the event organizers don't make a point of showcasing local retailers first and shuffling off to the side the "visitors". Hey AXPONA: local is more valuable, recognize that and treat them special. A simple theme, signs on the doors, a special floor or hall(s) for them, anything. Throw us a bone?