Are AV Tradeshows a Thing of the Past?

Montucky

Montucky

Full Audioholic
Montana, as in the state of Montana? As someone that lives in an extremely densely populated state I am kinda obsessed by certain low population states, like Montana, North and south Dakota, Wyoming.
That obsession mostly comes from watching the Smithsonian channel show Aerial American. I could never deal with the winters in that states though.
Lol. I LIVED for the winters. Didn't bother me one bit. Even if they do go from like September through June and I'd occasionally see -50. Maybe I have some Scandinavian blood in me or something. Getting a big snowblower was a game changer, though. :)
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Field Marshall
Lol. I LIVED for the winters. Didn't bother me one bit. Even if they do go from like September through June and I'd occasionally see -50. Maybe I have some Scandinavian blood in me or something. Getting a big snowblower was a game changer, though. :)
God bless to you for that. Jersey doesn't even have bad winters anymore and I can't stand it. Beautiful, beautiful state though.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Investing time in potential customers must be considered a benefit, not a waste!

You just never know when the kid you talk to today may be the best customer in a few years with a large bank roll, and he certainly won't forget the time you gave him when he was a broke kid.

Furthermore, the people in these particular niche industries (audio, biking, etc) should be so passionate about their work that they actually like to discuss and educate, regardless of the $ at the end of the day.

I have personally been on the end of a salesman "profiling" me on more than 1 occasion, where he was clearly thinking to himself, "there is no way this chump can afford this stuff, he is wasting my time". Well, that a-hole lost a lot of $ and a lot of potential $ due to his preconceived world view.

I have also had the exact opposite experiences, and those are the ones that gain a customer for life, and possibly several thousand of my dollars.

One time I went into a bike shop, fairly early, just 1 other customer. I went in there to ask some questions and it was part of my info gathering looking for a new bike. The guy behind the counter was still drinking his morning coffee, and we had a long chat, he answered all my questions, and we started looking at some bikes and pricing at his dealer online connection (he did not have the style of bike in stock that I wanted). Other customers came and went, and the other shop guy handled that while we chatted.

Along the way of natural conversation, I discovered that this guy was actually the owner of the bike shop. At the end of about an hour of his time, I told him "get that bike on order, I like the vibe of this shop", furthermore, I ended up going for a step-up model.

So, I went in there just intending to talk, get some info, see what stock they had, and go about my day. I left with a deposit, a bike on the way, and an agreement to pay ~$1k for a new bike. Since then, I have paid that shop another ~$1k over the next few years.

That is a pretty dang good return on investment for an hour of chit chat.
The problem with retail is that when passionate people burn out due to being jerked around too much, that passion goes away. Sometimes, it returns after a break away from whatever pursuit they're engaged in and sometimes, it doesn't. People who have abandoned good businesses need to look themselves squarely in the eye when they complain about the loss.

I was talking with a friend last night- he's responsible for me getting into audio, that bastige!. He went on to be a new car sales manager at a large dealership and he talked about one of the salesmen who said that he wouldn't help someone who had come in, all because the potential customer was wearing a T-shirt and that sales guy didn't think it would be good use of his time. The Mgr sent someone else over- they talked, worked out a deal and the customer wrote a check for his brand new 5-series BMW. The sales guy who blew him off was PO'd, the F&I guy was really PO'd and the salesman who closed the deal got a hefty commission. I worked for a boat dealer and on a Saturday, one of our customers came in to check on his boat. He had come from his printing business and was wearing coveralls which were stained with ink and other substances, as Saturday was his time to perform maintenance on the presses. As we chatted, he said he had gone to a local car dealer after his Saturday work day and as he walked around the showroom, he was completely ignored until he moved closer to one of the cars and was asked (not too politely) to avoid going too close, so he wouldn't get the car dirty. That clinched it, and he left. He headed to the next closest dealer and was treated very well, even though he hadn't changed his clothes. He eventually said "OK, I'll take one in dark blue and while you're at it, I'll get a red one for my wife". After the cars had been delivered, he drove to the first dealership and saw the SD (sales dork) in the lot, where he pulled up and asked if SD remembered him. He was told that he looked vaguely familiar, but wasn't actually remembered. He reminded SD about the incident and said he and his wife were really enjoying their new (also) 5-series BMWs.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
THAT is a huge problem, and also just plain poor etiquette!

That leads to the next point, the vast majority of people do not understand the difference between price and value!
Etiquette, schmetiquette- people don't give a rat's patoot about that unless they perceive someone as being rude to them and at that point, it's game on. I went to Menard's for a laundry tub and when someone finally came over, it was a woman who was being run ragged. As she asked how I could be helped, a 20-something idiot and his moron friend walked over and interrupted her, to ask where something was located. The ends of the aisles have big signs with the contents of their aisles and as they walked away after being pointed to the tools, I said "Really? You mean the freaking signs on the end caps are too hard to read?". She cracked up and said "Thanks, I really needed to laugh!".

Many people say "I need..." when they actually mean "I want..."- they're usually trying to keep up with the Jones's, too.
 
EpsilonZer0

EpsilonZer0

Audiophyte
Most industry trade shows are never coming back. CES has just been companies putting on lavish parties for their staff, friends, and "journalists" for the past 15 years. For the past 5 years companies have openly complained that there really wasn't much point spending millions on one show a year, but they still did it because everyone else was. I am not saying CES or other shows are dead, but they will definitely be going back to basics.
 
Montucky

Montucky

Full Audioholic
Most industry trade shows are never coming back. CES has just been companies putting on lavish parties for their staff, friends, and "journalists" for the past 15 years. For the past 5 years companies have openly complained that there really wasn't much point spending millions on one show a year, but they still did it because everyone else was. I am not saying CES or other shows are dead, but they will definitely be going back to basics.
Fair points. I would NOT mind a back to basics approach like some of the geekier conventions. Take TooManyGames in Philly for example, or the PAX expos to a lesser extent. WAAAAY more down to earth and attainable for the average guy. It's all about sharing the love of those folks passions, ya know? I think the AV industry could certainly use an approach like that. ESPECIALLY if the attending companies want to get a better, more realistic pulse on consumer interest and stuff.
 
Cos

Cos

Audioholic Field Marshall
Trade shows will never go away, they will just evolve. I have been to CES multiple times, but when it comes to audio, I prefer the smaller shows like AXPONA. That one in particular because its close to home. CES is/was too big and the smaller shows are more personal and target the right audience. The downside is you have to listen to the gear in hotel rooms, but the upside is the smaller crowds and the opportunity to talk to the vendors and demo equipment.

Until Covid vacs are commonplace, will have to enjoy virtual. I am fortunate in that I have several Audio shops near me to demo gear. That being said, I am old school and try to stick with the dealers and vendors that treat me well.
 
H

Hetfield

Audioholic Field Marshall
Trade shows will never go away, they will just evolve. I have been to CES multiple times, but when it comes to audio, I prefer the smaller shows like AXPONA. That one in particular because its close to home. CES is/was too big and the smaller shows are more personal and target the right audience. The downside is you have to listen to the gear in hotel rooms, but the upside is the smaller crowds and the opportunity to talk to the vendors and demo equipment.

Until Covid vacs are commonplace, will have to enjoy virtual. I am fortunate in that I have several Audio shops near me to demo gear. That being said, I am old school and try to stick with the dealers and vendors that treat me well.
To the vacs portion, I know a lot of people now that are actually getting it or are eligible but too scared and stupid to take it. Point is is starting to get out there.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 
Kingnoob

Kingnoob

Audioholic General
I think a store can work, but it has to be done in a way that controls the cost, refuses to try to stock everything and trains the people well. Make it convenient- stock good quality accessories that are commonly needed in a pinch, don't claim to sell 'The Best Equipment EVER!' and don't BS people.

Where did you work?
I’m too young I’ve never even heard of electronic trade shows til now .

I’ve heard of the one we’re new TVs are displayed once a year . Like the wall

Online retailers killed off most electronic stores but some still exist for pro audio like guitar center .

Bestbuy magnolias which everything is super overpriced and it’s a hour away in Akron is only store I’ve seen that still sells speakers near me .
I’m sure some of there gear is good but I wouldn’t drive that far away , my local store only sells Klipch and Sony speakers .


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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Trade shows will never go away, they will just evolve. I have been to CES multiple times, but when it comes to audio, I prefer the smaller shows like AXPONA. That one in particular because its close to home. CES is/was too big and the smaller shows are more personal and target the right audience. The downside is you have to listen to the gear in hotel rooms, but the upside is the smaller crowds and the opportunity to talk to the vendors and demo equipment.

Until Covid vacs are commonplace, will have to enjoy virtual. I am fortunate in that I have several Audio shops near me to demo gear. That being said, I am old school and try to stick with the dealers and vendors that treat me well.
AXPONA isn't a trade show, it's an expo for people to go and see what's out there. Trade shows are ONLY geared toward the specific trade, without the general public. CES only began to allow the public when they "couldn't make enough money" after moving to a place that made it too expensive and inconvenient for dealers. When it was in Chicago, it was too expensive for the manufacturers- in the year following the release of the first Sony CD player, Sony didn't go to CES, opting for smaller regional shows. These trade shows were used for showing prospective dealers the new products and try to add more to their dealer base and for existing dealers, it was a time for them to work out the details of their product buying for the upcoming year- if they commit to certain dollar levels, they get more/different discounts for the products, shipping terms, promotional items/ads/events and other benefits.

Even in Chicago, the high-end companies held their demos in hotel rooms/suites because a booth at McCormick Place was just too expensive. The year Sony didn't go, the decision came after the previous year, when their double booth cost well over a a million dollars for the four day show. Then, there was the extortion by the unions- plugging extension cords was to be done by union electricians, putting up decorations was to be done by union decorators and if they put out flowers (whether real or fake), union florists were to be used. Seriously- I helped set up the Jamo suite one year and we were told that we needed all three of these groups for the work we were doing. Money made them go away.
 
Cos

Cos

Audioholic Field Marshall
AXPONA isn't a trade show, it's an expo for people to go and see what's out there. Trade shows are ONLY geared toward the specific trade, without the general public. CES only began to allow the public when they "couldn't make enough money" after moving to a place that made it too expensive and inconvenient for dealers. When it was in Chicago, it was too expensive for the manufacturers- in the year following the release of the first Sony CD player, Sony didn't go to CES, opting for smaller regional shows. These trade shows were used for showing prospective dealers the new products and try to add more to their dealer base and for existing dealers, it was a time for them to work out the details of their product buying for the upcoming year- if they commit to certain dollar levels, they get more/different discounts for the products, shipping terms, promotional items/ads/events and other benefits.

Even in Chicago, the high-end companies held their demos in hotel rooms/suites because a booth at McCormick Place was just too expensive. The year Sony didn't go, the decision came after the previous year, when their double booth cost well over a a million dollars for the four day show. Then, there was the extortion by the unions- plugging extension cords was to be done by union electricians, putting up decorations was to be done by union decorators and if they put out flowers (whether real or fake), union florists were to be used. Seriously- I helped set up the Jamo suite one year and we were told that we needed all three of these groups for the work we were doing. Money made them go away.
Agree, Trade shows are usually not open to public, normally, but more and more i.e. CES, are starting to open to the general public, hence my comment on evolve. Chicago Trade Shows are very cost prohibitive, which is frustrating. I worked an event in Chicago where is was requried to have a union elevator person who was making $50.00/hr on weekends for example to press a button. This is why less and less people will exhibit in Chicago.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Agree, Trade shows are usually not open to public, normally, but more and more i.e. CES, are starting to open to the general public, hence my comment on evolve. Chicago Trade Shows are very cost prohibitive, which is frustrating. I worked an event in Chicago where is was requried to have a union elevator person who was making $50.00/hr on weekends for example to press a button. This is why less and less people will exhibit in Chicago.
CES is starting to open to the public? They started that over 30 years ago.
 
Cos

Cos

Audioholic Field Marshall
CES is starting to open to the public? They started that over 30 years ago.
You are correct, as least from my research, they did an experiment in 1993 and opened it to the public that year. When I researched CES, it states that it is not open to the public, only people that are 18 years or older and affiliated with the consumer tech industry. (including friends, family and children). Please correct me if I am wrong. I have only been going since 2018, I should have stated since I have STARTED GOING. My point being is trade shows need to evolve. I do a lot of EmTech TRADE SHOWS for work (pre-covid) and I have seen some evolve to invite the general public, as they do a lot of panel education.
 
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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
You are correct, as least from my research, they did an experiment in 1993 and opened it to the public that year. When I researched CES, it states that it is not open to the public, only people that are 18 years or older and affiliated with the consumer tech industry. (including friends, family and children). Please correct me if I am wrong. I have only been going since 2018, I should have stated since I have STARTED GOING. My point being is trade shows need to evolve. I do a lot of EmTech TRADE SHOWS for work (pre-covid) and I have seen some evolve to invite the general public, as they do a lot of panel education.
But the point is, trade shows aren't exhibitions for the general public because having to talk to people who aren't in the business takes time from doing business and it was common for people to say they were in the industry, just to get info they shouldn't have access to. It's almost impossible to meet with dealers from the whole country at a national show as it is, without having non-trade people picking their brains. If they want to do one day for the general public, it could be their choice but I think it would jam up the works if they could be there every day. People can be pretty irritable after four days of the noise at CES and other shows like them, so people would need to avoid taking too much time. I think it would be better to hold regional expos.
 
Cos

Cos

Audioholic Field Marshall
But the point is, trade shows aren't exhibitions for the general public because having to talk to people who aren't in the business takes time from doing business and it was common for people to say they were in the industry, just to get info they shouldn't have access to. It's almost impossible to meet with dealers from the whole country at a national show as it is, without having non-trade people picking their brains. If they want to do one day for the general public, it could be their choice but I think it would jam up the works if they could be there every day. People can be pretty irritable after four days of the noise at CES and other shows like them, so people would need to avoid taking too much time. I think it would be better to hold regional expos.
My point is that they can offer a hybrid model, which some trade shows are implementing. For example they have opened the showroom floor specific hours/days for GP, but a lot of the education is vendor only. They also have meeting rooms designated on the showroom floor for business meetings. It has worked well for several shows to capture additional revenue to help offset event costs. That and the fact that society is social media driven their are a lot of influencers they can use to help promote their products that are not part of the industry.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
My point is that they can offer a hybrid model, which some trade shows are implementing. For example they have opened the showroom floor specific hours/days for GP, but a lot of the education is vendor only. They also have meeting rooms designated on the showroom floor for business meetings. It has worked well for several shows to capture additional revenue to help offset event costs. That and the fact that society is social media driven their are a lot of influencers they can use to help promote their products that are not part of the industry.
In the current climate of having things made offshore to keep prices down and meet demand, they wouldn't spend the money to do both.

If people weren't against paying for the time needed for consultations, B&M stores wouldn't have died.
 

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