Hi all, I just got the flyer for the AWFS show in Vegas this summer. I canít think of a place Iíd like to go to less than Vegas or Atlanta in the middle of the summer. Does anyone know of a quality show, thatís in a more desirable location(the coast, wine country, Europe,etc) that is good to go to? Or of a show in a warmer climate in the spring or winter? Just wondering? Thanks
We are a small mom and pop shop. I guess to sum up what Iím looking for is looking for innovative new hardware product, go to a waterborne finishing seminar, see tool demos, combined with a tax write off vacation:). I live in northern Michigan.
Taking my men to IWF in 1996 Was one of the smartest things We ever did, We did not have a lot of money and bought a few guides and such but what they saw and learned was a turning point, We grew from there.
The system of hotel to show is really well set up and Atlanta has some great food here and there, The show will occupy your time so taking your wife means they are bored at the show or out in Atlanta on their own.
I am like you and Vegas has no Apeal for me, The IWF is half the size it was in the 90s and the 08 recession really had an neffect on all of Us, technology has also made a major factor in booth reduction as the growth of small CNC replaced a lot of equipment a small shop may have used in days past.
We missed a couple here and there but the best benefit was for My guys to see how others do things, many times after we got back a lot of change happened around the shop and always for the better.
Just, put on your walking shoes and go to the show, and you'll likely make it a priority each year after when you figure out what it can do for the success of you and your company. For some really passionate guys the show is their vacation! Even if you aren't buying any equipment, take a handful of classes, walk the floor and get an idea of what's possible, connect with new vendors, networks with other shops, solve your problems and you'll come away refreshed and inspired to do things better, faster and more profitably. The trip takeaways will 100% pay for the trip and more if you put the time in. I do see a lot of people partied out, and missing the valuable time at the show, which is something that should be addressed ahead of time if you are bringing employees.
Mixing it with a vacation is missing the point. The positives are both big shows are in cities that are easy to get in and out of as well as navigate without a car.
If you want to get into some shops like yours and learn what others are doing I'd suggest checking out the Cabinet Makers Association. They typically have shop tours all day the day before the show in and around Atlanta as well as events at AWFS in addition to regional events around the country where 10-30 shop owners gather for a day or two to see how other shops operate and what products they are using with success as well as sourcing about anything. check the calendar regularly as the regional events typically are spring/summer fall with a couple of months notice. https://www.cabinetmakers.org/events.html
Occasionally, a handful of attendees will stay a few days and ski, tour wine country, visit NYC, or go to more shops. But for most, we want to get back home and implement some of what we've seen.
There used to be some regional industrial shows - one in the Carolinas, one in Grand Rapids, Michigan, other locales.
The Michigan show was nice - in winter, but about everything was enclosed or attached, so you leave your court behind. Grand Rapids knew how to handle things, and the show was the best for really talking to people that could offer real solutions, and seeing things up close.
I enjoyed the Michigan shows better than Atlanta just because for a shorter investment of time, I could see and learn more, with less exhaustion, in Grand Rapids.
I have not been to either Big Show since the crash, I just am not as interested in big equipment as I was when running a 9 man show.
But it is fun to see that stuff run at the big shows. Many things I discovered at a show that I had no idea existed. Then there I was a few years later, buying one!
We go to IWF in Atlanta every year its here. We are only an hour away so I drive in everyday to the classes. We also take a lot of the shop on Friday. The amount that you learn and spend is well worth the money spent. You never have to go outside during the show so the heat isn't a big deal. Between classes show passes, food, and gas we spent about $2,000 last year plus paying guys for a day without being in the shop. It is worth it every year. You need a day to walk the whole thing and then another to go back and look at the stuff you were interested in.
First show was IWF in 1990. It exposes you to different methods and keeps you up to date with technology. Hit and miss on the shows over the years but have gone since 2008 except 2010 due to the down turn and major vendors cancelling on the show. The show is well organized and lets me evaluate our business practices.
I was nervous about paying for the cabinet makers association at first thinking that it would be just like paying for woodweb. It is so much better and well worth the money. The whole things is mostly cabinet shops with 20 or less employees really trying to help each other. I think when people are paying to be in it they are more willing to give up good information. It is worth it just for the shop tours before IWF to see how your shop compares to others and to get ideas on ways to improve or see things that you never thought of.
I don't think the major woodworking shows can be thought of as a vacation. I sure wouldn't bring my wife unless she is a major partner in your business. The Atlanta show is a full time thing, all day for 3 full days. You will walk miles. Be organized before you get there. Consider it an educational thing. I've been to every Atlanta show except 2008 &10. I always take employees. After the show there is time to get together with other people, have a good diner, swap some lies. Some of the major suppliers will offer you diner if you are a good customer. The show is highly recommended as part of your business education, NOT as a vacation. If you've never been to Atlanta spend an extra day or two there to see the city. You don't need a car, buy a Marta pass.
Thank you all for the replies. I will certainly reconsider going to Vegas. My wife is a major part of my business. We would both benefit form going to a good show. My thought was we were planning a vacation, and I thought hey, if we could do a good three day show, then be in a place that was cool or worth seeing, even better. Spend a week or so in a neat place. Where would I find a list of shows upcoming?
I just got back from KBIS show in Vegas. Flew in on Weds and walked part of show came back and walked the rest. Stayed in n Trump tower and took Uber was everywhere. Stay away from taxis and shuttles they are thieving bastards! Weds night went to Cirque de Solai. We saw lots of good stuff. You can go to a small regional show but you wonít see 1/10 of what you will at the big shows. It cost Hundreds of thousands for the big companies to display and they need tens of thousands of visitors to make it worth their while.
Book ahead and save
FORUM GUIDELINES: Please review the guidelines below before posting at WOODWEB's Interactive Message Boards(return to top)
WOODWEB is a professional industrial woodworking site. Hobbyist and homeowner woodworking questions are inappropriate.
Messages should be kept reasonably short and on topic, relating to the focus of the forum. Responses should relate to the original question.
A valid email return address must be included with each message.
Advertising is inappropriate. The only exceptions are the Classified Ads Exchange, Machinery Exchange, Lumber Exchange, and Job Opportunities and Services Exchange. When posting listings in these areas, review the posting instructions carefully.
Subject lines may be edited for length and clarity.
"Cross posting" is not permitted. Choose the best forum for your question, and post your question at one forum only.
Messages requesting private responses will be removed - Forums are designed to provide information and assistance for all of our visitors. Private response requests are appropriate at WOODWEB's Exchanges and Job Opportunities and Services.
Messages that accuse businesses or individuals of alleged negative actions or behavior are inappropriate since WOODWEB is unable to verify or substantiate the claims.
Posts with the intent of soliciting answers to surveys are not appropriate. Contact WOODWEB for more information on initiating a survey.
Excessive forum participation by an individual upsets the balance of a healthy forum atmosphere. Individuals who excessively post responses containing marginal content will be considered repeat forum abusers.
Responses that initiate or support inappropriate and off-topic discussion of general politics detract from the professional woodworking focus of WOODWEB, and will be removed.
Participants are encouraged to use their real name when posting. Intentionally using another persons name is prohibited, and posts of this nature will be removed at WOODWEB's discretion.
Carefully review your message before clicking on the "Send Message" button - you will not be able to revise the message once it has been sent.
You will be notified of responses to the message(s) you posted via email. Be sure to enter your email address correctly.
WOODWEB's forums are a highly regarded resource for professional woodworkers. Messages and responses that are crafted in a professional and civil manner strengthen this resource. Messages that do not reflect a professional tone reduce the value of our forums.
Messages are inappropriate when their content: is deemed libelous in nature or is based on rumor, fails to meet basic standards of decorum, contains blatant advertising or inappropriate emphasis on self promotion (return to top).
Libel: Posts which defame an individual or organization, or employ a tone which can be viewed as malicious in nature. Words, pictures, or cartoons which expose a person or organization to public hatred, shame, disgrace, or ridicule, or induce an ill opinion of a person or organization, are libelous.
Improper Decorum: Posts which are profane, inciting, disrespectful or uncivil in tone, or maliciously worded. This also includes the venting of unsubstantiated opinions. Such messages do little to illuminate a given topic, and often have the opposite effect. Constructive criticism is acceptable (return to top).
Advertising: The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not an advertising venue. Companies participating in a Forum discussion should provide specific answers to posted questions. WOODWEB suggests that businesses include an appropriately crafted signature in order to identify their company. A well meaning post that seems to be on-topic but contains a product reference may do your business more harm than good in the Forum environment. Forum users may perceive your references to specific products as unsolicited advertising (spam) and consciously avoid your web site or services. A well-crafted signature is an appropriate way to advertise your services that will not offend potential customers. Signatures should be limited to 4-6 lines, and may contain information that identifies the type of business you're in, your URL and email address (return to top).
Repeated Forum Abuse:
Forum participants who repeatedly fail to follow WOODWEB's Forum Guidelines may encounter difficulty when attempting to post messages.
There are often situations when the original message asks for opinions: "What is the best widget for my type of shop?". To a certain extent, the person posting the message is responsible for including specific questions within the message. An open ended question (like the one above) invites responses that may read as sales pitches. WOODWEB suggests that companies responding to such a question provide detailed and substantive replies rather than responses that read as a one-sided product promotion. It has been WOODWEB's experience that substantive responses are held in higher regard by our readers (return to top).
The staff of WOODWEB assume no responsibility for the accuracy, content, or outcome of any posting transmitted at WOODWEB's Message Boards. Participants should undertake the use of machinery, materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB's Message Boards after considerate evaluation, and at their own risk. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages it deems inappropriate. (return to top)
Forum Posting Form Guidelines
The name you enter in this field will be the name that appears with your post or response (return to form).
Personal or business website links must point to the author's website. Inappropriate links will be removed without notice, and at WOODWEB's sole discretion. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Your e-mail address will not be publicly viewable. Forum participants will be able to contact you using a contact link (included with your post) that is substituted for your actual address. You must include a valid email address in this field. (return to form)
Subject may be edited for length and clarity. Subject lines should provide an indication of the content of your post. (return to form)
Thread Related Link and Image Guidelines
Thread Related Links posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should point to locations that provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related Link that directs visitors to an area with inappropriate content will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
Thread Related File Uploads
Thread Related Files posted at WOODWEB's Forums and Exchanges should provide supporting information for the topic being discussed in the current message thread. Video Files: acceptable video formats are: .MOV .AVI .WMV .MPEG .MPG .FLV .MP4 (Image Upload Tips) If you encounter any difficulty when uploading video files, E-mail WOODWEB for assistance. The purpose of WOODWEB Forums is to provide answers, not to serve as an advertising venue. A Thread Related File that contains inappropriate content will be removed, and uploaded files that are not directly related to the message thread will be removed. WOODWEB reserves the right to delete any messages with links, files, or images it deems inappropriate. (return to form)
The editors, writers, and staff at WOODWEB try to promote safe practices.
What is safe for one woodworker under certain conditions may not be safe
for others in different circumstances. Readers should undertake the use
of materials and methods discussed at WOODWEB after considerate evaluation,
and at their own risk.