The Guild Show has become a typical show. Some do good, some do ok and some do nothing.
The Guild did a great job of picking a hotel and ball room.
True, the customers were not there, but then again, it was a first year show.
Having promoted shows I can tell you no matter where the show is, it takes time to build a customer base.
I wonder how many of these makers that want the show to go back to Orlando are the same ones who wanted it to leave and go west 4 years ago?
Also, what did these makers do to get people to the show. Any phone calls or invitation's.
The custom knife buying public is not the same as 5 years ago. Because of forums like this and other places to get information. They now expect more for their money. They want new and innovative designs and ideas.
Many of the world class makers who attend the Guild Show once a year bring the same knives they have been selling for the past 10 - 20 years.
Many of the new knife makers in attendance are asking too much money for their knives.
As the line goes...."and you are? And I know you from".
My next question is, when the show goes back to Orlando, what happens if there are not 300 people waiting to get in, waiving $100 bills in the air?
If you return to the promised land and it no longer holds it's promise, then what.
There are now a lot more shows than there were five years ago. The internet now exsists where it did not 5 years ago. As for foreign buyers, what percentage of custom knives do they really buy? I find it humorous when I read a comment like that. More custom knives are bought and sold in the US then anywhere else in the world.
Why arent the foreign buyers coming to the US. It's the economy. The dollar is so strong it is not cost effective for foreign knife collectors to travel to the US.
There are custom knife shows in South Africa, Australia, France, Switzerland, Germany and Japan. A lot of these shows are well attended by US makers. So why travel to the US. Go to a local show or just get on the internet.
As for "tire kickers", don't you realize that these are the future knife buyers? Part of a table holders job is to help educate these individuals. As a dealer I have spent countless thousands of hours at shows, on the phone, faxes and email answering questions. Im happy to do it and Im not even the knifemaker. It does not bode well for a maker to say he is getting tired of answering questions about his work.
The custom knife market is shifiting. Lots of fresh ideas, new makers and new materials are making for a very competitive market. As with the evolution of a mature market the key phrase is "adapt or die".
I realize that I am in the minority, but I would like to see the show stay. Afterall this is what was agreed to. Instead of looking at all the negatives, focus on the positives. Let's try and create a new customer base before we move back to the promised land.
Robertson's Custom Cutlery
I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.