Shows on the decline?

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Mark Baker (Group Editor)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Having just attended the Midlands Woodworking Show (and being part of the GMC team there) it was a great experience meeting with attendees and readers who came along. The amount of questions asked indicates enquiring minds and a desire to learn.

Pepe.joyce commented in the forum, "I was just thinking of booking next year off, then I can go to all the shows and play with all the shiny tools....ah shiny tools, tools shiny ones........... more shiny tools..........heaven."

Many people seemed reluctant to spend money at the show, but many were handling - or rather fondling! - the new Clifton and Veritas planes and ogling them with desire. Oh the lure of buying the latest new ‘shiny’ tool. I think Oscar Wilde said "I can resist everything but temptation." And I am sure many found themselves in that situation.

But what is it that people want from shows? There has been a decline in the numbers attending over many years, but does this reflect a decline in woodworking as a hobby and craft or the lack of need for the actual shows?

Shows and such events are very expensive to organise and the logistics of pulling it all together is like herding cats. I think it is enough to send people nuts trying to schedule it all… and all that paperwork, arrgghhh!

I, for one, like them. I like the fact that I can see a lot of manufacturers in one place and get to see, touch and try out the new tools before we part with our hard-earned cash.

What do you think? Are they now an irrelevance and we can do everything via the net, or is there something that has changed?

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