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Blade Show Rant

Discussion in 'Around the Grinder' started by godogs57, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. godogs57


    Apr 16, 2004
    Traveled from SW GA up through the Atlanta traffic for my annual trip to the Blade. My main purpose was to meet a fairly well known maker of high performance folders and hopefully place an order. Get there at lunchtime and I’ll be damned if he’s already gone...vacated the premises after a day and a half (or less) and headed home...halfway through the show.

    I asked the guy next to his table what the deal was and he said he sold out, packed his bags and left. I immediately thought of Ed Fowler’s previous beef with certain Blade Show exhibitors leaving early and his comments rang true. I spent good money to get in the show, not to mention time, gas, etc and the jack wagon couldn’t even make it halfway through. I would have loved to examine his work first hand, pick his brain, etc. I’m sure he could care less, but I’ll buy a damn Havelon before I’ll consider his knife again.
  2. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    You make an annual trip to the show but because you wanted to talk to this guy this time he wasted your gas and time? Did he know you were coming? Or was he supposed to sit there at an empty table or hold something back for you to examine on premonition alone?

    Since your time is so much more valuable than his it sounds like he narrowly escaped having you as a customer and should be thankful.
  3. DevinT

    DevinT KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 29, 2010
    Most shows require exhibitors to stay for the entire show.

    GABaus, Willie71, Nsewell and 4 others like this.
  4. Joshua Fisher

    Joshua Fisher

    Mar 27, 2018
    As someone who has done quite a few craft shows and for other things Hoss is correct most shows require those with a table or booth to stay the full duration for the show and for good reason, if you go to blade show and are foolish enough to not bring a portfolio with examples of work in case you completely sell out then that’s on you, but you should stay the full show because it looks poorly to leave halfway through one of the biggest shows in the year unless you have a family emergency. You should be open to staying as a vendor to take possible orders or be available to talk to customers or clients and answer question ect. And it’s not like you get a refund for the days you aren’t there so you might as well stay.
    GABaus, OilMan, Kevin Wilkins and 4 others like this.
  5. LARRYZ10

    LARRYZ10 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 6, 2010

    Kuraki, You are absolutely correct. I make knives for the pure enjoyment of it and I don't feel that I need to give up my freedom to do what I want because someone thinks I owe them something. I always do what I say I will do and live up my deals. Unless I have an agreement with the knife show promoter I will leave the show when I feel like it. It's called freedom . Larry
  6. john april

    john april KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Feb 27, 2006
    much of my opinion would depend on if he knew if you were coming or not. if i was lucky enough to sell out, i might leave just to save paying for the hotel room another night.
    Ken H> likes this.
  7. godogs57


    Apr 16, 2004
    Where the hell did I state my time was more valuable than his? It most certainly was not. However it is a realistic presumption that a purveyor will be at the show for more than the first half. Visit the Blade some time and you might understand that it is assumed that you will be there through Sunday. That’s all that I was saying. I’ve made knives for over 38 years now and realize how valuable one on one time with folks, whether they are potential clients or not, can be.
  8. Joshua Fisher

    Joshua Fisher

    Mar 27, 2018
    Most hotels won’t give you your money back for a night if you cancel the night before, at least in my experience I could be wrong. And Larry I’d be willing to bet that they tell the vendors to be at the table the whole show unless a emergency comes up. I have yet to be a vendor in a bigger show that didn’t have that rule for vendors.
  9. Randydb

    Randydb Basic Member Basic Member

    Sep 27, 2014
    If he sold out, and didn't have plans to meet you I don't think he did anything wrong. He just had a really good show and went home when he ran out of product. On the other hand you are acting like you think he is a complete jerk and will "buy a damn Havelon before I’ll consider his knife again." Seems a bit extreme to me.
  10. Wild Bill 1

    Wild Bill 1

    Aug 7, 2013
    I would say it up to the people putting on the show.If they printed ads and such that say show times, place it going to be held and who is going to be there than ever one should be there.If in big print they say unless they sell out that would be fare also.Its up to the promoter to make the rules and also communicate them to everyone sellers and buyers. WB
  11. godogs57


    Apr 16, 2004
    Looking at the big picture, you’re probably more right than I am with my Havelon comment.
  12. tim37a


    May 18, 2010
    Let's hear from someone who exhibits at Blade. Do they require exhibitors to stay for the whole show? I have never exhibited at a show which did not require exhibitors to stay for the whole show. Most shows will not let you back next year if you leave early.
  13. MadmanR1

    MadmanR1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 30, 2009
    How many other exhibitors left early? I cant imagine they sell many tickets after Friday if people are packing it up half way through day 2.

    I suppose Blade would know the answers to all these questions.
  14. kmf600


    Jul 2, 2018
    I'd say if you're a "personality" that people are going to see, they might need to be there, but I'd also say, those personalities are there for a specific amount of time, whatever they're being paid for their time. I'd be disappointed if a personality wasn't there, but a specific maker sells out, and goes home early, especially if it's a long ride home, I'd say screw it and check the rest of the show out.
  15. milkbaby


    Aug 1, 2016
    If it's any consolation, since he was sold out, you probably weren't going to examine his work first hand...

    Personally, as a maker I really appreciate and enjoy other makers' work, and I always love talking shop, but I really prefer to make all my own knives. I still do understand being disappointed that the one maker you were hoping to see wasn't there, though I also understand why they would leave after selling out all their available stock.
  16. lanternnate


    Nov 5, 2016
    Did the maker owe the customer being there? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the show agreement. Many shows do have a clause that people need to stay there. Especially shows that charge for tickets for the public to go rather than just being open. Assuming that’s the case for Blade, then yeah bad on the maker for ditching.

    Whether or not anything was owed, was it still a bad move for the maker to bail early? I’d say yes. If your goal is to sell a table’s worth of knives, there has to be cheaper and easier ways to do that than setting up at the largest knife show of the year. (Warning incoming opinion I’m not actually qualified to have) I think some makers may be great makers, but are bad business people. Something like Blade to a business person would be as much if not more about marketing than it is about selling. Selling is great, but the real value from that kind of investment would be establishing your brand and developing an interested customer base to create a flow for future sales that don’t have such a high sales cost as traveling to a show. Makers that bail early, spend their time on their cell phone, act more interested in talking to fellow makers than customers, or in any other way ignore the opportunity to engage with their customers and potential customers are really missing the point and would probably be better not even having a table at the show.
    OilMan likes this.
  17. Larrin

    Larrin Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 17, 2004
    Willie71, OilMan and Nick Dunham like this.
  18. AVigil

    AVigil Adam Vigil knifemaker working the grind Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Platinum Member

    Feb 17, 2009
    In the past at the Pasadena Knife show the show promoter would chain off the exit of the exhibitor parking lot so knifemakers could not leave on Sunday and have to stay for the full show.

    That show is now defunct due to how the exhibitors were treated.

    The exhibitors are paying to be there, they are not paid to be there. Sure it sucks when a maker you want to see is not there but it also sucks sitting at a table for hours with nothing on the table and picture books just do not cut it.

    Also if you do leave early as an exhibitor next year you often will get a really shitty table location.
    LARRYZ10 likes this.
  19. HSC ///

    HSC /// KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Nov 7, 2012
    I think you have enough info and responses here on your rant, another thing to consider is that you got the information as to why the maker left secondhand... why not write directly to the maker and express how you feel? Maybe there was some other reason as to why he left, maybe he will offer to make it right by you...

    This happens at every show everytime, everywhere there is always a few makers that immediately sell out...

    right or wrong, not everyone is going to act or think like you
  20. u812

    u812 Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 15, 2002
    It does look bad on the show organizers. I saw several vacant tables yesterday afternoon and even more this morning. There were quite a few tables at 10 am this morning that were still covered. If I had a table with stuff for sale I would for sure be there when the doors opened Sunday. A lot of last minute purchases are made then. I know I made a few this morning.
    OilMan likes this.

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