At the moment you hear about it, it’s kind of a surprise. But when the initial shock passes, it’s not. I thought The Editors over at Boardistan put it best. Back in 2009, referring to ASR, they said;
“We have to wonder what happens to the entire trade show business model when they have to pay retailers to attend. Lord knows retailers need to be treated well these days, but it still seems to bring us back to the question that’s been plaguing the boardsports business for several years: are trade shows even relevant anymore?”
- Fewer retailers. And the ones that were showing up brought fewer people.
- Brands showing product and getting orders outside of the trade show environment.
- The internet and everything you can do on it
- The union/convention center cost structure.
- Industry consolidation. Big companies don’t have as much need of trade shows. See the second point above.
- Recognition that competing against your competitors at trade shows with your show presentation is silly.
- Slower industry growth.
- More trade shows while demand was falling. Crossroads. Agenda.
- Declining clarity as to just what the action sports market is. Did starting Class help ASR, or did it cause confusion as to just what the show was about and who should attend?