The Atlanta Woodworking Show - 2010

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Forum topic by helluvawreck posted 08-27-2010 04:05 AM 2722 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3928 days

08-27-2010 04:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: iwf2010 woodworking show machinery show

I just got back from the Atlanta Woodworking Show a few hours ago. I’ve been going to this show ever since it moved to Atlanta from another city many years ago. It’s been in Atlanta for a great many years and has been what has been called by many as a world class woodworking event, an event that every person in the country and many people from all over the world could come to and see in one place virtually every company that made anything that relates to the woodworking industry from a hand dovetail saw to the largest machinery that produces the thinly sliced veneers that make up the plywood that many of us use each day in not only cabinet shops and furniture plants but in our small woodworking hobby shops scattered across this country.

I said that if I saw anything extraordinary that I would give you a short report of it. Well here it is:

In my honest opinion, the Atalanta International Woodworking Show IS NOTHING BUT A SHADOW OF IT”S FORMER SELF!!!!!

I was forewarned that this is what I would find this year by many of the people in the companies that have sold us the machinery for all the years in that we have been in this industry. Many of those machinery companies withdrew from this show or chose not to show and for what I believe to be good reasons – at least from what I have been told first hand by them. Many of those reasons are the same reasons that they left the show in the former city that it was once held in.

For most of my adult life I have looked forward to this show from the time it was over until the time it returned two years later. I usually wore myself out covering every ailse and every booth for at least three days and some times four. This time I have spent one day at the show and I’m not going back tomorrow and I only had to drive 45 miles. I was bored and tired by 1:00 PM.

The next time around they will not so easily get this old feller to put his old bones in his truck to make the 45 mile trek. I’ll just let all of the other people who got on airplanes and rented hotel rooms and paid for expensive meals to come to their own conclusions about the show. I reserve to have the right to my own opinion.

Two years ago, and in all previous years, there were two huge rooms full of equipment that was hooked up and running and with ceilings that are perhaps 30 or 40 feet tall and you could hardly even hear yourself think because of the noise. It was absolutely thrilling!!!!Today, I think you could have heard maybe a pin drop! Ho Hum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

12 replies so far

View schloemoe's profile


709 posts in 3999 days

#1 posted 08-27-2010 04:14 AM

I’m sorry you’re disappointed It’s never fun too look forward to something for so long and then have it be a dud. I wonder if the economy or the lack there of has any thing to do with it? Once again sorry…..................Schloemoe

-- schloemoe, Oregon , http://www.

View whit's profile


246 posts in 5038 days

#2 posted 08-27-2010 04:42 AM

If it’s anything like some of the other shows I go to, the vendors are tired of people coming in and checking out the goods, writing down the part numbers, and going home and finding it on the internet. If you can afford to wait a bit, you can often find what you’re looking for online with free shipping and no taxes. It’s a sweet deal if you can get it.


Thanks for the trip report. You saved me (and likely a lot of other LJs) from another boring woodworking show.


-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 4121 days

#3 posted 08-27-2010 04:58 AM

You expect more exhibitors in this economy?

View ocwoodworker's profile


209 posts in 4066 days

#4 posted 08-27-2010 05:19 AM

I felt the same way when the Woodworking show came to Costa Mesa California. It was as if they reluctantly gave away booths to non-woodworking companies just to fill the room. (Sham-wow and kitchen cutting knives ect.) Personally I think it is several factors. One being the obvious of a slow economy. The second reason if I were to venture a guess is that most things can be bought on the internet with no tax and free shipping. (I don’t mean to make this a political discussion of paying taxes or not, just an obvious buying trend of today). If you are like me you look at the product and do the economics in your head. Paying for it here or waiting for a better buying opportunity. The companies see this trend too and are moving to the net. They can advertise and offer demonstrations on YouTube and sell their products and never have to stretch open a cardboard stand. As much as I hate to admit it, we are exiting the brick and mortar age and going electronic. (Sigh)

-- I'd like to believe Murphy's Law haunts my woodshop, because if it's Karma it would mean I had something to do with it. - K.R.

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4257 days

#5 posted 08-27-2010 01:23 PM

Sorry it was dissapointing. Indianpolis has a woodworking show January 21-23 that I’m excited for, but I hope it doesn’t turn out to be a bust like yours did. I’ve never been to one yet but was looking forward to it. Is it the same company that ran the Atlanta show?

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2878 posts in 3983 days

#6 posted 08-27-2010 08:16 PM

” Many of those machinery companies withdrew from this show or chose not to show and for what I believe to be good reasons – at least from what I have been told first hand by them. Many of those reasons are the same reasons that they left the show in the former city that it was once held .” /////////////////////////////////////////////// And what were those reasons?

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3928 days

#7 posted 08-27-2010 08:41 PM

Excessive cost. Let’s put it this way – what were apparently unreasonable cost in the eyes of the machinery companies obviously reached a point where it was the straw that broke the camels back and many just pulled out and probably won’t be back.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2878 posts in 3983 days

#8 posted 08-27-2010 08:59 PM

Excessive costs of getting there and maning the booths or the charge for the space? Not so much the economy then. Interesting… As far as folks looking there and just buying on line… not these manufactures get a sale no matter where the purchase is made?

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View sawblade1's profile


754 posts in 4088 days

#9 posted 08-27-2010 09:10 PM

Lest excessive cost, also the decline of people or pro’s attending also contributed to it 15 years ago Akron was a small woodworking community We had Brown/ Graves Lumber mill that took up 4 city blocks and 5 blocks wide that supported 15-20 smaller shops in the area. as the owners passed away or retired so did their businesses in 1999 Mr. Graves Sr. passed on and his son shut down the big operation and moved it out of town to Copley Ohio and Became more of a lumber yard/ hardware store deal Not even 1/8th of its former self and also dropped Brown’s name calling it Graves Lumber those actions cost 150+ people their jobs, put the death nail in the neighborhood, taxed our fire dept due to fires at the shuddered property and demolition cost to abate it :( The woodworking trade around 1997 has approx. 52,543 woodworker shops according to an old labor study ! As I did my business plan in 2005 there were 4,995 shops and the same amount of work!!! After running into an old buddy that worked at the mill he told me stories about how some of the old-timers didn’t want to see the apprentice do better than them or carry on the trade so, China crept in and stole some of the business away this trend impacted machine Mfrs. Forcing them to market online and stop attending the shows altogether.
This is a sad story I know but things will look better As for me I like the fact I have little or no competition
allowing me to grow :)

-- Proverbs Ch:3 vs 5,6,7 Trust in the lord with all thine heart and lean not unto your own understanding but in all your ways aknowledge him and he shall direct your path [email protected]

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 4205 days

#10 posted 08-27-2010 09:21 PM

Do this for a living so quick math below

Average exhibitor Cost
Booth Rental: $40,000 (100×200)
Electricity/Air: $25,000
Booth Structure: $100,000
Carpet/Cleaning Service: $20,000
Ship Equipment: $35,000
Drayage: $20,000
Carpenter Labor: $30,000
Rigging Labor: $10,000
Electrical/Plumbing Labor: $5,000

So before you’ve even put a sales guy on the floor you’ve already spent $285,000. You’ll send in 40 sales reps, 20 technicians, a dozen or so executives and support staff. Now you have to put them up in hotels, pay their flights, and absorb the cost of entertaining. In addition you’ll have sponsorships, advertisements, and other costs.

Plan on dropping about $400,000 to exhibit at a major show as a major exhibitor. Companies like Siemmens spend well over $1,000,000 when all is said and done to exhbit at RSNA.

And the final cost, you have to prep production units for demo on the floor; taking them out of production and then rehabbing them before they can be sold.

Not surprising major vendors are cutting back, most industrial tradeshows are hurting, including Pack Expo, RSNA, etc.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3928 days

#11 posted 08-27-2010 09:37 PM

I personally believe that the shows are necessary. If you buy a $250,000 machine you want to be there in person and see it run. Your not going to order it over the internet. However, I also believe that the machinery companies were being squeezed a little too hard and it was during a recession and it was not a very smart move. If I were the machinery companies who left I would have just gotten together with each other rented a building temporarily and brought in the equipment and set it up and have their show across town and set up buses to bus people back and forth to the world congress center. These people probably rented a third of the space and were probably responsible for drawing at least a third of the people. Anyways, no telling what will happen. I sort of have a feeling that they will set up a large regional show in North Carolina where many of their main offices are.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ABrown's profile


102 posts in 3972 days

#12 posted 08-27-2010 10:13 PM

I just got back from IWF, I too noticed that there wasn’t as many MFGs there, and the demos where mostly small tools and machines, none of the large machines were running like the last time I was there. But for me it was still worth the trip and I got the machine that I was wanting at a good price. I also think that the price of food and the hotel room has went up from last time.

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