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The Business of Knife Making A forum dedicated to all aspects of running, managing and legal operational issues relating to the custom knife making and custom knife selling industry.

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  #1  
Old 03-28-2003, 08:38 AM
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Ed Caffrey Ed Caffrey is offline
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Shows and how to choose them...

Knife Shows: This has been something that I've been thinking on for a couple of years now. As a full time maker, should a person concentrate on the larger shows? How do you determine which shows you should attend (from a business standpoint) and which ones to pass up? My thoughts right now are to try for 4-5 major shows a year. Of course there are many considerations concerning which shows to make........ popularity with the public, travel and lodging expenses, how to get there, and any number of other things. Right now I have it in my mind to Attend the OKCA (Eugene, OR) show, and The Blade Show, but am still undecided on what others might be good. I certainly want to get into the ABS Reno show, but that will depend on table availability.

My thought is to try to expose myself to the widest cross section of potential customers I can......and that mean getting to the east coast too.....or maybe even overseas. Let's talk a little about what shows you feel are good, and how you view Knife Shows as part of your "Knife Business."


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Old 03-28-2003, 01:11 PM
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Ed,

Glad to see you putting some "life" into this forum!....

I would suggest getting a copy of the "Big Show Journal". You can contact them at 1-800-781-5301.
They give 'em out free at some of the shows, otherwise it's by subscription.
The "Gun List" also has show listings.
There's usually a contact person listed with the show ad. Call 'em up, ask for an exhibitors packet.
Questions you might like to ask are;

1.) How many tables.
2.) Lodging rates.
3.) How many visitors attend on average.
4.) Award competitions.
5.) Percent custom vs factory.
6.) List of fellow exhibitors.

....The list could go on and on.

I consider knife shows an important part of my engraving business. I quit doing regional gun shows a long time ago. I pick up enough gun work at knife shows to fill in the project gap. Besides...knife shows are more fun!...

Hope this gives you a starting point at least.

Tim
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Old 03-29-2003, 01:57 AM
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Ed
If you pick up the Reno show, the Blade show the Orgeon show and one of the NY shows you got it covered. Then you could pick up a small floater show. Say, the Badger show one year, next year, Mesquite the next year somwhere else etc. That floater show would vary around the country and expand your coverage to people who does not do large shows but one close at home. Just go to the floater to have a good time and do not worry about the sales at it.


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Old 03-29-2003, 09:19 AM
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Shows....

Hi Jerry!

That makes a lot of sense! I've also been looking at the time frames for each of the show..........how closely the fall together.......... I suppose sometimes it's gona be just a matter of busting butt when two shows fall close together. I know I need to go to NY, I was there a couple of time, and although the show was good, I just have a tough time dealing with that place.......it's not the people, it's the tax papers to fill out, the "Green Police" giving you hard times about things........it was just a hassle. But I suppose I'd better suck it up, and get back there anyways.


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Old 03-29-2003, 10:33 AM
R.Rossdeutscher R.Rossdeutscher is offline
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Hi Ed
You might have to deal with table avalability also. I do the Badger Show every year and there is a waiting list of about 100 people for that show. It's a good one, Bob Schrap puts on a great show.
Good Luck
YMHS----------------Bob


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Old 03-29-2003, 11:38 AM
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Ed
Yes, I know what you mean about the area. I did a few shows up there but then reshifted. Still really some of the top shows in the area. Another way to look at selling in that area is to attend the ABS hammer-in in the north east. You can attend a hammer-in and there is a 4 hour show tied to it that comes with the price of the doings. Good sales, and it is just getting off the ground up there.
I just love my floater shows. I never worry about them, I just go to have a good time. Guys that do local shows and does not go to the really big ones buy the same knives, read the same magazines. Another thing to highly consider is that people are not flying to the shows quite the way they were during to the countries worries and such. So, more people are doing the smaller shows that are near them.
Also as a full time maker soon to be, you should really think about hooking up with a dealer or two. These guys give you some of the best advertising you can get. They go to the shows you cannot get it etc. In my thinking a dealer is a must if you are going to really get out there. This will also let you start keeping up with your second market sales and what they are doing, which directly effects your sales first time and lets you know what is going on. Sorry about this, I am just rambling right now.
Hang in there big boy.
fisk


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Old 03-30-2003, 09:52 AM
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Shows

Ed,

If you dislike the NY shows, why not hook up with dealers that specifically go to those shows and do something like the Chesapeake Knife Show in Timonium, MD.

It is a smaller show, but gets a hugh crowd from NY, Baltimore, DC, and NC. That way you could still cover the Northeast, without having to deal with NY. With a bit of advertising you should be able to effectively cover this area.

Also you might want to talk to AT Barr. He has just completed his first year as a full time maker.

Pam


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Old 03-30-2003, 10:26 PM
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Question Question

Has anyone needed to fly to a show that you are planning to sell knives and need to bring them all with you? Recently??????

Michael


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What.... just take some metal, grind away anything that does not look like a knife and there you are. Whats the problem now?
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