Attendance was lower than expected at the 22nd annual TSI Carolinas Industrial Woodworking Expo, but not bad considering the economy, according to the show’s producers. Held Feb. 19-20 at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum Complex, the show featured 107 contracted exhibiting companies, with over 500 exhibiting personnel, offering new technology, products and services, and educational seminars.
“Turnout was good, but not as good as expected. Our pre-registration was at 3,200, and we got 2,523 attendees. Usually, we hit about pre-registration,” says show manager Wayne Blevins.
Blevins says the last Greensboro show in 2007 drew 3,723 attendees. It was moved last year to Fredericksburg, Va. The goal of the switch was to get regular Greensboro attendees to look forward to the show in their backyard without wearing it out.
This year’s attendees ranged from small custom cabinet shop owners to larger manufacturing plant operators. Blevins believes those who pre-registered had time to think about whether they really had money to be spending and decided not to go after all. He conceded that the economy was a primary cause in the decline in attendance. And while the show didn’t necessarily turn into a flea market, the deals were rolling for those willing to let go of their money.
“I would have to say the attendees were looking for bargains and deals,” Blevins says. “I talked to a lot of the machinery manufacturers there, and they were offering deals because they need to turn their stock over. A lot of them have machines that have been sitting there for a long time. A couple of them said it seemed like customers were trying to wade them out of business.
“As far as feedback from exhibitors, everybody had a good show. I didn’t get any negative comments as far as the quality of the people that were coming. A lot of people were doing business, selling machines, taking orders, getting good prospects.”
Exhibitors that did particularly well included Dynabrade, an abrasives products manufacturer, and Green Mountain Marketing, a distributor of small CNC machines which sold several machines at the show, including one off the show floor, according to Blevins.
For information about future TSI expos, call 828-459-9894 or visit www.tsiwoodworkingshows.com.
This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue.