Leslie Stroh Talking to Bokara at NY NOW

Visiting NY Now gave me a chance to talk with vendors, who attend multiple markets.

Good design used to be expensive. Now it is cheap.

Uniformly, traffic was down.  However, I think that comment is a regular as 4th of July fireworks. Vendors are beginning to work out the differences between the different markets. A market’s peculiarity in relation to the exhibitor’s  price points, will dictate choices of participation going forward. Good design used to be expensive. Now it is cheap.

I think vendors have lost sight of the idea that people will pay what they are comfortable paying, independent of quality. As somebody said, California is 100% disposable. the quality might be great, but the California rich still live in a disposable culture.

Since all the vendors can attend more markets than they can afford, they will cut back to those that generate the cash flow to pay for the space. That means trade shows will no longer be loss leaders, and it does mean that any  particular trade show will deliver a segment of the market that supports the vendors participating. Not fewer markets, but fewer vendors at multiple markets.

“Stack it high and sell it low” not way forward

Several commented  that using show marketing space 12 months a year could be developed so that the market rent was amortized. Of course all of this comes down to traffic. Traffic in designer showrooms, traffic in market showrooms. My personal feeling is that the marketing strategy of “stack it high, and sell it low” is probably not the way forward. I think the real answer is less space, more technology, more outreach to physical or electronic space. We found that old-fashioned print drives online—who knew.  Leslie Stroh

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