Anyone attending the BSF 2008 event?

Graydon

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If anyone from the 'nut house' will be attending the Bonsai Society of Florida's annual meeting and convention this weekend in Cape Canaveral please look me up. It would be great to meet you and chat. I should be hanging out most of the free time at the Bonsaimonk area.

Can't say I'm very excited about the available material as I'm not a huge fan of tropicals. I'm sure there will be some great pots and supplies to ogle.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Not going to be there. Have a great time and take photos! I'm not so much a fan of tropicals, with the exception of big beefy ficus...
 

Graydon

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Not going to be there. Have a great time and take photos! I'm not so much a fan of tropicals, with the exception of big beefy ficus...
Well why not? I traveled out to see your State convention.

I'm taking as many photos as I can. Got some good ones in the vendor area and will take more tomorrow. I was helping the Bonsaimonk ladies today and was called back to Orlando to meet on an upcoming TV series so a good part of my day here was shot.

There really is some nice material here, even if it is tropical or semi tropical. Tons of pots as well. If I can free up the time in the morning I'm planning on attending a shimpaku workshop given by Mike Rogers. Mike is a long time bonsai person from Florida and is a great instructor. I hope there is still a spot open come morning.

Cheng Cheng-Kung did some workshops today and I missed them (stupid TV series). I did meet him and he seems like a great person. It's really an honor to have him as out headliner in Florida.

Sean Smith is here as well and of course has some great stuff for sale. I'm looking forward to his diaza carving workshop. I love sawdust.

I know we have some Florida bonsai lovers that frequent this site. I was hoping to hear form them and really hoping that they attend the show. Attendance is at an all time low. There are many vendors counting on selling their goods and some great deals to be had. Dale Cochoy is here and is loaded with spectacular pots.
 

Smoke

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Well why not? I traveled out to see your State convention.


I know we have some Florida bonsai lovers that frequent this site. I was hoping to hear form them and really hoping that they attend the show. Attendance is at an all time low. There are many vendors counting on selling their goods and some great deals to be had. Dale Cochoy is here and is loaded with spectacular pots.


I think those days are gone Graydon. Crude oil closed $10.00 a barrel more today and will continue to increase as long as we keep buying it at those inflated prices. Out here in CA a gallon of regular is $4.50 on average. I expect $5.00 a gallon by the end of the month.

Traveling for bonsai related exhibits will soon fade away as the cost for Hotel convention space is ever increasing as well as room rates. Couple that with record shattering gas prices and you can kiss the yearly bonsai convention goodbye.

Right now it costs me $96.00 bucks to fill my truck, thats just ridiculous. Dale, care to share your break even figure?

I'm guessin about $900.00 before you get to even put a buck in your pocket.
 

Mooseman

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You guys wanna try paying £1.15 or more per Litre, yes, per litre, here in England. It costs me over £60 to fill the tank of my ordinary little Ford Focus. Most of it is damned government taxes here, but is is going to start impacting in all sorts of areas involving travel.
 

Rick Moquin

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Here we are discussing travel and bonsai conventions.

It is impacting all our daily services, food, electricity etc... to mention a few. [EDIT - BNut]
 

Smoke

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Here we are discussing travel and bonsai conventions.

It is impacting all our daily services, food, electricity etc... to mention a few. [EDIT - BNut]

Well thats a little harsh, and obviously not working;)
 

Rick Moquin

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No your right Al, greed is greed and not related to nationality, but it felt good saying it during these frustrating times.
 

Graydon

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I think those days are gone Graydon. Crude oil closed $10.00 a barrel more today and will continue to increase as long as we keep buying it at those inflated prices. Out here in CA a gallon of regular is $4.50 on average. I expect $5.00 a gallon by the end of the month.

Traveling for bonsai related exhibits will soon fade away as the cost for Hotel convention space is ever increasing as well as room rates. Couple that with record shattering gas prices and you can kiss the yearly bonsai convention goodbye.

Right now it costs me $96.00 bucks to fill my truck, thats just ridiculous. Dale, care to share your break even figure?

I'm guessin about $900.00 before you get to even put a buck in your pocket.

I think you are correct Al. Judging from the discussion between vendors this was a pitiful show. Many of them did not manage to cover costs let alone turn a profit. The certainly tried, bringing trucks full of great material and supplies. The prices seemed to be very realistic on the material and many vendors were ready to wheel and deal. The main issue was the lack of attendees. Fifty full registrants plus handfulls of daily people can only spend so much money with the vendors after laying out the registration costs, workshop fees, meals and hotel.

I do believe I will be able to say I was there at the end of a era. Many of the vendors will not be coming back to Florida again. Who would blame them after laying out fuel, travel expenses, room costs etc.

If the primary vendors do not return we will be left with regionally local vendors who offer mostly trees and some limited supplies. We can go see these people any time we want for the most part so the excitement of the vendor bazaar will be gone. Knowing this in advance people will begin to do business on the web looking for supplies, tools and pots. Why save up money and wait for convention for the special pot they need when they can email a size requirement to a supplier and get some photos back?

I will be posting some photos from the show later today or this evening. I need to get caught up again in the real world. In other words time to earn some gas money.
 

Graydon

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(1) Kids and wife and lack of vacation time
(2) Camping trip already scheduled for same weekend
(3) Have already spent my bonsai budget for a while :)

I never expected you to come here, just poking some fun. If I were in California there is no way I would ever travel to Florida for a bonsai show unless I had rocks in my head.
 

Bonsai Nut

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I never expected you to come here, just poking some fun. If I were in California there is no way I would ever travel to Florida for a bonsai show unless I had rocks in my head.

Well; there was a time when I worked for Taco Bell. I was able to travel the U.S. pretty regularly to meet with franchisees and suppliers. It also allowed me to hit some nice bonsai establishments. :) I soon found myself evaluating bonsai for whether they would fit into the overhead carry-on compartment, or whether I could smash the branches down so I could shove it under the seat in front of me. If I had the ability to visit a show in Florida, I certainly would :)
 

Dale Cochoy

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I am back....

Attendance at BSF this year was pitiful!
Many faces I have come to know did not show. MANY from the north or south of the state.

Al, you are correct. I think the days of large bonsai conventions are over!

Yes, I am not ashamed to share some figures with you.
I was pretty curious myself about the outcome so I crunched some numbers.
Gas cost me just about $600 round trip from Ohio. Combined with pitifully low attendance and poor buying from those who did attend, I found my retail sales to be $500 over my total expenses. Then I take off what I sold cost me ( not to mention my time in the case of pottery).......
Sales this year were not even 30% of past years!
Since Graydon helped out the Monastery ladies I'm sure he had some input from their 'profits'.

Graydon made good points about future BSF ( and other) conventions. I fear most convention vendor areas will become sales areas for those dealers which they see all the time throughout the year, basically 'local vendors'.
This is a real shame and those people who put off buying from out-of-towners will soon be crying for something 'different' in their vendor areas.
Promoters will need to start cutting better deals for vendors. Right now much of the conventions expenses are funded by vendors who pay more to be there than registrants and get NONE of the meals, lunches, etc. Vendor space this year was $100 per each 6-foot table. Think about how little you can put on a 6 foot table!!
The only way a far-away vendor will be able to afford the expense of travel to a convention is if he/she is part of the group of paid artists, which BSF does with many local Florida artists. But, if you are traveling from afar it is a different story.

For the past several weeks I have been thinking about my upcoming trip to San Antonio next week. 1,450 miles each way!! I fear it will be my only/last trip to Texas. I hope Texans who come to the convention realize this . To go....or not to go! ( and give up my vendor fee which I had to pay almost a year ago). Lets see....how many dollars per gallon ago was that???
I hope ABS can pull off a better-than-usual symposium attendance?

Dale

PS. Mooseman. I had several 'gas prices' discussions this past weekend with euro folks. You cannot compare the two by money alone. Our country takes 4 days to drive across the 'long way'. Many folks, like me, need a large auto for business and are required to drive great distances. Many of us drive fairly far to work in areas without any mass transit, Our trucking industry brings us EVERYTHING we buy and right now they are paying about $4.80/gal for deisel. and, our gas taxes don't fund any social medicine, and, on and on....
 
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Graydon

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Since Graydon helped out the Monastery ladies I'm sure he had some input from their 'profits'.

I don't know the total expenses they have to attend the show. They did have 6 of those "cheap" tables plus a hotel room for 5 nights, meals, fuel and their pay (both of the ladies work for the Monastery). I worked for food (and to help out because Karen is trying to get my stuff on the bonsaimonk site). I also spent a good deal of my show spending budget with them as I needed soil, some pots, a few odd tools and other supplies.

They were given a sales goal as they are every year. Three years ago they exceeded it. Last year they missed it but by less than $1000. This year was bad. So bad that I doubt they will be able to come back according to what the business manager told them before they left.

Mike Rogers was an artist for the show and had three tables. He didn't seem to be selling much at all. I asked him about it on the last day and he said he didn't even sell enough to cover the cost of his tables. I was under the impression that all show artists got free table space. Guess I was wrong.

I went to the show with the intention to register for the weekend and attend at least one workshop, perhaps 2 if there were openings. There were a ton of openings for lower tier workshops but I decided to not register and in stead spend my registration and workshop money in the vendor area. The sad thing is that if 50 people would have done the same thing I doubt all of the vendors would have cleared good profits.
 

Graydon

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Here are some photos from the vendor area. I thought I took more fat ficus photos for the head nut but I guess I was dreaming.
 

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Graydon

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More photos.
 

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Graydon

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Still more.
 

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