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?
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....