I used to love regional shows, The Charlotte Show, The Texas Shows, Gutenberg, and the only one left—Miami. They are generally more relaxed than the cauldron of McCormick Place or The On Demand show. Setup and break down was certainly easier. I miss swimming in the pool at the hotel at Gutenberg and the Cajun food at the Charlotte and Texas shows.
Why did they die? The answer is a chicken and egg problem. Low turnout caused less exhibitors to show their wares but which came first? I remember visiting customers in southern California and attempting to get them down to the show. Few did. I venture to guess that the closer a bindery or printer’s facility was to the show site, the less likely they would show up.
The few customers who attended this year’s Graphics of the America’s show in Miami said that it was dead. One machinery dealer I know said that it was fair. Our company used to exhibit there every year. Then we dropped years when we attended DRUPA. Now we’re down to every other year. Last year we didn’t do enough business to find it worthwhile.
Another dealer I know recommended that the show move to Orlando. Orlando has a bigger print industry than Miami. Miami, of course, draws many printers from south of the border. But how serious are they? Often I have felt that our cousins to the south use this show as an excuse to visit friends and relatives, and then think about going to the show.
Perhaps the best solution would be to rotate the show every other year between Orlando and Miami. Then printers could bring their families to Disney World or Universal, and attend the show for a day or two. Then after I sell all the machines in my booth I can declare; “I’m going to Disney World!” Food for thought.
Since this original post, Graphics of the Americas has chosed to hold their 2011 show in Orlando. Hooray for our side!