People ask "What's wrong with shows?" They feel attendence is off and participation down. Why? Bad economy! Unemployment! Mortgage crisis! Stock market! Election! Ebay! Graying of the hobby! Rising gas prices!
The answer is NONE OF THE ABOVE! If the shows are down, it's because you and I are staying home and that's bad news! And it's silly, too!
When the economy is sluggish, prices drop and it's a good time to buy. I saw tremendous bargains at the Atlantic City Auction last month. I saw terriffic buying opportunities at the Fondy Swap Meet last weekend.
Vendors who are complaining about eBay are probably selling on eBay and seeing an overall INCREASE. Don't expect hobbyists to buy on eBay and buy the same stuff at a show? Ebay is a selling tool, but so is a show, so figure out how to use both wisely.
Smart hobbyists make money at shows. So if they are unemployed or need mortgage money, they will go to the show to buy stuff to resell.
What is really needed is for promoters and vendors to pump new excitement into shows. Don't put on the same show this year that you did last year! People get bored very easily. When you advertise dates, location and awards, advertise specials froim the vendors, too. Give the folks a real reason to travel to your show.