gofar99 Messages: 1858 Registered: May 2010 Location: Southern Arizona
Illuminati (5th Degree)
Hi Everyone, We (Oddwatt Audio) might be the exception...but Austin is better for us. Slightly closer. That said I think it will be hard to find a hotel better suited for the event regardless of how it evolves. We are sort of in between DIY and commercial. We fully support diy and went into kits to satisfy the needs of individuals that were unable or unwilling to source their own components. Yes we do have some kits assembled, but that is not our focus. We usually don't make any money at the event. Some folks do want the built kits we bring and rather than haul the iron 1000 miles home we do sell some. In four years we have never come close to breaking even. It is not the focus of our participation. Regardless, if there is no one to show our things to then there is no reason to go to the trouble to bring it.
I've said my $0.02 over at the other thread. I'm not a vender, only a visitor, but I have helped try to organize the show when no one else was willing for a couple of years. Every time a large name vendor has come, unless they are local, they seldom come back. They are in business to make money and like Bob said it just doesn't happen, and Bob's speakers are top notch and very well priced. The last time I talked to Jim Harrell from Jumping Cactus at RMAF in 2010 (he had attended several LSAF) his comment mirrored Bob's exactly. He had never sold one set of speakers at LSAF.
On that note I think Bob is correct in catering to the DIY crowd or the very small, limited resource niche group.
FWIW, Bob, your room is one of the ones I truly miss hearing in my several year absence. Especially hooked up to that amp that Jef built. One of the very few times I ever get to listen to single driver setups.
For me, it never was about direct sales. I know there are a few people that sell at shows, but that's really sort of unusual. I've been to a lot of shows besides LSAF, and they're really not the best place to make a sale. Exhibitors don't usually bring any inventory and most companies don't even bring a card reader to take payment. It's really more a place to show, a demo area where people can come and see a lot of gear in one venue.
Most small manufacturers demo from their homes. Some have a small shop that doubles as a display room. So for most small companies, prospective customers must audition in the manufacturer's home or shop.
Lone Star Audiofest (or any other regional audio show) gives another place for demos to be held. Customers can see a lot of niche-market products in one venue. They probably won't buy at the show, but they'll at least be able to audition. Then they can narrow down their choices and make arrangements to phone in an order, buy online or do a more lengthy second audition at a later date.