I understand the cost to set up and participate in these shows is not low because I have to work booths at shows in my real job but It's not like you can go to a store and see Excaliber, Sawstop, Powermatic, Ridgid, etc at one place anywhere else. Not a scroll saw there that I saw.
Thanks to the small guys that did show. I did leave $100 there on some odds and ends.
Sad to say but the number of different woodworking shows has dwindled over the years, and the cost to the vendors must have increased since there are fewer than even 3 years ago.
There used to be 2 or 3 woodworking show companies, I think now down to only "The Woodworking Show" which is likely the company who ran the show you attended.
I attended the New Jersey show in late Feb. I attended the same location last year. At least this year they did not cramp everyone into about 1/2 the floor space.
In the NJ show Peachtree has the most floor space. A number of small vendors, Craft Supply, Lee Valley, some Woodworking clubs. A local tool seller AC Meyer had a decent floor area.
I attended one demo.
I purchased a few pieces of wood. My friend purchased some wood and some turning tools. I was not in the market for new tools. I would have jumped on more Jet parallel clamps if they had been on sale for a decent price.
I attended on a Friday. Arrived at 12:15pm and the show was due to open 15mins earlier. I was surprised at the long line. Good for the vendors to have good attendance. I do not know about Sat and Sun.
I hope this company is able to keep going. In years past these shows were the place to see the latest and greatest, but it does not seem like too many new tools being displayed or demonstrated. Perhaps that is now only at manufacturer shows like IWF.