Within driving distance of the two "The Woodworking Shows" we have per year there are one Woodcraft and 4 Rockler stores.
Also there is a hardware store that exhibits sometimes at the shows.
The bargains at the show are usually not worth the gasoline to get to the show. The demos are interesting and sometimes quite informative.
In all, going to the show is an interesting diversion for a day.
One of the things about these shows is that you will find a zillion little things that you didn't know existed and you will buy about half of them.
In the real world, these shows don't offer the savings that they use to. I know that a computer show, at a lesser venue, was getting $350 for a 10' square booth for two days. IIRC, the typical booths at the woodworking show is more like 8' wide and 6' deep at a price that I would guess is higher. (A 10' by 10' booth at AWFS in Las Vegas was about $4K according to my source. But that was at the LVCC and he said that another $4K was needed for travel and living.)
The cost of living and travel for the booth personnel has to be factored into the cost of any merchandise sold. All booth personnel typically share 10% of the gross sales at the booth. Typically all of the true "Sales" booth personnel pay their own T & L.
Today, with the Internet, the prices at brick and mortar outlets have been reduced to a minimum profit margin. You probably can purchase at a price equal to that at the show. (Maybe a bit more.)
With all the above negativity, a trip to The Woodworking Show can be fun and a good time if you go with the proper expectations. If you go expecting to have a good time, you will.
If you go not expecting to save enough on purchases to cover the cost of the trip, you will have a good time.
If you go expecting to meet a lot of other woodworkers, you may be disappointed. There are no "Birds of a Feather" rooms (Rooms are expensive to rent from the convention center.) or lounges and the show floor is a bit busy for meet and greet. The show floor is somewhat like shopping the day after Thanksgiving.
As for the "On the Show Floor Classes", they are busy and noisy because they back up to the show floor. Usually Sommerfelds has large enough booth space so that their class/demo is a bit isolated but still on the show floor.
Some exhibitors do a demo in their booth. (Incra, Woodline, Peach Tree, etc.) Unfortunately if you want to watch, you stand in the aisle. If you are couple of rows deep, you're not going to see very much unless you are over 6' tall.
Then there are the "Why are you here?" booths. Over the years I have seen almost everything from Cruises to Sham Wow to Bedazzler to goodness knows what. At one AWFS show there was a booth selling moisturizing cream at $60 a jar.
Out here in California, the size of the show and the number of exhibitors have been shrinking. Originally at the Orange County Fair Grounds, the show had two barns and the space between jam packed with exhibitors. Last time they barely filled a single barn. At the LA County Fairplex the show moved from building 4 to building 9. About a 40% reduction in show floor and exhibitors.
A big plus is that the show promoter usually gives booth space to local government educational entities. You may find booths with community college personnel recruiting for their woodworking programs.
You can check the web site of The Woodworking Shows to see the list of exhibitors. You probably should use that information a week or two before the show to make the decision to attend or not.
One final thought. Realize that times are tough and the recession is still not in full recovery. At the last show in Southern California, Felder had a booth. They had two machines displayed, a sliding table saw and a rip saw. Probably the wrong venue for Felder and probably the wrong market and definitely the wrong machines for the amateur market.