Atlanta......why should I go???

Sarah Winchester

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Nov 6, 2004
I've never been to DEcor Expo before. So I'm wondering if I'll gain by going. I don't sell any art, prints or such; I have more than enough molding samples; my regular suppliers keep me up-to-date on matboard, supplies, etc. I am starting to think about a new under-pinner.....but there seems to be enough good knowledge about those right here on the Grumble.
So what will I gain by going to Atlanta. Thanks for all you help.
Sarah............You are kept up to date from your regular suppliers........

Take a giant gamble and have some fun as well with all of the rest of the framing industry and see what it also out there.......... it might enlighten your eyes :eek:
There are some great training and educational opportunities. You'll get to network with your peers, see the latest gizmos and materials to make your job easier, pos programs, cmc's, vnailers, visualization systems, new glazings, new mouldings, display products, digital restoration companies, and be inspired by all the great examples shown by the vendors.

Atlanta is a very large show and we REALLY enjoyed it last year.
For one thing, if I needed equipment, I always bought it at a trade show. I got to make comparisons, plus prices were better at the show. For moulding samples, many companies introduced lines at trade shows, so I was always right on top of what was new, and had them before anyone else.

Even though I consider myself pretty knowledgable, I took classes and seminars. Most times I picked up something I didn't know, or was reminded of something I had forgotten

A trade show is also a great place to meet other framer's, as well as Grumbler's (I've met many, maybe 30 or so), and industry leaders. The Grumble is good, but I like to meet people face to face.
Don't bother, take the cash it would cost you to travel there and take a vacation or blow it in a casino, buy the convertible you want (at least a down payment).

(Devil's advocate)
I come back from the shows so energized and full of ideas. That alone makes the trip worth while.

We have a large amount of in-stock mouldings that are always at great prices during the show. The savings here more than pays for the trip.

Then there is the relationships. I have made freinds with framers from the 4 corners of the country.

But if you trust your suppliers to keep you informed and arn't looking for any new ideas, by all means stay at home. (insert sarcasm)
There are a lot of things that we collectively will find attractive about the trade shows, but in reality it's only what you make it. for each person/business it is probably something a little different.
There are tons of opportunities in education, business dealings, exposure to products, tools, technology, and occasionally something that makes you sit up and take notice...even for a jaded old #%*$ like me. But if you don't go, you'll never know.
My intent is to go to 2 shows a year. The WCAF in Las Vegas, for the education* and to Atlanta for hardware, software, products, supplies, and Grumble dinners (the education is pretty good there too, but there are so many other things to do).

*Contrary to the advertisement, not all that goes on in Las Vegas stays in Las can take what you learn home with you.

As for depending on your suppliers for information, and I can see a few eyebrows raised here, I would caution you against complacency. Your suppliers will keep you up to date on only those things that they handle. If you do go to the show, and I encourage you to, I can almost guarantee that you will find things that you didn't even know existed, and will wonder how you lived without them for so long.
The absolute best motive for me is to revive. After so many years, you can trend to being jaded. The whole atmosphere of the show should re-energize your enthusiam if it's flagging, and provide more even if you think it isn't.

I wouldn't miss it.
And it's tax deductible!
Ideas-several folks have framing compititions that give you great ideas to take home and use.

The education is is nice to see Bob Carter participate here, but in person it is even better. Many classes on the trade show floor. No matter how long you have been doing this, there is someone out there doing it smarte,quicker, cheaper and better. Learn from them.

It keeps you in touch with other folks in your business. Make frineds, if you have an issue that you need help call for advice. It is always good to know other people in your field.

Technology and framing equipment do not knock on your door. So you need to go to them. It is amzing what little tools come out that can make a PIA job quick and relatively painless. Attach EZ and stuff like that, wizard, saws, Fletcher fillet measure thingee, there are many that you wont be able to learn about unless you go.

So how bout it?

Patrick Leeland
Hi Patrick-Thanks for the compliment, but I wasn't asked to teach at Atlanta this year. Looks like they have an all new crew of Biz Educators and all the old guys won't be teaching.

I don't think they'll miss me much, but Jay nor Marc are on the schedule and they are two of the brightest and best in the industry.

If you want to see any of us, I guess you will need to follow Wally's lead and come to Vegas for WCAF

But, thanks for the referral anyway. I'll still be popping in and out of here as questions catch my curiosity.
Sarah, IMHO Don't. It's hot, sticky, muggy, and crowded. There is the Grumble dinner... But then to you have to get there through the Altanta Airport.

There is the night life in Buckhead... amid the shootings and muggings . . . but then I wax romantic... :D

So what to do.... save your money for when you REALLY need it... like in January in Las Vegas.

Bob Carter will be there along with a lot of other excellent people. It is 70 degrees when it's -40 in Michigan.
It's hip deep in great things to do and see, when it's hip deep in white **** in Michigan.

Oh and did I mention the 4th Annual Grumble Chinese Dinner and Limo ride? Last year we got the second longest limo, this year we may need the biggest... :D

And the C-dinner has some of the biggest names in the industry . . . and we're not talkin' Moo Goo Guy Pan here.

Did I mention Hawaiian shirt weather in JANUARY...?
in reality it's only what you make it.
Truer words have never been spoken.

I used to go to shows in Chicago. It was a 3-hour drive for me. In the morning, I'd take classes. In the afternoon, I'd go to the trade show. In the evening, I'd go back to my room and sleep, or something equally stupid. I was anti-social.

Then I got involved with The Grumble. I couldn't wait to meet some of these misfits in person, so I went to Atlanta in 2003. Or was it 2002? Yeh, I think it was 2002.

I won't bore you with the story about how I got there, but it wasn't a 3-hour drive. If I slept at all, it was for maybe 3 hours total in three days. I'm not even certain I had a room.

It was one of the best times I've ever had in my life.

(I can't actually say it was the BEST time, just in case my wife ever reads this.)
Bob is right, there seems to be a new crew of educators. I do not know if this is good or bad. I am parcial to the first folks. I think it would be quite splendid to go to Vegas, but I do not see that happening. It would be trouble for me, my lady would not be bored there. Then again I probably would not see her the whole weekend.

I am hoping to get back to Atlanta again, last year I had the best food of my life at a place in Buckhead. My girl and I talk about it all the time. The thing that stinks is this year I will have to pay myself.

Patrick Leeland
Going to trade shows is extremely rewarding and informative. Very rarely will you see something specific that will knock your socks off, but it is the experience in it's entirety that is worth it.

Let's face it, this industry does not change overnight like some others do, but to take in at least one show a year is a very good idea and a very good investment.

Go to Atlanta. Be with your people.
Just to make sure no one mistakes my post, I wholeheartedly suggest that you make the Atlanta show. That show and Vegas WCAF are th two premier shows. More exhibitors at Atlanta, more education at Vegas

But, there are great educational opportunities at Atlanta, also. Nona, Jim, John Ranes and many more will be there.

Take in both if you can, but do at least one

There is no substitute for meeting, face to face, vendors and fellow framers. The networking opportunities cannot be minimized

Which brings me to the next shameless plug.

The week prior, PPFA will host their fall Meeting in San Diego. This is a semi-annual event in conjunction with PMA.

It affords not only networking with other framers (and I will be teaching) but also photo-retailers and scrapbookers. It is a great vehicle to exchange ideas with people that have a little different businesses but face the same problems we do. The exchanges are brilliant

I have to say far too many of us really don't share well. I guess we feel that the guy in Topeka is somehow a competitor and we tend to keep our cards a little close to the vest. These photo retail guys are the sharingest bunch-ask most of them a question and you will get an answer

The "outside of framing" education is great, too. Anyone that has sat in on a Bill McCurry led working lunch knows what I am talking about.

As we continue to see more and more "non traditional" retail competitors encroach into our business arenas, it just makes sense to try and understand how others compete with them

It's worth the effort
Originally posted by Grumbler F.K.A. Harry:
Very rarely will you see something specific that will knock your socks off . . .
And then there is John Ranes sneaking up behind you and telling you not to move because he wants to show you the new Fillet Master..... :D LOL
It will cost you 25$ if you wait till Show time. Any Grumblers know or have some VIP passes that many of us could use and avoid the added expense of having to PAY to BUY. 10$ now till end of July I think, but if you can get the VIP passes, no charge, at least I hope this is correct. Please post if you have, or know whom to contact to receive them, thanks.
Doncha just wonder why they dumped the gurus of the industry? I'll differ here with some. Atlanta in the summer is wonderful. Hot, humid, typical Southern. But then I lved there for 15yrs. And loved it. And miss it.

If you go, stay at the Omni, right across the street. OK so it's about $200 per nite. as someone else sez, it's tax deductible so what do you care?

The sessons USED to be worth it, but that's when they had carter, Bluestone, Goltz, Markoff, etc. real sposkesmen. Who are on the sched this year? Dunno. Don't plan to go-=-we're in Orlando for two weeks at Disney during that time period==but were I buying equipment or stuff, the discount you get at the show more than offsets the price.
Yeah, Michael! Where ya been?

The sheer VOLUME of 'stuff' on the exhibition floor at Atlanta will whelm, and quite possibly overwhelm you if you've never been. I went once, and may go again, even though framing and I have parted ways. Friends is friends! Ya miss seein' 'em after a while.
Ron and Charles: just had nothin' to say, semi-retired spending lots of time at our lake house outside Murphy NC (Eric Rudolph territory) and lovin' life in general