NY Show fiasco?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Dec 16, 2000
North-East US
According to my son's phone report, this year NY Show is a complete and perfect failure.
Any other opinion?
Cornel not that have ever attended that venue ,but are you going to be a bit more specific?WHY?
I wasn't that impressed with this years show. I ran over to check it out on a break from work, and did the entire Decor part in an hour and a half. The only thing that really did impress me was the announcement Larson made.
I gather from the number of faxes, emails and phone calls I've gotten over the past week urging me to reconsider and register to attend that not many people planned in advance to go.
I'm writing to you now from a train just leaving Grand Central from the show.

It was MUCH smaller this year and each of the past 3 years we have been going. Many vendors were missing but the big ones were mostly there. Only 2 POS vendors, etc

Still had a great time and met a lot of friends.

What announcement???

Not a rumor, Jerry. Saw it with my own eyes. Finished corner frames. Won't be available for a LONG time, but they're getting into them.

I was told that the show is shamefully small. The high end framers were very poorly represented. Well respected brand names were either absent or offering a low profile with just a few samples on display. The place was desperately empty (low attendance) today, Friday, March 4th, with nothing special to remember, be inspired of or be getting eager to acquire.
My son toured the place for three times and left without feeling the urge of taking a business card or a snap.

Was your son planning to buy something!!! and if so what…….or was he just window shopping!!!!!
Hi, Dermot

My son was there on a ..."spying mission"; to learn, see and compare things. He was keeping an eye out for new, special attendants or products. He noticed a number of our (photo) frame designs being copied which is OK with me. I take it as a compliment. Besides, I can design faster than they can copy.
The show was a disappointment. Went on Thursday, and covered the whole thing in about two hours, and that included ordering corner samples.

At this rate, once every three years should be plenty.

Please elaborate regarding LJ...did I miss something?
I went yesterday (Friday) and felt a bit let down. However, I placed a few good sized orders (for me) and saved some money. Did want I wanted to do.

Fletcher is "reselling and rebranding " CMCs. Like anyone would rush to THAT now???

As I talked to some of the framers, there were a few buying equipment, but mostly "just looking."

Although booths were smaller than in the past, they still seemed to be staffed with the "right" knowledgeable people, and I had questions answered at Wizard, Fletcher, and others.

It was worth a ride down and back for the day I thought, but I am glad it didn't cost me more than $50 total. (that's food, gas, et al)

P.S. at noon, Mike, Andy, Pamela, and Maria Nucci showed up to say hi. Pamela brought a new framer with her. But, that was it. Not a very big crowd.
Dave, so far I haven't attended any trade shows but, in return I tour the states on my own and, at least once a year, I spend a few days in Houston to visit some of my best clients. Chances are that we meet in your home town rather than at NY Show.
This was my first show... my shop has only been open for little over 4 months. If the show was any bigger, I would've had brain overload. I spoke to a lot of vendors, learned some new tricks, saw some products I've been wanting to purchase........
My only disappointment was not meeting other grumblers.... I spent all of Friday at the show, and proudly wore my green ribbon... a few people asked me what it meant, and I was told by Lifesaver that Mike was at the show......... now I do admit that I was busy talking to all the vendors and reps and not really looking for green ribbons, but every now and again I did take a look around and tried to spot a green ribbon..........
Yeah the show was smaller. I think that the crowd was fair in size. The show seems to be getting quiet.

I had a good two days, had all I could do to get it all done in that time. I had a long to do list.

Sorry I missed you guys on Friday - real sorry. :(
Yes - the show was considerably smaller than it was in 2003 (last time we were there) It was nice meeting another Grumbler (Eric Jarmann from Newburgh). Sorry I missed Cliff Wilson and the rest of the gang
- maybe next show.
Speaking of which, there is a good chance that there will be another NYC show this year - back at the piers on Oct. 15 - 16 - 17.
Some of the "regular" vendors were missing from the Decor show and others had reduced the size of their booths. I also noticed a lack of ready-made vendors and a considerable lack of photo frame vendors - there used to be 20+ of these vendors at the NY show - this year there were maybe 6 total!
Thursday was fairly busy - Friday seemed awfully slow, with salespeople chatting w/ each other in the booths - hopefully, Saturday was an improvement for the vendors.
I know NYC is the place to be for "art" but maybe Decor-Expo should re-think the location - perhaps a convention center in NJ or D.C. would be better suited for this show - the vendors have been complaining about the costs of NYC for years!
Oh well, maybe I'll get to meet some of you in Atlanta
Last year was my first year at the show and this year was definitely smaller. But I got a lot accomplished and there were some good sale items so it was a worthwhile trip. Plus I'm always looking for an excuse to go to NYC.

I was, however, very disappointed with the two classes I took. I had hoped to take others but they were full when I tried to register. Both classes were sponsored by Nielson Bainbridge so they were centered around their products only. I have no problem with reps pushing their products but I think classes like that should be FREE. I was almost glad the other classes were full by the end of the second one as it may have been a waste of money. Anybody else have this opinion on the classes?
If I were still in business for myself, I would have skipped the show, as I was disappointed by last year's show. It shrank again this year.

Since I was accompanied by a new framer, we spent a very productive 5+ hours looking at equipment and suppliers. I introduced him around to other framers and sales reps I knew, he made some purchases, and saved some money.

Maybe how you feel about the show depends on your prospective. New framer-plenty to see. Anyone else-been there, done that.
Hi there,

I agree, I think if you go to a show with a purpose then the prospective of the show changes. I went to the show last year and found it really interesting. I went as a novice,(oops, I'm still a novice LOL) so I didn't realize you could take classes and learn. But I did spend two days meeting and learning differnt products on the market. And met a few fantastic people thru the journey.
I am in my 2nd year of framing, and wished I could of attended again, as I would of known what I was doing and what I was looking for.. Oh well...

keep smiling
sounds good, looking forward it. have just been consumed with some due diligence. still lots to learn, he he he might make trip across the pond this year. have been waiting to spend some time over there again to visiting some friends too..

yeah, i was thinking of making the trip to see the show. but the days were good at the beach. maybe next year i will make the trip. but hard to say, as it really sounds like mixed results at best with this years show.

hope you all are enjoying the weekend.

best regards,

dave moen
Smaller shows seem to be the trend. I've spoken to our various suppliers for the past 25+ years of attending these shows. Cutting through the usual, "The show is going great" has been the underlying reality that in many of these shows (perhaps most) the major players do not realise a profit...

Each company felt it necessary to "make a presence" and, although sales reps fared well enough, their companies oftentimes took a big $$$ hit at each show.

Smaller independant specialty companies, with small booths, are often able to turn a nice dollar at these events. But the the big guys, with their huge and impressive booths, given the cost per square foot at these events, have unreal overhead. One of our reps (off the record), gave me her companies typical trade show's out-of-pocket cost - that was a lot of money to pay for "exposure" - a company could die from such exposure!

Each year, at each trade show, it was the same story - each company felt the HAD to show. But this past year, in Toronto, the show was different; it was unbelievably small. The major players were not in attendance. It took us under 10 minutes to peruse the entire show. For us, it was a total waste of 10 minutes (plus travel time)!

It seems that the big boys finally decided that they didn't HAVE to attend - that their $$$'s could be better spent elsewhere.

It's an unfortunate trend, especially for those just starting out. A trade show is often the best place to make contacts, see the latest lines, compare equipment and get "deals", especially on major pieces of equipment.

On the other hand, you can't blame the companies not in attendance. After all, if we do not see a return from a particular advertising venue, we certainly don't keep throwing good money after bad.
There are too many shows for our industry to support. Have 2 - 1 east coast and 1 west coast. How many shows are we up to now? I barely pay attention to them anymore. I went to NY last year and it was disappointing. I can't imagine what it must have been like this year.
This year's show was very small and there was zip buzz.

Remember when there were tons of give-aways and show specials and large new lines?

This year you could barely get a bag to carry your catalogues (thanks Nielsen-Bainbridge) - not even a useless fluorescent ruler in sight.

But when else can you get huge discounts on both moulding and posters? Or be able to examine items you've seen in catalogues or get design inspiration or discover some small company with unique items?

Decor - please make this and other shows affordable for the distributors in the NY/New England area - we need some excitement in this business!
Cornel's son reported that the NY show was "a complete and perfect failure" and "shamefully small". Those descriptions seem a bit harsh.

Quite a few framers and exhibitors got everything they came for; saw everything they came to see, got their money's worth. They probably will return next year.

Or maybe not. If the general consensus follows Cornel's line of thinking, the NY show surely will shrink again next year, and may be gone in a few years.

Cornel, if that is your purpose, you are serving it well. If not, then please consider who is responsible for making a trade show large or successful. More to the point, when a show shrinks several years in a row, whose fault is it?

Shall we blame the exhibitors who choose not to spend a large chunk of their annual marketing budgets for the privilege of exposing their products and people to a few thousand framers from the region? Shall we blame the organizers who should have found a way to keep it open Sunday? Shall we blame the framers who stayed home? Shall we blame the city of New York for being expensive and inconvenient to visit?

Place your blame where you will. But understand that no matter how valiant the organizer's and exhibitors' attempts to keep any show afloat, they would all be in vain if framers stay home. Remember Chicago, Los Angeles, Orlando, and all the others that went away?

So, framers, the choice is ultimately yours. Will you save this one, or throw it away?

Whatever your decision, I hope it won't be predicated only on comments such as Cornel's.
The blame, if one chooses to assign it, seems to be squarely on the shoulders of the Javits Center. The costs associated with setting up there are insane. The venue itself seems fine (but I still miss the Piers...)

One vendor indicated to me that another organization will be putting on a show at the Piers this fall ... anyone else hear this, that could shed some more light on it?

In any case, this was our 6th show in NY ... my Mom lives in NJ, so it was always convenient to stay there and zoom across the river ... but next year, we're gonna use up some of those frequent flier miles that keep piling up, and head West ....
Don't get me wrong - even though I was disappointed with the overall size of the show, it was good to "touch base" with vendors - There were some great deals going on, but you had to search them out.
I was really disappointed w/ the lack of free seminars at the booths and like FF said "the costs of showing at the Javitts center are insane"
When the shows were at the piers, there was room enough for the vendors to set up chairs and have a schedule of events going on at their booths. I remember being in awe as to what Brian Wolf could do with a mat cutter (not a CMC) and the hints & tips that Vivian Kistler would show us at another vendor's booth. These types of "mini-seminars" assisted the "newbie"
in perfecting their methods and helped clear away the cobwebs of some of us "old-timers"

And, believe me - these vendors that did the seminars at their booths moved a lot of product because of them AND increased their good-will w/ their customers.

Grumblers can't bring down a good, healthy trade show, nor keep a dying one alive by way of grumbling, respectively keeping silent or hiding the truth.

The truth is that New York Show is a shadow of what Frameorama at the pears used to be ten years ago, and that's a shame. The truth is that US/Easterncoast framers and international exhibitors deserve and need a good trade show in New York and they are not getting it exclusively because of the people in charge with organizing it. The place was expensive when that show was successful as it is now. New York and its surroundings were vital for American and world frame industry then as they are today. If the crowd and the exhibitors are each year less and less interested in this show's not because they conspire against their own interest but because whoever was in charge with putting it together persistently did and still does a lousy job about it, and seemingly nobody is pointing at them much less hold them responsible.

I was not attending the show and I started this thread in hope to receive positive feedback after my son’s report sounded to me desperately sad to be true.
Originally posted by Cliff Wilson:
.....Fletcher is "reselling and rebranding " CMCs. Like anyone would rush to THAT now???...

This launch of four new CMC's would actually have fallen under the "something new" to examine at the show. And although the show was lighter in attendance than previous years, Saturday was fairly steady, with great interest and a number of sales of the new Valiani/Fletcher CMCs. (Unabashed - Applogies) BTW - The first person to write an order for a new Fletcher cmc at this show already owns a Fletcher F-6100 and needed a second CMC. :D

Back to the subject at hand....

Jim Miller's comments are right on.... it is up to us to support the shows that we desire, and the trend in recent years has been for framers to go to Las Vegas (PFM) and Atlanta (Decor). This may or may not be a good thing - time will tell.

Keep in mind, that with The Grumble, The PPFA Online Exchange, Decor, Picture Framing Magazine, Local Distributor Open Houses, Local PPFA Chapters, and regular visits by sales reps, the need to visit a framing show every year, may be diminishing in the industry.

John (Airport - Returning from New York)
It pains me to see the New York show shrinking. I have gone to the NY show every year for the last 21 years. I prefer the Piers to the Javits Center. Javits is harder to get to, and there is no on-site parking. The show has gotten smaller faster since it was moved there, IMHO.

The distributors have to be there in order for framers to want to invest their time and money into going. The framers have to show up in order for the distributors to want to invest in a booth. If things keep going the way they are, I see the New York show becoming a fond memory for many of us.
How many of you guys go to New York plus another show? Or go to another show and not New York? How many of you who went to Las Vegas went to New York? What else is there? Atlanta, Orlando, LA - is there still a LA?

The home electronics industry can make due with Comdex. Maybe the picture framing industry can whittle it down to, oh, say 4 trade show a year. Baby steps yaknow...
The show was great for me this year. I'm expanding and needed to buy equipment.

Even though the show was small, I had things to do and got most of them done.

Altough in some cases there weren't enough vendors of a product to make a decent comparison. Sometimes you need to kick the tires you know. May have to wait till Atlanta.

Remember when there were piano players and mimes to entertain us? And all those rulers and levels and screwdrivers, not to mention the freshly popped popcorn and hot peanuts.

Ah, the good old days...though I don't miss the mimes.

I'm with the camp that says keep NY alive, but make it more affordable for the vendors. Maybe move it to NJ. It's the most densely populated area in the country, it ought to have a decent trade show.

Great to meet the New England contingent.... Cliff, Pamela and Robert(?), Mike, Andy.
I originally planned to go on Thursday, then when something came up, had to put it off until Saturday. When I saw early reports here, I almost didn't go. Having never been before, I couldn't make a comparison, but I wound up spending six hours there (and bought a saw).
I am sure established framers will see new moldings, etc. through their reps, but like Maria said, when buying equipment, you want to kick the tires, and it was good to be able to comparison shop. (Of course, after trying out a bunch of underpinners, I am more undecided than I was before.)
Of course, I didn't go this year (one of our staff had a stroke, which was darn inconvenient for us, not to mention for her...hehehe) but I always go to New York, Atlanta and wherever the PPFA convention is. That way I get the best education (PPFA) the best vendor representation (Atlanta) and the best entertainment (New York) and best of all, I get to see you guys three times! Just sign me The Trade Show Junkie
One vendor indicated to me that another organization will be putting on a show at the Piers this fall ... anyone else hear this, that could shed some more light on it?

Marketplace Expos is putting on a show at Pier 94 on October 15-16-17.

As for the Javits Center being insanely expensive, consider first what it must cost to run such a place. Then realize that, like you, they are in business to make money. And booth costs at this show at the Piers are not much less than the Decor one ($1895 versus $2450). In my experience, the cost of the booth, while one of the larger single expenses, is not the majority cost by any means - usually 20-25% of the total.
I know NYC is the place to be for "art" but maybe Decor-Expo should re-think the location

How about Boston!!!!!!
Boston works for me! 45 miles
Yeah Boston! There are several venues that could work. The Hynes Convention Center right in the Back Bay, Bayside Expo, The World Trade Center....

Great food and history, not to mention two championship teams.

Come on up!
I was exhibiting at Decor NYC for the second time this year. It was a lot slower than last year and the show was really small compared to the Art Expo side were people had problem walking (to much visitors).

The business still was good for us but not as WCAF in Vegas. I re-signed for 2006 and I'm know thinking of cancelling my reservation to try another show next year, maybe Art & Framing Showcase at the NYC Pier. Other ideas?
Yup, please tell Jim Miller that your cancellation thought has nothing to do with my starting this thread. ;)
Originally posted by Jim Miller:
...please consider who is responsible for making a trade show large or successful.

Shall we blame the framers who stayed home?

But understand that no matter how valiant the organizer's and exhibitors' attempts to keep any show afloat, they would all be in vain if framers stay home.

So, framers, the choice is ultimately yours. Will you save this one, or throw it away?

Gosh, I can't believe that I am dangerously close to agreeing with Cornell :eek:

Jim, I cannot and will not accept responsibility for a show failing! The responsibility lies 100% on the organizers. They have to pick a convenient location, an agreeable time, offer fair prices, market properly, and have a little luck.

It’s just like running a frameshop. If I don't do these things and fail, is it ok for me to blame my customers? Or maybe I can also blame framers for not helping out a brother in his quest to battle the evil BB.

I think tradeshows are awesome. I wish there were one near me every month. Ultimately it only makes things just a little tougher on the framer when they die. However I only accept responsibility for running a frame shop. I don't have energy or desire to try to save a trade show.

As a "framer" I humbly disagree. The choice isn't mine but I will support the ones that offer me the best value!

Carry on.
Having grown up within 15 miles of NYC, I'm well aware of the financial and logistic hurdles of attending a show there .... my previous post indicated "costs associated with setting up" at the Javits Center .... I was including the utility and labor costs that the vendors have to deal with .... have you any idea what they are charged just to have material moved from the loading dock to their booth (they're not allowed to do it themselves)??

And $40 a day for the attendees to park????

And let's not forget the Wonderful NYC Attidude (had THAT thrown at us more than once...).

All reasons why we'll be going elsewhere next year.
FramingFool - yes, it is expensive to set up, but no more so than the Piers. AFAIK, the only thing cheaper about the Piers is the parking, although I'll admit that that is fairly significant to the attendees (not that much to vendors).
Remember it takes 2.......

If the owners of frame shops do not have the disposable money to go to one of the many shows they will not go.

Sales have been soft for many framers around the country.