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Author Topic: Should KTAI Be Open To The Public?  (Read 3476 times)
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chilese
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« on: February 05, 2011, 01:34 AM »

Having spent about 12 hours at KTAI left me with several observations:

I felt awkward being at KTAI. Oh everyone was cordial and I had a good time, but this wasn't Kite Party or Berkeley Kite Festival. It was a working meeting between wholesalers and retailers. And I knew I didn't belong. I felt much better when I was outside taking pictures of the new merchandise.

Why isn't KTAI open to the public? If there were a few changes, this could be a good thing. Have a 3rd day where the public can come in. Business could be conducted as usual the first 2 days. Then the wholesalers could put away any "secret" merchandise and take down any pricing and open the doors to a paying public on Friday. This would generate more money for KTAI. Crowds would be small because of the travel costs involved unless you happen to live in the host city. The public would come out with a buzz of anticipation and help spread the word of new products coming down the pipeline.

The KTAI felt a bit inbred. Certainly a savvy group of people, but what are they hiding? The fact that kites have a markup from wholesaler to retailer? Really?

If you want the public to come into the kite stores, give them a look at what is coming. Everyone I talked to (except 1) wanted their products photographed and visible. The only requests I had were not to show prices.

I'll bet my indoor photos get looked at a lot. Certainly not because of the quality or art of the photos. I was just using the built in flash. And even with laying on the floor many times, the photos aren't the draw. It's the new products kiters want to see.

So KTAI, open the doors, make some more money by charging whatever the appropriate amount is and get as much free publicity as you can by attendees using websites such as Picasa, Twitter and Facebook. It's an electronic world out there, use it. Please.  Smiley
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2011, 02:13 AM »

so where are the pics?? Tongue

Ihear what you are saying John and I agree..  anything that will help the industry now would be a plus.. 
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DGomberg
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2011, 07:33 AM »

Great photos, John!

The issue of making the show open to the public has been discussed frequently in KTA. 

The purpose of the event is for wholesalers to meet with retailers and make orders for the spring. I completely understand the desire of kiters to get in and look around. And as you explained, there are several problems.

It is, of course, no secret that kites are sold in stores at a profit. But stores are still uncomfortable making public what they pay for inventory. That's why shows like this are typically closed.

One thing you didn't mention is how busy we were. Even with a smaller attendance, we had folks sitting and working in our booth virtually all the time we were open. So to be very candid, kiters who are not there to buy take valuable time away from the business we are there to do.

I'd rather present my new products at festivals and events around the country when I'm focused on meeting fliers rather than focused on selling to stores.

Is the group imbred? I suppose it might look that way. New businesses are certainly welcome and embraced. But the industry is shrinking and the folks at the show tend to know each other.  And yes, most come with an agenda.

As far as making money by charging the public -- retail stores that register for the convention pay $150 to attend. How much would we charge the public? How many would come?? And more significantly, how much would it cost KTA to keep the facilities an extra day?? I doubt the attendance income would cover the cost. And remember, you are also asking each exhibitor to spend time and money to add a day to the show. Time is critical in January since many exhibitors are heading for another show right away.

For my own part, I'd like to see a good overview of the show -- with photos from each booth and a presentation of new products -- posted on the KTA web page. That way, the buzz you want would be available to everyone and not just those traveling to the Convention site.

One other thing. John, you probably should have mentioned that you came into the show with credentials provided by a retail member. I would hate readers to think that can show up and come in without registering.

Thanks!

David

PS -- I'll have my KTA report posted in the Update early next week.

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MtnFlyer
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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2011, 07:34 AM »

Interesting thought, John.

Certainly other industries have their trade shows, be they toys, hardware, housewares or electronics. Think of the media coverage of the CES and the like, and many of those products shown are more concept than consumer-ready.

Might be a good thing at that.

Hey, did you see the cool, new ...
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Bob
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2011, 07:39 AM »


For my own part, I'd like to see a good overview of the show -- with photos from each booth and a presentation of new products -- posted on the KTA web page. That way, the buzz you want would be available to everyone and not just those traveling to the Convention site.


Great alternative, David. That might serve the same intent of getting the consumer excited about the new products. Kind of internal media coverage.

I always look forward to your Update following KTAI.
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Bob
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2011, 09:50 AM »

Keep it a mystery.  Plus the density of kite fliers (kite nuts) that would showup is so low in any city, that it would never pay off.

I love the sneak peaks and hush hush and the drama that spreads through our little community with reports coming back over the internet.
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2011, 10:02 AM »

GWTW, in the form of Dan & Brian, did a few years of KTAI reports with lots of photos. Very much like what John did this year. It felt like old times. Thanks John.

As much as I love all kinds of kites, there wouldn't be enough new stuff in a given year to be interesting, especially since most of the really interesting niche companies don't need to attend. If my hobby was kite stores, it would be diffent.

If I was retired and living in Vegas I might feel different. :-)

(love you, man!)
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2011, 03:06 PM »

I got a chance to attend the KTAI in New Orleans a few years back.  As the hometown kite club we helped out a bit and were allowed into the exhibit area for about an hour. So many kites displayed so nicely.  So many "famous" kite people.   It was a real blast!

I certainly understand all that Dave G. shared.

Just a brain storming idea here.  What if there was a Kite Fest in the same general area during KTAI and then the two events got a chance to "merge" for an afternoon where KTAI allowed us regular kiters to browse the display area and the vendors brought out the new stuff to the kite flying field.

Maybe the combo of the two events could get the industry and sport a bit of extra publicity.

We can dream

http://onlye.org/kta.html
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eric
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2011, 05:27 PM »

Lynn and I are tight with folks who manufacture Street Rod products. Once we mentioned to them that we would like to attend the SEMA show in Las Vegas.  SEMA is to the automotive aftermarket what KTAI is to kiting.  Our friends hooked us up as "consultants", and that is what our badges read.  One look at our badges, and we get ignored, which was fine with us, as we are nor "buyers" for a retail outlet.

We have only attended twice, and it is only 10$ for us to attend.  We saw many things that we see every day, as well as new products.  Some make it to market, some don't.  We did have a great time.  I would imagine KTAI would be much the same.

Attending KTAI would be fun for us, but being connected to the "kite family", with the pictures and information shared here and elsewhere, attendance is not a high priority,  Also, for merchandisers to waste their time, for which they pay dearly, on us, would not be fair.

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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2011, 12:45 PM »

Yes and NO! While we'd like to get people to see our product and even test fly some. The KTAI had 11 hours of show time. When you can set a go throughtthe line for, an hour with a retailer that has a wide range of your product. That would leave no time to chat about what tricks a kite can do or what would happen if you changed this rod, or can you do it in these colors  with an enthusiest. I go to the AKA with as much new stuff as I can and I'd like to make KP an annual visit. So unless the KTAI changes format there really isn't time for the public.  Even now we get customers that say oh we wanted to talk but when we came by you were with (fill in the blank) and we never got back. I would however be happy to see a format change.

Rob
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KaoS
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« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2011, 03:23 PM »

...
Have a 3rd day where the public can come in. Business could be conducted as usual the first 2 days. Then the wholesalers could put away any "secret" merchandise and take down any pricing and open the doors to a paying public on Friday. This would generate more money for KTAI. Crowds would be small because of the travel costs involved unless you happen to live in the host city. The public would come out with a buzz of anticipation and help spread the word of new products coming down the pipeline.

Quite simply, it isn't cost effective.  I've been involved "on the inside" of three different trade conventions - baby and children's products, promotional goods (pens, mugs, shirts, flags...), fabric/sewing/manufacturing supplies.  The cost to exhibitors of floor space at each of these events is high, the cost of staff is high, the cost of meals and accommodation is high.  Bump these costs up by an extra day to allow the general public in just to look? (no, you wouldn't be selling to the public - that would really cheese off the retailers you had just done the yearly deals with).  Yes, the KTA might make a few extra dollars, but the exhibitors will be worse off by a substantial amount.

I agree completely that promotion of new products could be done differently.  New products from each exhibitor on an event website at the completion of the event (along with "Enquiries to your favourite kite retailer...")
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Kevin Sanders

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zippy8
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2011, 04:48 PM »

Here's a notion - why doesn't the KTAI each year invite a person to come along to their trade event who agrees to make a report to the wider kiting enthusiast community, say in the form of some text with a lot of pictures  Smiley. No need for too many specifics, details or (heaven forbid) firm prices. Just stoke the fires a little.

I've read KTA (I) reports for a while now - text only via rec.kites, print form in Kite Passion, online via all sorts of places. Each time has been free publicity.

Do I really want to walk around the exhibition hall - no.
Would I like to hear about and see what was there - after all these years, yes.

No need for some PR-speak nonsense, I'm sure you'll get to that in due course  Wink , just an enthusiast letting other enthusiasts in on what's coming.

Mike.
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JimB
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2011, 09:03 PM »

Dan Whitney used to do a report on the trade show.

Didn't John Barresi do some of this in Years past as well?

Honestly, I'm with Zippy; I don't need to see the sausage being made, but I wouldn't mind hearing about it after the fact.
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KaoS
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« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2011, 04:54 PM »

Here's a notion - why doesn't the KTAI each year invite a person to come along to their trade event who agrees to make a report to the wider kiting enthusiast community, say in the form of some text with a lot of pictures  Smiley.

You mean like?


...  New products from each exhibitor on an event website at the completion of the event ...

 Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Great minds, and all that
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Kevin Sanders

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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2011, 05:47 PM »

You mean like?

...  New products from each exhibitor on an event website at the completion of the event ...

Actually no  Shocked

I'd prefer to see the reaction from a fellow enthusiast about upcoming products, rather than The Biz, as I suspect that I've got more in common with the former rather than the latter.

I might be mildly interested to know about Kut Price Kites latest entry level product that will go on to sell loads and make money for people but I'm far more interested in OneManBand's hand-crafted item. That's how it is.

Mike.
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