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Author Topic: Who Wasn't At KTAI?  (Read 2983 times)
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chilese
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« on: January 24, 2012, 12:22 PM »

Well, let's see.....

1 Any boutique kitemakers
    (Miguel Rodriguez, Ken McNeill, Lam Hoac, Marc Clemens, Tim Benson)
2 Any European kitemakers
    (Level 1, R-Sky, etc)
3 Flying Wing (a particular surprise considering how active that company is)
4 Most kite stores
    (Kite Connection, GWTW, etc)

Is it cost of attending, return on investment, not necessary?
Can you still get all you need at the same prices without going?
The kite store owners already know a lot of what they are going to see anyway.

Feel free adding to the list.

And if you could have gone as a public paying person of interest,
would you have come to Las Vegas and what would you have
paid to get in? Miguel was ready to shell out the full price for himself
and his wife, but they couldn't get in.

And why does the KTAI do nothing more than have a small website
to promote themselves, if they are attempting to promote the "industry",
which for the most part is having an off-shore company build low-cost
products for the tourist trade?

« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 11:17 AM by chilese » Logged

John Chilese: Las Vegas, NV
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2012, 02:28 PM »

John,

Isn't the real intent of the show for kite shops to see what is available for the coming season?  (and place orders)

Were there really not that many kite shop owners there?  If not, I can understand why someone like Flying Wings would choose not to invest in coming to the show.

It sorta makes sense why the boutique kites makers don't spend money coming as they sell mainly direct to the kite flyer.

thanks for the great coverage you have shared with us!
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eric
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and still can't fly like those darn videos
mikenchico
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2012, 03:50 PM »

With only 17 images online of last years show, 5 images from 2009 and 15 from 2008 they don't even do as good of a job of promoting themselve as John does.

Be curious to hear how many vendors actually attended the event (I count 23 plus the AKA in John's pics) and how many retailers ( I see 3 but Corey was the KTAI President and probably had to attend)

Would I pay for it and travel expenses as a spectator, probably not.

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« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2012, 04:39 PM »

Actually, Kite Connection was at the show.

The KTAI website has been under discussion a lot in the last few months and a whole new format and design is being discussed - look for it to come out sometime in the near future.

The KTAI is really not for the general public.  It was created as a tool for manufacturers and retails to use for discussing product, supplies and delivery dates.  I don't think that the average kite flyer would even enjoy the show to be honest with you.  For purchasing and sitting down face to face with the manufacturers and designers, it is a real benefit, Plus being able to discuss supply options, delivery dates and new products not only for this year but for the coming years as well.  This is a huge benefit for me as a retailer to use to plan out expenses and future orders.

Honestly, I don't think the average kite flyer would get their money's worth out of the show if it were even opened up for the general public.

As far as numbers, those will not be available for a few more weeks.   I know there were at least a few dozen retail kite stores in attendance, Steve from GWTW was greatly missed though. Smiley  Manufacturers ... I counted over 20 just going through my head quickly.

As mentioned above, it is questionable for Boutique kite makers to attend the show.  The show is designed for wholesale to retailer meetings.  Boutique kite makers such as Benson, Blue Moon, Level 1 etc... all sell directly to the end user (who are not at the show).  If they were interested in actually selling through retail outlets as well as selling direct, the KTAI would be the best way for them to get in touch with a huge number of retailers who would love to carry some of these high end kites.

The show had a very positive outlook to it this year, and there are lots of new designs that were either released at the show, or will be coming out in the next year or so which is very good.  It seems that the industry is finally on an upswing.

What I would like to see is the KTAI demo days opened up for the public kite flyers to come meet the manufacturers and designers and actually fly the new products.  I feel this would be a great way for the manufacturers to get direct input from the end users on new products and also hear what the end users would like to see in the future.  The Demo Day was a total hit (even though the wind was missing most of the day).  The KTAI has already stated that next years demo day will be even bigger and better.  Hopefully we can get some better winds and perhaps be a lot more open to the end users.  If I hear anything more about this I will surely pass it along to everyone here.

What is everyone's feeling about this?  I would love to hear and will pass this info on to the KTAI board.

The above is only my opinion of course and is worth exactly what you paid for it. Smiley
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mikenchico
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2012, 05:06 PM »

A demo day open to the public is a big step in the right direction to get more people involved and I think that is a positive move for the KTAI. I totally understand the Trade Show being closed to the public, posted wholesale pricing, and the focus being on the relationship between wholesalers and retailers, who needs a 100 kite geeks in the way?

Although most succesful retailers have a good handle on their market getting to see the buying publics reaction to new products should still be a benifit. You might laught your way right by that mermaid kite but if you see 20 potential customers clamoring around it on the field you'll probably give it another look. Good for you & good for the manufacturer / importer.
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2012, 05:56 PM »

I think this "issue" comes up every year after the event.

IMHO the KTAI is not an organization that caters to the public... never has been. Their purpose is to support wholesalers and retailers. I certainly have no issue with that. As such I don't see why they would have an interest in attracting the public... this is not what they do.

Rather then seeing the KTAI getting into the "public" scene, I'd rather see the retailers and manufactures offer (more) support for kite festivals. I'm not saying that they don't already. Have factory reps go to kite festivals and allow people to fly their kites there. That way they advertise and also help support festivals.
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Todd Copeland
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2012, 06:11 PM »

I've been to events that were generally almost a week long-- part of the time (say first couple of days) was devoted to the wholesale end of things. The rest of the time was devoted to the public: vendors available, classes, shows (of the competitive sort and/or of the art sort), demos, etc. This kind of thing draws people from near and far...  and they spend a ton of money, both ahead of time and during the event themselves. It's so cool to be able to see things in person rather than having to just view it online.

I'd save my money and go if it were an event like this.

Nancy
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2012, 01:34 AM »

Having done a trade show on this side of the pond and having been dissapointed to see that that it was mainly toy shop owners looking for beach kites (despite it being in the late 90s when trick kites were at their peak) I was going to say how will the toy shop owners learn that we want some serious sport kites if they don't see what the public are interested in? However lets face facts sport kites are such a minority niche again we're irrelevant to most retailers  Sad  Face it, we'd just be an inconvenient distraction at a trade show.
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jon t
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2012, 08:04 AM »

As you know I rarely/never chime in on these discussions but I do want to add my two cents.
We have been a manufacturer, retailer and distributor for many years.  We attended the KTAI for many years in all three capacities and always had a booth.  The show use to be quite large with many international manufacturers and retailers in attendance.  It is my opinion that one of the reasons that the show is no longer an international event is that it was not open to the public for even a day.  The show was not really even promoted to other retailers outside the kite industry.  In all fairness there were a lot more kite shops back then also.  It's expensive as a manufacturer to have a booth and not have the opportunity to at least have the end user see your product.  As a manufacturer I would happily put away my wholesale pricing info for a day and as a retailer I believe it would benefit me to have as many people as possible exposed to kiting and new products available.  This a show that is paid for by the manufactures but run by the retailers which never made much sense to me but that opens up a whole other can of worms.
I agree with many things that Kent said in his post.  It's a great place to meet and talk with people you do business with, a chance to see up close new items and maybe find that one thing that sells great for you that year.  Unfortunately as a small manufacturer is doesn't make good financial sense.  There are just not enough retailers who will support that small boutique kite maker which is sad.  Thank goodness there are still kite stores like Kents that believe in and carry the small kite maker products. 
In a nut shell my vote is to open up those doors and let this industry grow.    You might just once again get to see Tim Benson, Ken McNeil, Jens Frank and many more of those boutique makers come and show their beautiful and unique kites.
  Thanks for letting me put in my two cents.  Marieanne at Sky Burner Kites
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2012, 08:37 AM »

Just going to pop in here to thank you, John, for putting photos of the KTAI event online.  I look at the photos over and over, looking for things that are interesting to me and that I might like to have.  Then, when our local shop owner comes home from the show, we discuss what I saw and what his impressions are.  Quite often, he ends up ordering a new kite or two for me. 

I think it would be nice to see some of the prototypes up close but it would not be financially possible to attend even if it was open to the public.  Also, I think those who would attend would be looking at more specialty kites, not the ones the general public would buy.  Retailers must select items that move out the door in quantity in order to stay open.  So I'm not sure inviting the public would be beneficial.

Please keep the photos coming.  They are certainly beneficial to me.

kjm
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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2012, 11:50 AM »

A number of issues have led to the changes in attendance at KTAI. The E world. Manufacturers can send an image and even video of new products and the quality of those images just keeps getting better.The International aspect was stronger before the euro the strenght and weakness of the dollar combined with rising shipping prices as well as expansion of european manufacture has made the international trade less apealing. Just ask Steve.
I was told that flying wings attendence had more to do with the timing of Chinese New year which culturally  is more like Jewish near year than western new years day.
 While probably not promoted as a public event there were plenty of locals at demo day but no wind. For those that think it might be good fore manufacturers to make themselves available to the kiting public, Many of us do attend festivals where is it cost effective and are often at the AKA. This year was the first time in many years that we had a DEMO day on the schedual and most of us were out and loved it. I for one would hate to be confronted with the "sophies choice" of blowing off a kite fan asking about a tricks in or out a kites range or missing a chance to talk with a major vendor.
The show may be smaller but that size presents people with a lack of urgency to get to all vendor as well as the vendors chances to address all attendees.
It the great old days 200-300 dollars sport kites were the norm and boutique builders were making great advances. In some ways we are the victim of our own success.
 The recent board have seem to embraced the idea of change in subtle ways so not to turn things upside down but there does seem as though there are few newcomers who are making an impact
Rob
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chilese
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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2012, 12:29 PM »

My thanks to many who rarely speak up here to bring in their comments.

As far as NO WIND.....

I spoke with one of the Demo Day attendees and she said that it was too bad there was no wind.

There was wind, at times, up to about 3 mph. People were flying sport kite standards some of the time. And with the low wind, we were able to fly the gliders along with many ULs.

I told said attendee that this was my order of importance for a day in January planned months in advance:

1 The sun is shining. Check.
2 The weather was comfortable. Check. (some people in shorts)
3 There were a few clouds for good background contrast of kite photos. Check.
4 There wasn't too much wind to fly. Check.
5 There was enough wind to fly standards and ULs at various times. Semi-check.

So, on my list we hit the top 4 and part of number 5.
A few days later we had rain and overcast, cold skies.

Let's not get too caught up in the NO WIND statements being casually tossed about. We got lucky during the winter month of January.

Note the parrot's tail. Sure, we could have had winds steady at 7 mph, but overall, I was thrilled with the day we were given.  Smiley

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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2012, 02:57 PM »

The only thing the Demo days lacked was steady wind . Having been at demos in rain, cold ,mud, and parking lots with truck traffic. This was great improvment. I will be happy to have that good a time next year.
Rob
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« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2012, 08:29 PM »

I do not know if I am your average kite products consumer, but I can tell the folks who pedal the products what I have, how I got it, and what I want.

I've only been into kites of a year and a half.  I got bit by the bug purely by chance on a visit to the Oregon coast.  The day after I saw my first sport kite (at age 57) I owed one.  I just added them up and found that since then I've spent almost $1800 on kites alone (9 or so), and another several hundred on a bundle of lines, anchors, videos and other specialty gear.  I spent $55 on my first kite, $300 on my 5th and about $500 on my last one- notice a trend there?  The kites I spent the most on are the more recent purchases and are the "boutique" kites (Sky Burner and Lam Hoac) which account for over 1/2 the money spent.  I realize you generally get what you pay for and don't mind paying for high quality.  As with buying cars, I seldom buy used kites.  I like the New Shiny, as they say on this forum.

I live in Salt Lake City and would have to drive 3 - 6 hours in any direction to find a good kite store.  So I almost exclusively buy online and depend on the web for my information.  I'd say the stuff I've seen on the GWTW forum has been responsible for more kite sales to me than just pure company or vendor advertizing.  The 2 kite festivals I have attended were both Antelope Island and there were only 1 or 2 vendors there either year, but I was delighted to see them because I could see some kites for real.  Both times I was very disappointed there were not more vendors.

Looking at John's photos and Dave's video  of KTAI makes me drool on my keyboard! 

I wish there was one day at the show where the public could see the booths and talk with the manufacturers and retailers, ask our questions, make our suggestions, critique the products, and view their products ALL IN ONE PLACE.  If this was done on the same day as the outdoor/indoor demos that would be fantastic.  Back with the car analogy, why do you think those car dealers want you to take a test drive!!!  Because once you drove it, you can't resist.  I for one know that if I were to attend the KTAI a lot of the hardware there would not need to be brought back to the shop.  I will continue to buy online because I have to, but do not underestimate the power of holding those sails and lines in your hands for making a sale.

I know there is a lot of business that goes on at these shows that is just that- the boring and cold hard aspect of making a living and the public has no business being around for that.  You guys have to make a living and I respect that.  I'm just saying that you might think about changing things up just a bit and I think you just might be pleasantly surprised at what happens.  Personally, I've been half tempted to make the 6 hour drive from SLC to Vegas just to attend the Friday Night Flies with Kent, so spending a night in Vegas in mid-January to also spend a day at KTAI would be really sweet!

Now that I've flown them I will probably continue to spend most of my money on high-end "boutique" kites.  It would be nice if more of them were available from other retailers, but maybe I just don't understand the business end of this.  And don't get me wrong, I will also be dropping hundreds and probably thousands more on the cheaper "quantity" items kjm mentioned, as long as they are quality products.

Just my two cents...  thank you all for making such incredible products and if you need a couple of days a year behind closed doors to make it happen, I sure won't begrudge you that.  Just keep it coming!   
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Scott Madsen
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2012, 06:30 AM »

A few years back, I proposed a 'hybrid' AKA/KTA convention. KTA would do the traditional closed show on Saturday/Sunday, and then open the room to AKA registrants on Monday (the first day of convention). Monday night, the KTA awards would also be the AKA Welcome reception. The manufactures who chose to could stick around and share products with fliers from around the country the rest of the week.

Benefits?
More visibility for new stuff and exhibitors
More attendance for both events
Cost savings for organization

Problems?
Poor time of year for some manufacturers and retailers
Longer show - which means more cost for participants
Commercializes the non-commercial AKA

Bottom line, the suggestion was fully discussed but not selected.

dg
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