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Sunday, 26 October 2008

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During the first few years of my business career I was required to represent my company at trade shows two or three times each year. Many years later I felt compelled to attend about that same number of shows (in a completely different industry) each year.

Reflecting on the value of trade shows, having left the business world behind years ago, I can't discern any genuine value for the cost (and life slice) they require. "I found it challenging to maintain an outward appearance of interest" reflects my general impression of nearly 20 years of trade shows. In an age when you can find almost any information on the Internet it just makes absolutely no sense to me to attend any trade show. I would have to be sentenced by a judge to do so, and even then I'd have to strongly consider a contempt of court sentence as an attractive alternative.

Save your time. Save your money. Save the planet's energy. Skip the shows.

I think your post answers the question raised by the sole comment on PDN Online's site, which is reproduced in its entirety below:

"why is this so boring"

Best,
Adam

The problem with this Expo for me, is getting near any of the hotter equipment that interested me over the years (Canon, mostly).

I did have the opportunity to attend the Canon Expo in NYC, in 2005 I think. Now there was a true Expo, in having a chance to operate and examine the equipment, especially the 5D (my main interest at that time). I got to use several of my favorite lenses on a 5D body, record some Raw and Jpeg files on my CF card, change settings, and generally evaluate it several times during the day. Even at B&H (a few blocks east of the Expo site) there has rarely been such an open time to use a prospective model.

I continue to sign up for admission to the Expo, but haven't found enough reason to attend since 2005.

I went to the show for the first time this year. My company was presenting, but they sent me to go to the sessions, which was pretty interesting. I was happy to see the 5DmkII, but the equipment did get boring after, oh, an hour.

The talk by Elliot Erwitt and Alec Soth was really great, though, and I went to four bookstores today and bought about 10 pounds of books.

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