Woodworking in America
#17
  Re: RE: Woodworking in America by Mike Brady (The concept of payin...)
(11-05-2017, 11:59 PM)Mike Brady Wrote: The concept of paying that much to attend an event that consists of a vendor venue and a handful of lectures baffles me.  The first WIA at Berea college was very worthwhile because it broke new ground and elevated the craft. Once toolmakers discovered that crowds would multiply and dollars flowed, no-fee hand tool events and Handworks itself made WIA superfluous.  It's not that PWM is not due credit, it is that they just overstayed their welcome.  Had they met the challenge of putting the attendees into a workshop experience rather than isolating them in an audience at their conventions, we might still be looking forward to a WIA in 2018.

I went to about 4 WIA's.  Cost-wise, it's not nearly as pricey as other trade type conventions / shows.  The early WIAs had plenty of shop-type sessions where there was hands-on instruction.  It's hard to please an audience of a large mix of skill levels and interests.  I thought they did a good job of that.  It's even harder to find a venue that can accommodate that diverse group in various shop setups.  

To me, the Marketplace was the highlight of every WIA.  Hands-on access to a boatload of tools from boutique makers to Lee Valley and Lie-Nielsen, plus vintage tools is not available on every street corner.  I met a lot of folks that I felt I knew via the forums (WN included), and I feel like I've become friends with many of them.  WIA was also a forum that allowed aspiring toolmakers to show their wares.  I doubt several of the current saw makers would have achieved the success they currently enjoy without venues like WIA.  Handworks will certainly help maintain some of that momentum, but perhaps not.  It's every other year vs. annually.

I think what we're seeing is that PWM has lost a lot of woodworking experience and without that in-house expertise, they are struggling to find relevant attractions with in-house talent to run them.  You pretty much trusted what Glen Huey, Bob Lang, Chris Schwarz, Charles Bender, and some of the past PWM staff would say, because you knew they had a background in woodworking.  What we're also seeing is a proliferation of instructional woodworking material on the internet that didn't exist 10 years ago.  You no longer have to travel (or spend money) to get quality instruction in woodworking.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
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#18
Wink    Re: RE: Woodworking in America by AHill ([quote='Mike Brady' ...)
(11-06-2017, 10:11 PM)AHill Wrote: I went to about 4 WIA's.  Cost-wise, it's not nearly as pricey as other trade type conventions / shows.  The early WIAs had plenty of shop-type sessions where there was hands-on instruction.  It's hard to please an audience of a large mix of skill levels and interests.  I thought they did a good job of that.  It's even harder to find a venue that can accommodate that diverse group in various shop setups.  

To me, the Marketplace was the highlight of every WIA.  Hands-on access to a boatload of tools from boutique makers to Lee Valley and Lie-Nielsen, plus vintage tools is not available on every street corner.  I met a lot of folks that I felt I knew via the forums (WN included), and I feel like I've become friends with many of them.  WIA was also a forum that allowed aspiring toolmakers to show their wares.  I doubt several of the current saw makers would have achieved the success they currently enjoy without venues like WIA.  Handworks will certainly help maintain some of that momentum, but perhaps not.  It's every other year vs. annually.

I think what we're seeing is that PWM has lost a lot of woodworking experience and without that in-house expertise, they are struggling to find relevant attractions with in-house talent to run them.  You pretty much trusted what Glen Huey, Bob Lang, Chris Schwarz, Charles Bender, and some of the past PWM staff would say, because you knew they had a background in woodworking.  What we're also seeing is a proliferation of instructional woodworking material on the internet that didn't exist 10 years ago.  You no longer have to travel (or spend money) to get quality instruction in woodworking.

Hey, Alan!  Hope you are feeling better.  I wish that my next-door neighbor would buck up and get the knee surgery he needs.. It was scheduled for yesterday, but he called a couple of weeks ago and cancelled, because the "gel injections are working so well".

WIA: like you I went very willingly to the first four.  My recollection is that there was hands-on at only the Berea College venue, but it could be I just signed up for the wrong sessions in the subsequent years.  I know they had a market place only  fee that was reasonable, but the conference, with travel and hotels, was about a thousand dollars for me each year, and those dollars were diverted to tools and classes as the conference became more of a social gathering and the Roy show.  If anyone is willing to admit it, I think it was vendors pulling out that sunk the WIA ship.
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#19
  Re: RE: Woodworking in America by Mike Brady ([quote='AHill' pid='...)
(11-08-2017, 01:55 PM)Mike Brady Wrote: Hey, Alan!  Hope you are feeling better.  I wish that my next-door neighbor would buck up and get the knee surgery he needs.. It was scheduled for yesterday, but he called a couple of weeks ago and cancelled, because the "gel injections are working so well".

WIA: like you I went very willingly to the first four.  My recollection is that there was hands-on at only the Berea College venue, but it could be I just signed up for the wrong sessions in the subsequent years.  I know they had a market place only  fee that was reasonable, but the conference, with travel and hotels, was about a thousand dollars for me each year, and those dollars were diverted to tools and classes as the conference became more of a social gathering and the Roy show.  If anyone is willing to admit it, I think it was vendors pulling out that sunk the WIA ship.

I could afford one special event per year and that often was the EAIA annual meeting. As much as I wanted to attend WIA, or even register as a vendor, the costs were prohibitive. With the change over to F&W, many of the original staff left. I suspect that these factors, along with the advent of similar events caused the problem. F&W is focused on profits, which is not a bad thing, just a corporate goal.
Gary Roberts
Wilmington, NC USA
Toolemera Press Blog
Toolemera.Com Website
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#20
  Re: Woodworking in America by Bentley (I saw yesterday that...)
If my memory serves me, F&W has been the parent company of Popular Woodworking magazine since its inception. If not that long, I know for certain the ownership goes back to the '90s. Profits have always been important, and I suspect the more likely cause is the ongoing struggle print media has to make money while trying to adapt to a the ever-changing digital/social media focused world.
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#21
  Re: RE: Woodworking in America by Greg Jones (If my memory serves ...)
(11-10-2017, 06:48 AM)Greg Jones Wrote: If my memory serves me, F&W has been the parent company of Popular Woodworking magazine since its inception. If not that long, I know for certain the ownership goes back to the '90s. Profits have always been important, and I suspect the more likely cause is the ongoing struggle print media has to make money while trying to adapt to a the ever-changing digital/social media focused world.

Yup, but back, in 2014 a private equity firm, Tinicum, became majority owner, tendered for the balance of the stock and took over the board, recapitalized the company, started making acquisitions, inserting new management, etc.

http://www.tinicum.com/PortDetails.aspx?category=all&id=51

and we all know what PE wants to do......
Elvem ipsum etiam vivere
No Evaporust was used on these tools.
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#22
  Re: Woodworking in America by Bentley (I saw yesterday that...)
I've never been to WIA and no longer subscribe to PWW. From comments, it appears that the attraction of later WIA events were more for the marketplace, than the lectures, so in other words, one would pay a high price to go and spend more money buying tools. For me, I would rather go to tool sales, such as PATINA events, etc. For woodworking knowledge, spend fewer bucks and subscribe to Paul Seller's or Huey/Lang/Bender web based instruction.

All in all, how many times can one go to an event, before the presentations start to go stale? This also applies to subscribing to magazines. My money was better spent buying more than a few Lost Art Press books, such as the Hayward series.
Waiting to grow up beyond being just a member
http://www.metaltech-pm.com
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