Questions about a 2012 International Custom Rod Building Exposition are beginning to pour in. All I can say about it at this moment in time, however, is that I havenâ€™t made a final decision.
Many donâ€™t understand why I wouldnâ€™t move ahead with a 2012 Expo considering the huge success that each and every Expo has been. And, with each Expo growing and being larger than the one preceding it, why not keep going?
Well, itâ€™s not that simple. There is really only one person that is at a large personal financial risk – me! As successful as each Expo has been, most of that success falls on the plates of the exhibitors and attendees – I know going in that the best I can possibly hope for is to break even (and that’s okay – I never intended to make any money on the Expo). Custom rod building is a fairly small craft and getting folks to attend from all over the world, providing a quality venue and pulling everything off without a hitch requires a significant financial investment that could easily go south should any manner of unexpected weather, economy, etc., catastrophe befall us.
Many have mentioned that I could cut my investment by changing a few aspects of the Expo.Â The RodMaker Reception comes out of my pocket, 100%. I rent the hall, buy and give away the food as well as any and all products donated for door prizes. Itâ€™s free for all RodMaker subscribers and as has been made painfully aware, as many as 1/3rd of those who attend arenâ€™t subscribers – they manage to get tickets from others who are. Itâ€™s been suggested that I charge admission and/or change the free door prizes to an auction or raffle.
Others have suggested that I charge more for Expo admission. This yearâ€™s event only cost $8 ($5 for RodMaker subscribers) and parking is always free. But I donâ€™t like the idea of a higher admission fee either. In fact, my goal has always been to offer free admission. No luck, yet.
Then thereâ€™s the matter of paying the seminar presenters. Few if any other rod building events bother to pay their seminar presenters. I feel itâ€™s only fair. My only regret is that I canâ€™t pay each presenter more – they add a great deal to the event and the least I can do is give them enough so they can buy themselves and their wives a really nice dinner.
And, of course, we could host the event in a place not nearly as nice and user friendly as the Showplace, which would easily save a 3rd of the total event cost in the process. But…
At the end of the day, an Expo without a free RodMaker Reception, quality seminar presenters, the largest and best line up of exhibitors, a low admission price and one of the Nationâ€™s finest exhibit halls wouldnâ€™t really be an Expo, would it? And I have zero interest in hosting just another rod building show.
I wonâ€™t do anything halfway. Weâ€™ll either say goodbye to the greatest rod building event on earth and know we went out on top, or weâ€™ll do another Expo in the manner to which weâ€™ve becomed accustomed. Stay tuned.