Please donâ€™t take this the wrong way, but I have no desire to host another International Custom Rod Building Exposition. I didnâ€™t intend to stay with it after the record setting 2010 event, but relented and did host the event again in 2011. And then that one proceeded to set new attendance and sales records. Seemed like a great time to go out – on top!
In fact every single Expo has surpassed the previous one. And even the very first one held back in 2004, small by recent standards, was larger and more successful than any other rod building event in history. So with so much success, why not continue?
The thing is, hosting an event on this scale, for what amounts to a relatively small craft and industry, and yet needing to pull in attendees from all over the world, entails a tremendous financial risk. To this day Iâ€™m the only person that has been willing to assume that sort of risk to do something on this scale for the craft and industry. Frankly, I have never and will never make dime on the Expo. My bottom line would be the same with or without it, and with it there is always the possibility of something happening that resulted in a loss of tens of thousands of dollars on my end. The safest bet for me is not to do it.
To that end, I waited a long time before making a decision this year.Â I kept hoping that somebody, anybody, would step up to the plate with some event, any event, that would benefit the larger mainstream craft and industry. That way, I could slip out without feeling too bad about not hosting another Expo. It didnâ€™t happen.
Last week I was talking with a dealer who mentioned that the Expo accounts for almost 30% of their yearly business. That followed with two more dealers who said roughly the same thing.Â This past weekend I got a note from a well known builder who wanted to know if I had any idea how much fun the builders have at the Expo and how much it means to them to have something like this. I guess those things sort of escaped me while I was busy counting beans.
The bottom line is that nobody else is willing to do it. If I donâ€™t do it, nobody else will. And as much as I really didnâ€™t want to do it again, I feel almost compelled to do it in support of the craft and industry. Without it, custom rod building will most likely never again have an event on the same scale and quality as what the woodworkers, turners, knife makers, etc., do. So… okay, Iâ€™ll do it.Â Weâ€™ll have a 2012 Expo. Details are on the official event website at www.rodexpo.com.
P.S. Those that know me are fully aware that I donâ€™t do anything halfway.Â If Iâ€™m going to do another Expo, Iâ€™ll make it the best in our history. Thus, the 2012 International Custom Rod Building Exposition will be even bigger and better than the 2011 event. Count on it.