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Are shows still relevant?

Manufacturers, dealers and retail experts offer concerns, support
By Mark Hembree
Published: March 13, 2015
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Anyone who’s been around them for very long agrees: Trade shows in the hobby industry have changed.
 
Of course, the days of corporate extravagance have gone the way of free meals on airplanes. Shows are less ostentatious. The trend is toward leaner, more economical outlays.
 
But are trade shows in the hobby industry really trending down and becoming less relevant? If you think so, you might be surprised at what industry people have to say. Many think just the opposite—that trade shows are on the upswing in a recovering economy. Manufacturers, distributors, retailers and retail consultants still believe personal contact and promotional possibilities trump online business and make trade shows indispensable.
 
We asked those in the know to give us their thoughts on the two major trade shows in the industry, iHobby (run by Hobby Show Promotions on behalf of the Hobby Manufacturers Association) and the NRHSA (National Retail Hobby Stores Association) Table Top Expo.
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