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Apr 20, 2019, 01:14 PM
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Always loved this show. Great place to pick up supplies and kit and ideas. But this year WAS disappointing. Very few foamy kits offered. Missing a lot of the "usual" vendors I patronized like Foam Tac guys, and Model Aero. Was planning on taking home a Polaris. Oh well.

Upstairs was also sparse compared to other years. Got a good deal on some carbon fiber, but that was about it!

The disturbing "call" from the vendors was "make me an offer -- got to get rid of all this -- won't be back next year".

Really hope this can be turned around...

Pre-opening discount tickets? "Perks" to attract big vendors? Something to attract the "upstairs guys"? Hate to see it end w/ a whimper. As someone said above, this was always the "Big Daddy" show...
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Apr 20, 2019, 01:23 PM
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Dennis Sumner's Avatar
Ive been going since the early 70s and agree she aint what she used to be but I will continue to go as long as they have the show. I was disappointed by the ticket price increase but understand the need, everything in our lives keeps going up....

I make my Toledo shopping list after the first of the year and add to it until the show. I found and bought all the items on my list. I go now more to see old friends and catch up. Lunch is always fun with friends too.
Latest blog entry: RC Throw Gauge
Apr 20, 2019, 03:42 PM
Registered User
Hello Denny, and all others concerned about the future of this historic part of our hobby. My first trip to the Toledo show was 50 years ago. My pregnant wife and I drove all night through a sever snow storm. At the time the show was in February, and at the Maumee Recreational Center. Over the years I've returned many times, and seen it change gradually. The neat thing is that I got to see it grow into a world primer industry show. I too am saddened to see the decline in attendance at all of the shows, but it seems to be a sign of the times. Can it be reversed. I hope so, but I tend to doubt it. "Screen time" has replaced so many activities in our lives, that fewer and fewer people are doing anything that's a challenge.
Apr 20, 2019, 06:23 PM
Bellanca Kruesair
epoxyearl's Avatar

'Screen time'

I'll credit you with the phrase 'screen time', and it fits very well.

I'm 78, and I don't travel well anymore. Sitting at the computer and conversing with my friends is a low stress activity.

I was active in the 'MARC' show in Baltimore , years ago. It was a short lived Institution, introduced at about the time interest declined in R/C in general.

Those guys had an outside Boat pond, an outdoor off road track ,and those guys alternated with helicopter flying in the same area.

We would spend two full days there...Now, two hours anywhere get boring.
Latest blog entry: Ban Birds.
Apr 20, 2019, 07:45 PM
Registered User
Earl, Certainly I have to agree that the internet, and all our social media are an amazing way to communicate, and share all things. This site is for cars, boats, and airplanes, and provides a tremendous resource. Isn't in amazing that we can sit at our computers, and converse with our friends, but I still build and fly. I hope that you are able to do so too. Heck, I keep up with Denny Sumner through email, who by the way has an airplane in the AMA Museum that he built from one of my kits. Most of my modeling friends are fossils like myself, but thinking back over the last 60 years of modeling, our hobby doesn't hold the fascination it once did.
Apr 21, 2019, 09:10 AM
Registered User

Toledo Show

I too was disappointed in the attendance at the Show this year, even the Swap Shop upstairs was way off in attendance

My good friend and usually have tables upstairs, and we noticed it right off Friday and especially Saturday, we knew we were in for a tough 2 days.

We did hear complaints about the $15 cost to get in and seeing less, 1/2 of space downstairs and lack of Vendors.

I did hear a lot of people say they won't be back next year, which is sad to hear, I think our sport needs all the help it can get at the present time.

Hopefully things will get better, just keep your fingers crossed.
Apr 26, 2019, 11:34 AM
Registered User
The internet has also had an impact on Trade Show attendance. I can see and gather information on a product instantly. Seeing it at a trade show is somewhat anticlimactic. Kind of like Superbowl commercials. You now get to sample them on youtube before the big day.

Don't get me wrong, there still is nothing like an "in person" experience, but up until the late 90's magazines were the only source to experience new product offerings unless you went to a trade show.

Apr 28, 2019, 07:06 PM
Closed Account
Originally Posted by OrioleRC
I can see and gather information on a product instantly. Seeing it at a trade show is somewhat anticlimactic.
OTOH you can't get a "feel" for the product just by looking at it online. And the real thing, out of the box with warts and all, can look a bit different than professionally taken (and retouched) marketing photos.

My flying buddy and I drove up Friday morning from the Dayton area. He got a good buy at the swap shop, and we each bought a WWI kit from Balsa USA. Plus some small things, servo lead extensions and clamps.

I can remember the show being much bigger (1980's) but I'm glad it still going on. Hope it will continue next year.
Apr 30, 2019, 02:20 PM
Registered User

RC Expo's Thoughts

This topic here has been a pretty good read for myself and many I am sure. I am going to add my 2 cents worth and any critique and or criticism, bring them on and post up here. First of all, I have been a RC hobbyist for over 25 years. I am not just a RC pilot. I raced off road/on road, I fly helis of all kinds, I have RC boats, RC tanks, RC vehicles of all shapes and sizes. I have drones. Yes I said DRONES. FPV quads to various DJI aerial quads. I do model rocketry, rock crawlers and fold paper airplanes and love Guillows rubber band airplanes. I grew up in RC Expos and Shows. My dad raised me in this amazing hobby and industry and I have been attending expos for as long as I can remember. I am also a vendor and have worked and are working with RC companies. I have seen and been a part of shows that have come and have gone away. Is there an answer to this RC Expos discussion, I personally do not think there is. I can however see the shows for how they are and being on both sides of the fence as a show attendee and as a vendor. On the vendor side, most can agree at any given RC show, it is good to just break Even with your expenses spent. This includes AMA Expo West. Have we experienced shows where we did make some revenue above what was spent on expenses, yes we have. I attended Toledo this year and I was told right from the set up days that the vendors were very low compared to years previous. As the show began, Friday seemed to be the busiest. Saturday as many have said, it was pretty slow in general. Sunday, I was thinking like AMA Expo's, it would get slightly better after about noon when people are out of Church and family plans etc. That did not happen. It was a vendor to vendor show basically. Also what was weird is the show written on the website concludes at 3pm and the PA broadcast was different and the show concluded at 2pm. As a few of you have posted here, and described the general show layout and experience, brings us to how and what can we do as a hobby community to make a difference? First of all, for all you that attended the Toledo Expo and are griping about the cost of entry ticket, parking, not going next year and whatever else, you guys have me at a loss for words. Remember fellas, this is your industry. For crying out loud, a movie ticket is $18.00 now a days. If you can't support an RC expo people worked so very hard to assemble, maybe you should take up underwater basket weaving. Look, I do understand you want to see more, get more, experience more with your amount paid to attend a show. I get it. We do understand that. As for RC companies/vendors, they are getting slim. Times are changing and it is evident. How can we together as a hobby community make a difference and change this has been the topic yet to be figured out. Money $$$$$$ is at the root of all this to say the least. Vendors don't attend because there is no money to be made. Show go'ers threaten and or don't attend because there is a lack of vendors. Where are the power house companies that can make a difference for the attendees and in return, more vendors may be more interested in exhibiting? Companies like Chief Aircraft? Flite Test? DJI? How about we stop marketing these Expos towards RC Aircraft in general? Why do these expos such as AMA Expos be so inclusive? Why can we not gather the interest of Traxxas? Team Associated? TLR?
These Expo's need a change. RCX Expo had the right mind and for some reason, die hard hobbyist hated the expo. Called it a toy show etc. AMA needs to realize times are different and The Academy Of Aeronautics needs a fresh new look. I personally have talked to hobbyists and AMA directors etc. It seems it's just a standard of principle they can not accept. I also suggested maybe it's time to change the name and be more receptive for this hobby in general. A name like Academy of Model Association and still be AMA. It's like car guys don't attend airplane shows. Drone guys don't attend car shows. If we can not find a reason, why not accept every hobby aspect. Have them at all these shows. Traxxas has more success by attending shows like SEMA and or NHRA events and seems to have shun our little RC expos now. But why? It seems the large vendors are growing and they can care less about the hobby side with the core at stake. I love that Horizon Hobby attends all the shows. I can personally guarantee, if Horizon Hobby stops attending these expos, all RC expos will not be around for much longer. Even Horizon Hobby has learned and decided to team up with Hobby Town USA. Horizon would use to only display and people could not purchase at the shows. They teamed with Hobby Town USA and now you can see, touch, experience, and purchase at the shows. Good for them. With all of AMA's efforts in reaching the Drone Community, with Drone Pilot publications etc, why and what reason are they not able to arrange for companies like DJI, Yuneec, Autel to attend? Right, they are so big and powerful, they don't need to attend these small beans shows anymore?
These RC Expos need to be more of an outdoor lifestyle expo again. Back in the day, there were vendors selling beef jerky, nuts to outdoor supplies. I believe that is a part of the answer and a change than may make a difference. We need to be more or a lifestyle outdoor show than to be RC Expos or AMA Expos. I'm not saying to turn it into a County Fair but to an extent, maybe that out look could make a difference.
As for the AMA Expo making the move from Ontario to Pomona Fairplex and time of year change to November, this is a push that many of us has requested for a very long time. We are excited to see this move. AMA Expo West needs a lot of work and it is not easy we know. The venue is there and is good but there needs to be changes to much of the areas. We love and appreciate the outdoors flying area. The issue there is the communication between the main show exhibit area and the outdoors flying area. Golf Carting patrons to the flying area is not efficient but there really is not a choice. This Toledo Expo upstairs swap shop area, you West Coast hobby guys would have dropped your jaws on the ground. It was easy 10 times the size of any AMA Expo West Swap area. Several filled rooms, halls and even lobby areas are all swap shop.
Look we all know the economy and the cost of living is different and rising. Hobby goods are the first things a family or person will set on the back burner. We all love to save money and buy great deals. Having said that, as a few have posted here in this thread, these shows for some of us, are a highlight of our year. We have a on going list we make come the first of the year of to buy at a show. I know I personally do. These shows survive with the participation of you the hobbyist. So is there an answer to how to save our hobby conventions? I think working together as a community, we can help find some answers. Griping and not attending is not going to do our industry any good. Also, next time you talk to your vendors, give them a break. We know you spend your hard earned money on this hobby. Just keep in mind it is a hobby and things can and may happen with your purchase. Vendors are not all bad people or out to screw you. Without vendors. There is no hobby. Thanks for reading and I basically posted what came to my fingers. Sorry if this post was all over the place. Looking to see what you all may have to ad.

Best Regards,

-Salty Pilot
May 01, 2019, 05:58 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by SaltyPilot
How about we stop marketing these Expos towards RC Aircraft in general? Why do these expos such as AMA Expos be so inclusive? Why can we not gather the interest of Traxxas? Team Associated? TLR?
Back in the 1980s, the RC car companies were attending the Toledo show. Some said back then the Toledo show was becoming more of an RC car show than an airplane show.
May 01, 2019, 07:29 AM
Registered User
Originally Posted by SaltyPilot
How about we stop marketing these Expos towards RC Aircraft in general? Why do these expos such as AMA Expos be so inclusive? Why can we not gather the interest of Traxxas? Team Associated? TLR?
Back in the 1980s, the RC car companies were attending the Toledo show. Some said back then the Toledo show was becoming more of an RC car show than an airplane show.

Flying RC airplanes are extremely addictive and chances are it will remain a life long hobby.
Not to bash RC surface vehicles, many times people get into to driving car, trucks, boats and then either get bored just bashing them around, get into racing and find it's very expensive for those who participate, then there are those who maybe not have the competitive bent.

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