Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

NEAF 2019 VENDOR OBSERVATION

  • Please log in to reply
64 replies to this topic

#26 NYSky

NYSky

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 696
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2014
  • Loc: upstate New York

Posted 08 April 2019 - 09:01 AM

It's a lot of money for small operations.  Besides the booth rental - you have hotel and travel costs.  You can't get a room for less than $125 / nite around there.  If you're coming a long way (west coast, etc.) you're looking at very high travel expense.  A show like this can cost a couple thousand dollars even for a 1 or 2 man operation.

 

I don't believe that the larger telescope manufacturers make $$$ there (Celestron, Meade, etc.) --- but to them this at part of their ADVERTISING budget.   They have to be there to maintain their STATUS.  As industry LEADERS - they simply have to be there.  

 

However I would BET that vendors like Highpoint Scientific and Woodlland Hills would NOT be there UNLESS they made PROFIT and I bet they do.

 

And I would also bet TeleVue made profit this year with the return of the deep discounted "scratch & dent" sale.  

 

Personally while several were "missing" this year - OPT, Stellarvue, Vixen, New Moon, etc.  NEAF is not going away any time soon.  It's the PREMIER amateur astronomy & telescope event on the planet.  RAC knows what they are doing bringing in big name speakers, etc.  They are running a CLASS ACT IMHO and are doing it "RIGHT".  Stellarvue will be back and I wouldn't be surprised to see the others again as well.

 

M11Mike

 

PS: HighPoint Scientific DID hand out 10% off coupons - there's no mention of an expiration date on them.   Says on them "DISCOUNTS AS GOOD OR BETTER THAN AT THE SHOW" !!!   I assume they are good in the future???  (will call them today and ask) 

A sales rep from Highpoint told me last year that the week after NEAF is their busiest of the year.

 

A rep at the Highpoint booth told me that the discount code on the cards they were handing out this year are good until next Sunday (4/14)


  • doctordub and Upstate New Yorker like this

#27 SDTopensied

SDTopensied

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 788
  • Joined: 25 Apr 2011
  • Loc: Atlanta

Posted 08 April 2019 - 01:29 PM

NEAF is incredibly cheap for a vendor in the grand scheme of things!  It's also a marketing expense.  The cost of not going to a trade show is much greater than the cost of going to a trade show regardless of your space.

 

I noticed this year that there were fewer big players and more small players, which I think is a good thing as it shows that people are taking risks and starting new ventures or expanding current ones.  The floor was busier than I remember in the past few years and in a conversation with a couple of the retailers, sales were better than in previous years.  Again, like every trade show, NEAF is a marketing expense.  The opportunity for some vendors to sell products to offset the cost of the trip is a bonus.


  • Eric H likes this

#28 StarWolf57

StarWolf57

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 944
  • Joined: 22 Jan 2014
  • Loc: Granada Hills (Los Angeles), CA

Posted 08 April 2019 - 01:37 PM

Here's the pricing, it's not cheap!  I seriously doubt if any of the vendors actually turn a profit from a show like this.  However, the public exposure definitely accounts for something: 

https://rockland-ast...ns/neaf-vendors

Note the OPTIONAL ELECTRICITY OPTION.

 

I had one vendor express that NEAF is a PAINFUL event to attend and they have NEVER turned a profit once they account for the packing, shipping, booth costs, extra personnel, etc.  However, they expressed they feel pressure to attend, as NEAF is the premier event and to show they're alive and well to their customers!

The booth space is actually pretty reasonable. Even smaller vendors could probably come up with the money for that. The real cost is the cost to ship equipment there (and back if it can't be sold), display materials plus flight and hotel accommodations for staff. Those costs can easily be 10x what the booth itself costs. 


Edited by StarWolf57, 08 April 2019 - 01:39 PM.

  • pao and Spacefreak1974 like this

#29 John Fitzgerald

John Fitzgerald

    In Focus

  • *****
  • Posts: 6611
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2004
  • Loc: ROR Obs. near Pettigrew, AR

Posted 08 April 2019 - 03:23 PM

At least one vendor drove the 1,300 miles or so, with the gear.



#30 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 42725
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 08 April 2019 - 03:33 PM

I figured out that all the expenses of visiting NEAF would completely wipe out my profit for an entire quarter.

Taking time out (lost revenue), renting a truck, cost of driving across the US both ways, renting a hotel room, paying for food, cost of the booth and electricity,

and insurance for inventory away from its usual site, would be prohibitively expensive.

There used to be a west coast show, but it's gone.

It wouldn't matter to me if the show were held in Kansas, right in the middle of the country.  It's still prohibitively expensive to attend.

The cost of the booth and electricity is only a lesser portion of the costs.

 

It's a little different if attending a major Star Party, where you'd go anyway, but NEAF is not that kind of event.


  • Mike Franzyshen, Spacefreak1974 and Augustus like this

#31 John Fitzgerald

John Fitzgerald

    In Focus

  • *****
  • Posts: 6611
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2004
  • Loc: ROR Obs. near Pettigrew, AR

Posted 08 April 2019 - 04:48 PM

I figured out that all the expenses of visiting NEAF would completely wipe out my profit for an entire quarter.

Taking time out (lost revenue), renting a truck, cost of driving across the US both ways, renting a hotel room, paying for food, cost of the booth and electricity,

and insurance for inventory away from its usual site, would be prohibitively expensive.

There used to be a west coast show, but it's gone.

It wouldn't matter to me if the show were held in Kansas, right in the middle of the country.  It's still prohibitively expensive to attend.

The cost of the booth and electricity is only a lesser portion of the costs.

 

It's a little different if attending a major Star Party, where you'd go anyway, but NEAF is not that kind of event.

Then, why is Texas Star Party now almost vendorless?


  • DeanS likes this

#32 NYSky

NYSky

    Viking 1

  • -----
  • Posts: 696
  • Joined: 19 Apr 2014
  • Loc: upstate New York

Posted 08 April 2019 - 05:12 PM

I figured out that all the expenses of visiting NEAF would completely wipe out my profit for an entire quarter.

Taking time out (lost revenue), renting a truck, cost of driving across the US both ways, renting a hotel room, paying for food, cost of the booth and electricity,

and insurance for inventory away from its usual site, would be prohibitively expensive.

There used to be a west coast show, but it's gone.

It wouldn't matter to me if the show were held in Kansas, right in the middle of the country.  It's still prohibitively expensive to attend.

The cost of the booth and electricity is only a lesser portion of the costs.

 

It's a little different if attending a major Star Party, where you'd go anyway, but NEAF is not that kind of event.

On the other hand, your signature line was the first time I've ever heard of your company. 

 

Did a quick look at your website and see the range of products you offer, at least in terms of eyepieces, is comparable to what another major exhibitor at NEAF offers, at similar prices.  You offer a low flat rate shipping cost while they offer free shipping.  

 

I've dealt with the other guys a handful of times over the last year because I bought something from them at NEAF 2018 and was happy with the price, customer service, and fast shipping.  And I'll continue to deal with them until they give me a reason not to, or someone else makes me an offer I can't refuse.  

 

They're your competition.  Maybe if you were at NEAF you'd sell me on becoming a customer, or at least persuade me to give you a shot, or discover a another newbie like I was last year looking for a relationship with a reliable supplier.  You've got to do what makes sense for your business, but you also miss 100% of the shots you don't take.  



#33 Eric H

Eric H

    Viking 1

  • *****
  • Posts: 509
  • Joined: 12 Feb 2010
  • Loc: Washougal, WA

Posted 08 April 2019 - 07:32 PM

Shows like this are not meant to sell products right then and there. They are for manufactures to showcase their products. Retailers need not apply. Just sayin.

 

Astronomics doesn't need to show up but it would be in their best interest to show up with their Astro-tech line.


Edited by Eric H, 08 April 2019 - 07:33 PM.

  • Augustus likes this

#34 Starman1

Starman1

    Vendor (EyepiecesEtc.com)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 42725
  • Joined: 23 Jun 2003
  • Loc: Los Angeles

Posted 08 April 2019 - 11:33 PM

Good point, Eric.

#35 knightware

knightware

    Vendor (Knightware)

  • -----
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 183
  • Joined: 22 Mar 2006
  • Loc: North Carolina

Posted 09 April 2019 - 07:47 AM

Don is right, time away from the office is the biggest factor followed by the long drive from NC to NY. The expense is reasonable really. Networking is my most valuable take-away, but I'll take any and all sales! For me, attending shows is THE best way to learn how astronomers use your product and what they want. I love meeting users and putting faces to names known otherwise only by email. I missed NEAF this year but I'm really looking forward to going next year.

 

PS: @Don, I wish you could attend - I'd love to meet you!

 

- Phyllis


  • George N, swalker and Augustus like this

#36 Cliff C

Cliff C

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 203
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2009
  • Loc: Long Island, NY

Posted 09 April 2019 - 08:21 AM

Having missed last year's NEAF the one missing vendor that stood out the most was Don Yier. I am hoping that all is well with Mr. Yier. Does anyone know how he is?



#37 DavidWasch

DavidWasch

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 295
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2008
  • Loc: CT

Posted 09 April 2019 - 08:49 AM

It's important to remember that NEAF is run by Rockland Astronomy Club, (RAC) which is a 501©(3) non-profit organization. That category of organization has restrictions on unrelated income. Essentially, NEAF must operate to further the educational purpose of RAC. The revenues and expenses of NEAF are public information.

 

Here is the income and expense for NEAF in 2016 based on RAC's 990s: 

Gross Receipts: $120,142

Expenses: $113,779

Net Income: $6,363

 

Not a lot of gouging taking place there, It's expensive to operate. The facility alone costs over $85k, and the event requires a lot of volunteer effort. RAC operates with only a few thousand in the bank, and so should be applauded for their efforts to make NEAF happen.

 

Also, if folks have an issue with the mix of vendors, a politely worded letter to the board of RAC might be helpful. RAC exists for public benefit, and your thoughtful input could be well received. 


Edited by DavidWasch, 09 April 2019 - 02:17 PM.

  • George N, pao, Spacefreak1974 and 2 others like this

#38 Pinbout

Pinbout

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22925
  • Joined: 22 Feb 2010

Posted 09 April 2019 - 09:22 AM

Shows like this are not meant to sell products right then and there. They are for manufactures to showcase their products. Retailers need not apply. Just sayin.

 

Astronomics doesn't need to show up but it would be in their best interest to show up with their Astro-tech line.

 

disagree...shows like this are for all of the above.

 

Astronomics always had a great setup, and their presence is missed at the show.


  • pao likes this

#39 Pinbout

Pinbout

    ISS

  • *****
  • Posts: 22925
  • Joined: 22 Feb 2010

Posted 09 April 2019 - 09:25 AM

 

It's important to remember that NEAF is run by Rockland Astronomy Club, (RAC) with is a 501©(3) non-profit organization

the 501c3 status is relatively recent. and is the reason the show is run differently by different individuals.

 

NEAF, for most of its life, wasn't 501c3.



#40 DavidWasch

DavidWasch

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 295
  • Joined: 08 Apr 2008
  • Loc: CT

Posted 09 April 2019 - 10:32 AM

Yep, RAC was officially given the 501c3 status in 2014. NEAF is just the trademarked event of RAC.



#41 Spacefreak1974

Spacefreak1974

    Skylab

  • *****
  • Posts: 4441
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2015
  • Loc: Indianapolis, IN

Posted 09 April 2019 - 11:32 AM

In terms of the cost to attend it is unheard of in any products industry where its less cost for a booth setup. Most conferences require $500 just to do a walk through and hand out business cards. Most also make you pay $1000+ for a table at an awards dinner as well. It is costly to transport gear for sure, but the fact remains that many of us never have the opportunity to actually see what we are planning to buy unless we join an astro club which I also recommend. This is a unique opportunity for folks to see everything in one place. Its also difficult to travel for visitors not in the region, but I hope to make it sometime as well. 


  • George N and Augustus like this

#42 Brianfromsyr

Brianfromsyr

    Mariner 2

  • *****
  • Posts: 258
  • Joined: 28 Oct 2015
  • Loc: Syracuse, New York

Posted 09 April 2019 - 01:04 PM

Wow!
85k for a building!?
Back in the mid 90s the Nuke inspection co. that I worked for also ran a haunted house in the Youth Building of the NYS fairgrounds.
That cost the company $10,000 for 2 weeks of setup in Sept. and the whole month of Oct. The floor space wasn't that much smaller.
The owner clear $73k each year (1 1/2 months) that I was there to help.

Edited by Brianfromsyr, 09 April 2019 - 01:08 PM.


#43 pao

pao

    Ranger 4

  • -----
  • Posts: 376
  • Joined: 30 Nov 2013

Posted 09 April 2019 - 01:44 PM

Wow!
85k for a building!?
Back in the mid 90s the Nuke inspection co. that I worked for also ran a haunted house in the Youth Building of the NYS fairgrounds.
That cost the company $10,000 for 2 weeks of setup in Sept. and the whole month of Oct. The floor space wasn't that much smaller.
The owner clear $73k each year (1 1/2 months) that I was there to help.

Yes, 85k seams really too much....



#44 John Fitzgerald

John Fitzgerald

    In Focus

  • *****
  • Posts: 6611
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2004
  • Loc: ROR Obs. near Pettigrew, AR

Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:08 PM

Remember, the costs of attending these conferences is paid for by us when we buy products.



#45 Joe Bauer

Joe Bauer

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 24
  • Joined: 12 May 2008
  • Loc: Eastern CT

Posted 09 April 2019 - 02:51 PM

I've seen a great increase in the number of foreign vendors in the last few years.  There were a fair number of Asian and Italian vendors; I wonder what the cost of shipping their equipment to NEAF was (one Italian vendor even brought a portable espresso machine).  For me, the closest store I can see any new telescope equipment is in NYC.  Just the ability to touch a piece of hardware before buying is huge to me.  It's hard to judge the quality of equipment without seeing it in person.  For that, NEAF is worth the trip to me.


  • doctordub, George N and pao like this

#46 John Fitzgerald

John Fitzgerald

    In Focus

  • *****
  • Posts: 6611
  • Joined: 04 Jan 2004
  • Loc: ROR Obs. near Pettigrew, AR

Posted 09 April 2019 - 04:59 PM

Guess I'm lucky.  The ES showroom is about 22 miles, and Astronomics is about 4 hours.


  • George N, Spacefreak1974 and Brianfromsyr like this

#47 GlobularLover

GlobularLover

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2019

Posted 09 April 2019 - 11:25 PM

Yes, 85k seams really too much....

That figure probably is gross expenses from the event, it could include the exposition company, it could include security and all the perks, etc.

 

I doubt it costs $85,000 to rent out the RCC Field House.



#48 GlobularLover

GlobularLover

    Lift Off

  • -----
  • Posts: 4
  • Joined: 09 Apr 2019

Posted 09 April 2019 - 11:28 PM

On Vendors:  I doubt some of these vendors would be coming back year after year if they weren't "making a profit."  Some of these vendors have been at every NEAF going back over 25 years.  Most have been going for 15-20 years. Profit could be defined as making money from the show or getting future sales.  If they just wanted "exposure" they could get a single table booth and bring stuff that fits on 1 table only.  Very few do that.

 

On Pricing:  Other shows in the NY area -- from coin and baseball card shows to other trade shows -- regularly charge $500 - $2,000 for a plain table or booth setup.  $500 for a booth for 2 days is dirt-cheap.


Edited by GlobularLover, 09 April 2019 - 11:30 PM.

  • JIM262 and Augustus like this

#49 555aaa

555aaa

    Vendor (Xerxes Scientific)

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 1438
  • Joined: 09 Aug 2016
  • Loc: Lynnwood, WA, USA

Posted 10 April 2019 - 01:51 AM

Wanted to be there but we just weren't ready... and it's a long-a** haul from Seattle. Too bad there aren't alternating shows E and W coast. The booth cost seems reasonable.


  • Lamia likes this

#50 starcanoe

starcanoe

    Vanguard

  • *****
  • Posts: 2487
  • Joined: 07 Nov 2013
  • Loc: Gulf Coast, Panhandle of Florida

Posted 10 April 2019 - 07:26 AM

Hi, Stellarvue could not go this year because Vic Maris had jury duty.  In an email to owners of Stellarvue scopes, he expressed real regret at not being able to attend.

 

I wish the system was such that if you were called for jury duty that the choice wasn't just go or not go (for hopefully a good reason)..but you could also opt for "yeah, I'll do my duty but CANT do date X...but try me again next month".


  • Augustus likes this


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics