Show number “God-only-knows” for me. Two booths exhibiting, one for my company (DRC Race Products) and the other for the magazine, keeps me running for three days, meeting, talking and generally doing business. I have one of those “smart watches;” although I think we’re probably not always that “smart” for wearing them and carrying the “smart phones.” I broke down with my truck years ago with an electrical issue and I think we were all better off when we had a clutch, carburetor and a set of ignition points (a what? For those of you who don’t know what they were). At least when we broke down then, you could easily “fix” just about any problem with simplicity, but that’s another story.
Anyway, according to Samsung, I averaged about 12,000 steps on each of the Show’s days, which equates to walking about five miles a day, which really doesn’t sound like a whole lot but don’t tell my feet that. But I have to say that it appears each year we see less and less people at the Show. However, that doesn’t mean there are less people attending, because that’s certainly not the case. No, the place was packed. What I mean is it gets harder to nonchalantly walk into someone you know or even want to speak with. Let’s say there are 100 people you’d like to see. I don’t know the attendance numbers; which they’ll publish at some point; but let’s just say that when there are 10,000 attendees, your chances of seeing one of those 100 might be fairly good. Now increase that number to 20,000 and chances are greatly reduced due to the size of the field, and it seems like the “field” gets bigger every year.
There were a lot of people who I know were at the Show from seeing their social media posts; those who I never got the chance to run into. Sort of the same thing happens at the big races I attend. You used to be able to say “I’ll see you this weekend.” That doesn’t happen anymore. If you really want to see someone, you almost have to make it a point to say “let’s meet at such and such a time.”
While there were certainly a lot of products on display, the big talk on the Show floor was the death of 19 out of 22 car magazine titles by The Enthusiast Network (TEN), the publishers of Hot Rod magazine. Great old names like Car Craft and others are no longer and right away the talk is “print is dead.” I certainly don’t think that’s true; not yet anyway. In speaking with some “in the know,” I understand the issue might have been the business model they chose to run the company under. Times are a lot different today than they were 20-30 or 40 years ago and I truly believe that today both the editorial and advertising departments have got to work together, which is what we thankfully have at Drag Racing Edge. It takes people with a passion to bring you a full blend of features and tech stories and I feel very honored when people stop to tell us what a great job we’re doing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
With Christmas next week and the New Year’s holiday following, I’ll be skipping blogs for the next two weeks (Don’t everyone clap at once!). I just wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. See you on the other side!