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Old 08-04-2012, 03:17 PM   #26
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This was my family's first "fest" and I just want to send out a huge thank you to all the people who went to a ton of work to make this event happen. Came from south Texas and had a blast. Also, a big thank you to all the vendors who came and all the "everyday" people who volunteered their time to make it happen. Going home with a full trunk, empty pockets and some new friends.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:57 PM   #27
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I can give my thoughts here as a vendor who has been to all three fests now.

First off, I want to thank the staff. Putting on a show in a town where most of them do not live, with 1000 plus people in attendance is not an easy task.

One thing not obvious to customers, but is a huge issue for vendors is the sheer cost of going to a show. The cost of entry is high with the rig, trailor, tents, equipment, and so forth. Even once you have that, we spend several thousand dollars to go to an out of state show like this. Costs like hotel, overtime, gas, meals, and so forth add up fast. Honesty, we have never come close to breaking even on one of these shows in terms of what we sell at the show. It is about getting your name out, and maybe people call you later.

Now we don't sell keychains, shirts, mats, and so forth. We sell bolt on performance parts for the most part. The first two years, we brought out substansial inventory of our best sellers...and took 95% home. We did a poll after we got back from the last one, and most people told us they buy our mods BEFORE events like this because they want the parts for the show. Also, we have several manufacturers of parts we sell also at the show offering discounts they normally don't, and free/discounted installs, which makes the middle man kind of pointless.

This year, we bought less stuff, and still took a lot home. For bolt on performance stuff, the reality seems to be that people just don't buy a lot of it in volume at shows. And it's not just us, I obviously look around and see what is going in the booths of the people around us. I mean who wants to stuff a catback, intake or headers in a Camaro with luggage? We were told a lot by customers that they did not have room. We looked at installs(which seems the popular way to sell both on stuff), and decided that it is just not a good idea to work on peoples cars out of state 1,000 miles from home. As a customer, I am not sure I would want a shop who I will never see again working on my car in a parking lot either. That being said, we talked to a company selling decals, and they were really busy.

Some other things to think about. This event is 1000 or so Camaro's only. On top of the vendor ally, there is drag racing, Autocross, shows, cruises, parties at the hotel, and so forth. It is very different than say Corvettes are Carlisle, which is large enough to fill up a whole fairground, and is essentially nothing but a show and swapmeet.

If you are going to a big Camaro drag race/autocross, odds are, all your performance stuff is done already before the show. The vendor ally had a lot of foot traffic during vendor hour, but as soon as the autocross and drag racing started, you could almost see tumbleweeds blow by. Like Friday afternoon I think we talked to 3 people the last 3 hours. Basically with the way Camaro5fest is now, there are so many other things going on, that the vendor alley is more of a side thing to the other stuff going on. This has been true all throw shows.

So again...as a vendor, you obviously have to think about this when deciding whether to come, or how much the bring. We intend to keep coming to the show of course, however we will likely go more towards displaying stuff, and shipping it to you for free from our warehouse, vs. setting up rows of tables with stuff we hope to sell there. I really hope this does not come across as negative..just want to be realistic with people so they understand why there is not row upon row of parts to chose from.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:32 PM   #28
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Interesting comments from MarylandSpeed.

As I have said, I am at car shows almost every weekend during the summer, plus several big shows a year such as Hershey, Auburn, or Iola. Vendors there have all the same expenses as they do for Camarofest, and most go back year after year and make a profit there. Some vendors have been going for 20 or 30 years, and wouldn't think of missing it. I'm usually not looking for much at those shows and usually still come home with something. At Camarofest, I was expecting to be looking at and buying all kinds of stuff and came home with very little.

I guess the big difference is that people go to those shows looking to buy stuff, whereas at Camarofest, people go there to show off what they have already bought and installed. This is kind of a surpirse to me. I have no problem buying things online, but I like to know what I am buying first, and at least see it in person before I drop large amounts of cash.

My car is an unmodded V6 daily driver. So I had no real interest in racing and losing to the highly modded V8's, or showing it at a show where the main focus is going to be how you have modded it. I met a few interesting people there. but apparently this is not the type of show I am used to, so I will treat it as a been there, done that event.

Again, interesting to see it from the vendors point of view.

For those that simply had snide or sarcastic comments, I guess it was no loss not meeting you in person.

In any case, I'm headed off for a show I know I will enjoy on Sunday.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:36 PM   #29
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A question for those who've been to all of them: Is the fest getting larger, smaller, or about the same?
Seemed like a lot more cars, but vendor row seemed quite a bit smaller. This is my second fest and although I buy parts throughout the year, I start saving my money about 6 months before the fest to buy parts there. Last year I spent around $1500 on parts and was not expecting to spend any thing. This year I came in with a budget of $1000, but was not able to find many show specials that warranted me spending the money and hauling the parts home rather than purchasing them online and getting them shipped.

I did get a few parts and they were all from vendors from my area. Funny thing was the vendors that seemed to have traveled the furthest had the best deals. I was pretty dissapointed in the vendors that are from the surrounding area and could have brought more parts. I understand not wanting to haul stuff home, but how is it justified when they don't have stuff for participants to purchase onsite and take home with them. If I have to still order the parts online I am going to find the best price before I order.

I would like to thank Roto-Fab and JDP motorsports for having specials and still traveling so far.

Was it worth my drive from New Mexico? Definately, can't wait till next year though, hopefully it's a little closer.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:49 AM   #30
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Personally, I haven't been to the fest yet.

I'm dying to go though. Not to buy parts, so much as to finally meet some of these people that I've been talking to on these forums for several years now.
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:02 AM   #31
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But even from a drivers perspective there was not a lot of action going on. Just a lot of waiting. I got there Saturday morning early and ended up leaving around noon. With the small amount of participants there should have been a lot more seat time going on.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:11 AM   #32
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Personally, I haven't been to the fest yet.

I'm dying to go though. Not to buy parts, so much as to finally meet some of these people that I've been talking to on these forums for several years now.
Thats the best way to look at it, thats what fest is all about.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:25 AM   #33
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I enjoyed it! Actually got to meet a few people on here and the cars were amazing! Out of all the cars there, you couldnt find two that were exactly alike....I had fun but then again i only traveled 3mins. It was literally in my backyard
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:25 AM   #34
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Thats the best way to look at it, thats what fest is all about.
It's hard to put people to their usernames unless you go up and ask them

We all need our cars labeled or shirts with our names


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Old 08-05-2012, 10:26 AM   #35
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But even from a drivers perspective there was not a lot of action going on. Just a lot of waiting. I got there Saturday morning early and ended up leaving around noon. With the small amount of participants there should have been a lot more seat time going on.
Auto-X was more popular than they expected so the wait times were rather long. That and you had to go through tec each day.

The drag strip was busy all the time. I know people that made 15+ runs over the two days. That's with the track getting soaked Sat afternoon.

The temps played a little havoc too but it was a blast regardless.
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Old 08-05-2012, 10:27 AM   #36
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What was involved with the tech inspection?


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Old 08-05-2012, 11:25 AM   #37
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What many people don't understand is that us vendors go to a lot of expense to support an event like this, especially a small outfit like us. The hotel rooms, flights, freight, food, tents, supplies, fees, promo items, etc... It adds up to a ver substantial amount of money.

Not to mention time away from family.... Haven't seen my wife and kiddo since Wednesday morning, still sitting in the hotel on Sunday waiting for a flight home. Should be back home around 10pm local time - after they're asleep.

I can understand why many vendors can't make it out... Often times anything sold at the event goes to cover the expenses of being there. To complain about those that did make the trip is a little unfair. It's because of vendors/sponsors and their support events like this are able to happen.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:19 PM   #38
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I think the vendors there were great. Nice to be able to get a bunch of questions answered all in one place.

One suggestion I might make would be for a Chevy dealer to bring a ton of Camaro accessories and do free installs at the fest. Based on the steady line at the Oracle free intalls, I'd bet a lot of GM accessories would be sold in two days with some special deals and free installs.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:30 PM   #39
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Auto-X was more popular than they expected so the wait times were rather long. That and you had to go through tec each day.

The drag strip was busy all the time. I know people that made 15+ runs over the two days. That's with the track getting soaked Sat afternoon.

The temps played a little havoc too but it was a blast regardless.
Lets see. The drivers meeting was to at 9:15. I woke up early to get their and was on time. Well the meeting did not start untilled after ten. Anouying.. then after the drivers meeting the tell us to get into our cars likened were going to run. Well a good solid 30 minutes if not went but if not longer be for the first car went. Exhausting.

Edit. Sorry I suck posting on a phone.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:44 PM   #40
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The fest seems to be more of a driving event and not so much of a swap meet. As a vendor here at the show its been good for me.

Andy
For me it's the entire fest experience. The caravan to the fests on the way there.
That along with the PM hotel meets on Wed, Thurs, Friday, etc.
Like Harry Chapin's song says: "It's the goin, not the gettin there that's good".
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Old 08-05-2012, 03:31 PM   #41
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Question: Why not attempt to turn this into something bigger like Bloomington. It's great to see all of the cars and vendors from this site but WHAT IF it turned into a multiple forum festival? Heck, why not multi-generation camaro meeting. Can you imagine the action at the dragstrip and autocross track then? Hey, get the SPEED channel to help sponser it and film PINKS there on the final day. (stop me if I'm getting carried away).
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Old 08-05-2012, 04:39 PM   #42
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Lets see. The drivers meeting was to at 9:15. I woke up early to get their and was on time. Well the meeting did not start untilled after ten. Anouying.. then after the drivers meeting the tell us to get into our cars likened were going to run. Well a good solid 30 minutes if not went but if not longer be for the first car went. Exhausting.

Edit. Sorry I suck posting on a phone.
You are correct, and I could be mistaken on what I'm about to say because I heard it second hand.

Friday morning the timer was having issues and people that were supposed to be there to work the corners, were late and the event couldn't start until it was manned properly. Quite a few of my club members worked the track non-stop on Friday, no break, no lunch, to try and get people as many passes as they could.

To make things simple going forward, I'd propose pre-registration only. The event was so popular that the "walk-ins", which were around 50 if I heard correctly, made things difficult to plan for.
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:29 PM   #43
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I see most complaints about Saturday being slow, which it slightly was. I think the issue is that it was like 97 degrees with 90% humidity Friday...which wore people out, and killed track times. Then pretty much everyone went back to to the hotel and took part in the free bar till late in the night. My suspicion is that a lot of people stayed at the hotel and chilled there rather than come to the track in the heat for a second day. Then all the people who were only coming in for Saturday saw the low turn out.

I still think it would be better if the track was a one day thing. Do one day for free meet and greet type stuff at the hotel on Friday (while the vendors set up at the track)..then do a track day/vendor alley Saturday. Would keep the cost down, and so forth.

In reference to a few other things...

My thought is Camaro5fest is not bloomington gold, or anything like that. It is essentially a forum meet and greet with some track stuff added. For what it is, it is huge. Not many forums can get over 1000 people attend an event.

Lastly, the thread below shows why from a performance parts perspective, you will not see a lot on display. I know over half the vendor midway was companies who sold or manufactured exhaust or intakes. Places with trailors full of the stuff. Yet the thread shows that people were more interested in lighting, appearance stuff, and shirts than performance. Now the hope is people call you and buy after the show..but that is difficult to quantify. If you start to see a change more towards less vendors showing up, or when they do show up, bringing less stuff, this is why.

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241807
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #44
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Heres my .02...

Having just 1 day for track?
And what if it rains that 1 day?
CFEST is a bust.

AAC did preorders this year.
I was 1 of the few that actually took advantage of this.
The benefits of preordering are obvious from a vendor standpoint.
AAC pulled me aside and asked me about their preordering process and how their service could have been better this year.
I gave them plenty of feedback that hopefully will make the next fest even better.

AAC is different since their product is not big and bulky.
Few people want to carry an exhaust system home in the trunk with them.
As a customer, I was looking for free installs this year.
There were things I would have bought had install been available.
Since a certain vendor was not doing any installs this year, I didnt even bother going to their booth.
The whole "free shipping" thing means nothing to me.
What I did want to buy this year, no vendor had.

I realize some vendors have products that are mostly high dollar items.
Why not have low ticket items to help your sales though?
Just because someone doesnt want to buy a new set of wheels does not mean they wont buy a tshirt from you.

We had some awesome sponsors this year but if you dont have the products or services that we are looking for, then its not going to be a profitable weekend.
Per my feedback, AAC is thinking of installing Halos at next years fest.
Dont hold me to that but I told her thats what we (or me in this case) want.

Find out what kind of items we are looking for and I believe the vendors would have a more profitable experience.

Like I said, my .02...
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Old 08-05-2012, 07:35 PM   #45
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As another vendor in attendance I completely agree with Maryland Speed's comments above. There are many variables and logistical considerations besides just bringing a lot of staff and inventory and making a lot of money. Initially we did not plan on bringing inventory at all but in the last few days before we left we received so many phone calls and emails asking about specific items that we decided to bring what we could. We ended up having pretty strong sales (thanks in part to actually having inventory and the manufacturers in attendance sending customers to us for their purchases) but not enough that the profit covered all of our expenses. We never expected that because, like Maryland Speed mentioned, that isn't a completely realistic expectation and not really the reason you go to these things.

On Friday the traffic at our booth came in big waves starting about 30 minutes after the gates opened. We would be slammed for 10 or 20 minutes and then dead for 10 or 20. Went on all day like that. Saturday morning was DEAD. We figured that after the heat on Friday, the hard partying that night in the hotel parking lot, and the car show starting later in the day that a lot of folks were just taking their time getting out. That turned out to be pretty accurate from our perspective. About half way through the morning things picked up and we stayed covered up until the storms rolled in that afternoon. Sales were very strong on Saturday. We even had people buying things as we were trying to load them on the truck.

There are a few critiques I would offer to the organizers but nothing huge. We had fun, got to see a lot of our customers again and meet many of them for the first time, and got to spend some good face-to-face time with the manufacturers we represent. All in all we are pretty happy.
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:33 PM   #46
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Heres my .02...

Having just 1 day for track?
And what if it rains that 1 day?
CFEST is a bust.

AAC did preorders this year.
I was 1 of the few that actually took advantage of this.
The benefits of preordering are obvious from a vendor standpoint.
AAC pulled me aside and asked me about their preordering process and how their service could have been better this year.
I gave them plenty of feedback that hopefully will make the next fest even better.

AAC is different since their product is not big and bulky.
Few people want to carry an exhaust system home in the trunk with them.
As a customer, I was looking for free installs this year.
There were things I would have bought had install been available.
Since a certain vendor was not doing any installs this year, I didnt even bother going to their booth.
The whole "free shipping" thing means nothing to me.
What I did want to buy this year, no vendor had.

I realize some vendors have products that are mostly high dollar items.
Why not have low ticket items to help your sales though?
Just because someone doesnt want to buy a new set of wheels does not mean they wont buy a tshirt from you.

We had some awesome sponsors this year but if you dont have the products or services that we are looking for, then its not going to be a profitable weekend.
Per my feedback, AAC is thinking of installing Halos at next years fest.
Dont hold me to that but I told her thats what we (or me in this case) want.

Find out what kind of items we are looking for and I believe the vendors would have a more profitable experience.

Like I said, my .02...
I completely agree.

While I had a great time this year, I was really in the market for a Short Throw shifter and the only company that appealed to me was Barton.

I would have bought one from them AND paid for them to install it if they were offering that.

I was disappointed in that regard.

On the other hand, I'm sure AAC was very pleased....I'd be really interested to know how much money they pulled in those two days....
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:57 PM   #47
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Our first Fest...and my wife and I loved every minute of it. The people, the racing, the vendors (spent 700.00), evenings out at the hotel parking lot. Rodgers Chevrolet paid for Pizza Thursday night...how nice was that! Camaro5 folks did a great job. Very organized!! I go to a lot of shows and this was one of the best.

I hope CFestIV is close to Michigan!!!
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:08 PM   #48
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I didn't go this year with the intent to buy any bolt ons or upgrades. I did want to talk to the companies about their products so I could make better decisions later. Took a good look at DSS's offerings. Talked to Janetty about their rear end gear setups. If GForce were there I would of stopped there too. It's great when you get to talk to the dealers in person after seeing so many of their posts online. It's also great that they bring parts and mechanics with them as I did end up buying an axle after breaking one on the track Friday.

Thanks again to Ted, Tony and crew at Janetty. I might be calling you for that 3.91 gear setup and drivetrain upgrade.

Thank Apex for bringing Amanda. Good to see you guys again. I should have picked up one of those line locks while I was there. soon

Thanks to LPE for their clinic and willingness to give advice all weekend when I had questions. Also thanks for picking my name to ride along with Danny.

Thanks to Adams for all their demos and advice. Of course I left with a box full of products.

Thought all the vendors did a good job.
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Old 08-05-2012, 09:49 PM   #49
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I had fun at the track and enjoyed meeting various vendors but...I think the hotel parking lot offered me just as much info, as you could talk with the final end user in the parking lot, touch (with permision) and see the parts. And they are all great people and wanted to tell their story about the products. I will certainly try to go to another C5F
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:40 PM   #50
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IMO I just don't understand the reasoning behind showing up as a vendor and not having products that customers can buy and walk away with.

I also noticed that vendors doing installs of their products seemed to be busy. I understand that it may not be feasible to install many of the performance parts offered, but most people attending Camaro Fest drive their camaros to the event. As you all know, there is not much room in the car to haul bulky parts home.
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