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5 hours ago, keithm said:

 lWeisbaden was NOT a FANTASTIC show, it was half the normal size and seemed very quiet to me on the Saturday.  Sadly, shoe repairing on the Continent is as quiet as it is here.

only said it looked fantastic on  the web keith?    compared  to the last uk one   bet it got more visitors than the uk one 

 

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I have a lot of respect for certain people in my trade: KeithM, Peter Coulson, Chris Wilson, Lee Ffrench, and many more, yes, you too, Tel, for your car key knowledge - I might have argued with some of these peers but it's always been out of the love for my trade and I have to say that all have been outstanding contributors and ambassadors for my trade and it breaks my heart that it appears to be slowly dying due to lack of interest, innovation and uptake from 'new' cobblers.

I've said a few times that our industry doesn't advertise enough - not just polishes. insoles and all that crap but also that we don't get recognised for our skills and the work we do on a daily basis - I get it: a lot of younger people live in a throw-away world but these exact same people spend a fortune on their footwear and yet they don't get them mended. Why is that?. I don't have the answers but there must be damn good reasons; lack of knowledge that they can get their footwear mended; scared off by the lick-it-stick-it brigade; told by amateurs from big chains that the shoes are beyond redemption?

I would so love to get involved in promoting our trade but it just seems pointless, at the moment, because I'd be fighting my own idealistic, but, (in my mind), misguided, battle against those who can't move with the times. Cutting edge used to be a great publication but now it seems redundant because of its content. Stop targeting the cobblers for money and start to use your budget to target the people who give us their precious money: ADVERTISE! Let the country know about our once highly-valued skills! If they spend on us, we buy off you people who sell through Cutting Edge and we all win! I have so many ideas but I also get people's backs up with my opinions and people make the mistake of conflating my passion for my trade with arrogance,  hence why I wouldn't do well on a committee.

Keith's right, to a certain degree: the suppliers should make better use of their websites but I would go one further and encourage the WHOLE industry, including us mere cobblers, to engage each other and come up with a national marketing strategy to encourage people to get their footwear mended, their watch repaired, their patching done, keys cut, things engraved, etc. If we cannot come together as a collective, we will die, alone, wondering what went wrong and blaming everyone else but our sodding selves.

I ask you all: would you be willing to put 50 quid towards an ad campaign with our suppliers?  It's a symbiotic relationship and we need to work together. Yes, I know it's lot of money but we cannot just rest on our laurels and watch our trade die. To me - it would be a sound investment, and, at the end of the day - what have we got to lose besides our livelihoods?

Rick.

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Very passionate post Rick:smt041 

When i started 4/5 years ago, I had never heard of Somsr or Cutting edge.   I have no first hand experience with them apart from reading this thread and having a look at their website.

Are you suggesting we start our own hybrid version of Somsr / Cutting edge, run by shoe repairers?

I can do web design, mailing lists etc etc.  

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I'm not trying to supplant anyone- I just believe we should ALL be trying harder. Our trade is unique, we've adapted over 30 years and we can do it again - a lot of trades can't boast about that.. All we need is the will and the leadership and guidance from the big and small players in our industry. 

 

Rick.

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When I was a YTS at sixteen, i was extremely slow to understand the nuances of my work and I was told, more than once, by my area manager, manager and assistant manager that I would never make a good shoe repairer. I proved them wrong - to the point that my ex-assistant manager now comes to me for work he can't do. I am very single-minded and when I put my mind to good use, I always win. Like I say, I have ideas but I would be fighting old-school thinking. 

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I have said this before - but in essence - build a better show- advertise it fully make the exhibitor a deal they cannot refuse and on a day the trade can come and your in with half a chance - I was shot in the foot by 2020 exhibition having paid a deposit for my venue in 2018 to find out your show is the same weekend! WTF I have had ALEX every two even years for 10 years the first weekend in October - Lost me deposit and had to move the dates 

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Did Cutting Edge not do a national advertising campaign about 10 years ago? Can't remember the exact name of the campaign. but would something similar not work this time?

The advertising could maybe be on social media (everyone is on facebook or twitter these days). Maybe have some kind of offer, where if customer likes or shares your facebook or twitter page they receive some kind of discount. But have the campaign spread over the country and involve Cutting Edge, SOMSR, suppliers etc. New products, services, etc.

 

 

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16 hours ago, Tom D said:

only said it looked fantastic on  the web keith?    compared  to the last uk one   bet it got more visitors than the uk one 

 

Well Weisbaden takes place every Three years and attracts visitors from all over the world, but mainly Europe.

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14 hours ago, kobblers said:

I have a lot of respect for certain people in my trade: KeithM, Peter Coulson, Chris Wilson, Lee Ffrench, and many more, yes, you too, Tel, for your car key knowledge - I might have argued with some of these peers but it's always been out of the love for my trade and I have to say that all have been outstanding contributors and ambassadors for my trade and it breaks my heart that it appears to be slowly dying due to lack of interest, innovation and uptake from 'new' cobblers.

I've said a few times that our industry doesn't advertise enough - not just polishes. insoles and all that crap but also that we don't get recognised for our skills and the work we do on a daily basis - I get it: a lot of younger people live in a throw-away world but these exact same people spend a fortune on their footwear and yet they don't get them mended. Why is that?. I don't have the answers but there must be damn good reasons; lack of knowledge that they can get their footwear mended; scared off by the lick-it-stick-it brigade; told by amateurs from big chains that the shoes are beyond redemption?

I would so love to get involved in promoting our trade but it just seems pointless, at the moment, because I'd be fighting my own idealistic, but, (in my mind), misguided, battle against those who can't move with the times. Cutting edge used to be a great publication but now it seems redundant because of its content. Stop targeting the cobblers for money and start to use your budget to target the people who give us their precious money: ADVERTISE! Let the country know about our once highly-valued skills! If they spend on us, we buy off you people who sell through Cutting Edge and we all win! I have so many ideas but I also get people's backs up with my opinions and people make the mistake of conflating my passion for my trade with arrogance,  hence why I wouldn't do well on a committee.

Keith's right, to a certain degree: the suppliers should make better use of their websites but I would go one further and encourage the WHOLE industry, including us mere cobblers, to engage each other and come up with a national marketing strategy to encourage people to get their footwear mended, their watch repaired, their patching done, keys cut, things engraved, etc. If we cannot come together as a collective, we will die, alone, wondering what went wrong and blaming everyone else but our sodding selves.

I ask you all: would you be willing to put 50 quid towards an ad campaign with our suppliers?  It's a symbiotic relationship and we need to work together. Yes, I know it's lot of money but we cannot just rest on our laurels and watch our trade die. To me - it would be a sound investment, and, at the end of the day - what have we got to lose besides our livelihoods?

Rick.

Nicely put Kobblers, but you would need millions to promote our trade to the public as a whole.   Better to advertise locally, supported by the wholesalers and the Trade body, such that it is!

You also have to bare in mind that as customers of the wholesalers, you all want the best prices, this often leads to low margins, which leaves little in the pot to spend on Marketing and Advertising to the Trade. NONE of the wholesalers are rolling in money, believe me!

 

You can't have it all ways, repairers make way more margin than any wholesaler could dream of making!

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How many times has the discussion been had about how to extract more visitors? I was part of a meeting once and i suggested all sorts of things to try and attract more people, non as far as i can see were ever put into practice or even considered. Things like "bulk take away deals" in a separate area of the show or competitions such as "speed heeling" or something daft like that.

I think the best thing to do is forget the exhibition for now, maybe have a re-think in 5 years or so and see if anything has changed.

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5 hours ago, Paul_ said:

How many times has the discussion been had about how to extract more visitors? I was part of a meeting once and i suggested all sorts of things to try and attract more people, non as far as i can see were ever put into practice or even considered. Things like "bulk take away deals" in a separate area of the show or competitions such as "speed heeling" or something daft like that.

I think the best thing to do is forget the exhibition for now, maybe have a re-think in 5 years or so and see if anything has changed.

So do nothing and hope things get better.............How many will still be here in 5 years.

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