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Thread: What Vendors Would You Enjoy Seeing At Koi Shows?

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Orlando, Florida

    What Vendors Would You Enjoy Seeing At Koi Shows?

    One of the keys to a successful koi show in the U.S. is having vendors folks enjoy. Personally, I find visiting vendors and checking out their offerings as much fun as the show ring. And, the more the products and services are what folks are interested in buying or learning about, the more conversations get struck up between hobbyists. So, I ask: What types of vendors would you like to see at a koi show?

    As the vendor coordinator for the Central Florida Koi Show, I've not had a problem getting koi dealers and breeders to set up booths. I definitely want koi in all price ranges. Everybody loves to check out the expensive ones, even if they only have a 'beer budget'. The challenge is in getting vendors of dry goods. The vendors of koi food, filtration and general pond supplies are fairly easy to identify. After that, it gets tough.

    I'm always interested in vendors introducing a new product or gizmo. Folks coming to the show always seem interested in learning about the latest things even if not ready to buy right then. These vendors may not have a lot of sales during the show, but can succeed just by having word spread around the hobby. Having over a thousand koikeepers come by (many from across the country and Canada at CFKS), can be a big boost for a new product. The post-show sales months later can be significant. But, if I don't know about something brand new, I can't contact the potential vendor far enough in advance for them to make travel plans, etc. ....A few years ago, I got it arranged for a Taiwan-based company to bring their new filters to the show. It cost them a lot. They had not exported any to the U.S., and had no U.S. facilities or distribution. But, they filled a niche and folks at the show were very interested in what they had. Their Litek Aqua-Link filters are now advertised in every issue of KoiUSA. They are still building a distribution network, but have made a place for their product line in the U.S. hobby. Introducing their product line at a koi show really worked for them. I don't expect to ever have the first U.S. introduction of a product again, but ... Who/what is out there that folks would like to see at a show? Who needs to break into the market?

    In recent years I've recruited non-koi vendors to add variety to the mix. Folks coming to the show seem to like that. There's been an orchid vendor (fairly successful), a bonsai vendor (not many sales... but attendees sure spent a lot of time eyeing the expensive little trees), handmade jewelry (successful even if a bit pricey). Wind socks sold well one year. Garden statuary... snow lanterns, etc. have drawn a lot of interest, but tough to find a vendor ready to haul heavy stuff and spend the whole weekend away from their shop. I'd love to have one for our next show. What other non-koi types of vendors would you like to see at a show?

    The more folks enjoy their time at a show, the more shows will succeed. And, that builds the hobby. So, what would make you happy?
    Last edited by MikeM; 08-05-2011 at 08:45 AM. Reason: Correct Title

  2. #2
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    seattle, wa
    Over the last coupla months there has been a lot of chatter about sinking foods
    on various boards. ( I think tom probably started it all ) So it would be nice to see some food distributors that would be offering this type of food so that we have selection like we do with floating.

    Also here in the Pacific northwest, a lot of interest has been generated by a couple with connections to Toshio sakai. Upon urgings from toshio, he has brought in from japan for his own use ( as toshio uses) an air line manufactured there in Japan, that has made a great difference in his water quality, movement of waste and skin of his Koi. he has made his remainder available to his fellow club members. would be nice to see someone bring it in .

    These types of things, that have current interest would be nice to see. Focusing on what's new or a new twist or improvement on an existing product.
    Dick Benbow

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Baton Rouge
    not new but hard-to-ship items are always good, such as measuring bowls, koi nets...etc.

  4. #4
    Sansai cencalkoi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Fresno, California
    We have at least 4 koi vendors from out of town, one of which brings dry goods which alot of koi people need such as sock nets, bowls, pumps, filters. There is also a jewelry stand selling koi related items, and this year we will have the Orchid Society setting up booth. I am sure the big koi shows probably have a lot more. Seems like this year we only have one out of town vendor confirming he will be attending, the rest have not responded, the show is in mid September, so we will still go on as planned, we have two members in our club that sell koi and they will also be selling koi.
    Rosimeri Tran

  5. #5
    Oyagoi kingkong's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Koi are hard to beat. Keep the sale tanks in first class condition. Now that I mention that I would like to see all sales tubs with working aeration and bio/mechanical filtration. This would allow tired/jet lagged vendors and koi to rest in comfort when need be. The small koi I purchased, $ 25-50 range, are doing very well. I love to see a show that stresses high quality small koi from top name breeders as well as our local farmers.

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