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[ The PC Guide | Articles and Editorials | There's No Business, Like Show Business... ]

Late Shows And Matinees

Most computer shows take place on the weekend; some are on Saturday, some on Sunday, and some on both days. There is normally a charge to get into the show, often somewhere between $5 and $10. Shows that are open both days usually charge once for both days--this can be a deal if you really need that much time to shop, but more often than not you can get what you need done in a single day just as easily.

The cost of the show is something to take into account if you are economizing. However, in almost every case you will save more than the cost of the ticket if you make even one purchase (unless it is a very inexpensive item).

Tip: Some companies offer discounts if you pre-purchase tickets for a number of shows. This may also let you bypass the very long lines to purchase tickets if you go to a show early in the morning, which in some ways is even better than the discount!

The time of day that you choose to go to the show is important; the best time depends on what you are trying to do:

  • The Early Birds: Many people want to be the first person on the show floor, and arrive as early as an hour or more before the doors open. Of course, they end up waiting in a long line with the other early birds, until the door opens, sometimes in rather frightful weather. Is it worth it? For most people, it is not, but on occasion, there are some very good deals offered by vendors with limited stock. If you are there early, you get first crack at whatever is there. There are also fewer people on the floor, so the place is less packed and you have more breathing room.
  • The Later Birds: Most people go to shows between about 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. As a consequence, this is also the busiest time of day at the show. Some shows can get quite crowded, with surprising contests for elbow room around the busier tables! You will also have a harder time getting attention from harried vendors.
  • The "Vultures": Some folk go to shows late in the day, especially on Sunday of a two-day show. Shows are very taxing on vendors, particularly those who are coming to the show from a long distance and/or selling heavy or bulky items. On occasion they may be willing to reduce their prices at the end of the day to reduce inventory and increase sales for the trip, and as the customer you benefit by "circling" at the end of the day... The flip side is that some vendors may be out of stock, and you limit your available time for shopping.

Next: All Vendors Are Not Created Equal

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