The Final Demise of AMShow

No more AMShow

No more AMShow

This past week it appears that AMShow has finally disappeared. 

AMShow was once a very promising trade show dedicated to 3D printing technologies, with quite a history. 

The event began as a venture by UK-based event planner Kerry Hogarth, who created something called the “3D Printshow”. The event was initially quite popular, as one particular instance attracted well over 11,000 attendees. 

But that was another age, one where the notion of widespread consumer use of 3D printing was held by the public - and investors. The world was then full of eager 3D printing startups of all kinds, each desperately seeking attention from the market. Thus it was entirely sensible to create a trade show dedicated to the technology. 

At the 2013 3D Printshow

At the 2013 3D Printshow

While there were a couple of other shows where 3D printing technology were shown, 3D Printshow took a very different direction, one involving a curious mixture of art, business, education and other new markets for the largely industrial and manufacturing views by other events. 

Fashion and art took a big place at the now-defunct 3D Printshow

Fashion and art took a big place at the now-defunct 3D Printshow

The result, at least for me, was a terrific experience at each event, where the collision of people with very different viewpoints often led to unusual conclusions and opportunities. 

Fabbaloo helping out at a previous 3D Printshow

Fabbaloo helping out at a previous 3D Printshow

3D Printshow grew, and even expanded to the point of doing seven shows around the world in one year. However, it was constrained by lack of capital and could not properly move forward strategically. Thus came a change: 3D Printshow was acquired by Tarsus, one of the world’s largest and most successful trade show producers. Tarsus operates dozens of very well attended events for various industries around the world, some exceeding 30,000 attendees. 

I felt at the time that this was an excellent move, as the logistical and financial power of the giant Tarsus should be able to propel AMShow to become the default trade show for almost every 3D print vendor. 

However, it did not work out that way. 

The 2016 AMshow in Amsterdam

The 2016 AMshow in Amsterdam

The first AMShow was held in Amsterdam in 2016, and in spite of Tarsus’ efforts, was quite poorly attended, with only around 2,500 attendees - and that’s including the exhibitors and media. At the time we heard grumblings from some of the exhibitors who were quite unhappy with the outcome. 

Tarsus rescheduled their next event, to occur in the USA in December 2016, to 2017. This event did in fact take place, but we heard almost nothing from it and we did not attend, figuring that it would not attract vendors similar to the Amsterdam event. 

I wondered what Tarsus’ next move would be with this property, and this week it became clear. If you go to the AMShow URL, you are now redirected to a generic Tarsus page, which seems to contain no reference to AMShow. Even their news outlet, Disruptive Magazine, has suffered the same fate. 

My thought is that Tarsus simply did not put sufficient effort into handling this show; it could have been a tremendous success, but it seems they must have been distracted by their other events. And once you lose the confidence of the vendors, you’re probably done. This seems to be the fate of EuroMold as well, as that 25-year old event has also evaporated in recent years. 

Meanwhile, most of the 3D print vendors have focused on other trade shows, which seem to be growing and highly successful. The surviving shows dedicated to 3D printing technology that seem to be very well attended by both vendors and clients as of now seem to be: 

  • FormNext, held in Frankfurt each fall, with around 500 exhibitors and 20K attendees
  • RAPID+TCT, held in various locations in the USA each Spring, with 300-400 exhibitors and over 10K+ attendees
  • TCT, held in Birmingham UK, with around 300 exhibitors and about 10K attendees

These are the events you’ll tend to see most of the 3D print vendors, if you happen to be in those areas or travel to them.

That is, at least until the vendors change their minds, again. 

General Fabb

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has been writing Fabbaloo posts since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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