Recently a house-generated review of the fair appeared on the hali website and, as should be expected, it contains the usual spin-doctoring readers have become accustomed to seeing.
When read between the lines, so to speak, a number of the points expressed on RK.com are substantiated, albeit with that special brand of frilly window dressing hali coats most of their stories with.
Ten days is much to long a time and while it might work for an "antique show" it surely doesn't for a rug and textile affair. Why? Well basically the clientele interested in "antiques" is far larger and more varied while the "rug world" just isn't big enough to support such a long drawn out affair. Then, of course, there’s the fact such a long run diffuses the competition and must-buy psychology inherent in auctions and limited time-line shows (like icoc and acor dealer days) always draw their success from.
Overlooking this element, which often acts like a cattle-prod to push buyers into action, was the most drastic miscalculation the organizers made, although there were some others RK.com highlighted as well.
The hali review bemoaned the lack of Americana and scarcity of Europeans as well but another point, which was hidden within their self-congratulatory review, was the scarcity of big-ticket sales. Most dealers reported, at best, only fair to middlin' business and the fact that only half of them have signed up again for next years run, which was presented by hali as a good omen, sure appears to RK.com as a sign something isn't as groovy as hamburger danny and hali want you to believe.
Sorry, guys, but rug dealers aren't really interested in paying thousands of pounds for a small stall, going through all the troubles shipping their inventory, dealing with customs, etc, and all the other expenses of doing a show just to sit around and "drink wines" and gab with other dealers, especially when the champagne runs out too early and buyers are just too damn few and far between.