Let's not forget to get some descent pic's for your fellow "brethren of the net" across the pond; for we can only dream of such tantalizing opportunity! I am always impressed with the usual subjects which members photograph but, maybe some shots of Stichopthalma, Colotis (Africa), breeder Saturniidae, and some unusual finds would be especially nice to see.
AES Fair is certainly not about collectors anymore. I see dead stock tables there being phased out. Many who visit the AES frown on deadstock. Butterfly conservation tables and deadstock tables do not really go together.
However, in saying that you can certainly get good specimens but the tables are fewer and fewer. They do not see a competition with Juvisy, I bet many of the organizers have not even heard of it. They get hundreds of non entomological visitors at the AES fair who visit to see the livestock, especially the tarantulas, that is very big over here. You get so many visitors there, its hard to move and between the tables the walkways are very narrow. The best thing there, is the second hand book stands, you can get good bargins. Also the BENH society and their off shoot, the Diptera forum tables are worth a visit. BENH actually has members that are Lepidoptera collectors, there recent journal issue shows some really rare specimens from their annual exhibition. The AES is still an enjoyable day out and I would have gone. Certainly many people go there and enjoy their day. The AES opening times are really strange, between 11am to 4.30pm. Why they cannot open the doors earlier I have no idea.
Regarding the AES show which has been discussed here by some English members, when I received my email to apply for tables this year I replied saying that I expected it to move back a week this year as it was now in September and clashed with Juvisy. They replied saying that this was the only date that Kempton Park could offer them before November, I did point out that I would not be going and nor would plenty of other traders and visitors, but the timing at least is not their fault and it's back to its normal weekend next year.
As to the content of the show, it's mainly what people want; there were more deadstock dealers there in the past and some continental dealers have come over to try their luck, but they don't come back because they don't sell anything. Unfortunately the British in general are notoriously reluctant to spend much money on bugs, and dealers can make much more money at fairs such as Juvisy and Frankfurt where other nationalities are prepared to spend. It's no good people complaining that there is not enough interesting material available if they're not prepared to put their hands in their pockets.
As for the timing, which somebody mentioned, there can be a lot of travelling involved and the times at Juvisy are far too long. Try standing there from 9:30 - 7:00 and 9:00 - 6:00 for two days, it's exhausting and after a while you tend to lose the will to live. I would certainly prefer it if it was only one day (OK, the AES could extend their hours a bit) or just the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning like Frankfurt.
OK, the AES show is certainly not perfect and I've often wondered whether it's worth doing but people tend to get what they want/deserve A show like Juvisy would never work in England because none of the traders would make any money. Personally I thought Leicester/Kettering was a far better show but that died when Jack had had enough of organising it. I know there is also Newark but that is much too far for those of us who live south of London, and the one time I did try it I sold one bug for £10!
It's all very frustrating for the serious collector with the situation we have in the UK now, there are still a few of us left but we find that not only do we have to contend with bigoted anti collecting fraternity but also with the younger generation who just want to buy a cool pet, each to his own but we are now left to pick through much of the hum drum material to find the odd gem here and there, Bob is right, a lot of British entomologists are shall we say rather thrifty and tend to only want British material anyway, I can see this only going one way,serious British entomologists will have to attend shows abroad in future, the material on offer is superb but the downside is you have spent a few hundred pounds just getting there that could have been spent on specimens, why did I have to pick an un PC hobby, right I'm off to get a collar and a lead for my new pet millipede and take him for walkies.
I still envy my British counterparts in that at least you have some deadstock dealers to dabble with at your various shows. Over here across the pond all we have is really just one show (in So. California) which is said to be about (half) creepy crawlies/books/educational kiosks. The deadstock dealers that do show largely only sell to collectors from the Western states as anyone East of Nebraska would simply spend too much on airfare, food, and lodging. Another, silent concern by some of us is also who could be watching one at that show as it has been voiced that F.& W.agents are known to attend just to see what is being sold and (potentially who the buying players are)! Leaves one feeling rather apprehensive about the very thought of it. The Montreal show certainly sounds enticing but, again getting there and staying a day or two and then crossing the border with your goods without issue leaves a lot to luck and imagination.