Inquiry - Lee Watson Reptile Show - FaunaClassifieds
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Shows & Events Since these are such a big part of our business, it is appropriate that we discuss them from a business perspective.

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Old 01-15-2004, 10:04 PM   #1
Inquiry - Lee Watson Reptile Show

I was thinking of taking my son to the Lee Watson Reptile Show this weekend in Illinois. It';s about a 5-6 hour drive for us, so I want to find out first what kind of show it is. Is it big? Bigger than Indy or Columbus Ohio? Lots of vendors?

If you could please be so kind as to leave responses if you have recently attended the show and have some knowledge of it - if it is worth the 5-6 hour drive.

Thanks !!!!
Old 01-15-2004, 10:13 PM   #2
Jodi L Aherns
It is a small show,Its in a barn.In my mind not worth a 5-6 hour drive.The venders are ok .
Old 01-15-2004, 10:57 PM   #3
Lee Watson
Lee Watson Reptile show

In answer to Mark's question, the Streamwood show is presently, I believe, to be the biggest bi-monthly show in the United States. We have 100 full vendor spots at every show and a waiting list of vendors to get in. We also have outdoor vendor spots that feature poultry, rabbits, and small farm animals.

We are housed in a building built solely and used solely for the reptile swap. We average over 1,000 visitors at every show, which means we have about 25,000 people per year. Our cricket vendors sell an average of 250,000 at every show.

I'm not sure how large the reptile swaps are that Jodi attends in Minnesota, but if they come close to mine, I would like to attend them. (I don't know of any shows in Minnesota.)

Come on out, Mark, and bring your son. If you are disappointed, see me at the show and I will pay all your gas money and buy you dinner. I guess I can't give a better guarantee than that.

Thank you much.

Lee Watson
Old 01-16-2004, 12:10 AM   #4
the Lee Watson show was the first reptile show i went to, and i thought it was pretty big back then. But since i've gone to the NARBC this past october, Lee Watsons is sort of disappointing in comparison, and i've stopped going.

I don't think i'd drive 5-6 hours for it, but hey, if he's on here giving you the guarantee, I'd do it!

are you looking for something in particular?

Old 01-16-2004, 09:56 AM   #5
Jodi L Aherns
Lee,We have no shows here in MN,but i would still not drive 5-6 hours to go down there just not my cup of tea.
Old 01-16-2004, 10:45 AM   #6
Lee Watson's Reptile Swap

Lee's reptile swap was the first reptile show that I went to after the National show in Tinley Park 2 years ago. Is it different? Absolutely. Is it flashy like the National show? Absolutely not. Can you get good quality animals from some of the best breeders in the immediate area? Without a doubt.

I continue to go to Lee's swap at least once a month. I have never been disappointed with the vendors and have always found what I was looking for. Infact, over the last couple of months I had been wanting to get involved in Solomon Island ground boas. I go to Lee's swap earlier this month, and what do you know, my new little baby snake was waiting there for me. In addition, it is a great place to buy your feeders, whether crickets, mice, rats or rabbits at great prices.

For the person in Minnesota, please keep in mind that most of the vendors at Lee's show are also vendors at the Tinley Park show. When judging whether or not a reptile show is worth attending, you should not focus on the facility it is in, but rather, focus on the quality of the vendors and the animals available. With that in mind, Lee's show can compete with the best of the local shows.

I highly recommend Lee's Watson's reptile swap. I don't know if I would drive 5-6 hours twice a month to attend, but if I lived that distance, I certaintly would make it there once a month or once every other month.

Give the Lee's show one try and I believe you will be satisfied, if not, you have got your gas money and dinner covered. What have you got to lose?

Larry D. Stassin
Old 01-16-2004, 11:40 AM   #7
Classic Dum's
But since i've gone to the NARBC this past october, Lee Watsons is sort of disappointing in comparison
There is no comparison. Lees is a by monthly show, NARBC is yearly. Both shows are geared up and adveretised, handled, cost etc differantly. My tables for NARBC cost $750 this year. NARBC is the biggest thing out there next to Daytona. If you expect any monthly, bi monthly, or quarterly show to be run or have the draw of vendors from across the world such as Daytona or NARBC your always going to be disapointed.

I drive 10-12hrs(5-6hrs one way) round trip every two weeks to Lees Show. His is the only bi monthly show I have ever done beyond his Ive set up and attended monthly, quaterly and yearly shows from Il to the NY. Out of all them that I have done and attended Lees is by far the most successful monthly, bi monthly. Time and time again tables are always full of animals no empty(with the exeption of 3 or so the last couple weeks thanks to the Flu) and theres always 1000 or so through the door. Any other monthly etc show I have been to varies one month all tables are sold. Next month ya show up and half are empty. One month ya get 700 people through the door next month ya get 85 etc. In 10 yrs I have been setting up shows I have never set up nor attended a more consistant monthly show from a vendor or costumer stand point. With the execption of White PLains, NY or Hamburg, PA, Lees IMO is better then most quarterly shows as well(Hamburg I love the hots, the hots have a HUGE draw, and anything in the suburbs of NYC is diffucult to shake a stick at). The east coast shows are hard to contend with, if you look at population density the north east(from Virgina to Mass) is almost like one giant city compared to the mid west. Ya theres farm land in the east and the population thins out in some areas but at its thinest still has 10 times the amount of people then the farm land here. The mid west is differant you got cities like St Louis, Kansas, big cities but then its nothing but corn feilds for hours in any directions. Chicago isnt much differant, granted the suburbs run probally 50 miles from the center of the city but once you get outside that its farm land in all directions. So in comparison to the shows out east its alot more succsesfull. Considering population density I would think its should be the other way around.

If you could please be so kind as to leave responses if you have recently attended the show and have some knowledge of it - if it is worth the 5-6 hour drive.
I think it is, we do very well there as vendors but more then that enjoy the show. The people are freindly weve made alot of good freinds and just have alot of fun. If it was a bad show or we didnt enjoy it we sure wouldnt make this trip every couple weeks. Weve been there ever show now for 13 months(26 times) since Nov of 2002. Prior to vending there We used to come up ever 4-6wks or so just to hang out shot the breeze, buy a few animals etc.

Anyway sorry for the rant, hope ya drop in if so come by and say hello and If nothing more ya get free gas and dinner for you and the kids so ya got nothing to lose.
Old 01-16-2004, 01:04 PM   #8
Classic Dum's
Actually I meant bi weekly(1st saturday third sunday of every month), his show is twice a month not every two months. Sorry about that.
Old 01-17-2004, 07:57 PM   #9
Next Month Maybe......

Lee -

It turns out our little herper in the family accepted an invite to sleep over at his friends. So - we won't make it up this weekend.

We are interested in CBB Rosys (Whitewater, Bay of LA, or Arizona Chocolate), and normal but pretty/light colored CBB Ball Pythons. We will plan on coming up in Feb or March - - do you think those would be good months to find what we are interested in?? Will anyone have 2004 hatchlings or 2003 leftover CBB Rosys or balls?

Let me know - and when we come up we will be sure to say HI. Hopefully we won't need to take you up on your dinner and gas offer !!!!
Old 02-02-2004, 12:57 AM   #10
Corn Snake Vendors?


Some friends of mine and I are planning a little road trip from WI to come down to the show. We've all recently become pretty hard core corn snake fans and I was wondering if there tended to be a good showing of corn snake vendors. (I have been to your website and looked through the vendor list - I only found one that was explicitly listed as a corn breeder)


PS Im excited to go to the swap regardless of size and building

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