Wandering around Sydney's Royal Easter Show, I was struck by the technology on use -- both by the punters and the stuff that you could win in various competition. The one area that it's notably lagging in, however, are the showbags, which remain a resolutely low-tech zone. Why is that?
There were plenty of smartphones, and even a few people using tablets as impromptu cameras.
STOP DOING THAT!
I'm better now, honestly. Anyway, to get the quick disclaimer out of the way, I was at the Easter show as a guest of Samsung, as they had The Wiggles on hand to promote the Wiggle Time TV app for Samsung devices.
Anyway, having had my fill of Samsung gear (always fun wandering around with a Galaxy Camera that they presume you haven't paid for), I wandered around the rest of the show, and it was… a show.
The same kind of thing that you'd get at a show anywhere in Australia, really; a mix of pampered poodles, slightly iffy-looking foodstuffs that give real insight into Australia's obesity problems, and, naturally enough showbags.
I hadn't really thought much about showbags since… erm… maybe 1982 or so, back when I was a nipper and before I'd cottoned on to how bad value they can really be. No doubt the same showbags that were on sale at Homebush on Friday will travel the country to shows both large and small, offering up much of the same stuff. Sure, there's the usual run of confectionary showbags to rot your teeth with, and then plenty of showbags across just about every genre you could name. Plenty of kid's showbags, naturally enough, but more than a few for the adult crowd too, with everything from gardening to fashion accessories covered off.
They're a licence to print money, there's no doubt, and equally, there's no shortage of punters dying to get in there and hand over their cash as fast as feasibly possible. No shortage at all. While I couldn't do an exact headcount, it would be no exaggeration to say that there were easily 200-odd people just queueing to get into the showbag hall when I chanced upon it. At least.
That's a lot of $25 showbags to sell.
The one subject area conspicuous by its absence? Technology, and specifically the peripherals that go with it. Sure, there were plenty of vendors lining up with competitions to give away tech goodies -- mostly iPads, with the odd smattering of Galaxy Tabs along the way -- and I'm not particularly suggesting a tablet-heavy showbag, what with the already high cost of a tablet. Nobody would buy that... I think.
But what about all the bits and bobs that go with technology? Screen protectors, cables, phone socks, dodgy battery chargers, anti-static mist, lucky stickers and the kinds of stuff you can buy off sites like DealExtreme for pennies. Yeah, it'd be a ripoff bag, but then, they all are anyway. It's just that instead of paying the rights holders for various IP, you'd pay nobody for generic tech stuff and sell it as a "bargain"... even if it wasn't.
I'm somewhat amused to find that you can, if you're so inclined, order showbags online, and that they're even brave enough to list the "value" of the goods within… like, say a plastic tumbler that's apparently worth $15 all by itself. If that's the case, why not a tech showbag? The closest I could find was a Monster High showbag that had some headphones in it (no, I didn't buy it) or some magazine specific ones. But nothing where you ended up with some kind of actual gadget or peripheral along the way.
Still, at least on the way out, I spotted this sweet looking Yoshi cake.