I, too, used to go to MQS every year and looked forward to it every time until it moved to Wichita. I attend the first year at Wichita and have never gone back. I was so disappointed. Of course the last few years it was at Kansas City, it had been dwindling down with not as many vendors and didn't seem like nearly as many quilts. MQS was where I got to see new long arm gadgets and accessories and got to purchase my long arm thread in bulk at great prices. Now I just order online and pay extra shipping charges. There used to be excitement in the air and you definitely spent more than a day going through the whole thing. At Wichita I found myself saying, "Is this it?" I do miss seeing the people that I've met at these big shows, but there's always forums or FB that seems just easier (and cheaper) to be able to keep in contact.
To be honest, my friend and I just attended a "local" quilt show (an hour and a half away) and was disappointed this year (which we never were in the past). In the past, it was elbow to elbow trying to get down the aisles of the vendors and you were always in competition with someone else trying to get a closeup view of the quilts on display. This year was nothing like that. Of course they had also raised the price of the admission to get in. Three ladies behind me went up to pay and threw a fit of the admission price and turned around and walked away without going in. There were other disappointing factors to me/us that I just won't mention.
I'm just wondering if it's all due to the cost of everything nowadays.