I was told the driving force to this experiment was the manufacturers.
I realize I'm in the minority, but seeing what the manufacturers have is down on the list of the reasons that I go to York. Then again, I have some really large train stores near my house, unlike many of you.
I remember the Lionel exhibit years ago at the Philadelphia "World's Greatest Hobby" show. The exhibit was small (no layout), and the 2 guys manning it did not seem very welcoming to the folks attending. They looked, to me, like they wanted to be somewhere else. I don't remember what the others had, but I'm pretty sure they did not involve layouts.
Since the manufacturers don't actually sell stuff, how do they judge whether or not they had a "worthwhile show"?