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· No Longer Active.
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QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 26 Mar 2007, 06:24) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>I think the kit manufacturers were a little lacking. There were a few that for mee at least were a little noticible by their absence. Names that spring to mine are Gibson, Fox transfers, Comet, 247, London Road. For me it is these little part manufacturers that turn a good show into a great show. - 5/10

Great review & pictures thanks Peter.

Speaking as a small retailer the reasons behind the continuing reduction of the smaller traders attendance is purely costs.
For us to do Ally Pally the costs would stack up somewhat like :

Stand space (estimated for 12') £250.00
Fuel £60.00
B & B for 2 for 2 nights £200.00
Refreshments& meals for 2 days £150.00
Making an estimated total of around £660.00

We would have to take some £3,000 just to break even - you have to sell a hell of a lot of small bits & pieces to do that - & we are not box shifters, although are prices are competative we jsut do not attain those figures. Please note that some of these examples are estimated - they could be more or less.

Just one more gripe - we have noticed that some layouts have an abundance of operators (yes, I know that people have to have breaks & time to look round the show), but still seem to be overmanned. Maybe, just maybe, some layouts take the p
with the expenses.

· No Longer Active.
13,704 Posts
Firstly, let me make it quite clear that I was not singling out Ally Pally. To be quite honest we would like to attend, but received no reply from the organisers to our enquiry.

The basic problem is costs all round - the exhibition organisers have to arrange public liability insurance, large venues are very expensive to rent & so on.

Speaking to many exhibition managers they often mention "overmanning" but say if they want "layout A" it "comes with X operators - take it or leave it", so they often have no choice ! There is van hire often on top as well.

As a few on the forum know we operate "St.Laurent en Ardennes" - a 16' x 8' layout based in the Belgium Ardennes. This can now be operated by one person. We also run our trade stand & often combine the two at shows on a "no money changes hands" basis. This arrangement works well for both sides & seems to save money all round - the show gets a layout (banging drum time here - out 3 times & a placing in each) with no expences to pay & we get our sales stand with no expenses to pay except our travel costs. We manage to cram the sales stand, stock & layout into a VW van & 8 x 4 box trailor. as well as the three of us required to operate the stand & layout in the front !

Generally, we find that some of the smaller shows are more cost effective - many of the other smaller traders we talk to tend to agree. Maybe, the days of the big prestige shows are drawing to a close ?

· No Longer Active.
13,704 Posts
QUOTE (pedromorgan @ 30 Mar 2007, 06:13) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>Next year a 6' stand is going to cost about £300

I have heard it said that this would take some shows above £10 entrance fee and people wouldnt pay. this is complete nonsence.
cinema £4
Alton towers £30
Madam tussauds £30
Tower of london £15

For a good day out at a 1 off event people would not mind paying £12 or £13. especially if its explained to them that the extra is for the benifit of the hobby.

For the box shifters, find out which ones would like to attend and pull 3 names out of a hat.

Having a london show is a double edged sword. yes the hotel etc costs are higher but far more people are within commuting distance and i think that just about cancells each other out.
No the shows should not fade away but the hobby could be seriously damaged. in your posts you only seem to be seeing them as small traders, you dont seem to be recognising the huge contribution that they make to the hobby. indeed i wonder if any of the layouts at the ally pally show would have been possible without them. they are the very bedrock of our hobby. without them, we become like germany that is in the hands of a few cash cow companies.

The REC show at woking that was a very good show has been cancelled due to the venue costs. (over doubled in 6 years)

There was stacks of room at ally pally. especially in the second room. that space would have been a very nice gift for some of these traders and might have got even more people throught the door. people all to often just look at the income from the stand cost but they completly ignore the income that comes from having these traders attend the show.

Hmmmm - looks like I should have allowed £500 for stand space ?

I think the "serious or semi-serious modellers" (like most of us here on the forum) would not be too bothered about an extra £2 on the tickets (as a "punter" our costs to get to Ally Pally & feed ourselves for the day would be in the region of £70 for two, so we would not be bothered). However, the "train set people or general public" may think twice about the extra, especially as not all the family may wish to go. Very tricky one for the organisers.

The only way we can make any money (shame on us trying to make money !) at shows is to specialize with some of the stuff other people don't do - in fact we really don't "cross" with anyone else, although we do overlap a little here & there. We have a few regular customers who make a point of attending shows that we attend & have said that it the main reason they attend certain shows !

Some very valid points there Peter - we'll have another go at getting a response from the Ally Pally organisers !

BTW Ravenser - you still hav'nt said what part of the UK you hail from ! (be useful for your comparisons).
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