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I may be very wrong here but I suspect the great majority of paying visitors to Model Railway Exhibitions/Shows are general public/families. These are the people who make the show financially viable with their entrance money. Mostly, they seem prefer action & detail. Club members may prefer intricate/realistic shunting/operation ect but without the general public the shows would not be viable.

Does anyone have any reasonably accurate figures regarding the "mix" of paying visitors ?

best regards
Brian
 

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I don't have accurate figures but have been to an awful lot of shows and families do feature prominently. A lot of father and sons. I tend to go with my brother in law and sometimes nephews. Shows here tend to be family orientated. Usually there is a Thomas layout that the kids can play on. Also larger scale trains, some of which can do rides for the kids.
 

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It depends on the show.

local shows and many larger shows are good family days out but i would never call scaleforum or warley a good family day out.
I was very supprised to see a kids play area at the scaleforum.

It must be very difficult to ask people with a herd of young children not to come to a show without alianating people.

I know thay market the warley show as a good day our for all but it really isnt. its a trade show with layouts. its an opportunity to show off what the big manufacturers are getting (or more to the point are not getting) into the shops for christmas.

Peter
 

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From my observations at exhibitons (both as a visitor or an exhibitor) rather than fathers and sons there seem to be more grandfathers and grandsons - especially at G-Scale exhibtions. Lost count of the times that Grandad has said that he's looking for something that the Grandsons can come and play with in the garden......
 

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QUOTE I know thay market the warley show as a good day our for all but it really isnt. its a trade show with layouts. its an opportunity to show off what the big manufacturers are getting (or more to the point are not getting) into the shops for christmas.

We don't get trade shows here. There are too few manufacturers and their new product is too limited. Maybe one or two models per year at most.
 

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I think it depends on the type of show. A smaller show will attract the local family market and the casual visitor while a specialised show or larger national show will attract the enthusiast that will make a special journal to the show usually from many miles away to see a particular layout or purchase from a specialist trader. Due to the much higher costs in staging a large show getting the serious modeller to attend is very important. For instance the general public or family is unlikely to spend serious money with a trader, and a trader will not attend a show if they are unlikely to have the target audience they require.

How can I state the above facts? Well I am exhibition manager for Railex Aylesbury, and It was a deliberate decision for us in 2005 to aim at the enthusiast market rather than the family market when we changed Railex from a one day show located in the town centre to a much larger two day show located at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. Over the past two years since we have staged the new Railex we have seen an increase in visitors to over 2500 each exhibition weekend. Out of these visitors we only sold around 25 family or children tickets the others ticket sales were divided one-third seniors and two-thirds adults. We also noticed that many people who turned up at opening time could still be found in the exhibition at closing time.

Getting the balance of layouts, trade and demos is important, and we have believed that we should aim at quality in all aspects of the show.

Many or the traders who attend Railex producing their own range of products so there is little duplication or trade overlap, and therefore the traders will hopefully have a good weekend, and return year after year. In fact with Intercity Models travelling up from Cornwall and Parkside Dundas making it down from Scotland we feel that we have got mix right. We also have a waiting list from other traders who want to attend but due to lack of available space or duplication of another trader we have to decline there enquires.

With eight months to go much of Railex 2007 is already confirmed Full details can be found at our website http://www.rdmrc.nildram.co.uk/ go to exhibitions then Railex 2007
Railex 2007 is held on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th of May (Whitsun or Late Spring Holiday) Stoke Mandeville Stadium, Harvey Road, Aylesbury HP21 9PP.

David Lane
 
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