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2016 Show Review

REVIEW

For our 4th event we gathered some unusual and interesting exhibits including: An awesome scratch built model of the ‘Rag Tag fleet of vessels from the TV series Battle-star Gallactica and some miniature ‘live steam engines’ from the Mahmod range. Alongside the ten working layouts we had another ‘unearthed gem’ from the model railway world of yesteryear; Cadiford Water, originally built by the North Devon Group and recently restored back to working order by Bristol East Model Railway Club. New for this year was a display of 1/76th scale railway locomotives and carriages lovingly crafted from card and paper. 2016 saw us opening the show up to individuals or modelling groups to hold low cost meetings, sales and mini-meets and four sales stands were booked and did very well accordingly. The 2016 show heralded a big increase in individual modelers presenting their works across a wide variety of mediums, all of which was well supported by our regular attendee groups, making for a varied if once more over-full show! But if an events going to get a reputation for something; being packed beyond capacity with exhibits isn’t such a bad one to have?

We took the financial gamble and arranged hot food in our public catering on both days this year, doing away with our own cakes and sandwiches sales stand which although losing much valued revenue did provide a better service for visitors.

The weather during the build up, over the weekend and during the breakdown was far kinder than in 2015, lets hope this continues?

Visitor numbers were up 2.9% on 2015 and through some internal monitoring, we gauged a definite increase in families and teenagers, which may be a promising sign for the future of modelling in general? Our trade support swelled significantly, which aided the coffers to a fair degree and allowed us to almost break even! So securing furthermore the continuation of the event. The trade stands were on the whole pleased with the show and as most have already stated a desire to return in 2017, we can assume, they did well? We had taken the decision to increase the entry price by 25p this year to offset the envisaged lost public catering revenue and to cover a projected increase in advertising. Ironically the vast majority of comments regarding this increase were that we didn’t make it 50p and save the change issues such made for us!

People often ask if we publicize the event? So to clarify in 2016 we: distributed 15000 A6 handbills and 200 A3 posters at modelling shows and various public events such as, air shows and craft fairs nationwide. 3500 flyers went door-to-door in Poynton itself. We were mentioned in the diary dates columns of all the major modelling magazines, internet forums, national modelling associations, local community news groups and magazines. 1500 handbills and 20 posters were given to local schools. A publicity stand attended many local and regional model shows in the proceeding year. We introduced a free colour show guide this year which was distributed before the weekend at events in the North West and at the show. Accordingly publicity is our third largest single expenditure item.

Feed back from those visitors and exhibitors we spoke with on the weekend, or whom have contacted us since (which we appreciate greatly) was on the whole very positive. Most liked the wide array of genres presented, the simplified free guide and the inclusion of many skilled modelers who were willing and able to give advice on modelling matters to fellow exhibitors, modelers and novices alike. As usual the working boats and particularly the submarines twice daily in the swimming pool proved enthralling. The public hot food went down well to coin a phrase, with the vendor reporting several times that he’d run out of bacon or burgers and despite bringing a stand full each day. The exhibitors managed to work their way through 300 sandwiches, 200 packets of crisps, 6 packets of biscuits, 12 pints of milk, 700 hundred tea bags and two jars of coffee and our utmost thanks go to the ‘backroom girls’ for sorting all this.

On a personal note as Exhibition Manager. I was pleased with the ease with which we set up the show Friday and operated it over the weekend, for which all concerned have my thanks. As ever the exhibit quality was high but a few displays which i felt worthy of extra note were; the large scale flying display by High Peak MFC, as this years was fantastic! The Battlestar glactica display by Phill Cocking, which is both brilliant and shows real dedication in being completely scratch built! and the Airfix SIG, who’d changed their display style since 2015, to better suit a hands on and interactive style for our show, cheers guys!

having put the show to bed for another year so to speak, the overall conclusion was that: the event was a success and that we carry on and on the same weekend in 2017; that we keep the wide array of genres represented; that we will include more working model railways and importantly ones of differing scales, periods and locations; that we will encourage more private sales stands to recycle unwanted models and materials back into the hobby and to swell the purses of existing modelers, clubs and associations; that we dearly need more space and shall endeavor to enlarge the floor space in 2017; that we can no longer cater for our ever growing number of exhibitors and stewards in house and so will be passing this onto a professional next year; that we will look to new ways of publicizing the show.

On behalf of ‘the friends of the model show’ i thank you for your attendance in whatever capacity that was, and if you didn’t come or know of us. Why? Hopefully we will see you on the 9th or 10th December 2017 for our fifth and best show yet.

Mark Henshaw
Exhibition Manager
TMS