Sunday, 8 September 2019

Burgess Hill exhibition

Burgess Hill model railway exhibition
I've talked before about the change in exhibitions over the last few years, how we have moved almost fully away from the old club type show and how it is no more than a travelling circus of 'touring acts'. There are a few of the old style shows around and Burgess Hill fits this bill, though how they would like to be described as such is questionable.  The show is invited (mainly local-ish) individuals and neighbouring clubs, aimed squarely at a family audience - to coin a phrase - a local show for local people. Where these type of exhibitions score is the atmosphere, a  notably sweaty atmosphere today at late morning when it got quite packed with punters.

The structure an easy one: keep it simple, don't go for the barn type venue, keep the layouts approachable and achievable. Is this aiming low? Not at all. In some cases exhibitions try to get a raft of 'star' layouts which on the face of it should bring huge crowds, but sometimes the demographic of the area defeats this and you end up with a huge bill for accommodation and an empty hall. Result: next year the pressure is to increase ticket prices or increase the trade, ending up with a room full of competing box shifters and a spiral downwards. We've all seen local shows move to a bigger venue and then try to punch above their weight and end up losing. Smart is the manager who knows his audience and works within the boundaries of their spending power.

What I did notice was that in many cases I think it's nearly packing up time, look at my phone and realise that it's only 14.30. Yesterday this didn't happen, I was chatting to the bitter end and I think this small point speaks volumes. My only complaint as an exhibitor was the lack of free-running tea which I think is a must.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. It was a very enjoyable show, well organised with a lot of friendly help from BHMRC members. Even one of the traders came and chatted!