Exhibition Venues

Flag up Exhibitions and Events in your area, or that others may not hear about.
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Bufferstop
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Exhibition Venues

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:42 pm

Went to the Leamington and Warwicks Exhibition Yesterday, having failed to get in the car parks on Saturday. It was the second show staged at Royal Leamington Spa College (Mid Warwicks College of FE in my day) and I have to say the venue leaves me unimpressed. What sort of venues do you prefer, I go for a single hall or two largish rooms, rather than a conglomeration of rooms off corridors and circulation spaces. I know clubs have to watch the costs but the amount of manpower that went into admitting cars and people and shepherding them to the right places must have stretched the clubs resoutces at the expenses of supplying operators on the displays.
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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby Ex-Pat » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:36 pm

Bufferstop wrote: I go for a single hall or two largish rooms, rather than a conglomeration of rooms off corridors and circulation spaces.


Me too - I only get to Glasgow, Warley and Bangor (Co. Down) these days - the latter more or less comes into your latter category, whereas the 2 former are my cup of tea. Always used to like the East Midlands show at Nottingham, and many others round the country.

I went to the Leamington Show many years ago but obviously it was a different location (somewhere just north-west of the station) and that was, from memeory, perfectly ok.

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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby b308 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:46 pm

As an exhibitor anything that is well lit, one reason I don't like the big halls like the Leamington mob used up to a couple of years ago, though I was also not impressed with the current venue, though I went by train so had no issues parking (there's plenty of on street around it, though) but the worst of the lot for lighting must be Warley at the NEC...

Also I wish they wouldn't try to squeeze a quart into a pint pot, one of my favourite shows, the Small and Delightful NG Group held their last show last month and some of the rooms were hot and humid, too may layouts and too many people trying to squeeze in, not the best conditions for holding a show in...

As an exhibitor of smaller gauges one thing I have noticed is that schools are some of the worst venues for humidity/dampness which affects the running of many layouts... Must be the residue from the kids during the week!

I tend to go to many of the smaller shows and TBH most modern "village halls" seem to be the best venues, dry, well lit and clean...

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Dave
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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby Dave » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:09 pm

b308 wrote: but the worst of the lot for lighting must be Warley at the NEC...

Have you tried Hull, they use a sports hall at the athletics stadium, the lighting is that old fashioned orange tinted stuff. It is awful

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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Mar 06, 2017 9:10 pm

The trouble with "exhibition" halls is that they are designed for commercial exhibitions who bring their own lighting rigs or have fully lit stands. NEC hall 5 is typical. Slightly smaller multi purpose halls are usually better lit. I've worked in Hall 5 during setup and knock down and there's a lot more natural light as some of those big roller doors are open.
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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby alex3410 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:00 pm

Halls would be my preferred option, so long as they are organised well! Schools, churches and the like are my least liked ones as they tend to be a tad squished in - some school halls are ok but the ones in classrooms & hall ways don't leave allot of room

I have not been to the show at the NEC, I would like to but it ends up costing allot & I don't really like crowed events so it's kind of off putting.

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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby Bufferstop » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:25 pm

The NEC is definitely not for you Alex, at least not the Warley show in Hall 5. I think the best I've been to for some time were the ones Leamington and Warks put on at Stoneleigh showground. The halls were just big enough to get everything in the one hall without being jammed in like sardines, it had decent on site catering too. The only downside was public transport always involved a dedicated bus from Coventry.
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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby b308 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:33 am

I found the Stoneleigh the same as the NEC, Bufferstop, the lighting was very poor! Thanks, Dave, I'll try to avoid Hull (had an invite there once but couldn't go, sounds like a lucky escape!)... :)

Speaking as an ex Exhibition Manager, Alex, I agree that many shows are too "squashed in", but it's not just the small venues that have that issue... The rule of thumb is that the passages between the layouts should be a minimum of 6ft to allow for people standing either side and through flow between them. Many venues seem to squeeze that rule somewhat... Once I'd realised that "rule" I tended to plan for 10ft and then if a layout was slightly bigger than the owner said it was I'd still have some wriggle room(!)...

You'd be surprised just how far out many owners are with the measurements of their layouts, unfortunately always smaller than it is. When planning (using the tried and trusted method of a large scale outline plan of the hall and lots of scale cut-outs of the various layouts to juggle around!) I allowed a foot between layouts for "expansion". together with a couple of feet behind for exhibitors to stand (surprising how easy that is to miss and then causes issues in the passages)...

A badly planned exhibition is a poor reflection on the organising Club and the Exhibition Manager, there is no excuse for it to be cramped if planned properly...

Key Rules - Wide passages and Don't try to fit too much in!

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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby Bufferstop » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:13 am

Six foot passage ways only really allow for one person looking each way and one passing through, and make absolutely no allowance for the large number of monster backpacks seen at many exhibitions. Why do they use them? They are hardly convenient for stowing items bought or collected from stands. Once on your back it's impossible to open them and put something in. Or do they always work in pairs each doing the stowing for their partner?
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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby alex3410 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:35 am

I am sure they make a game of it seeing how many people they can hit with them :twisted:

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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby b308 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:36 am

Lord knows why!

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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby RailwayRobbo » Wed May 03, 2017 3:37 pm

I usually get to around 6 or 7 exhibitions a year.
If I can get there by train that's good for me from either Kettering or Northampton.
I'm off to Derby this weekend and the train practically drops you at the door as it is held in the old roundhouse building which was part of the Loco Works. Unfortunately like Leamington (which I visited in 2016 and I'll not be going back) the roundhouse is now part of Derby Technical College and can get really crowded. I'm thinking of trying Sunday this year and see if it is less crowded. It can be quite a claustrophobic venue when it's busy.
Stafford is usually good with a free bus from the station to the Showground, as is the Great Electric Train Show at the Motor Museum in Gaydon (free bus from Leamington on the Saturday only).
Warley I've been attending for a good few years now (and threatening never to go again but it's under a tenner return from Northampton) but I went on Sunday for the first time last year and there was a definite difference in the attendance. It was much easier to get round and see the layouts.
I go by car to the exhibitions more local to me which are the 2 shows in Milton Keynes (wife usually drops me off and goes shopping) and the Peterborough show at the East of England Showground.
However my favourite exhibition is the Great Central 3 day show, a nice mix of models and the real thing. I go on the Friday from Kettering to Loughborough on the train then a 10 minute walk to the GCR station. The good thing about the GC event is that at any one time part of the crowd are either riding or waiting for trains which makes the main tent a little less crowded.

Forgot to mention the East Anglia MRE which is held in the Bittern Arena at the Wood Green Animal Charity Centre near Huntingdon (about half an hours drive for me). I went for the first time this year and it was a good show. It's in the middle of nowhere but they run a free bus from Huntingdon station on the East Coast mainline.

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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby Pennine MC » Wed May 03, 2017 4:21 pm

b308 wrote:... Thanks, Dave, I'll try to avoid Hull (had an invite there once but couldn't go, sounds like a lucky escape!)... :)



As a member of the organising club I'm probably a bit over-twitchy at this remark, but I honestly wouldn't say the lighting at the Costello is significantly better or worse than most sports halls (and one does tend to expect any layout worth exhibiting to have its own lighting rig). But, we do have wide walkways :D

Bufferstop wrote:. Why do they use [backpacks]? They are hardly convenient for stowing items bought or collected from stands. Once on your back it's impossible to open them and put something in. ..


Could be lots of reasons most folk don't even think about - dietary requirements, medical essentials... like anything, it's not the item, it's the way it's used.

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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby b308 » Wed May 03, 2017 7:16 pm

Pennine MC wrote:
b308 wrote:... Thanks, Dave, I'll try to avoid Hull (had an invite there once but couldn't go, sounds like a lucky escape!)... :)



As a member of the organising club I'm probably a bit over-twitchy at this remark, but I honestly wouldn't say the lighting at the Costello is significantly better or worse than most sports halls (and one does tend to expect any layout worth exhibiting to have its own lighting rig).


I could get twitchy about that comment as well! A decent lighting rig can take up a fair bit of space and I couldn't fit one in the car as well as the layout, me, my assistant and everything else... Much as I'd like to have a bigger car or be able to hire a van it's not going to happen... I use some spotlights on stalks if I have to which i can fit in but a full rig is a none-starter... There's an exhibition near Wolverhampton which is in a sports hall and the lighting is great so it can be done...

The shows I've organised I have tried to ensure that the hall has a decent mix of natural and artificial lights but I appreciate that's not always possible, though if it was somewhere I'd not been before I'd prefer a heads up from the organizer before I went so I could try to sort something out! The reason for my comment is that no-one mentioned this to me at the time but it is something that perhaps organizers need to mention if it's a known issue?

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Re: Exhibition Venues

Postby Pennine MC » Thu May 04, 2017 11:52 am

b308 wrote:[... A decent lighting rig can take up a fair bit of space and I couldn't fit one in the car as well as the layout, me, my assistant and everything else... I use some spotlights on stalks if I have to which i can fit in but a full rig is a none-starter...


OK, we're possibly getting bogged down with semantics here but as I could have made a better choice of words - for 'lighting rig', substitute 'own lighting', in whatever form.

There's an exhibition near Wolverhampton which is in a sports hall and the lighting is great so it can be done...


Indeed, but as you will surely be aware, choice of venue can't hang simply on one criteria out of many. Choose somewhere with great lighting, it might be unsuitable in other ways (cost, availability on a given date, access/parking, catering; the list goes on).

...The shows I've organised I have tried to ensure that the hall has a decent mix of natural and artificial lights but I appreciate that's not always possible, though if it was somewhere I'd not been before I'd prefer a heads up from the organizer before I went so I could try to sort something out! The reason for my comment is that no-one mentioned this to me at the time but it is something that perhaps organizers need to mention if it's a known issue?[/


I don't know if I'd go so far as to call hall lighting (whether at Hull or anywhere else) a 'known issue' that one should be advised of beforehand. Maybe we have different expectations on that score, I'd personally just take it as a given that a sports hall in particular is very likely going to have pretty poor lighting for our purposes. I can only speak from my own experience of going out with club and various mates' layouts, and none of them would ever rely purely on a venue's own lighting being enough.


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