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Scale ModelWorld 2021 (aka Telford) - is on!


John Tapsell
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Covid is now classified as endemic, so basically get on with life, because it's not going away.

I will be attending on behalf of our club, as it usually falls to me to set up, and I imagine a few more of us will be there.

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Epidemics have a life. The last major world wide one that affected the UK was the H1N1 flu of 1918-20 ('Spanish Flu', although it originated in South East Asia), burnt itself out as more people developed antibodies naturally. H1N1 is still with us, but is only a very small component of the annual winter flu season. 

Covid19 is not flu virus, it is a coronavirus, one of a group of virus that causes colds, but some strains are also responsible for the SARS and MERS outbreaks. Like all novel infections, when they first appear there is no immunity to them. Vaccination helps to reduce the incidence and severity of the disease, but there needs to be really high rates of uptake across a population to benefit fully from a vaccine. The simple measures like good hand hygenie, distancing and mask wearing all help to reduce the spread by reducing exposure. One reason why certain groups suffered some much at the beginning of the pandemic is that they were exposed to massive virus loads. I suspect that all of us have been exposed to some level of the virus, but not enough to cause the illness. 

Life is going to have to carry on and we are going to learn how to do things differently, and hopefully better. I haven't made up my mind yet about SMW. I am sure IPMS and TIC are thinking carefully about how to stage the event. If there are less stalls etc, it gives them the option of creating more space for people to keep their distance. 

Covid19 is not going to go away overnight, but may become less of an issue. 

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1 hour ago, Jon Bryon said:

I do worry that this is the beginning of the end of SMW, at least at the scale we've been used to for many years. I am going for the whole weekend, but clubs, SIGS, traders and punters seem to be stating their plans to not attend left, right and centre.

Inevitably there will be some drop off and I think the show will be somewhat smaller as a result.  But let's be glad it's taking place at all. It will still be the largest and most interesting show in the UK this year. It's certainly going to be the one to compete at, if you want an award, as the competition will be less fierce than normal.

I'm looking forward to going.

It will be interesting to see if the vibe is different as covid fear will tend to make the attendees younger, healthier and bolder.

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Forgive my ignorance but do we need Covid pass letters to attend SMW?

 

I have two vaccination certification cards in my wallet which I’d assumed would be enough to get me in if someone wants to see them.

 

If I have to start faffing around getting a special letter from the NHS as well, I might give it a miss.

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17 hours ago, Jon Bryon said:

I do worry that this is the beginning of the end of SMW, at least at the scale we've been used to for many years. 

 

Even without CV-19 the Show was going to find it challenging to attract the same level of commitment from European exhibitors due to the UK's change of status. I know many UK Traders who regularly attended the larger shows on the continent who have dropped them due to the new Customs regulations making it impractical and too expensive.

That the organisers are having to deal with the effects of a pandemic at the same time just makes matters more difficult for them and for the success of the show as in the vast majority of cases it's the income generated from selling trade space that provides the funds for Clubs to host Shows in the first place.

 

Duncan B

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Just now, Timmas said:

Forgive my ignorance but do we need Covid pass letters to attend SMW?

 

I have two vaccination certification cards in my wallet which I’d assumed would be enough to get me in if someone wants to see them.

 

If I have to start faffing around getting a special letter from the NHS as well, I might give it a miss.

Almost certainly. There's a link in a comment earlier to enable you to get one, or, if you have a smartphone, you can get an app from the NHS which contains a covid "passport".

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58 minutes ago, Whofan said:

Almost certainly. There's a link in a comment earlier to enable you to get one, or, if you have a smartphone, you can get an app from the NHS which contains a covid "passport".

Thanks, just seen the link.

 

I'd hoped our vax certs would be enough as they show the date and place of vaccination, the manufacturer and the batch number and the administing nurse's signature. But apparently not.

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14 hours ago, Mr T said:

If there are less stalls etc, it gives them the option of creating more space for people to keep their distance. 

Covid19 is not going to go away overnight, but may become less of an issue. 

 

Leaving COVID-19 aside for a moment, even at the best of years the IPMS accounts published annually show that ticket sales are insignificant and almost all of the venue charge(by far the biggest bit - more than all the rest combined) is covered by traders.

 

This comes down to cold hard cash. The Americans and Koreans I know aren't coming. Most of the Europeans aren't coming either due to COVID, VAT hassles due to Brexit or both. Numerous British regulars are thinking "this will almost certainly under perform compared to usual, so let's not bother".

 

Make no mistake. The traders fund this weekend out, and there are a lot of regular traders not coming. Everyone had better hope the Telford International Centre has significantly lowered their venue hire charge expectations - because otherwise this doesn't appear to add up. Even those who do turn up with their trade stands are definitely going to have fewer punters to sell to. Hannants and the like will probably do alright but I don't fancy the chances of small specialist vendors.

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3 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

 

Leaving COVID-19 aside for a moment, even at the best of years the IPMS accounts published annually show that ticket sales are insignificant and almost all of the venue charge(by far the biggest bit - more than all the rest combined) is covered by traders.

 

This comes down to cold hard cash. The Americans and Koreans I know aren't coming. Most of the Europeans aren't coming either due to COVID, VAT hassles due to Brexit or both. Numerous British regulars are thinking "this will almost certainly under perform compared to usual, so let's not bother".

 

Make no mistake. The traders fund this weekend out, and there are a lot of regular traders not coming. Everyone had better hope the Telford International Centre has significantly lowered their venue hire charge expectations - because otherwise this doesn't appear to add up. Even those who do turn up with their trade stands are definitely going to have fewer punters to sell to. Hannants and the like will probably do alright but I don't fancy the chances of small specialist vendors.

 

Jamie, 

 

I hope that your general gloom is misplaced.

 

Covid on its own has harmed the show. Coupled with the problems caused by leaving the EU, the harm is significant. 

 

However, I hope most of the charming and (my) wallet loosening  small specialist vendors won’t be so badly hit, because it’s those guys I certainly tend to spend money with, and I imagine that a lot more than just me do.

 

I can get kits etc from Hannants any time, but if it example Aerocraft, or Whirlybird, or EBMA or Freightdog -and these are just examples off the top of my head are there, or Sovereign (I have bought from you at Telford!) I’m more likely to buy something from them rather than say Wonderland, or Antics, or Hannants if not pre-ordered.

 

As a matter of interest, were  you offered a stand this year, or notified of the charge? If so, was it cheaper or dearer than 2019?

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24 minutes ago, Timmas said:

Thanks, just seen the link.

 

I'd hoped our vax certs would be enough as they show the date and place of vaccination, the manufacturer and the batch number and the administing nurse's signature. But apparently not.

The vax  cards would have been enough.......but, the less intelligent social media users decided to take pictures of theirs and plaster them on their pages to show how good they were.

So the fraudsters made their own to sell to the non-vaxxed.

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This years show is certainly going to be interesting on a number of levels and I think most clubs and sigs will attend, But as I've said before I expect us using 2 halls instead of 3. There will always be Jeremiahs  and folk saving themselves up for the victory parade so with the double hit of corvid and brexit we will just have to build things up just like we did in the 80's. 

Don't despair things will improve quicker than you think, oh and applaud the exec for taking the decision 

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5 minutes ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

The vax  cards would have been enough.......but, the less intelligent social media users decided to take pictures of theirs and plaster them on their pages to show how good they were.

So the fraudsters made their own to sell to the non-vaxxed.

Thanks. Some Social Media platforms have definitely revealed characteristics in people that I never thought I'd see.

 

And I can understand why some people don't want the vax and are reluctant to take it.

 

Anyway, I've just been talking to my son who'd like to come to SMW for the first time. He attended a big event recently at the NEC and had to go through the NHS App rigmarole beforehand so I'll take a look at it and get it onto my phone.

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15 minutes ago, Timmas said:

Thanks. Some Social Media platforms have definitely revealed characteristics in people that I never thought I'd see.

 

And I can understand why some people don't want the vax and are reluctant to take it.

 

Anyway, I've just been talking to my son who'd like to come to SMW for the first time. He attended a big event recently at the NEC and had to go through the NHS App rigmarole beforehand so I'll take a look at it and get it onto my phone.

 

I will be attending SMW along with SWMBO (as long as we are allowed to). I too thought that the card would be enough having got mine laminated so that it would last longer than just the card. But on seeing that this not good enough I applied for the passport thingy in a letter (not being that good with moden tech) and within 4 working days of applying it was in my sticky hands. Do get yours and have a good time at the show.

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On 9/11/2021 at 10:58 AM, Whofan said:

As a matter of interest, were  you offered a stand this year, or notified of the charge? If so, was it cheaper or dearer than 2019?

 

Hi,

 

I didn't express any interest in taking one and in fact haven't since getting some shirty emails addressed to "Jeff" in 2019. there is a new show manager now though and following a blog post my wife wrote on our experience of attending UK shows in general that was reshared a few times and reblogged by one or two commentators on social media too the new show manager got in touch with her about getting some feedback.

 

Notwithstanding that, there's always this perception that we're all falling over ourselves for the opportunity to finance SMW and there's a clamour for trade space and a big waiting list of others if we don't obey all the barked orders and cough up fast enough etc but it's bluster. I've known of tables being available well into Q3 of the year and there's usually unfilled space.

 

 

What I have done though is a bit of digging into what the commercial model is at the IPMS USA Nationals, and found it interesting. Absolutely minimal club/SIG displays, much cheaper fees for trade space and instead the competition pays a significant share with, I'm told, a $65 per entry fee to compete. The lack of club tables does not seem to have had the negative effect on attendence that many would assume.

 

TBH for some traders - definitely more than just us, but probably not all - it's not really that appealing. There are for example second hand kit vendors who rely on shows as their primary business model. I can't speak for the more mature cottage industries which haven't embraced the digital age either. There are definitely some of us however built from the ground up around distance selling and we do perfectly well through our webstores with minimal overheads and it fits around the rest of our lives fairly well. Shows add large additional costs to do business, are very hard work, and even then we get inundated with cretins who expect a discount on our pricing. We can get bigger revenues over a weekend than we would staying at home, but we can make more profit from webstore sales but with a lot less turnover needed. The money aspect of shows simply isn't attractive for us, which coupled with the rest of the experience makes a very compelling case for staying at home!

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1 hour ago, Whofan said:

 

J

 

I can get kits etc from Hannants any time, but if it example Aerocraft, or Whirlybird, or EBMA or Freightdog -and these are just examples off the top of my head are there, 

 

Of the 5 traders you mention there, I have seen posts from some of them mentioning that they will not be trading, just possibly visiting.

We are all still waiting for the IPMS to give some better info and a list on who is trading. 

 

I have told the IPMS that I am waiting till later in month to make a decision because many of my members (including myself) want to know more, about how the event will run.   I will if some of them want to go, (or think at moment that they do) book display space, so that they will have a display space, but I am also prepared to cancel it later, once we know more.      

 

Attending Telford, for many people - myself included - is a 3-day, 2-night affair.   Plus a reasonable amount of time in the car travelling.  

 

 

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Important note:

 

Anyone living in Wales as I do, won't be able to use the NHS App as I've just discovered. Presumably the same is true for members in Scotland and NI.

 

That's a great start.

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2 minutes ago, Timmas said:

Important note:

 

Anyone living in Wales as I do, won't be able to use the NHS App as I've just discovered. Presumably the same is true for members in Scotland and NI.

 

That's a great start.

There is a NHS Wales website you can get your COVID Pass - https://gov.wales/nhs-covid-pass-prove-your-vaccination-status

 

I assume this will be sufficient? More info here https://gov.wales/nhs-covid-pass-prove-your-vaccination-status#section-70614

 

Hope this helps.

 

P

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32 minutes ago, chrism said:

Of the 5 traders you mention there, I have seen posts from some of them mentioning that they will not be trading, just possibly visiting.

We are all still waiting for the IPMS to give some better info and a list on who is trading. 

Thanks for that. I suppose I mustn't be too surprised, as Jamie has pointed out traders have to balance cost, likely income, and their own health.

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Jamie,

 

thanks for your thoughtful and interesting reply.

 

The point about a fee for the competition is interesting - Perhaps IPMS just introducing say a flat tenner or so  - I believe there are up to a thousand models in the competition - would be a help to them.

 

Being someone who likes to chat to traders - though less at Telford, when they are (hopefully) going to be very busy, I'd been made aware of the costs of actually hiring tables, though not the exact cost, as the traders I've spoken to have been coy about what they pay (and after all, it's their business, so I take no exception) but having worked in the past with retail, I have a working knowledge at least of how expensive it could be to trade at Telford, so my sympathies are wih the traders.

 

Which in my own small way is why I like to actually buy stuff from traders at shows.

 

I take your point at the overall position (costs, hassle, etc) making it unappealing to attend, but sometimes I do think it's a good showcase for some small, specialist traders - for instance Master from Poland, I've seen loads of people at their stand in the past queueing up to buy from them. (I doubt this year I'll see them there)

 

Anyway, the point is that if it goes ahead (and there''s no guarantee), I'll be there, expecting to buy stuff from traders (but not necessarily the big guys), and doing what I do at most shows, enjoying looking at the models produced by club members and displayed, and maybe even talking to a few people there.

 

Edited by Whofan
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The discussion of trade support for SMW is interesting. I have to admit my first visit to the show was mainly to see the modelling, with trade being a supporting act. Contrast this with the Gauge O Guild's shindig that used to be in the same venue earlier in the year, where the visit was for the trade and any model displays an afterthought for me.

 

Of course, I always came away loaded down with goodies, only some of which were bargains. I was also fired up with new ideas and techniques, having had the chance to chat about various display models with their builders.

 

I am disappointed I won’t be attending this year. I hope the more limited event goes well for the organisers, and we can look forward to something better in 2022.

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1 hour ago, KITCAT said:

There will always be Jeremiahs  and folk saving themselves up for the victory parade

There is surely no victory in the decline of model shows no matter which side of the trade tables one occupies. Unfortunately though the bottom line for many Traders is that many model shows that were previously economically viable to trade at are no longer so. For example, my last full season on the circuit before covid (2019) was not a spectacular financial success overall with only a couple of shows actually making any profit for me, some broke even but many were loss making where in the previous years most had either broken even or made a profit. The figures stopped adding up for my continued attendance of many shows and the decision was made, before covid came along and took over, that the loss making shows would not feature on my calendar again in 2020. I know I am not alone in having had to make those decisions as there comes a point for each Trader when they have to decide if attending Show X or Y is actually worth it regardless of what show it is. The future of many shows are on the line if they are not financially viable but the Traders are not taking any pleasure from that or holding Victory Parades to the decline of a marketplace. Many Clubs might have to consider a different approach to funding their shows in the future rather than relying on the income from Traders to cover the bulk of the costs if they want to put shows on.

 

Duncan B

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24 minutes ago, Whofan said:

Being someone who likes to chat to traders - though less at Telford, when they are (hopefully) going to be very busy, I'd been made aware of the costs of actually hiring tables, though not the exact cost

 

 

The first bit there is the last piece of the jigsaw for us specifically. There is little advertising value in it - anyone who's likely to use us probably already knows who we are. I checked back at our records. We paid £585 for the space we had in 2018. We thought we'd booked 2019 and indeed booked accommodation but we had our house fire in Jan '19 when we usually asked for table space and it slipped our minds as obviously SMW is irrelevant juxtaposed next to having fire engines round to visit your home. Space was still available in the August when we thought to ask but for various personal reasons it was a big relief to hear we hadn't committed to it. As Duncan said though, 2019 was a bad year for sales for most traders we're friendly with at shows.

 

We do like seeing folk though. To be honest something as simple as a tea trolley for those paying the bills would result in positive vibes, or having a phone number to text the hall manager to have someone mind the stand for 5 mins while we run to the toilet!

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