Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

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barr7430
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Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by barr7430 » Mon May 30, 2011 9:10 am

Aaah Eeeh Aaah Eeeh Aaah... Wah Wah Wah..... (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly :oops: ) or some might say... Bob, Ade and Barry at Partizan although which is which I will leave to you :wink:

I very much enjoyed our visit to 1st Partizan yesterday at which we demo-ed Walcourt 1689... photos in the Gallery later today... but that was the quietest I have ever seen the mighty Newark show in 17 years of attendance (roughly 30 visits). Missing traders, Missing clubs, missing punters... By 3pm there was virtually no one but the exhibitors and traders left which is almost unheard of. Even in the morning the usual 10-1pm rugby scrum was absent. Having talked to a few people about it, near collosion with Triples at Sheffield was blamed but those who had been there said Sheffield was very poorly attended also, so could iut really have been that?

Was the country in mourning for Man Utd? :roll: .. doen't think so because in the pub we ate in on the previous night all the English fellas were shouting for Barcelona :shock: United have turned into that brand that everyone who doesn't support them loves to hate. Same as rock groups and tv programmes...

So.. the mystery of Kelham. I asked the traders I know if they had seem an appreciable dip in per capita spend from customers over the period of the so called Recession and the answer was ... NO. Some had seen a plateu-ing, others a gentle rise.

So.. why did the tumbleweed blow down the high street of Kelham on Sunday... :?:
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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by theoldschool » Mon May 30, 2011 10:18 am

I don't think it is any one reason, more a culmination of factors:

1. The organisers of Partizan have to a degree become complacent and are perhaps beginning to take their punters for granted. For a long time the premier show, it was the must see for a lot of gamers, but it has failed to move on. Same old venue with poor facilities, appalling lighting and with a few exceptions they have not maintained the quality of displays.

2. The web. It is easy to buy on line and most manufactures have decent photos of their wares. Shows used to be where you got to see and buy the latest goodies and with the growth in blogs and web sites you can get your eye candy at the touch of a mouse.

3. The economy. It may be true that companies are seeing their trade holding up or even growing a little. In difficult economic times it generally holds true that people will still try to indulge their hobbies, if only to alleviate the general gloom. However, money is still tight and the cash spent driving to shows, paying for hotels and meals can instead be used to buy the new figures, terrain or rules.

4. Many shows are not doing enough to drive customers to their event. For a hard core of gamers the show circuit is as much a social event as anything else. Nice looking games and some decent trade are to some extent a bonus. However, more effort is need to maintain and grow the customer base (see point 1).

I could go on ... and on. Maybe it's time to make shows more of an event. Painting/modelling masterclasses, American style participation games, somewhere decent for the punters to sit down and socialise and for God's sake improve the quality of the food!

Pat
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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by barr7430 » Mon May 30, 2011 10:50 am

Many good points Pat and I think you have hit the bullseye more than once there...
For me, key points were:

1. BULLSEYE:The social event. We enjoyed our evening at the Bates Motel and Bar and Grill probably just as much as the show (we certainly laughed more in the pub!!!)

2. BULLSEYE:The venue at Partizan is a bit 90's (1890s). It is gloomy, the food is shit and the same traders appear in the same spots time after time. It is THE place to see brilliant games but actually for the first time ever I thought it looked like a quite tired little provincial show which I have never sensed before. It normally has a disproportionate smattering of the 'Glitterati' either demo-ing or at least ligging but this year that was not evident. It seemed a little sad, forlorn and akin to some of more desperate events which have evaded the vet's needle for too long. The organization and the Newark Irregulars are always spot on in terms of friendliness and assistance but it maybe time to seriously consider change of venue and set up at least. Claymore has benefitted from that.

3. BULLSEYE: UK Shows need to be done better. They need more pzazz or they are in danger of reinforcing the stereotypes of the hobby... grumpy old buggers in cardigans in church halls. That is a nettle that few I think will be prepared to grasp as it needs money, energy, a hide as thick as Chobham armour and masses of creativity. It is probably a 'no win' situation unless taken on by a company say... Battlefront?


We'll see if anyone else has something to say.. we are not usually shy! :wink:
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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by kiwipeterh » Mon May 30, 2011 11:52 am

barr7430 wrote: It normally has a disproportionate smattering of the 'Glitterati' either demo-ing or at least ligging but this year that was not evident.:wink:
Well some of the 'Glitterati' missing were the Perry twins who would've been there except they were in Wellington, NZ at the time.

FWIW I attended Partizan in 2009. Partizan was crowded to the point of it being difficult to move around and hard to browse the wares though in fairness it did ease up later in the day. Of course the bustle added to the atmosphere in a way. Some times you cannot win!! :lol: Some rooms were badly lit which made it hard to get a good look at some of the games.

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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by bibio » Mon May 30, 2011 11:53 am

[
barr7430 wrote:. BULLSEYE: UK Shows need to be done better. They need more pzazz or they are in danger of reinforcing the stereotypes of the hobby... grumpy old buggers in cardigans in church halls
Most gamers are now grumpy old men ,maybe not all in cardigans.shows seem to have to have two large groups of attendees the blokes who have been about for years and ages up to fourteen .The group in between is noticable because there seem to be so few of them.
I've not been to an English show for yeats but with the exeptios of the first Falkirk show and the new Claymore venue there is very little comfortable socialising space at the Scottish shows it becomes look at the displays,buy your stuff and get out to the nearest pub,cafe or somethingsomewhere to get a smoke.

iain
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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by CoffinDodger » Mon May 30, 2011 11:59 am

As I am probably one of the old farts mentioned, I can remember hearing the exact same comments in the early seventies when I was a young fart; yet still the hobby flourishes. I believe it's cyclical and all shows go through a period where they look stale or have an "off-year" only to be either revamped and bounce back better than ever or succumb to Darwin's theory.

Jim
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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by obriendavid » Mon May 30, 2011 12:21 pm

It will be interesting to see if the show bounces back for the September Partizan and hopefully I can make that one.

Lighting has always been a major issue at the show as has the food, or lack of it unless you class chips (French fries) as a good meal.
Looking forward to seeing the pics Barry, did you take any of Hugh's game?
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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by toggy » Mon May 30, 2011 12:48 pm

Very noticeable from early on that numbers both in terms of punters & traders were way down on previous partizans. I thought the standard of games was excellent as usual although at least 2 games were on their second or more runout at the show.

However I don't think partizan is alone in being a bit disappointing this year, as Salute didn't live up to all the pre-match hype it receives, and although not attending the triples gig, there was not a lot of positive comment about that show either.

Maybe things like Dave Imrie & friends painting masterclass at Claymore a couple of years ago, figure designers to discuss ranges are what people want as well as the more expected fare of display/participation games & tradestands.

Certainly the LOA game was well populated with the public, many just admiring Ade's fantastic terrain & Barry's superb figures, but many more seeking out details regarding BLB2 and also Warfare Minis new range.

All in all a great weekend though


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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by Ben Waterhouse » Mon May 30, 2011 2:14 pm

Money - lack of.

I'm having a 14% pay cut from 1st September so the horns are being drawn in.

I've known of this since January so no shows for me this year as we down size our various financial commitments and only a few for next year depending on how the "fun" disposable income pans out...

I would imagine a fair few are in this boat.

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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by paulos » Tue May 31, 2011 8:54 pm

I think the lack of punters could have been down to the bank holiday weekend and the start of the half term hols. Made the trip myself but was under strict instructions to be back early from she who must be obeyed. :roll:
Perhaps the organisers need to be mindful of the public holidays in future and avoid specific dates. Would imagine that may also have affected some traders descision to attend especially with 2 other big shows so close.
Partizan is only the second show I have attended this year the other being WMMS and that seemed to be ok in terms of attendance but in recent years would appear to have lost some of the bigger traders. Perhaps in the current climate a single day show has lost some appeal for traders.

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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by barr7430 » Tue May 31, 2011 10:55 pm

Apologies for lack of photos from Partizan. Virus problem on the PC I use for website management so they'll have to wait a couple of days yet
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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by billwargames » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:02 pm

I made the triples show on the Sunday and really enjoyed it, alot of traders I hadnt seen before,and some excellent games there was an exceptional one near to Front Rank stall(Malburian I think).And also a very good punic wars battle using renegade figures.All the traders and gamers were very willing to talk.they did look a bit battle weary from the Saturday.Fair enjoyed it :D

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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by dashing blade » Thu Jun 02, 2011 4:11 am

All valid points Gents, However i thought of attending and then thought of how much it would cost in petrol to get there!
Money i could spend on paint/figures etc.
Can't justify spending £80 on petrol,£10 on dodgy food and £20 on guilt present for the wife! :(
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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by CoffinDodger » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:28 pm

dashing blade wrote: ...and £20 on guilt present for the wife! :(
I can see an immediate saving. :twisted:

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Re: Tumbleweed blows through Kelham

Post by parkinspieces » Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:52 pm

Until Barry sorts himself out, just found these couple of shots of Barry's game on the following Blog;

http://grimsbywargaming.blogspot.com/20 ... -2011.html
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