Jump to content
  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
Dave

UK Model Railway Exhibitions

Rate this question

Question

Hi Guys,

 

I'm starting to do model railway exhibitions in the UK. I have booked into Perth and I am doing Glasgow next year. I have looked at Warley but the costs for a trade stand are very hard to justify.

I have a list of exhibitions but would appreciate some feedback.

So! Can anyone recommend some good exhibitions in the UK? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

23 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
14 minutes ago, Dave said:

Hi Guys,

 

I'm starting to do model railway exhibitions in the UK. I have booked into Perth and I am doing Glasgow next year. I have looked at Warley but the costs for a trade stand are very hard to justify.

I have a list of exhibitions but would appreciate some feedback.

So! Can anyone recommend some good exhibitions in the UK? 

It's worth looking at Stafford - quite big, but still fairly civilised, not the scrum of Warley - reasonably central and gets good crowds - around the first weekend of February every year. Short notice for this year?

 

@Mike 84C has been, a couple of years ago, if you want another opinion.

 

If you need a hand there, I'm a couple of miles away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
5 minutes ago, Dave said:

Hi Guys,

 

I'm starting to do model railway exhibitions in the UK. I have booked into Perth and I am doing Glasgow next year. I have looked at Warley but the costs for a trade stand are very hard to justify.

I have a list of exhibitions but would appreciate some feedback.

So! Can anyone recommend some good exhibitions in the UK? 

Hi Dave,

York, Peterbrough and Doncaster are also supposed to be good. The Great Electric Train show sponsored by Hornby Mag (I think), Ally Pally are all fairly big shows. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Dont forget at most of the UK shows there are businesses making baseboards etc. The size of the market in the UK allows this. Your in the sea now with the sharks. Offer something that they dont have and be able to sell it to them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, Blaine said:

Dont forget at most of the UK shows there are businesses making baseboards etc. The size of the market in the UK allows this. Your in the sea now with the sharks. Offer something that they dont have and be able to sell it to them

The current trade attendees at the upcoming Stafford exhibition are at the bottom of this - http://www.staffordrailwaycircle.org.uk/exhibition/ - I'm not sure if any are baseboard providers, but I can't remember seeing one there in the past, though it is quite possible that there was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Despite the fact I spend quite a bit of money with Hornby magazine I still can't get into that show. They are fully booked. But I have said if I can't get in this year I won't be advertising with them anymore.

I like the idea of Stafford and I have emailed them.

I'm not worried about my UK competitors, I can beat their prices and find they are slow to deal with enquires which gives me an edge. Since the new year I have taken in nearly 10k in orders just from the UK alone!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

St Neots is a good show and they get over 3000 visitors over the weekend.

 I've heard Milton Keynes get good attendance, especially for a one day show. Catering more for the non specialist side of the hobby, there may be lots of folk who would like custom made boards there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 20/01/2018 at 10:04 PM, David Holman said:

St Neots is a good show and they get over 3000 visitors over the weekend.

 I've heard Milton Keynes get good attendance, especially for a one day show. Catering more for the non specialist side of the hobby, there may be lots of folk who would like custom made boards there.

Great, thanks David. I will email them

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On ‎17‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 1:43 PM, Dave said:

Hi Guys,

 

I'm starting to do model railway exhibitions in the UK. I have booked into Perth and I am doing Glasgow next year. I have looked at Warley but the costs for a trade stand are very hard to justify.

I have a list of exhibitions but would appreciate some feedback.

So! Can anyone recommend some good exhibitions in the UK? 

 

Hi David,  who did you contact re: Glasgow?  I have tried to contact them  a coupe of times previously via their website but got no replay or acknowledgment from them. 

Regards,  John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
58 minutes ago, irishmail said:

 

Hi David,  who did you contact re: Glasgow?  I have tried to contact them  a coupe of times previously via their website but got no replay or acknowledgment from them. 

Regards,  John

John, a friend of mine had a similar problem a couple of years ago. I spoke to the Glasgow exhibition manager, Ian Porteous, on his behalf, and was given an email address for direct contact. The layout, 'Bleach Green', subsequently appeared at Glasgow the following year. If you have not already tried it, the address is   ExhibitionManager@modelrail-scotland.co.uk

  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
3 hours ago, Dhu Varren said:

John, a friend of mine had a similar problem a couple of years ago. I spoke to the Glasgow exhibition manager, Ian Porteous, on his behalf, and was given an email address for direct contact. The layout, 'Bleach Green', subsequently appeared at Glasgow the following year. If you have not already tried it, the address is   ExhibitionManager@modelrail-scotland.co.uk

Thanks for that, :)  

Regards,  John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Well, it was Stafford today (and yesterday). I didn't see any baseboard purveyors and I did overhear two people who were looking for components - dowels, clips, etc.

There were three halls - not the best photos below, but they might give some idea of the scale.

Mr MegaPoints was there, he may be prepared to give you a trader's-eye resumé from his viewpoint.

 

DSCN7509.JPG

DSCN7502.JPG

DSCN7496.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
21 hours ago, Broithe said:

Well, it was Stafford today (and yesterday). I didn't see any baseboard purveyors and I did overhear two people who were looking for components - dowels, clips, etc.

There were three halls - not the best photos below, but they might give some idea of the scale.

Mr MegaPoints was there, he may be prepared to give you a trader's-eye resumé from his viewpoint.

 

DSCN7509.JPG

DSCN7502.JPG

DSCN7496.JPG

Unfortunately the show was fully booked and is fully booked for next year. I'm on a waiting list!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
3 hours ago, Dave said:

Unfortunately the show was fully booked and is fully booked for next year. I'm on a waiting list!

There was a non-attended stand on Sunday (for whatever reason) - they may have an emergency replacement system, given enough notice for/from both parties..?

Presumably, there wasn't enough time to organise anybody to fill in this time, it could have been a last minute situation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
16 hours ago, Broithe said:

There are toy/train fairs at the same location, every couple of months.

http://www.barrypotterfairs.com/fairs.php?fair=19

They are 40/50% railway, and take place in two of the three halls seen above. They might fit in with a Saturday exhibition somewhere else?

I tried a toy fair in Cardiff and one in Carmarthen the following  day,  it was a complete disaster! If I'm doing shows in the UK I would rather them 100% focused on railway. I also plan to deliver layouts when going to the shows. I have 2 layouts to deliver around London next month and I'm booked into Alexander Palace so hopefully it will be a good weekend.

Looking at the pictures you posted there seemed to be a lot of free space at that show.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Dave

I can only comment on the exhibitions which I attend as a customer locally. I think I am right in saying that NONE of them had a baseboard manufacturer this year - easy to check the Traders on UK Model Shops?

At this time of year I go to Guildford (just one day), Southampton (two days and very popular), Alton (last weekend - many traders and few layouts! Two days) and two days at Basingstoke in March (where the idea for Provincial Wagons was born!).

Obviously, I have no views on the level of trade, as Irish models are a minority sport. None of them ever looked great for selling my other commodity - books - for the RPSI. A lot of competition there anyway.

IF your boards are cheaper than the local stuff, then it must be worth a go, but as already stated by others, there are quite a few guys in the same business over here.

There's also the Scale Four Society's events in Aylesbury and Wakefield, but the ones I've been at have had a baseboard seller there.

Good luck

Leslie

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I agree about the fairs, just thought I would mention it in case it fitted in with something else.

I agree with @leslie10646, I don't recall ever seeing a baseboard manufacturer at any show that I've been to.

In my uninformed opinion, I would expect prefabricated baseboards to sell a little better down south than up north.

Edited by Broithe
Err, typing the actual right word this time..
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thanks Chaps,  it does seem that the baseboard manufacturers don't do many shows anymore. Maybe it's a case of they feel they have their name out there and don't need to be at the shows anymore.

It's just going to take a bit of time to get established with the club's.

 

Many thanks for all your input. Keep the ideas coming!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Dave

I think that you have hit the nail on the head - the established baseboard men are just that and rely on people to go to them, via a website, or via small ads in the magazines.

Exhibition attendance is expensive especially if you have to cross the Irish Sea, as I know to my cost (pun intended).

Leslie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
15 hours ago, leslie10646 said:

Dave

I think that you have hit the nail on the head - the established baseboard men are just that and rely on people to go to them, via a website, or via small ads in the magazines.

Exhibition attendance is expensive especially if you have to cross the Irish Sea, as I know to my cost (pun intended).

Leslie

A lot of companies get complacent and think they have made it then pull back from the public eye.  I have worked in sales and marketing for years and seen this time and time again.

 Promoting a business can be expensive but well worth it, some of the shows I do here can be quiet and product sales can be slow. But when someone picks up a leaflet you could get a call months later for a layout or baseboards. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
5 minutes ago, Dave said:

A lot of companies get complacent and think they have made it then pull back from the public eye.  I have worked in sales and marketing for years and seen this time and time again.

 Promoting a business can be expensive but well worth it, some of the shows I do here can be quiet and product sales can be slow. But when someone picks up a leaflet you could get a call months later for a layout or baseboards. 

Particularly for your sort of product, there is nothing like actually seeing one in front of you.

Many people will consider buying one for years, even decades, and just keep putting it off, but seeing the reality in front of them can easily be the tipping point.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 07/02/2018 at 1:45 PM, Broithe said:

Particularly for your sort of product, there is nothing like actually seeing one in front of you.

Many people will consider buying one for years, even decades, and just keep putting it off, but seeing the reality in front of them can easily be the tipping point.

I have had a good few customers that had wanted a layout and wait years, then see the baseboards and order.

Now that I am set up in the new workshop I have a guy making baseboards full time so waiting periods have dropped from months to a week or so.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

Terms of Use