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Exhibition cancellations

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I am working towards my first exhibition visit being the local Chichester Lions Club one scheduled for October hoping that by then some semblance of normality will have finally settled down.  I was hoping to attend the rescheduled Ally Pally in August but my gut feeling says that will probably not happen.

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17 hours ago, AY Mod said:

 

There's a lot of things that a lot of people miss Steve, some far, far more important than visiting an exhibition so it's a small thing to have to suck up; probably for the rest of the year.

 

Andy,

 

Whilst what you say is obviously true, I was expressing my individual feelings about one particular aspect of the current situation. Nothing more.

 

steve

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15 minutes ago, steve1 said:

Whilst what you say is obviously true, I was expressing my individual feelings about one particular aspect of the current situation. Nothing more.

 

I just didn't want it to be seen as a starting point for any unnecessary pressure from others to be directed towards show organisers to open doors.

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16 hours ago, AY Mod said:

 

I'm not belittling anyone and I do know what the hobby means to anyone in that position but it doesn't have to involve exhibitions which will be a high risk environment.

 

It is not in anyone's interest to have a show until they can have viable attendances with safety, irrespective of any wellbeing issues.

Yes and as the virtual members day proved we can get very close to it and it was a very welcome lift for me. I’m still working but alone due to the restrictions it’s all by phone as I can’t leave the box on duty, not even to grab a bite or chat to the gate staff like normal when we are double manned. 
What happens if a show does go on and some bright spark decides to create a fuss in the media or worse challenge legally their choice before the Govt. says definitively you can? 
NG South had to be cancelled by the venue or leave our group seriously out of pocket, we were also lucky that the hotels were refunding before the total restrictions came in. It was a stressful time when your exhibition organiser thinks they may have lost the all fund built up over several previous years and you’d be back to taking a financial risk every time supported purely by the members. 

There’s so much on here you can have your own virtual exhibition by going in random threads, move on if it’s not your thing or chat to the ‘exhibitor’ here. You never know it might lead to going to see that layout in a year or two and meeting in person ;)

I’ve ended up on Vancouver Island visiting two garden railways and making good friends through discovering a layout on a forum.


This is exceptional and it’s impossible to tell from our online presence what our situation is so cut some slack back rather than saying people are insensitive, confrontation comes fast when people get defensive especially in these unknown timescales. 

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46 minutes ago, PaulRhB said:

What happens if a show does go on and some bright spark decides to create a fuss in the media or worse challenge legally their choice before the Govt. says definitively you can? 

 

A very good point and what would be the wider impact if we had a situation where via mobile apps and contact tracing (if they do come to be) that a flare-up can be traced back to a hotbed of old men at a model railway show? Similar to the reputational damage caused to occasional restaurants or caterers that have caused food-poisoning outbreaks I would suggest.

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Larkrail now definitely "off" for this year - we hope to return in 2021, same line up, same weekend and same place.

 

Simon and Jerry

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On 30/04/2020 at 19:32, AY Mod said:

 

It is not in anyone's interest to have a show until they can have viable attendances with safety, irrespective of any wellbeing issues.

 

On 01/05/2020 at 11:45, AY Mod said:

 

I just didn't want it to be seen as a starting point for any unnecessary pressure from others to be directed towards show organisers to open doors.

 

 

There is a highly contagious, nasty fatal disease out there and a model railway exhibition would not be a safe place to go to.

 

IMHO even if a traditional model railway exhibition is on next week, I and many others would stay away for our own safety.

 

If the government decides the needs of the economy mean that it's worth taking a risk with health, that does not mean that it's compulsory for me to take that risk.

 

Keep safe everyone.

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1 hour ago, Colin_McLeod said:

There is a highly contagious, nasty fatal disease out there and a model railway exhibition would not be a safe place to go to.

If the government decides the needs of the economy mean that it's worth taking a risk with health, that does not mean that it's compulsory for me to take that risk.

 

Colin, 


I totally agree. Until there is a cure and/or a vaccine even when social distancing is lifted there will be a significant part of the population who will not venture out for non-essential matters. These people might venture out for a funeral, or a family wedding, or a hospital visit but not a model railway exhibition. One might speculate that a significant percentage of this significant part of the population might be older men.

 

Conclusion

 

Even when social distancing is over - March 2021?? - a significant part of a model railway exhibition's target audience will not attend. Therefore many model railways shows will lose money as attendances dip. Moreover, a lot of layouts are operated by old men and I can imagine some of them will say it's not worth the risk.

 

I am disappointed to be so negative, and I speak as someone who has a layout that can only be run at exhibitions (layout is BIG!) and so I cannot see it being shown for a very long time.

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As much as I would like to disagree to give a positive spin, I have to agree. As someone with a business selling model railways I would like to get back to going to shows to have to opportunity to sell but as most of my customers are in the older end of the hobby so who is going to be there to sell to.  I fear that it will be another year before we get back to "normal". Wearing my other hat as someone with a number for layouts that occasionally go on the circuit we have been booked for 3 show September, October  and November, I can't really see any of them going a head.

 

Marc

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We've just started planning N Gauge SouthEast, aiming at our usual dates in April 2021.  In one way, it's easy to do as we will first be inviting all those who were coming to our cancelled show this year.  I'm sure a few will have to drop out, but are hoping that most will be available.  Yet who knows whether we can hold the exhibition then?  We just have to do the groundwork, and go ahead only if it looks safe to do so.

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38 minutes ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

 

Colin, 


I totally agree. Until there is a cure and/or a vaccine even when social distancing is lifted there will be a significant part of the population who will not venture out for non-essential matters. These people might venture out for a funeral, or a family wedding, or a hospital visit but not a model railway exhibition. One might speculate that a significant percentage of this significant part of the population might be older men.

 

Conclusion

 

Even when social distancing is over - March 2021?? - a significant part of a model railway exhibition's target audience will not attend. Therefore many model railways shows will lose money as attendances dip. Moreover, a lot of layouts are operated by old men and I can imagine some of them will say it's not worth the risk.

 

The thing is, we cannot stay home forever, what is life if it is not for living.

 

The Government know this, we cannot remain in this situation forever.  I would hope a lot of people don't spend the rest of their life in fear - there are lots of things that can kill us - just attending a model railway show is not without risks during the commute there and back.  There are lots of illnesses that can kill and they have been around far longer than Covid and people still do the things that make some diseases more likely.

 

People are doing as they are told at present, when I am out and about it is not the older people who look at you in fear, it is the younger ones - when I have been out running people literally throw themselves into bushes to avoid me.

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Posted (edited)

My current thinking is that, whilst I don't expect to be keeping myself to myself at the present level in even three months time, I will inevitably self-risk-assess each activity before resuming it.

 

I don't anticipate returning to anything resembling what I formerly considered "normal life", be it attending model railway exhibitions, dining out, or a host of other things, until I've been vaccinated.

 

As of today, my best hope on that is (realistically) the middle of 2021, though I'd love it to be sooner.

 

John

 

 

Edited by Dunsignalling
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Life is for living. Not for dying. Model railway exhibitions are one of the most unhealthy things I know of and I speak from experience as both a visitor and an exhibitor. People gathered 3 deep round a layout, coughing , sneezing, touching, pushing everyone around them, touching everything in sight, not washing hands, even after the toilet - and all in an indoor overheated environment.

Can you seriously contemplate that now or even in the near future? Look at the deaths announced every day. You cannot put pressure on people to risk their lives (exhibitors and traders) just for a model railway show surely?

As someone who’s wife is in the very high risk category, shielded, I will not go near any indoor function until both of us have been vaccinated. To do otherwise would be like playing Russian roulette. But, hey, maybe some get a kick from that.

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57 minutes ago, Dunsignalling said:

 

I don't anticipate returning to anything resembling what I formerly considered "normal life", be it attending model railway exhibitions, dining out, or a host of other things, until I've been vaccinated.

 

 

This seems to be a common view, but vaccinations are in an early stage of testing.

What if they fail acceptance tests because a dangerous side-effect is discovered?

 

Hopefully tests will go well, but we should consider the alternatives.

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33 minutes ago, Pete the Elaner said:

 

This seems to be a common view, but vaccinations are in an early stage of testing.

What if they fail acceptance tests because a dangerous side-effect is discovered?

 

Hopefully tests will go well, but we should consider the alternatives.

What alternatives?

 

If no viable vaccination emerges, what is on offer but to continue with social distancing?

 

That rules out exhibitions in any recognisable form and a whole bunch of other things u.f.n. 

 

"Virtual life" then replaces the real sort until we've all had the damned thing (assuming it does leave one immune to getting it again) or got so pi55ed off and bored that we no longer care.

 

John

 

 

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1 hour ago, Roger Sunderland said:

Life is for living. Not for dying. Model railway exhibitions are one of the most unhealthy things I know of and I speak from experience as both a visitor and an exhibitor. People gathered 3 deep round a layout, coughing , sneezing, touching, pushing everyone around them, touching everything in sight, not washing hands, even after the toilet - and all in an indoor overheated environment.

Can you seriously contemplate that now or even in the near future? Look at the deaths announced every day. You cannot put pressure on people to risk their lives (exhibitors and traders) just for a model railway show surely?

As someone who’s wife is in the very high risk category, shielded, I will not go near any indoor function until both of us have been vaccinated. To do otherwise would be like playing Russian roulette. But, hey, maybe some get a kick from that.

And so are trains, buses, shopping centres - perspective is required.

 

I am not saying that what is going on right now is wrong, I understand the underlying economic and social drivers for isolation - keep the health system from collapsing to ensure that the wider societal system holds together and we come out of this pandemic with our workforce relatively intact.  But the massive cost to doing this will be doing our children no favours - damaging education which impacts the most deprived first and most, damage to employment ditto who gets impacted most and then the future tax burden whilst we pay this all back - Austerity Mark 2 anyone - how much more can be pruned when we're down to twigs.

 

If the vaccines take longer to develop do we simply stop doing any group based activities and retreat even further into the online world?

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2 hours ago, woodenhead said:

The thing is, we cannot stay home forever, what is life if it is not for living.

 

The Government know this, we cannot remain in this situation forever.  I would hope a lot of people don't spend the rest of their life in fear - there are lots of things that can kill us - just attending a model railway show is not without risks during the commute there and back.  There are lots of illnesses that can kill and they have been around far longer than Covid and people still do the things that make some diseases more likely.

 

 

TBH I agree with you up to a point - my point is there no matter what you think, or I think, there WILL be a significant number of people in a model railway exhibition's target demographic who will be ultra cautious until they are vaccinated and that might make the difference between profit and loss for a show. We will all need to analyse the results of the first few shows who take the risk of putting their heads above the parapet and risking it.

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We all have a bus with our name on it , you would think this being sick and occasionally poping our clogs is something new.

 

Wait and see what happens instead of being merchants of doom 

 

Regards Arran

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5 minutes ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

 

TBH I agree with you up to a point - my point is there no matter what you think, or I think, there WILL be a significant number of people in a model railway exhibition's target demographic who will be ultra cautious until they are vaccinated and that might make the difference between profit and loss for a show. We will all need to analyse the results of the first few shows who take the risk of putting their heads above the parapet and risking it.

 

Paul, Absolutely right and the same situation that all of us in the leisure, tourism and hospitality sector are confronted with. When we are allowed to open, will there be enough customers to make it worthwhile? Not much real evidence to go on although there was a survey that suggested that only 37% would visit pubs/restaurants in the aftermath of this. As ever with stats, it could be misleading. How many of that 37% were people that did not go to pubs/restaurants before?

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1 minute ago, TEAMYAKIMA said:

 

TBH I agree with you up to a point - my point is there no matter what you think, or I think, there WILL be a significant number of people in a model railway exhibition's target demographic who will be ultra cautious until they are vaccinated and that might make the difference between profit and loss for a show. We will all need to analyse the results of the first few shows who take the risk of putting their heads above the parapet and risking it.

Don't disagree, it won't just be the older demographic, I think a lot of younger people are also spooked.

 

If there is social distancing to be evaluated when running a show in addition to lost numbers then it is going to make a sharp difference to potential revenue which will put shows at risk.  To me a big challenge is how you manage numbers in/out of the doors - we've all seen how most people seem to arrive on a Saturday morning and spend 2-3 hours at a show then the numbers entering reduce across the rest of the day.  Now apply social distancing which limits numbers and you have a queue at the opening time where those in the queue might expect to wait at least an hour to enter because the venue filled up at opening and now you've got to wait for them to get their moneys worth.

 

A lot of venues are space starved which makes it harder still to distance, at least Warley have a big space around them but whether they would be allowed to use it gratis is I guess something the planning team would take up with the NEC - assuming of course they are confident of numbers and distancing management being able to make the show pay.

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I suspect that mass gatherings are unlikely until this time next year (give or take a couple of months) and international travel restricted for a similar period. 

 

Managing the queue outside is not the only issue but also the number of people behind layouts and stands and how close they are. If 2 layouts back on to each other you should then have 2m seperation to move around each fiddleyard / stock table. Tradestands would need seperating from each other. Demo stands not just sat 2m apart but any part of the stand they might want to use, a screen between them and the public sat trying to talk to them. These issues are not insurmountable but will need to thought about and be worked through. 

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38 minutes ago, Dunsignalling said:

What alternatives?

 

If no viable vaccination emerges, what is on offer but to continue with social distancing?

 

That rules out exhibitions in any recognisable form and a whole bunch of other things u.f.n. 

 

"Virtual life" then replaces the real sort until we've all had the damned thing (assuming it does leave one immune to getting it again) or got so pi55ed off and bored that we no longer care.

 

John

 

 

 

Why ask "what alternatives" then describe 1 in the same statement?

 

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2 hours ago, Roger Sunderland said:

Life is for living. Not for dying. Model railway exhibitions are one of the most unhealthy things I know of and I speak from experience as both a visitor and an exhibitor. People gathered 3 deep round a layout, coughing , sneezing, touching, pushing everyone around them, touching everything in sight, not washing hands, even after the toilet - and all in an indoor overheated environment.

Can you seriously contemplate that now or even in the near future? Look at the deaths announced every day. You cannot put pressure on people to risk their lives (exhibitors and traders) just for a model railway show surely?

As someone who’s wife is in the very high risk category, shielded, I will not go near any indoor function until both of us have been vaccinated. To do otherwise would be like playing Russian roulette. But, hey, maybe some get a kick from that.

 

2020 has effectively been cancelled to all intents and purposes, and not just for model railway events.

 

It'll be a brave exhibition manager who commits to mounting a show before the middle of 2021 at the earliest and I don't think there's a realistic expectation of there being one of any size much before the autumn.

 

John

 

 

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It's absolutely true to say that life isn't without risk, and that we can't carry on as we are at the mo,  neither for the sanity of folk or their financial well being.

 

However, it would seem to me, that right at this moment, and in the immediate foreseeable future, playing fast and loose with the risk from this virus is essentially the same as playing Russian roulette, but with only one or two bullets missing from the chamber. Do you feel lucky?, well, even if I did,  I'm not taking the risk;, and, just supposing I that did, given my circumstances, that kind of cavalier attitude could risk wiping out an entire care home, hence, I'll remain averse to this risk until the coast clears somewhat if you don't mind.

 

What 'normality' returns, first must be the real important stuff, ie  jobs, being able to see family in relative safety, all folk being able to step outside their doors to do essential stuff in relative safety  etc etc.

If we have to forgo Model Railway shows for a while, then so be it. We've just got to live with it anyway, as Public gatherings are currently banned, end of, and until those restrictions are lifted, any griping about it  is no more than shouting at Pigeons , OK, it's obvious that shows are a vital part of the hobby, but, they aren't the entire hobby, and in the pecking order of the grand scheme of things???. 

 

As for applying Social distancing in even a space as large as the NEC?, just look at the free for all once you're inside your local supermarket these days, social distancing?, More cats have been herded successfully.  So until a handle has been obtained over the virus by whatever means, I'm struggling to see how a show can be run in line with keeping folk safe. 

 

So far this year, 2 shows ( one very large, 1 very small) that I help with the organisation of, have had to be cancelled, and as for the 3rd, who presently knows?.   Concurrent with that, all but one of the shows I was to attend with a layout have been cancelled too, and there's a high chance that'll go as well.

it's a pain, it's a bit of a disappointment,  but, so what?,  I'm not down about it, as at least I'm still here (at the mo, fingers crossed!!!).  Will we go back to things as they were?, who knows, I think things will be at least a little different.

However the important thing is surely to patiently and safely bide our time, have a sensible attitude about the risk factor, and be prepared to adapt to the new normal.   

 

K

    

 

 

 

 

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