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Attending exhibitions - let's put some data behind it.


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1 minute ago, melmerby said:

Why has the survey stopped?

Surely one day would not get many responses?

 

I stopped it as as there is sufficient data (540+ responses) to identify the trends and I am currently filtering data to look at the differences between groups. I have been observing submissions and it had reached the point where it was making negligible differences to the proportions. So, yes, there are enough responses. This captures the position as it is now before any changes to distancing etc which may occur this week.

 

It can be run again at a future point if there looks to be significant changes one way or the other.

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45 minutes ago, john new said:

From time to time I attend in either one of two of the categories depending on where the show is. (Society trade stand & visitor) 

 

That particular question allowed multiple answers, some respondents were all three.

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Andy,

 

Can I ask that results are presented slightly differently in future. I'm partially colour blind and those coloured pie charts are difficult to interpret as I'm not sure which colour I'm looking at. If the figures could also be tabulated at one side of the chart then I'm quite happy looking at the numbers.

 

Thanks

 

Graham 

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It's standard Google forms output. To show tables I'd have to re-enter all the totals. I hadn't got that amount of time available, sorry. 

 

From the results link you can click on the pie slices to see the figures. 

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It's 6+ weeks since the first survey ran and several things have changed since with relaxation of rules on travel and access to locations but little has changed with regard to incidence levels and risks but I felt it would be useful to detect if any changes have happened in how people feel about when they would be comfortable attending an indoor model railway event.

 

Aug 2020 survey now closed.

 

Results link to Aug 2020 survey

 

No personal data is recorded in the surveys.

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Initial results comparing the data show consistencies in the sample cross-section and responses. The responses to the final question indicate that the point at which attendees are likely to feel comfortable in returning seems to be remaining at a static duration into the future or even extending. Increasing confidence would have manifest itself in that point being closer in time from the point of survey.

 

I understand this is a self-selecting sample and cannot represent more casual attendees but there doesn't seem to be any other data out there.

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There’s no way to question the general public so a cross section of enthusiasts is the only gauge on it we can get. It’s likely though they will give a fair indication that is enough to indicate to a show organiser if there’s general confidence or not and it’s up to them from there plus what they see in the local area. 
I still think it’s useful as we have a fair cross section on here of those that attend shows :) 

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Uncertainty of the virus going forward is my main personal concern, especially with second wave / hot spot problems etc being reported daily. Wigan being in Greater Manchester has seen restrictions applied last Thursday night - how long this will go on for locally is anyone's guess at the moment.

 

I would only feel confident of exhibition attendance (and many other places etc also) when / if a vaccine is produced, administered nationwide and proved effective - perhaps soon, long time away or never - who knows ?

 

It's a matter of wait and see - and perhaps it will be a very long wait. I thought this pandemic would be over in a couple of months - how wrong I was.

 

Brit15

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Whilst covering multiple markets, the UK is here.  Toluna have been doing a 'barometer' for a few weeks now with updates.  Covers multiple topics, but if you want / are interested in a general pop comparison of opinions on social gatherings, etc. then this is a good place to start.

 

https://tolunacorporate.com/client-resources/insights-and-trends/

 

YouGov also have an equivalent but not as comprehensive.  Both will work well along side a good sample of enthusiasts on the RM version. You'll need to download the PDF, probably supply your e mail but you can opt out of updates etc. 

 

BT

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I normally visit three or four exhibitions a year but there is no way I would go to one at present. I am also a volunteer guard on the Mid Hants who would love to be part of the running days they are now having but again I do not feel happy at the idea of being in a crowd where much of the time is spent inside. Another love of mine is Stock Car racing and on 26th July I went to Aldershot for a meeting which featured the Superstox which are my favourite formula but although I enjoyed the entertainment I found that by the time I had got home I felt that I had made a mistake going. Too many people were taking very little notice of the rules and while the promotion did a wonderful job they cannot force people to stick to the rules. In fact I am less happy going shopping now than I was a month ago as since the rules were relaxed a lot more people are behaving as though nothing is wrong and seem to think that a metre is 12 inches.

Edited by Chris116
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2 minutes ago, AlexsTrains said:

There are no "covids 1-18". Covid-19 was so named because it was identified in 2019.

 

In that case I apologise for spreading fake news and have already removed my post

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My opinion has shifted somewhat due to staying in a hotel and visiting a couple of museums. Booked entry / access times, timed duration at exhibits, well laid out fixed route with generous spacing  and supervised distancing, 'no mask/no entry' enforced, special item for MR events, turned away if olfactory evidence suggests unfamiliarity with soap, plentiful provision of hand sanitiser.

 

While the objection may be that this would significantly cost - and it will - there is firstly a deal to be done with venue providers: no events, no revenue; so meet us part way there. And for the exhibitors, a calmer experience, less crowding, higher gate fee could mean the same money for fewer show attendances.

 

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8 minutes ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

higher gate fee could mean the same money for fewer show attendances.

A brave group that tries that first when we get so much moaning about costs already. A museum doesn’t have independent traders who understandably want the usual footfall or a reduction in stand charges which would cut the money further back. There are two revenue streams, punters and traders, that need to be factored in somehow and I suspect traders will be asking what happens because lower numbers inevitably mean less impulse purchases plus the big spenders who stay away altogether. 
It’s ok to think about the what if in the longer term but while there’s still a good prospect of effective treatments next year, to hopefully bring it into the same catergory as flu in it’s dangers, I do think the costs won’t add up at present as a risk worth taking. 
I’m in my late 40’s and fairly robust but having seen the very slow recovery of a colleagues wife who’s fit and hikes for a hobby, plus drives steam locos at two railways, I’m just not taking unnecessary risks within the timescale for a treatment the experts have been giving us since March. If we get 18-24 months down the line without anything in sight I might start thinking ok there is a new normal but so far we are seeing trials and treatments well within the timescale so I’ll keep the faith in the medical profession and not risk my health or their mental health treating me.

Buying food is an inevitable risk of contact, seeing friends you know and trust can be done within sensible guidelines. Going to a show just seems a lot of unknowns at present when there’s hope ahead if we are just a tad patient. Best opportunity to slow down life a bit I’ve had since I broke my leg.

 

Edited by PaulRhB
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1 hour ago, AlexsTrains said:

There are no "covids 1-18". Covid-19 was so named because it was identified in 2019.

 

Reminded me of one Twitter post I saw a few months ago where a mother reported that her young daughter asked her whether we all had to stay at home during Covids 1 to 18.

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I just filled it out but had a problem with the next-to-last question about how one attends, alone or with someone/group. For me it was about half alone and half with someone so it was a bit of a think involved. I included all the hobby shows that i would normally attend, not just train shows as the answers would be the same. FWIW, I selected "with someone".

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I think a lot depends on the type of event. I would certainly have considered going to the event at Tinker's Park last weekend, had it not been for the length of journey to get there. Small event, plenty of room, one way system in operation and plenty to see outside as well (so if the hall looked too busy I could look at something else outside until it started to empty.

 

I've also taken part in a number of events at places like Amberley, Farnham Rural Life Centre, Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, where the layouts were spread between a number of buildings (no more than one or two layouts per building) - and even one at Pulbrough Garden centre where the layouts were in separate greenhouses! That helps spread the visitors out, rather than have one large hall with a hundred or more people in it.

 

Next up is the village/church hall type shows, including the 009 Society Members' Days. Many - but not all - of those I would be comfortable attending, depending on the layout of the building and the number of visitors.

 

Not sure I'd be ready for the next level of shows though - Alton, Basingstoke, Wycrail as they were pretty busy before lockdown so I wouldn't be comfortable with that number of people in attendance. However if attendance was lower, I would be.

 

Certainly not prepared to go to Ally Pally or Warley yet!

 

However the bigger issues for me would be distance, and whether masks were required as I find wearing a mask for more than about half an hour can give me headaches.

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My own thought is that the size of show isn't really an issue in itself.

 

Wherever you go, there will be a fairly uniform proportion of infectious persons within the cohort, A smaller show means fewer potential bad contacts overall, but the ratio remains the same and smaller premises often mean the density isn't much less. Indeed, small shows often need tighter spacing to get everything in, with an expectation that the lower turnout will make that acceptable. Obviously that's no longer a viable position. 

 

Whilst the area in which I live has fortunately (so far) suffered one of the lowest occurrences of the virus, I am on the cusp of the "vulnerable" age group with responsibilities toward older relatives*. I'm therefore not planning anything too "daring" until and unless I have received a vaccination. *Since relaxation we have enjoyed a Sunday lunch at a village pub we used regularly before lockdown and were quite happy with the arrangements and behaviour. Other customers were mostly people with whom we are on at least nodding acquaintance, anyway.

 

I also went for a city pub lunch with a couple of friends last Wednesday (at 2pm to avoid any rush, which the barman said will be a fine thing to see, when and if it ever happens again!). We were there about 90 minutes, during which time the three of us constituted a good quarter of the total clientele, so we think it was pretty safe! Travelled in and back by SWR and was only sharing the coach with a handful of others one way and about a dozen coming home. 

 

Both were "optional" activities and worked out well with everyone observing the precautions, which has greatly increased my confidence. However, had either venue looked at all "iffy" or contained evidently non-compliant patrons we would have left. We've been limiting such outings to one a week on the principle that if we do develop symptoms, we should notice before the next one, and hopefully avoid spreading it. Unlikely we'd all be asymptomatic!

 

Attending exhibitions is similarly discretionary, but travelling for an hour or two with the risk of finding the venue unacceptably crowded and/or with significant flouting of distancing rules going on, is a very different proposition.

 

John

 

PS, I put my "normal"attendances down as 6-10 p.a. but, on reflection, it averaged at least one a month.

Edited by Dunsignalling
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Being in the over 70 bracket I am extremely wary at present of going anywhere that has a number of people indoors.  Not everyone seems to appreciate that we are still in a very delicate situation and the virus is still out there ready to spread at the slightest opportunity.  Look at the situation in Aberdeen and around Manchester.  It just needs one person who is unknowingly infected to act in the least way irresponsibly and it will spread like wildfire.  Much as I enjoy participating in shows manning a society stand, I will not be doing so in the foreseeable future.  The risk is too great.   As a retired health care professional I understand that public health must take absolute priority.

 

Jim

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I see that The Great Electric Train Show in October is still waiting for jury to come out. I'll go if it is on, and I'd even catch the shuttle bus (although in the survey I put private transport, my local ones would usually be free shuttle). Can't see it happening though at this rate.

Perhaps the first one will be the Great Central at Quorn, they could even leave half the sides off the marquee, which would make it more bearable in the summer sun....

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