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AY Mod

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

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I had to go into Glasgow last week on business , first time since early March.  Some places are very well organised , like the Nationwide Building society . Clearly following protocol , limits on who is in branch, sanitiser , someone explaining and enforcing procedures.  Others not so good . There were signs up on some large shops saying max 50 customers  , but with no one on the front door how do they know who is in?  I got the impression some were just going through the procedures rather than rigorously enforcing them . Then there are the members of the public .  I don't think I saw anyone in a shop without a mask , but they were all over the place ,coming out clearly marked In passageways , generally not following signs, just don't get social distancing at all .  And its the same out in walks , others will know this , some make an effort to social distance others just haven't a clue , and brush past you.  Not sure if its selfishness , forgetfulness or just ignorance, but its there.

 

My rambling point : anyone going to an exhibition will be a cross section of the above . Some will take social distancing very seriously , others might have been out in a not socially distanced pub for the previous three nights, or even gone on a pub crawl - look at pics of that pub in Aberdeen, unbelievable .  But in an exhibition you are only as good as the lowest common denominator , so although you may be low risk , there will be a proportion of people there extremely high risk .  Oh yes, that's true of life now . But the point is I can limit my exposure , that goes out the window  in an area with a large number of people grouped together.

 

There is still a lot we don't yet know about the virus . Theories are there that its airborne and can last a lot longer in the air than we thought .  I think we should be looking at air conditioning and how that may or may not circulate it . Again a factor in exhibitions .  Other than railways my other great passion is travel and particularly cruiseships , but here again we have a large mass of people grouped together some low risk, some high risk . Its the lowest common denominator again. That's the reason I wont be on a cruise ship any time soon.

 

If we get a vaccine it changes , but so long as we have to live with the virus I reckon large public gatherings  are just too risky .

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I haven't seen any suggestion that the virus becomes airborne from a surface so I wouldn't worry about where the layout and stock were physically quarantined after a show. However I do quarantine incoming items at the moment. I would worry about packing up, particularly if it takes a while. The risk of handling contaminated items (shiny surfaces) and then touching my face.

Alan 

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42 minutes ago, john new said:

Whether actual risk thereby increases over and above popping to your local shop is actually immaterial, it seems like it does, so will deter many.

 

I guess the point is that going to shop AND exhibition doubles - or at least increases - the risk.  Some risk in life is always there, but we can try to limit it.

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I have now closed the Aug 2020 survey as a similar-sized sample has now been completed compared to the June survey. The link to the results can be found in the OP and I'll do some more data filtering over the next few days.

 

There's a definite trend of decreasing rather than increasing confidence.

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37 minutes ago, AY Mod said:

 

There's a definite trend of decreasing rather than increasing confidence.

That's interesting but doesn't surprise me. There were statements about "some form of normality" by Christmas made towards the end of May (IIRC) but many comparable areas of activity remain shut down and I think that flurry of mis-placed optimisation has faded.

Alan 

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2 hours ago, Legend said:

...If we get a vaccine it changes , but so long as we have to live with the virus I reckon large public gatherings are just too risky .

Allow me to restructure that:

 

We have to live with this virus permanently, it's established.

Vaccination: it is unreasonable to expect a Cov19 vaccination programme to be any more effective than that for influenza. The influenza programme requires an annual vaccination round formulated by expert best guess for the mutations most likely to be prevalent, and is far from completely effective.

 

Then the question becomes what evidence do 'we' collectively have to see, before large public gatherings once again become an acceptable risk for the majority to confidently participate in?  (For myself, annual mortality stable within a normalised <1% excess compared to the pre covid rate.)

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3 minutes ago, 34theletterbetweenB&D said:

 

We have to live with this virus permanently, it's established.

 

I hope that is not the case.

Anyone pinning all their hopes on a vaccination will be hugely disappointed if they all fail. It is entirely possible that each one will have some issue which prevents it from being accepted. We should not plan around something which does not exist.

For this reason, we should consider alternatives. I have said this several times before.

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On 10/08/2020 at 10:00, AY Mod said:

The link to the results can be found in the OP and I'll do some more data filtering over the next few days.

 

There's a definite trend of decreasing rather than increasing confidence.

 

I've failed to graph this out clearly but these tables will put some data against how Visitors, Exhibitors and Traders feel comparatively.

 

image.png

 

The last survey indicated you'd get around 75% of a show in Jan/Feb, this survey indicates you'd get 50% of an event at best.

 

If you need to hit the 80% mark to make a show viable that now looks like May/Jun rather than March.

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10 minutes ago, AY Mod said:

If you need to hit the 80% mark to make a show viable that now looks like May/Jun rather March.

 

If you were an exhibition planner, would you be planning an event in June next year knowing that on present estimates that is the earliest people will begin to return in decent numbers?

 

Confidence can be easily shaken and I don't think it will be until we are well into or past the winter flu season that we will know if we are out of the woods.  Personally, a relatively normal winter with no spikes in mortality rates will be where my confidence for later in 2021 will be decided.

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1 hour ago, AY Mod said:

 

I've failed to graph this out clearly but these tables will put some data against how Visitors, Exhibitors and Traders feel comparatively.

 

image.png

 

The last survey indicated you'd get around 75% of a show in Jan/Feb, this survey indicates you'd get 50% of an event at best.

 

If you need to hit the 80% mark to make a show viable that now looks like May/Jun rather than March.

 

I think that, more than anything else, the changes probably arise from our observation of the behaviour of a significant proportion of the "general public" since lockdown has been winding down.

 

Any future changes in attitude will inevitably be similarly influenced, for good or ill.

 

John 

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On ‎10‎/‎08‎/‎2020 at 10:43, Buhar said:

That's interesting but doesn't surprise me. There were statements about "some form of normality" by Christmas made towards the end of May (IIRC) but many comparable areas of activity remain shut down and I think that flurry of mis-placed optimisation has faded.

Alan 

A bit like how the Great War was going to be all over by Christmas.....

 

John

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5 minutes ago, Dunsignalling said:

the changes probably arise from our observation of the behaviour of a significant proportion of the "general public" since lockdown has been winding down.

 

Certainly some people haven't covered themselves in glory but I think there's also an element of a rolling 6-8 month view into the future as we can maybe make our own judgements on how things may look in terms of progress vs incidence. Beyond that we have less of a best guess; maybe we can form better judgements when we see what a winter hump looks like - spikes are one thing, humps are another.

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Looking at those figures - which don't seem to be quite as disastrous as some earlier comments may have inferred - the main pattern seems to be shifting back a couple of months. The biggest difference is the collapse in the number of traders who intend to attend a show - I wonder how many used the number of visitors from the previous survey to inform their answers for the latest one?

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The trouble is that if every two months things shift back by two months we will never get back to normal.

 

Geoff Endacott

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24 minutes ago, Geoff Endacott said:

The trouble is that if every two months things shift back by two months we will never get back to normal.

 

Geoff Endacott

But that’s mainly because people ignored the advice given at the start that it will realistically take 12-18 months (So March - August 2021) for a vaccine and assumed a vaccine would be found in a month or two. 
The timescale hasn’t changed with over 100 vaccines being developed and some in testing already. Treating the Russian one with doubt, Once thorough studies of the effectiveness and side effects it will take 3-6 months to deploy globally. We are fortunate to be looking at the earlier end of that scale in the UK once it’s ready. 

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1 hour ago, Geoff Endacott said:

The trouble is that if every two months things shift back by two months we will never get back to normal.

 

Geoff Endacott

 

My point was that reading recent posts in the thread, one might be forgiven for thinking that the majority view was "That's it - I'm never going to another exhibition again." The figures however appear to indicate that there is still a willingness to attend shows when it is perceived to be safe and viable to do so.

 

All crises pass eventually. Some just take longer than others.

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A return to a normality of sorts is basically going to be 12-18 months from the start of all this I reckon as long as there isn't some Covid sting in the tail that no one, not even Monty Python, expects.

 

If you're young it seems like a lifetime, if you're an older then maybe it's a blink of an eye.

 

We're on a ride, it's a roller coaster, we've done the big drop and we just need to wait for it to get to the end with a few more dips and twists to come.

 

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Probably worth remembering that the only thing that you can be sure about a forecast of any sort is that there is a high probability that it will be WRONG!

Peter

 

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As an aside I've just returned (Thurs) from two weeks in Europe. Though mostly spent in one country, I've visited five countries by road including France, Belgium and Germany. 

 

What stood out for me was the marked contrast between us British and those people I encountered on the other side of the channel. 

 

I honestly felt more safe in these countries, despite their cases per 100,000 apparently being higher than Britain's ( and the subsequent imposition of the need to self isolate upon return from a couple)

 

As an example, I saw at first hand,  far more compliance with the need to wear masks in public places/shops, a politness and respect for social distancing and the observation of 'one way systems' in shops and streets than I have observed  in Britain.  

 

Until we get these basics right then I fear that we will struggle to move on. 

 

 

Rob. 

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Posted (edited)
On ‎11‎/‎08‎/‎2020 at 21:21, RJS1977 said:

 

My point was that reading recent posts in the thread, one might be forgiven for thinking that the majority view was "That's it - I'm never going to another exhibition again." The figures however appear to indicate that there is still a willingness to attend shows when it is perceived to be safe and viable to do so.

 

All crises pass eventually. Some just take longer than others.

And how long this one will take remains largely guesswork for now.

 

No plans carrying any reasonable chance of not being blown off course by events can exist until a vaccination programme gets underway. At that point a lot of the uncertainties will become viable aspirations with achievable timescales.

 

All that is still some way off, unfortunately.

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
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57 minutes ago, NHY 581 said:

As an aside I've just returned (Thurs) from two weeks in Europe. Though mostly spent in one country, I've visited five countries by road including France, Belgium and Germany. 

 

What stood out for me was the marked contrast between us British and those people I encountered on the other side of the channel. 

 

I honestly felt more safe in these countries, despite their cases per 100,000 apparently being higher than Britain's ( and the subsequent imposition of the need to self isolate upon return from a couple)

 

As an example, I saw at first hand,  far more compliance with the need to wear masks in public places/shops, a politness and respect for social distancing and the observation of 'one way systems' in shops and streets than I have observed  in Britain.  

 

Until we get these basics right then I fear that we will struggle to move on. 

 

 

Rob. 

 

Their Police have guns :), and they're quite willing to enforce fines for anyone not abiding by the rules.

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Maybe, we must consider the simple fact that life (as we know it, Jim) will never be the same. Any large social gatherings will become a thing of the past, whether we like it or not. There are bound to be economic and social casualties but existence as a race needs to adapt in order to survive. 

The only real problem is getting used to the new world and how every failure becomes an opportunity, some will never accept the change but that's where the Darwin Awards start to kick in.

As someone just finishing (today) their 12 month self-isolation following heart surgery, learing to live within a self-imposed 'bubble' is made easier by living in an environment where most of us (Sherborne) are to some extent anti-social due to our demographic and need to take care.

However, life is for living and next year's travel has been booked to rural France and we will contine to take every precaution but as for model railways - AY's excellent virtual exhibition is (maybe) the answer.

 

As ever, Cheers and Stay Safe

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57 minutes ago, polybear said:

 

Their Police have guns :), and they're quite willing to enforce fines for anyone not abiding by the rules.

 

I fear you're missing the point here. 

 

It should not rest with the Police to ensure people do what is right. . 

 

The fact that European Police officers carry guns is irrelevant and rest assured there is no lack of willingness on the part of British police officers to play their part. 

 

 Put simply, it shouldn't be necessary to enforce.  Doing what is required is all that is needed and we appear to be lacking in this, based on what I have seen at first hand. 

 

 

Rob. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 11/08/2020 at 19:52, Geoff Endacott said:

The trouble is that if every two months things shift back by two months we will never get back to normal.

 

Geoff Endacott

 

I think that is over pessimistic. I liken this to the waves approaching a beach (you can tell I live at the seaside) with that beach representing a return to some form of what we regarded in the UK as normal before March of this year.

 

The wave containing the gung-ho/irresponsible (call them whatever you like) have, in their minds, already reached what they perceive as the no/low risk beach. We don't yet know the future date when the majority will feel they have reached their beach; however, as time progresses more waves will hit that beach than are still rolling towards it and more of the things we have been personally avoiding will appear to us as something we can begin to do.

 

Edited by john new
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3 hours ago, NHY 581 said:

As an aside I've just returned (Thurs) from two weeks in Europe. Though mostly spent in one country, I've visited five countries by road including France, Belgium and Germany. 

 

What stood out for me was the marked contrast between us British and those people I encountered on the other side of the channel. 

 

I honestly felt more safe in these countries, despite their cases per 100,000 apparently being higher than Britain's ( and the subsequent imposition of the need to self isolate upon return from a couple)

 

As an example, I saw at first hand,  far more compliance with the need to wear masks in public places/shops, a politness and respect for social distancing and the observation of 'one way systems' in shops and streets than I have observed  in Britain.  

 

Until we get these basics right then I fear that we will struggle to move on. 

 

 

Rob. 

 

I would suggest that some of this difference is down the number of UK infection rate. Outside of a few localised flare ups its been relatively low in the UK for quite some time. That plus the loosening of some Lockdown restrictions and an aggressive PR campaign by the Government for people to go out and spend to try and pump money into the wider economy means the overall impression is that we don't have to be quite as careful as was necessary during the early days of the Pandemic.

 

For example many shops seem to have taken the view that the mandatory wearing of face masks means they don't have to separate people as much because the chances of infection are reduced, which in turn means less need for one way systems and limits on numbers in store.

 

Whether this situation stays the same is something only time will tell - many are keenly watching what happens when the schools go back as the inability to maintain 2m social distancing or the constant wearing of face masks is going to offer all sorts of new transmission opportunities.

 

Also with France experiencing a sustained increase in their infection rate despite your assertion that the population are, well, 'better behaved' to use a phrase rather undermines the premise that strict observance of social distancing will be our saviour.

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