Monday, 19 October 2015

Stand To; Wargames Show Shildon, County Durham.

Sunday came around and Jim and I headed off towards the Shildon Wargames Show held near Darlington in the Railway Museum there. To be honest it was more on spec and out of interest as it was free entry! I'm going to be honest about the experience. I don't mean to say anything disparaging about the organisers; I've never had to organise a wargames show and I really don't know all the ins and outs.  I do however feel that there is room for some constructive criticism here. The show was not well attended and this was without doubt largely down to the lack of advertising. This is perfectly exemplified by the fact that I only heard of the show by chance by a mate who mentioned it on the net. A lot more could be done to advertise this show. It's got good lighting a clean cafe (I never got around to going to the loo!) and is quite a good venue. OK, there are trains interspersed here and there but they would kind of add to the ambiance of the place if only there had been much more of a crowd in. Advertising is essential to any show and it's not that difficult to get a flyer and the relevant details out on the net these days. 

As far as Traders were concerned, again, much could be done to get more folk along. Even if a trader wasn't interested in actually turning up with their wares they may well be happy to put on some sort of demo with some of their their ranges on display.

There were not many demo nor participation games; I think I counted three which given the space in the place really let the show down too. I would have been happy to put on a game and might well put myself forward as doing so (Hastings) for next year if I see that there has been an effort made to advertise the show.

As I said earlier, it's easy to be critical but hopefully the organisers, if they read this, will take on board a few of the comments I have made. It's easy to be critical, much harder to put things into practice.

Mike from our Club Selling His Painted Wares:



Robbie Roddis' Beautiful Renaissance Game:

(Easily the best game of the show IMHO)












And a bit of goodly kit:




Bye for now

20 comments:

  1. I have to agree with you. There was definitely more games last year and people playing in them, and I think there was a couple more traders. It was a little disappointing yesterday to see the empty spaces, but ultimately I had a good time with what was there. I would go again next year, and, yesterday, myself and a couple of other chaps were talking ACW naval demo games at shows for next year - Shildon would be the ideal tester show for us, so who knows.

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    1. Just posted my show report - basically the same as Darrell's, but I took more photo's to help illustrate the venues possibilities for would-be traders/games.

      http://nevermindthejankers.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/stand-to-at-shildon-photos-from-show.html

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    2. I'll check it out today- busy as ever :>(

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  2. Durham was not asked to put on a demo game which is a shame as we certainly could have. It's an excellent venue and, speaking as someone who has organised wargame shows and not being one to mince my words, it was pretty damned poor. No matter how inexpensive it may be for traders you can't expect them to come back if there's nobody coming through the door.

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    1. Yes, I've just, in fact, been talking with a gamer from Redmire (Catterick Garrison, near-enough) and he decided not to venture up to the show due to the lack of advertising. His thinking being there'd be no traders whom he'd wish to purchase from, so he stayed at home and saved his money for the Stockton show.

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    2. I'm happy to put on the Hastings game next year which will be showcased at Salute but who do I contact to organise the table?

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    3. I've just made contact with Wearvalley Gamers (the organisers) on Facebook, asking the same thing. I've put my money were my mouth is and I'll sort out a demo game.
      I've also been in contact with one of the Redcar Ironbeards (on the Pendraken Miniatures Forum) as we've been talking about the show.
      If needed I can just ask Stuart (of Colonel Bill's) to put me in touch.

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    4. Well, they sound very relaxed about it all LOL :>)

      It may be that they WANT to run a low key show. but, without advertising even this is doomed to failure.

      to be honest I'm a little bit bamboozled by their overly relaxed attitude. Surely you would want your show to go from strength to strength rather than dwindle? This is certainly what seems to be happening if I compare what I have *heard* about last year then compare my experience of this year...... ???

      Darrell.

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  3. I only knew about the event a few days prior- when Robbie posted on his blog. As I said then I was contacted for last years show and decided against due to lack of advertising THEN. This year I was not contacted and knew nothing- hardly inspiring from and organisational point of view !
    I'm not sure I'd trade there- probably not give the various comments but if I could get the help may- just may be prepared to run a demo

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    1. Andy, Trading there as it stands would be a no-no IMHO,. There must have been 20-30 people through the doors whilst I was there (about three hours). A demo game of some description, yes, I'd got for that one to help them out, to expand the show. But, to be probably a little bit too blunt, one cannot help those who don't wish to be helped. I think I'll contact them via Facebook (e-mail would be preferable as it's more concrete) and see if they're interested in the Hastings game and take it from there.

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    2. No way I'd trade there- as you say not worth the hassle. I will think about doing a demo perhaps but the rest of the comments here do not fill me with sany kind of confidence.

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    3. Fair comment Andy. I reckon as it's local I'd be willing to give a demo game a whirl to see if there is an improvement of last year. I could do most of the advertising if necessary! :>)

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  4. I've had a response from Wearvalley Gamers (the organisers) on the Stand To Facebook page. I asked for more information on running a game and they've told me [to quote]

    "Just catch us at the shows in the new year no prob,s"

    I just don't know who any of them are!

    Stuart (of Col. Bills) has given me a contact email, though he's told me that all of his contact with the group is via the Facebook page for Stand To.

    I'll sort out a game and then take it from there.

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    1. Facebook it is then. It's a pretty good venue and the show should be allowed to grow (if it hasn't a;ready matures in the eyes of the beholder!). :>)

      Darrell.

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  5. Gentlemen, I didn't go and I only knew from a flyer which must have come from the Durham show. I no nothing about organising a show and am not capable of putting on a demo but it seems to me that there is a degree of momentum towards making the show better. It seems to me that you should go for it, even if it involves battling the organisers, who appear to be not get what needs to be done and may be treating it like a club day out.

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  6. The person to talk to about the Shildon shows can usually be found working on the Victorian Toy Soldier Co. stand. They were a sweatshirt with their names on the chest, and it's a gentleman named Ken Hawkins who we need to speak to.
    I've decided I am putting on a game next year. Either ACW naval or Victorian Steam science-fiction. Just something easy that I know I can manage.

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    1. Good. I'll try them through their FB page and see what sort of response I get.

      Darrell.

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  7. Well i went along and enjoyed myself, talking to various comrades, enjoying Robbie's game and to the traders who had made the trip, It was poorly advertised, although i must say there did seem to be a steady enough flow of people coming in, although many of them i suspect to see the trains, and will have got the wargaming as a bonus. Chance to reach out to a group even lower on the social standing then wargamers ;] terrain and such like would seem to be a common area and opening for traders??

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    1. jOHN-I was in the model railway world for a good few years way back and most wargames terrain- even the good stuff- simply isn't good enough for many railway modellers. Back in the day THEY taught me how it was done- I taught them figure painting.
      The model railway market is about 20 times bigger than ours and I'm far more likely to buy stuff from their world than they are from mine. I use MR trees for instance- cheaper and better than much Wargaming stuff- Paints ,Scatters, terrain mats etc all from the MR world. Mostly our "scales" do not fit in with their actual scales ....

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