My good friend Mr Cooper of ‘The North’ has written eloquently http://newheymodelrailway. regarding how the standard of the reporting of recent shows exhibitions has slipped of late. Some of course may agree with him, but one thing is clear, nothing stays still and perhaps this is the natural evolution of the hobby in the digital age. So if Andy’s right the thing exhibitions need is toy trains, cake, tea, and pictures. I’m sure as a widely experienced exhibition goer and organiser he’s already taken those key things on board, so that’s all good. There are a good number of shows throughout the year, some say, too many. The point is it’s a crowded market place out there, so what will bring the punters through the door and what does the new exhibition manager need to attract customers over the threshold? These aren’t so much problems, as solutions waiting to happen.
This is how I envisage the future exhibition managers tool box will look. Firstly quality toy trains to get the hard core enthusiast through the door. Once through the door however the interest needs to be kept at a state of
cappuccino like froth near euphoria, and adequate sustenance readily to hand. Tea, or coffee, (372 varieties for the southern softies) should be readily to hand. It should be either hot, for UK patronage, or cold with ice in it to entice the colonial cousins through the door. Luke warm simply won’t do. Cakes, (north of Watford Gap clientele ) or pastries (refined northern home counties and south, excepting Luton) as illustrated. Ingredients such as free range eggs shall be ‘de riguer’, unfortunately that’s French and will probably be given a ruddy good ignoring. Local variations of course will apply, so northerner exhibition fare will include gravy for their cake, as they seem to put it on just about everything else. Lets face it someone will bloody moan that there was no gravy for their cake if its not available, so restaurateur styley, just head them off at the pass.
So wrap your model in 2mm sheets of filo pastry, (wrong choice of model, should have used a BR1C, then I could have done the tender morsel joke), ensuring that the entire model is covered before basting it with a covering of choice using a ‘OO’ brush. We won’t bother advising if you use acrylic, enamel or laser to glaze it before popping it into a warm oven for 16.5 to 18.2 minutes.
When removed from the oven let it rest and relax. This will be difficult for most exhibitionistas to do, the temptation to tear open the pastry, and take pictures of exactly the same filling that everyone else has bought will be hard to resist.
One thing we have yet to see in these various reports are exhibition selfies. Its surely only a matter of time before someone posts a picture of what looks like a bloke hiding behind a burst sofa, with a model railway in the background. Interestingly Nokia’s survey of 4,000 Brits earlier this year found that a whopping 36% of posted selfies on social networks. A risky 7% of Brits even take pictures of themselves in bed. Figures for selfies taken at train shows haven’t yet been
remotely considered released. One thought is to take a picture a day and see your life in a whole new way. If however, that daily picture regularly consists of yourself sitting in front of your computer skip to this page now, http://fifteen-minute-heroes , its in your best interest…
So, hints and tips then. When taking a selfie it’s smart to be aware of what’s going on behind you – and make the most of it. Though it’s best to keep the focus on you (me, me, me,) at least half of the beauty of a selfie is that it shows you’re somewhere:
C/ In a train show.
The social media side of the hobby is open for exploitation, the logical repository for these selfies is MySpace, as that has the least amount of users and therefore the potential to grow the fastest. So get out there, selfies is where its at, no more frustrated layout owners being blinded by the camera flash going off in their eyes, they’re not going to mind if you take a pic of yourself with them as a background. Neither will your fellow exhibition visitors mind, they’ll happily make way for you amongst the three deep crowd around Gresley Beat as you stand, back against the barrier, with your arm full length, gurning into your smartphone reaching for instant
martyrdom fame and fortune.
So don’t forget, next show you’re at, take selfies, cos ‘we want pictures’ …