An open letter to organisers of UK Shows and Fairs
Dear UK Military / Militaria Show Organisers,
Thank you so much for providing this years Military Shows / Fairs – they’ve been great. You may be interested in some learning points from the other side of the turnstiles……..all from this years Shows/Fairs
- Make sure there's consistency re publicised opening times...having one time on the web site, a different one on the tickets and another in reality isn't helpful.
- If you say it opens at 9.00, 9.30, 10,00 open THEN.....not at 9.05, 9.37 or 10.10.... Many of us have traveled for hours to queue....HOURS!!......or incurred the cost of hotels...show us the respect of opening on time. And please don't spin us a line about last minute problems...you've had 364 days to prepare.....OPEN ON TIME!
- Consider offering an early access premium ticket...some of us will pay more to get in (and out / home) earlier....and the dealers may welcome the subsidy........
- Why give us a paper ticket on the door only to have a guy 3 feet away take it from us and stamp our hand....stamp it when we pay and save money on the ticket-taking/hand-stamping staff
- Get the tills ready to take payment BEFORE you open. Guess what....all those people you've kept waiting are going to pay to get in...this shouldn't be a surprise!
- Get Gate-staff ready BEFORE the entry time...sending a jolly Hi-Vis'd chap to jokingly explain a delay caused by management incompetence doesn't work....having the same guy there ready to open the door/gate on time is better and more professional
- If you have no intention of taking credit cards at the till say so in your literature/on your web site....please don't expect us to believe that every year "there's a problem with the tills" - there's been "problems" for the last 3 years......I suspect that next year the tills won't work either......
- Have the Entry tent ready.....don't start setting it up...untying the panels.....moving the fencing etc etc minutes before the event opens...we've prepared to attend your event for HOURS before...please respect this.....'guess what.....we've traveled for hours...we WANT to come in
- Oh..and tell the guys on the gate with Walkie Talkies that we can hear you...and hear what they say (often about us) .....if you're going to talk about us...that’s the fee-paying public....please respect us....and think of the poor guy manning the gate when you're in a Portakabin miles away from the angry crowd he’s standing right next to
- If you really need a cast of thousands with Hi Vis manning the car parks please ensure that some of them are on duty 2 hours before the event...being told "it doesn't open till 9.30" doesn't help when you've set off at 5.30am...WE KNOW WHEN IT OPENS!!!
- Think about signage......YOU know where we're supposed to park and queue...we don't......we don't know which Till will only take cards...we don't know which queue is for early entry/pre-paid entry...and it's no good telling us after the queue has formed
- A coffee/snack vendor by the queue is great......and we're a captive audience for 1-2 hours...and we've traveled for hours......oh, and a boiled sweet from a bucket doesn't cut it (oh, and we’re quite capable of taking one sweet out of a bucket…...it doesn’t need to be handed to us!)....
- Give us information & keep us informed - if there's a PA system, use it......we can hear the Walkie Talkies but tell us stuff...if there's a delay tell us....and tell us why....and don't blame "Health and Safety".......you're supposed to be planning the event......we're all adults....
- If you're going to hang last year's event advertising hoardings at the entrance don't be surprised if the public kinda think they apply to THIS year (prices too!)
- Have some change ready in the Tills.......the public won't turn up to event with change where most items within are priced in tens or hundreds of pounds
- Manage the queue......make it fair......don't allow late-comers to mill around the gates......we're OK with lines...but not crowds
- Have Queue Walkers to sell programmes before you open......we've got nothing else to do for an hour or so and your sales may actually increase....no one cares once the doors open and at-Till sales delay entrance
- If you offer pre-paid tickets (this is a nice move by the way) say when they'll be sent out...don't cash the cheques then keep us waiting for weeks...just TELL us we'll be waiting for weeks
- If the event has previously opened at 9.30, don't open later without giving us back the time (or our money) you've deprived us of...some of us have taken precious days off work to attend for the day...and making that "day" one hour shorter isn't nice.
- Make sure the dealers are ready for the opening time - WE'VE got ready for the opening time, surely they can too
- Think about other events....we LOVE these things but making us choose between conflicting events only harms the events themselves......and impacts your income
- If the event is dependent upon a certain aspect say like vehicles...incentivise vehicle owners to attend and don't put barriers up to prevent them attending…we’re the losers and may chose to go elsewhere next year…and so might the exhibitors
- Get incoming cars off the road and into the car parks ASAP......having to stop, lower the window and talk to Hi-Vis-clad twelve year olds who have insufficient information other than “over there” delays entrance and causes dangerous blockages on the highway. Improve signage please
- Remember....unless you're fleecing the dealers, the caterers and/or the event site owners you NEED us to attend....and we WANT to attend
NB I’m not looking for explanations, apologies, justifications etc…I’m simply asking for respect, professionalism and improvements to the overall experience for us….the fee-paying public
...and finally....THANK YOU (genuinely!) for arranging this years events........ Bring on 2017!
09-06-2016 11:38 AM
'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'
In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.
Fair enough but I would add that allowing fakers to sell their wares as original items at reputable events only does you the organisers harm. At least one event I know of has a reputation for having more fakes for sale than genuine items and consequently many people no longer attend there, myself included.
its just an opinion.
You really expect the organization to inspect every item to be offered for sale at their show? That would create unworkable legal issues for them. Buyer beware, do your own research. This has nothing to do with the organization.
by Jerry B
That being said, ofcourse they can be selective in the traders that they rent tables too. For instance dealers that offer wares in general that have nothing to do with MV/Militaria/Re-enactment, such as candies, nazi propaganda etc. But you can't expect them to police every item brought in...
And I don't but still in an ideal world they would at least vet the sellers they let in as some have reputations that proceed them.
its just an opinion.
Completely correct Jerry ,it is the vetting of dealers that is required , i will be attanding a Fair on Sunday where a number of dealers wilbe there who are not just sellers of fakes but are well known as outright thieves !
by Jerry B
One is a well known internet / fleabay / Fair conman who has his own thread about him on WAF and the other has been banned on a couple of occasions for stealing items from other dealers stalls but is still at fairs selling ! If we can't ban these known thieves and conmen then the owners and organisers only have themselves to blame for the catostrophic drop in numbers going to Fairs in the UK.
The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )
1st July 1916
Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader
House Carles at the Battle of Hastings
I agree Jerry, its one of the biggest issues...and its not that hard to stamp out, make the dealers pay a bond. If they are caught selling fakes and dont refund the money or are doing it regularly then they lose the bond (and yes most sellers would put up a bond, if they want the business) ..the other thing is a complete lack of dealers with credit facilities..portable eftpos or even portable paypal would greatly help dealers (and yes i know they want CASH so they dont have to pay tax) but they really lose so much business and lets face it, the prices they (dealers) are charging at shows is so ridiculous these days they can afford to pay tax
They do so at any respectable antiques fair. They also provide experts for visitors to assist them when intrested in a item showed at the fair.
Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
That reminds me why I do not visit such events anymore!
Always looking for Belgian Congo stuff!
...a very valid point...although not relevant to me as I simply don't touch stuff that "stinks"......a couple of questions re logistics though...WHO decides whats a fake - they'd need a number of SMEs to cover each topic...medals, modern helmets, books, Pickles, radio equipment, uniforms etc etc....and who pays THEM and when is this to be done ...and how long would it take to validate an entire pitch...just think about the number of small items in ONE glass-topped cabinet...it is indeed eutopia....but it ain't gonna happen....and re a Bond.....who decides its a fake and when...presumably there'd need to be a cooling off period or similar. 'nice suggestion re card acceptance and similar although I find that when one has the cash the prices are more negotiable.
If the proposals became "law" Fairs would close down tomorrow....my preference is to walk past the dodgy stands and laugh at their stuff, shaking my head.....