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Author Topic: Please give your ADVICE regarding my first Train Show  (Read 3014 times)
engineerkyle

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« on: February 26, 2007, 12:30:16 AM »

This coming Sunday I’m doing something I’ve never done before. I have rented table space at the Gratiot Valley Train Show. I would like you all to stop by and see my display which will be titled “Dream Layouts by Engineer Kyle”

http://www.gvrr.org/3-07f.htm

Here’s the thing;

I don’t exactly know what I’m doing, so I am asking you all for any advice you can give. Please take a moment to read my plan listed below, and share with me any ideas you might have that will lead to a successful and satisfying day.


1.)   I’ve taken the 17 modules (structures and scenery) that are not glued down off my layout. I’ll display them on the table. I must come up with some type of lightweight shelf structure that I can put on the table so I can get the pieces on three levels. I have yards of black cloth I can use to dress things up.
2.)   Each piece will be accompanied by a couple of 8x10 glossies that will show how they look on the layout.
3.)   No prices will be listed, only a small tag for each item with a number, the number of hours I worked on it.
4.)   I’ll have about 100 trees half made up. I’ll have some spray and WS foam handy, and will show the passersby how to make their own foliage, and give them away, 20 per hour, on the hour.
5.)   I have a backdrop half painted, and will work on it to pass the time. I’ve also got some BB kits I can put together.
6.)   I’ll have my 10 year old son with me to help out.


I don’t really know where this will lead; I mostly want to promote the hobby and show off my stuff, sort of an exhibition/clinic.

Any thoughts please?



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Nathan

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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2007, 12:44:13 AM »

Have you talked to the people putting on the show?  Quite often they can let you know what the type of crowd they normally get and what type of questions people will ask.

If there are some common things you did on a large number of the units you will be showing, you might do a little 'hand out' with a few tips of what you did and how you did it to help the people new to the hobby.

You also might reduce the number of items you bring and have a larger area where you are building a new item.  I have done this at trains shows over the years and had people check back several times during the show to look at each 'stage' of what I was working on.  At one show I brought several of the same kit and built each one to a different stage of construction so a person could 'see' the progress.

On of the modelers in the Seattle area worked on a roundhouse only at the yearly train show and people came back every year to check on the progress.  It was a two day show and I beleive it took him four or five years to finish it.
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GlennW

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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2007, 09:59:59 PM »

The first "rule" is to have fun, and enjoy the day.

1) Check on "setup" time, how close you can be to your car. I've seen some vendors use plastic shelving. Put delicate items in a case so fingers can't touch & break something.
2) Digital cameras are cheap & plentiful. Let your guests take all the photos they want.
3) You will be asked for prices.
4) Good idea to have trees to give away. Makeup plenty of business cards & flyers. The flyer can include prices & make provision for sale tax.
5) A backdrop, some BB kits may help pass the time. It may be better to visit other booths, see what other guys do.
6) Have some projects your son can do. Can be a big help as a go-fer.
7) Check on lunch & other breaks. A cooler may give you some choice over sodas or other snack items.
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the Bach-man
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2007, 11:34:22 PM »

Dear Kyle,
I'd make a sincere effort to have another adult as well. We have "lost" a couple of items at shows this year. It's impossible to keep your eyes everywhere and talk to people.
Let me qualify that by saying we have displayed our trains before more than 100,000 people in five states this year, and have lost only two or three items. On the whole a wonderful record, but if one person takes something that is very meaningful or valuable to you, "on the whole" doesn't help...
Have fun!
the Bach-man
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Seasaltchap

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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2007, 12:59:43 AM »

It is a good idea to screw an 18" plexiglass fence to the front of the display to stop small hands from touching things. And for adults, to have a rope cordon set about 2' from the front of the display. All to limit ingress on the display.

If you are selling, to have an allocated part of the table for that. Take a selection of change with you.

Take food and drink, and have a friend to call a couple of times to give you a break.

Be aware of what is going on when you are distracted or serving a particular person.
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Phoenix AZ: OO enthusiast modelling GWR 1895-1939, Box Station Wiltshire; S&DJR Writhington Colliery, Nr. Radstock.

Interested in making friends on the site with similar interests.
engineerkyle

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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2007, 06:48:54 AM »

Thanks guys....

I will do all the things mentioned,,, except maybe the plexiglass, good idea, but no time to set it up.  Cry
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SteamGene

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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2007, 08:34:55 AM »

Watch parents with small children.  Young ones like to grab.  Some parents think their child should be able to grab anything available.   I don't think the rope idea will work if you are at a table with other vendors - there just isn't enough room in the aisles.  Any thin transparent plastic would be good.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
bevernie

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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2007, 07:41:03 PM »

Dear Kyle,
I'd make a sincere effort to have another adult as well. We have "lost" a couple of items at shows this year. It's impossible to keep your eyes everywhere and talk to people.
Let me qualify that by saying we have displayed our trains before more than 100,000 people in five states this year, and have lost only two or three items. On the whole a wonderful record, but if one person takes something that is very meaningful or valuable to you, "on the whole" doesn't help...
Have fun!

Isn't it a crying shame that even in a hobby like trains, we still have those sorry thieves who think they need it worse than you, but are not willing to pay for it!! Rest assured, they WILL pay for it!! If you are a thief, and you are reading this, realize "your days are numbered"!!
                                                                                            Ernie
                                                                                  Hendersonville, NC
the Bach-man
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Guilford Guy


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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2007, 07:45:03 PM »

Dear Kyle,
I'd make a sincere effort to have another adult as well. We have "lost" a couple of items at shows this year. It's impossible to keep your eyes everywhere and talk to people.
Let me qualify that by saying we have displayed our trains before more than 100,000 people in five states this year, and have lost only two or three items. On the whole a wonderful record, but if one person takes something that is very meaningful or valuable to you, "on the whole" doesn't help...
Have fun!

Isn't it a crying shame that even in a hobby like trains, we still have those sorry thieves who think they need it worse than you, but are not willing to pay for it!! Rest assured, they WILL pay for it!! If you are a thief, and you are reading this, realize "your days are numbered"!!
                                                                                            Ernie
                                                                                  Hendersonville, NC
the Bach-man

uh oh  Grin Cheesy Wink Tongue

It is a shame though. Anything missing at Springfield Mr B?
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Alex

Mik

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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2007, 10:20:03 PM »

Sadly, it has been my experience that the adults (who SHOULD know better!) fiddle with things more than the kids!  A friend of mine was trying to sell a brand new mini lathe...he finally got so tired of people foodling with it "just looking" that he put up a little sign that said "Turn knobs, $20" A little sign to the effect of "I break I cry, you break you buy" can sometimes gets the point across without being too offensive.

Also, be prepared to have people low ball you on prices. I've been offered $5 on an $80 item, told that they could get it elsewhere for half what I was asking (so go buy it there, and while you are at it, I'll take 3....), informed the exact sale price of an item when they didn't buy it in 1968, yadda, yadda. Just take it in stride and remain polite.

MOST of the people in the hobby are good guys, but be aware that there are a few weasels, too
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Mik
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