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RISC OS Christmas roadshow details finalised

By Chris Williams. Published: 16th Nov 2005, 20:42:08 | Permalink | Printable

Exhibitors to be confirmed [Updated]

RISC OS roadshow in the UKAt least two of the venues in the Christmas roadshow this year have been confirmed according to an email sent to dealers and developers this evening. Organiser and ROL boss Paul Middleton wrote: "The dates and venues for the RISC OS Christmas Roadshow have now been finalised. Please note that there will be no admission charges for visitors in order to encourage attendance. The cost of the tables has been kept as low as possible to help everyone make some money on the events."

Locating suitable exhibtion halls at short notice proved to be a tricky exercise as the ambitious plan to tour the UK was not announced until late in October. As such, the meetings to be held next month should be more informal and intimate with punters as they are smaller and more cosier than regular RISC OS shows. Companies including AdvantageSix, VirtualAcorn, CJE Micros, R-Comp and Martin Wuerthner were sent the email asking for places to be booked as soon as possible.

Users in the West Midlands thought their hopes of a local RISC OS show this year were sunk when the ARM Club pulled out of hosting an event. However now exhibitors will hopefully be travelling to the Bassett Suite at the West Bromwich Albion Football Club on Thursday 15th December to greet punters between 4pm and 8pm. The roadshow then rolls into Manchester on Friday, although details for that day are yet to be confirmed. Companies then move to Middlesex on Saturday to appear in the Garden Suite at the Best Western Cumberland Hotel between 11am and 3pm.

The roadshow aims to promote extra Christmas trade in the RISC OS market, especially from users who were unable to make it to any of the annual shows or major user group meetings this year.

Update at 18:43 17/11/2005
RISCOS Ltd. have confirmed that the Manchester area event will take place at the Brittania Hotel in Stockport between 4pm and 8pm on Friday 16th December. Full addresses and details are here.

Links

December roadshow planned

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Discussion

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I hope ROL are promoting these events in the local press for each venue. What I wouldnt want to see is the events being only attended by the usual regulars who tread the boards at every RISC OS show.

<cynic> I didnt get any invite email..maybe we are too Iyonix-friendly? </cynic>

Cheers,

/Neil/

 is a RISC OS Userspellinn on 17/11/05 9:29AM
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In Reply to Neil: I am in no doubt that Paul would welcome you aboard the RoadShow. It is a big job to organise this at such short notice. Developers who would like to be there need to show a bit of initiative and get in touch with Paul asap.

Incidentally; this is my first comment to drobe from an Iyonix running FireFox.

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 17/11/05 10:01AM
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Just book a half day holiday so I can attend the Birmingham event.

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 17/11/05 10:20AM
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I think the invites may have got lost in the post, as I haven't had one either! I'm not sure about the local advertising, when was the last time one of the big RISC OS shows got local/general promotion?

 is a RISC OS UserCJE on 17/11/05 2:40PM
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Perhaps it's time to do that right know and also work on people's nostalgia with the likes of repton and e-type...

 is a RISC OS Userhighlandcattle on 17/11/05 3:25PM
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CJE: "when was the last time one of the big RISC OS shows got local/general promotion?"

RISC OS 2000 certainly did, I think RISC OS 2001 might well have.

Even if it hasn't been done recently, that's not a reason for not doing it, assuming someone has the time to do it properly.

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 17/11/05 3:32PM
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I have over the years advertised in PCW, The Daily Mail and on the Radio all unsuccesfully:-( (except early on with PCW) We did a mail shot to 6,000 previous but inactive RISC OS users a couple of years ago, the turnover of the business generated did not cover the postage of the mail shot:-(

Throwing money at marketing is often non fruitful, other ways are needed!

 is a RISC OS UserCJE on 17/11/05 3:41PM
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It's been said before and I'm sure it'll be said again, but why don't ROL put this info on their own website?! That might be a start in promoting these events. I think it's great that they're organising this but people need to know they're happening.

 is a RISC OS Userben on 17/11/05 3:52PM
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I think you are jumping the gun a bit! I suspect they may want more confirmation of details like who is going to be there etc. To my mind the one mistake so far is sending the info to drobe! It was premature.

 is a RISC OS UserCJE on 17/11/05 4:01PM
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They could allways send a press release to the local papers.

By email the cost would be low as well.

 is a RISC OS UserRevin Kevin on 17/11/05 4:52PM
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I few ideas for marketing these events: - email press releases to local newspapers, computer clubs, schools and churches. - invite people from other computer clubs - ask RISC OS users in the area to tell friends and family about the event.

Get someone to write these press releases so they are exciting and make people want to attend!

Do these things a couple of weeks before the event with a follow up a two or three days before.

 is a RISC OS Userknutson on 17/11/05 6:14PM
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A few things.

Paul Middleton originally emailed a number of companies yesterday who probably registered a strong interest in exhibiting back in October. A source forwarded the email to us and we ran the above article because of the public interest surrounding the roadshow and its news value. Earlier today, Paul sent out a press release, which other outlets have picked up. A company that wants to exhibit should probably book a place asap, from what I can tell.

As for publicity, I write for local newspapers and getting an article in about the risc os roadshow will be difficult unless you can spin it hard on retro gaming or something leftfield like that. I really recommend contacting surrounding user groups and computer clubs and spreading the word to those who are likely to be interested - targeted publicity.

Just my thoughts.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 17/11/05 6:36PM
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Pretty tragic way to get attention to the platform - advertising it as being able to play a 20 year old game or two....

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 17/11/05 11:04PM
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simo: Tragic, but I agree with Chris. Why we use RISC OS is actually different to why 'most people' choose to use their Windows box, and IMHO this is why Linux hasn't penetrated the non-computer-savvy desktop world (and why Apple's market share is relatively small for that matter). Most people use Windows because of its market penetration - you can go down to your local 'Windows World' and buy stuff for it. It's not necessarily that they /like/ Windows, but that obvious disadvantage to the alternatives - the same reason most of us own a Windows box as well as a RISC OS machine. Marketing RISC OS to those people without knowing much about modern RISC OS is a hiding to nowhere. Hence, agreed, mailshots and blind adverts would probably fail.

Consider Chris's plan. You attract in the retrogamers, the 'tinkerers', the people who like to dabble with their machines rather than just run Word. These are people that actually just might see beneath the 'does it run Internet Exploder?' and look at the positives of the platform.

Just my 2p anyway ;).

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 18/11/05 12:39AM
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simo:

Maybe it *would* be tragic if it was the *only* reason to be using RISC OS.

The way you persuade people to consider using RISC OS, and the reasons they ultimately use it instead of something else need not necessarily be the same thing.

After all, this is arguably what Apple have done (selling computers off the success of the iPod).

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 18/11/05 12:43AM
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After looking at the details, it becomes clear that Castle aren't just missing from the "companies expected to attend" list for any specific event drawn up by RISCOS Ltd, they're not expected to attend at *any* of the events.

It would have been great if RISCOS Ltd had taken this opportunity to bring the RISC OS community together.

Instead it seems as if they've used it as another way to split the market down the middle.

I still hope that RISCOS Ltd will prove me wrong on this; maybe it's time for RISCOS Ltd to grow up and realise that it's time to work with other people.

If they can do so, that would be great news.

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 18/11/05 1:11AM
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simo: Well ok, what I actually meant is that simply saying a RISC OS roadshow is in town will get the PR binned. It needs to have a local interest and be unusual or newsworthy. It's a shame that Stockport isn't closer to Oldham, which is where Advantage6 are based, otherwise you could write, 'Local business stands up to computer giants' or similar. I'll post again if I come up with something better.

dgs: Do you have any evidence that Castle are banned, or did you just forget to add a very large 'IMHO' to your comment? Your favouritism towards CTL leaves my head spinning.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 18/11/05 5:20AM
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Chris said>"Your favouritism towards CTL leaves my head spinning."

With respect Chris one or two articles back you had a headline which stated that VARPC had moved ahead of Iyonix. Yet in your own (Drobe) survey you did *not* have banner headlines announcing that Iyonix had edged ahead of VARPC.

What's that phrase again something to do with "pot" "kettle" and "black" ;)

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 18/11/05 8:46AM
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I agree that you need to promote the platform to the niches (e.g. retrogamers) instead of the masses, but that's mainly because the things that RISC OS is good at is not really what the masses use computers for. For instance, vector graphics and DTP have always been pretty well served on RISC OS, but who really uses that (OK we all do because we're used to it, but most people would just put up with Word and MSPaint!) Then again, why buy an Iyonix to run Elite when you can use it via an emulator or even buy a native PC/console version (think there is even an OSS clone for Linux).

Most people use computers for the internet, we are just getting some decent browsers and have always had good Email clients, but that other crap like Flash, streaming audio and video aren't wonderfully supported.

You can't really attract the programmers as it's a very non-portable platform (less so with GCCSDK now) and these days if you don't have good Java or C# (shudder!) you won't get people's attention, Hell we don't even have a decent C++ IDE, most of RISC OS's best programming tools are for BASIC!

Some of the RISC OS problem is from people who used it at school, and assume we haven't moved on, it's a bit sad that the only people who ever recognise RISC OS are people whose last experience of it was RO2 A310's, or only ever used some single-tasking ported from the BBCB edutainment title which ran equally well on an RM Nimbus.

Educating people is the key. Most people don't know or don't care that there are alternatives to Windows, jees most people haven't even heard of Linux let alone RISC OS, or haven't heard of Firefox as a MSIE alternative.

Price is obviously important, you can get a bloody good PC for 300-400ukp or a Mac for 500ukp, or an OK-ish Iyonix/A9 for 700-1000ukp, and hey, people still don't buy Macs because of the price....

I dunno, I'm kinda out of ideas, and just think if we haven't hit anywhere near mainstream during the Acorn days, how are we going to do it now?

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 18/11/05 9:19AM
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AMS:

Actually, we did. The headline for the drobe survey results was "Iyonix use leads VirtualRPC". [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 18/11/05 9:20AM
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diomus thanks for forgetting about us (wink) - we're about 15 mins from stockport and some of our guys live there. It is about as local as they get!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 18/11/05 10:25AM
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simo: I think the brief answer is that RISC OS isn't going to hit mainstream any time soon - it missed that particular boat when Win 95 was launched. It still has a lot to do technically to catch up with even some of the other 'niche' OSes. However, if we assume that things aren't 'mainstream or die', which I think we've now got lots of evidence that it isn't (Linux growth, Mac OS growth etc), then RISC OS is in a strong position. For desktop performance-per-Watt, the A9 is almost certainly unchallenged in its field. The RISC OS GUI has always been a strength, and as you pointed out, long-lacking developments /are/ coming to the fore at a time when IMHO software innovation has been slowing elsewhere. The growth of open standards is also highly beneficial to the platform to allow us to compete on a level playing field.

 is a RISC OS Usermd0u80c9 on 18/11/05 11:49AM
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simo: It need not be as you describe. It also depends on mentality, as well as perspective. Please consider the thought that there is no such thing as an "alternative". There is only a computer.

When someone is about to get another or new computer, point them to something special. Try not to describe it as a minority, expensive, non-standard system, but rather as a unique, user-friendly, cost-effective and brave computer, as well as cool. ;)

As long as you look at it from the corporate-standard-conformist-ritualistic perspective, RISC OS is indeed just as you describe. When people ask me what to buy, I advise them to buy (depending on their precise requirements and ambitions) either a Mac or a RISC OS machine. If someone already has a PC, I usually advise Linux. I can point out a lot of ugly stuff on Microsoft and its Windows products, which most of the time scares people away - remember that I only offer what I know and can point out to them.

To use and promote RISC OS is a responsibility of the small group of users left. If we focus our attention on its "short-comings", the market will suffer from that. That does not mean turning a blind eye, rather being optimistic and positive about something special worth its while.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 18/11/05 12:16PM
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simo: The "official" releases of Elite aren't anywhere near as good as the RISC OS one, which is why you'd at least need an emulator (the unofficial ones which arguably are as good aren't for Windows, interestingly enough - there's Elite A, which is an adaption of the BBC B version, and OOlite, which is being written on Macs, although I think there's a Linux port going too).

The price of RISC OS is unfortunately a huge chain around it's neck. It takes a hell of a lot of convincing to try to persuade people who don't use it that they should spend more money on something that has lower numbers (however relevent or not they may be), doesn't run their favourite app, and can't do a few other things. That is where VRPC could potentially be of use, for supplying a cheap end, although for that to work there would need to be some native hardware that outperformed it hugely.

md0u80c9: Alas we aren't seeing RISC OS growth, or at least that's not the perception I have, although as you point out things do seem to be slowing down elsewhere. If RO can survive long enough to use that slow down to catch up then it may have a chance. I hope so.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 18/11/05 12:25PM
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Chris> Ahem, sorry for getting my facts wrong on this one - yes indeed you did indeed mention that Iyonix was ahead of VRPC. Please accept my sincerest apologies.

Regarding the RO Roadshow it might be helpful if ROL *did* include as many vendors as possible (including Castle and Spellings) - after all the more capabilities of RO shown to the punters the greater likelyhood of sales (maybe even RO reaching that magic 100 Iyonix Select commitments).

 is a RISC OS UserAMS on 18/11/05 1:57PM
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Various points: The Wakefield Show was advertised on local radio and local papers. Plus flyers via exhibitors in the past. we have also had it advertised on local event websites and in at least TWO National newspapers - Times and Guardian if I remember correctly.

As for Castle attending the Roadshow, if I remember correctly Paul asked for interested parties to get in touch. So either they are not interested or possibly they can not manage those dates or even they are waiting for more confirmed locations and staff availablity. It would be very useful if people did not assume things they do not know.....

But that I suppose would spoil things for some people!

 is a RISC OS UserWakeman on 18/11/05 2:09PM
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Just viewing from the outside, I find it hard to believe that a commercial company would not want to sell their products at every chance.

If they could not attend every venue, then I would imagine they would make sure they were at the nearest one.

Fishy ?

 is a RISC OS Userajb on 18/11/05 3:09PM
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Alternatively; the first Castle heard about it was on Drobe or csa.announce like everyone else that hadn't been "pre-invited".

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 18/11/05 4:39PM
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In reply to Knutson

Hi Steve

Have a look at RISC OS Yahoo NZ group, message 847 from Robert. :-)

Regards, Steve H.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 18/11/05 7:13PM
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There was a flyer for the roadshow events included with the September! issue of the Foundation CD that arrived for me this morning.

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 19/11/05 11:38AM
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I am tempted to send an email out to all our MPro customers (and maybe UniPrint) as those form a sizeable list of "usual suspects" who might be interested in coming. I always worry about this kind of thing because some might see it as spam. What do Drobe readers think? Is it acceptable to promote "last minute" shows like this via such lists. I always try to keep them strictly for sending out upgrades, but I foresee publicity being the biggest problem for the roadshows?

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 19/11/05 12:59AM
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arawnsley:

Perhaps an announcement along the lines of "people who want to meet staff face to face to discuss our products will be able to find us at the RISC OS roadshows in... on..."?

Speaking as someone on the MPro mailing list, I (obviously) already know about the roadshow. However, I probably wouldn't be offended by such an announcement sent to the list (especially if, say, programmers will be present to talk to, or you'll be showing a beta of the next version[1]), so long as it remains a special case, and not something that happens for every RISC OS-related event.

[1] or you make it specifically relevant in some other way; special offers for existing users who turn up, perhaps? (Not that I can make it anyway :)

 is a RISC OS Userchrisj on 19/11/05 1:56PM
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This may just be my opinion, but I see spam as email that I didn't sign up for. I think if people join a mailing list for a particular product then they should expect some of that traffic to be announcements. Provided it's not abused (like say, an announcement every day), I can imagine that people who signed up for the mailing list won't mind an announcement that says, as chrisj suggested, 'meet the programmers/chat to us' etc.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 19/11/05 2:35PM
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In reply to A Rawnsley: As a member of the mailing list. I do not have a problem with you making such announcments as long as they are related to the list you are sending it out to,

 is a RISC OS Usersa110 on 19/11/05 3:01PM
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arawnsley:

Sorry to be contrary, but I'm not so sure about this. Personally I wouldn't get upset in this particular case. But if it was another company, for an event that I'm not interested in (and if I multiply it by the number of companies that I do business with) then I start to see a problem.

People don't really have the option to unsubscribe from the list, since it might prevent them getting upgrades for your software, so sending out additional announcements on the same list might get some people upset.

Incidentally, do you really think that you'd reach more people than announcements on drobe, ANS, c.s.a.announce etc.. would reach anyway? All of these are places where people expect to receive such information.

Just to be clear, I'm not questioning your motives at all, and I applaud your proactive attitude. I also truly hope these roadshows are going to be a big success. I just feel that your traditional attitude of caution is probably the right one to have.

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 19/11/05 3:54PM
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Thankyou for the feedback, guys! I do feel that there are quite a few people who don't read newsgroups, and might feel a little warey (spelling???) of sites like iconbar and drobe, because they don't feel they are "enthusiasts", just "users". We shall see. I guess the best thing to do is test the water, but I think make this a one-off.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 19/11/05 4:23PM
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Andrew: I can imagine list members being miffed if you don't inform them and they missed a show. Let's get this thing advertised as widely as possible.

 is a RISC OS Userjc on 19/11/05 10:06PM
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The ARM Club has asked for a table at the Birmingham event, so hopefully we will see a few of the people that would have come to the Midlands show, if we were able to hold it this year.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 21/11/05 09:11AM
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I know, it's off-topic for the story, but since the conversation has strayed into publicity, I'm going to push my luck.

It looks like Ad6 have the right idea when it comes to publicising their new machine:

[link]

Perhaps the A9Home can be pushed up the roadshow billing to capitalise on its current notoriety? ;)

It's actually a very good article in my view (as in "accurate and fair"). Maybe there's even a hint of bias in /favour/ of RISC OS, which makes a pleasant change :D

 is a RISC OS Userflypig on 22/11/05 1:34PM
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