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Leaner, smaller Wakefield 2006 confirmed

By Chris Williams. Published: 2nd Feb 2006, 07:00:11 | Permalink | Printable

Let the show predictions begin

In a bid to save the Wakefield show, several cost cutting measures have today been unveiled by the organisers of this year's event. Dogged by various problems and headaches in staging what was once branded the premier annual show, the WROCC have held roundtable deliberations in an attempt to combat what they describe as "increased operating costs".

Shot of a Wakefield showAlthough the ticket prices remain the same as last year, the event will be run for one day only and will likely sport a smaller show theatre. Punters have previously complained that popular talks, such as the launch of the beta A9home, quickly fill up and become uncomfortably crowded at the back. The mini-bus service from the nearby train station to the show's venue has also been scrapped and there will be fewer roadside directions sign posted around the area.

Show supremo Chris Hughes said, "The attendance on the Sunday last year no longer justified the extra costs to both us and the exhibitors in doing a two day event, as well as the complication of having enough helpers available."

The Wakefield organisers were floored when they learnt that the local council will be building a new gym on the site of the Thornes Park Stadium, where the show is usually hosted, resulting in up to half of the show floor being unavailable. The event team are said to be in close contact with the stadium staff and that the construction work, which will run from March to July, will not overly interfere with their plans. The user group are also hunting for replacement caterers.

Despite these set backs, the show is being sponsored by some of the platform's top companies: Advantage 6, APDL, Virtual Acorn (aka 3QD), MW Software and Spellings Computer Services. Alongside these, R-Comp have also booked exhibition space. RISCOS Ltd have tentatively suggested to users at previous events that they are hoping to complete Select 4 and 32bit RISC OS 4 by the second quarter of 2006, which makes the Wakefield event ideal for such a launch. Select for the Iyonix is currently less of a priority for the company while they focus their tight resources on finishing promised products. It is also hoped the A9home will leave its beta status on its public anniversary at the show before fears grow that the Advantage Six product becomes a case of 'too little, too late' in a market starved of new hardware.

The charity stand will be running again and donating cash to the Wakefield Hospice; the WROCC thanked big hearted users for their help in making the user group one of the largest fund raisers for the charity for terminally ill people. Revealed today, fuming organisers were left to foot the bill of disposing of 40 PCs last year when they were allegedly dumped at the event on behalf of a company; all bulky items such as computers, monitors and printers have been banned this time around.

Chris added: "We are considering an idea whereby people may make arrangements between themselves to sell or donate their old RISC OS kit and have a meeting point at the show. I welcome people's thoughts on how this could be done."

Wakefield 2006 will be held on Saturday May 13th at the Thornes Park Athletics Stadium, Wakefield, from 10am to 5pm. Advance tickets will go on sale in April.


Wakefield 2006 details - prices, etc Wakefield show website - not to be updated for another few weeks, however

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I found Sunday quite profitable last year, and would certainly have paid extra to attend. However, I am not party to the additional costs Chris mentions, and have to go with his word on this.

I hope this year's show will be as well attended on the Saturday as it was over the two days last year.

RISC OS needs end user support now more than ever.

 is a RISC OS Userdemondb on 2/2/06 8:20AM
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A big sigh of relief that it's now all confirmed. It's unfortunate that things have to be cut (an unpleasant reflection on the current status of RISC OS - this trend desperately needs reversing for it to have a future), but full marks to the organisers for keeping the show going in difficult circumstances.

The door price isn't (to me) a problem, and I'd have happily paid a bit more to get in. The only time I've ever used the bus was when I bought my Iyonix. Hopefully this won't turn out to be the first Wakefield show I've been to when it's been raining!

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 2/2/06 10:22AM
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in reply to demondb:

Love to have kept Sunday, but attendence was less the half on previous year and overall nearly the same on previous year. Example additional costs are Hire of hall, security, first aid cover, etc.. Also having enough helpers is becoming a bigger problem with the smaller numbers of people available.

General points: to clarify some comments put in the article above. It says half the show floor unavailable - it should be half the hall unavailable. (somewhat different).

Current plans relating to show theatre are we want the same size (we can't afford to make it bigger - more costs), it might have to be made smaller for safety reasons becuase it will be close to where the building work will be. This will be decided closer to the date.

By the way take all references to organisers to mean organiser i.e. me! ;-)

 is a RISC OS UserWakeman on 2/2/06 2:00PM
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If you need helpers why don't you ask other user groups?

RISC OS SE, for instance, got its helpers from at least 2 other groups outside of SASAUG...

 is a RISC OS UserROHC on 2/2/06 7:09PM
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In reply to ROHC:

Thanks for your thoughts. But helpers is only one small problem compared to the others. :-)

Wakefield AFAIK is still the second largest user group/club after the ARM Club in the UK.

Some ex-members assist as well.

 is a RISC OS UserWakeman on 3/2/06 12:01AM
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I'll be there - can't wait for the Premier RISC OS show !!! Hoping to be able to purchare VRPC for OS X (fingers crossed)

 is a RISC OS Userleeshep on 7/2/06 12:15AM
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No mention of Castle. Drobe bias again or not invited. Castle put more than all the rest into shows not inviting them is madness. Why is Castle hated?

 is a RISC OS Userbillball on 7/2/06 3:10PM
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billball: Or it could be because there's no mention of Castle in Chris Hughes' email (see the link below the article), so Drobe is just reporting what information there is.

 is a RISC OS UserSimonC on 7/2/06 5:51PM
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In reply to billball: The list of companies is either:

a) Those that have booked already to show their support. b) Those that are helping fund the show by sponsorship.

Since Castle aren't listed you can conclude that at the time the e-mail was sent by Chris Hughes they hadn't booked and weren't sponsoring the show. The list of companies is not a list of exhibitors who are planning to attend.

 is a RISC OS UserVirtualAcorn on 7/2/06 8:33PM
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Wasnt it small enough already?

 is a RISC OS UserLexCarter on 8/2/06 9:47AM
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In reply to billball: If you bother to read the press released linked from this webpage you will see the is list is of those at the time of the press release who have advanced booked and indeed many of them are sponsors as well.

Spellings and Archive have also booked now. But nothing so far from Castle. It is upto them to book. I don't and will not be chasing them. I simply do not have to the time to do so.

In reply to LexCarter:

If you mean the show was getting smaller, well thats the size of market and nothing I can do about we have ALL the main players and many of the smaller ones at the Wakefield show - it is the biggest of the shows.

 is a RISC OS UserWakeman on 8/2/06 12:43PM
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I think Chris is right in "naming and shaming" those companies who don't show early support for events like this. The shows are the cornerstone of the RISC OS market now (if it wasn't for the shows, I think a lot of people would have lost faith) and as companies involved in the market, it is imperative that we confirm our attendance immediately, and pay promptly/early, so that those involved in organising things are able to get on with organising and promoting instead of becoming glorified debt-chasers. It's the least we can do, when you think about it!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 8/2/06 5:32PM
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