Leaner, smaller Wakefield 2006 confirmedBy Chris Williams. Published: 2nd Feb 2006, 07:00:11 | Permalink | Printable
Let the show predictions beginIn 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".
Although 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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