In brief - The RISC OS Christmas 2007 show will take place tomorrow at a swanky Warwickshire venue. Late breaking news before the event: RISCOS Ltd will be flogging their updated volume three of the Programmer's Reference Manuals (as reported back in October). R-Comp have changed their technical support hours to 12pm to 6pm to cope with their "growing workload".
It's hoped punters unable to make it to the other big shows of the year in the north and south of the country can drop by the Midlands-based event to pick up some early Christmas presents.
The list of exhibitors includes: The ARM Club; The Midlands User Group; Castle; RISC OS Open; RISCOS Ltd; APDL; VirtualAcorn; R-Comp; Icon Technology; MW Software; Serious Statistical Software; CJE Micros; the NetSurf team; Archive; RISC OS Now; Fortran Friends and campanologist John Norris. For full details, see the links below.
The Christmas show will be held on Saturday December 1 at the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, which is located two minutes from junction 12 of the M40. Doors will be open from 10.30am to 4pm. Entry costs four quid or three pounds for ARM Club and MUG members. Entry is free for the under-12s
Anyone going to the show is welcome to email in pictures, news and gossip. No email-y, no post-show report-y.
I was at the show today perched on the end of the Qercus/MUG tables. It was certainly a small venue but appeared to have a steady stream of visitors during the the morning. Filtered off in the afternoon. Well worth attending.
It was an enjoyable show, but there were fewer people than last year at Featherstone -
It would be useful to have some idea why.
was the location at Gaydon too far South?, was it the bad weather forecast?, was it too soon after the South East show? have a significant number of RISC OS users left the platform, (or died)?
Any other suggestions?
The MUG club will be discussing the next Midland show at our 19th January 2008 meeting. So the more opinions we have the better. (facts would be nicer than opinions but they are harder to come by)
It is possible that young people are not interested because RISC OS can't handle the networking sites where they interact with fheir friends. I can just about use Facebook using Firefox but would not recommend to anyone who did not have a strong masochistic streak. MySpace, Flickr, and online maps are now taken for granted. A year ago they were not so well established.
In reply to rjek
"I noticed a drastic drop in young people visiting the show compared to last year (
the ratio of under 30s to over 60s is one that fascinates me )"
Perhaps the public transport links were better or as the Featherstone was close to a main conerbation it had a bigger potential catchment area. Certainly thinking back it did seem biased to the more elderly end of the population curve.
Others had commented that they saw new faces at the show and certainly your observation of at least two does bear this out and is interesting in that they were old users who dropped in.
Certainly food for thought for the MUG team and our next meeting on where to stage next years show.
In Reply to JohnR
Well perhaps next year we ought to think about doing something on Facebook/MySpace/YouTube as opposed to the traditional market outlets and see what that brings.
I don't think Gaydon was too far south in reality, but it's location on the M40 south of Birmingham did make me stop and wonder if it was worth the trip from Yorkshire (whereas I never worried about a trip down to the Motorcycle Museum; I didn't make last year's show). If I hadn't specifically wanted to buy a couple of items, I probably wouldn't have bothered.
Personally, having now been there, I'd have no problem with your holding another show at this venue: it seemed a good space, and it was easy to get to. The only 'problem' was that, to me as a southerner (based in the north), J12 of the M40 initially said "south" not "midlands" until I had worked out the actual mileage involved. Maybe others got put off before they got as far as sticking it into a route planner? If so, I'm sure that could be overcome in next year's advertising.
As for better public transport, I suppose you would be looking at a minibus link to Warwick (or Warwck Parkway) station, which gives links to the CrossCountry service. I don't know how practical or financially viable that would be, although it's 'just' a couple of junctions up the motorway...
"J12 of the M40 initially said south not midlands"
We in MUG have already discussed the fact that it might have been percieved as being south and thus encroaching on the SEShow only just a month and a half earlier and that it might have been better to do something no further than Birmigham to catch the northern RISCOS users who would have had 6 months to recover from the Wakefield show. If we could pick up the Heritage Centre and move it a bit further north then it would be ideal.
"I suppose you would be looking at a minibus link to Warwick"
Yes again we thought of this and in hindsight it might a swayed a few extra visitors so perhaps we could look at it for next year.
Another factor we had feedback on, is that it takes a while to build a shows reputation and that staying at the same venue for a period and having it at the same time each year ensures people know what to expect.