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The Future of Wakefield

By Peter Naulls. Published: 29th Aug 2003, 21:02:38 | Permalink | Printable

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Chris Hughes, an organiser of the Wakefield Show today asked on Usenet what people thought about the future of the biggest RISC OS show of the year.

Chris noted that in 2002 the show made a loss, and this year, only just covered its costs. This is certainly a reflection of the current state of the market, with May 2002 being a particularly low point, and then later picking up with availability of new machines and products. Of course it's hard to predict what will happen in the 9 months leading up to the next Wakefield, and Chris goes on to make further comments.

"Numbers through the door were about the same [for 2002 and 2003]", and that this would likely be the last he organised, referring in part to his health.
He also suggested an alternate venue, such as the new Cedar Count Conference complex, which is at a hotel which has proved popular for show exhibitors to stay at in the past.

Chris finally asks about additional charges for attenting presentations, your reasons for attending the show and if you'd like to help promote it.

Let's hear what you have to say.

The Wakefield Show next occurs in May 2004, and the next RISC OS show is the South East Show, in Guildford.


The future of another Wakefield show

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I've only attended the Wakefield show the the past three years or so. It really does suffer from feeling like a car boot sale - but only in appearances. The general quality of the talks, the help you get from exhibitors, and the good northen pubs easily make up this. It'd be a shame for it to close its doors - it's one of my few remaining links to the RISC OS community, and I look forward to it every year.

As for costs, I don't think visitors would mind paying a little extra to get in (perhaps cheaper if you prebook.) People often forget how expensive such shows are to organise - it's not just the cost of the hall. You've got rental for equipment, insurance of the venue, and all sorts of other legal requirements.

I hope it stays around.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 29/8/03 10:18PM
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What about offering an associate membership for the Wakefield group which goes towards the costs of the show?

 is a RISC OS Usermarkee174 on 29/8/03 10:39PM
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I think a really telling example of the decline of the RISC OS market, is that up to a couple of years ago, the ARM Club consisting of volunteers used to stay in the cheap and cheerful Campinile hotel situated in a scenic industrial park near the satdium, whilst all the professional RISC OS companies (and Acorn when they were still around) stayed in the relative luxuary of Cedar Court.

Now for the past two years, the ARM Club is the only exhibitor staying in Cedar Court (funded by our non RISC OS day jobs), and all the companies making money from RISC OS are slumming it in our old haunt of the Capanile.

That said, if the Cedar Court conference complex is a nice enough venue, it would be good for us - a lot quicker to get to the bar :-)

---druck [link]

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 29/8/03 11:17PM
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I'd easily be willing to pay double for Wakefield (couldn't manage it this year, but went the last two years, and will definitely be there next year). I wouldn't have thought the entrance fee is a problem for most people; as long as it's not completely extortionate, it's mainly down to whether people are free/convinience/etc.

 is a RISC OS Usermoss on 30/8/03 12:21AM
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I didn't attend wakefield this year because it became too small to be worth going to. It has been shrinking every year since I first went, and at this rate they will only need a 4m x 4m room in a few years.

 is a RISC OS UserAndrewDuffell on 30/8/03 9:10AM
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With attitude like that no wonder t's shrinking! It's the nearest Risc OS computer show to me, so i feel it should definitely be continued - but never in a 4m x 4m room, because it will never get to that!

 is a RISC OS UserTimothy609 on 30/8/03 9:35AM
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The only problem regarding the cost as far as I can see is that the entrance fee isn't the only thing that needs paying. The train/air fare, accommodation and food etc are also an issue for people who have to travel to get there. However, perhaps you can say that the entry fee is only a small part of the overall cost then. -- Spriteman.

 is a RISC OS UserSpriteman on 30/8/03 11:59AM
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I never went to Wakefield Show for the main reason that getting there from outside the UK is not as easy as the old Acorn World was. Some place close to an airport which is serviced from the Netherlands and Germany e.g. has a better chance to attract visitors from outside the UK. But for them usually reasonably priced accomodation and a two-day show to make the trip worthwhile and give us a chance to enjoy a good English pub does increase the chances for continental users go come overseas (please not that for us UK is overseas...)

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 30/8/03 1:25PM
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Leeds/Bradford Airport does have direct flights to/from Netherlands still. There is also North Sea Ferries to Hull and then train/coach/car.

 is a RISC OS UserWakeman on 30/8/03 2:45PM
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Or hold it near an airport that ryanair fly to. IE Prestwick ir Stanstead. Or near a major train route like York.

cheers bob

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 31/8/03 10:58AM
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Wakefield is on the East Coast main line to Leeds! hourly service most of the time and good connections from Doncaster. Direct trains from Manchester or via Huddersfield/Leeds.

 is a RISC OS UserWakeman on 31/8/03 12:01PM
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I hope the Wakefield group feel they can maintain the show; I will certainly miss it if they cannot. I think the location is fine but have the ex UK visitors got other ideas? I'd pay more for the entrance and/or theatre stuff (even if it's extra!). Like the idea of being in the same hotel - get there the night before & fall out of bed for the show! It could make an interesting RiscOS pre-show evening if lots arrive the night before!

 is a RISC OS Usernaytone on 31/8/03 12:57PM
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I have been a regular at the Wakefield Show since it started in spite of the fact that I live in Maidstone and when attending usually stay in Hartlepool. However I have been unable to attend for the last 2 years simply because the dates of the show have been announced to late for me to be able to organise to attend.

Hope I am lucky next year -- Victor Shears, Maidstone

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 1/9/03 10:00AM
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The show this year was announced in December 2002! was that not early enough?

 is a RISC OS UserWakeman on 1/9/03 11:57AM
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I'd pay more for the entrance fee as I think it's a great event to show things off and meet people and the only time most people can go out somewhere and come home with a piece of RISC OS software or hardware. What great memories people must have of this place. I think it's terrible that it's made a loss and cannot see why it should continue to be like this with the advent of the Iyonix and Omega.

-- God Save the Queen

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 1/9/03 12:49PM
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I would certainly pay more for an entrance fee. But remember the types of people who buy RISC OS boxen; they are often tight fisted people still using their A3000 having not bothered upgrading in 10 years ;)

 is a RISC OS Userdansguardian on 1/9/03 1:40PM
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Or, they're people who buy every product the instant it comes out, in the name of supporting the market. Even if the product in question was crap, horribly over priced, useless, or all of the above.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 1/9/03 5:13PM
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Nun: You appear to have a specific item in mind? ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 1/9/03 7:46PM
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It wouldn't be right for me to comment ;-)

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 1/9/03 7:55PM
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Was it really December 2002 Wakefield was announced?. All I remember was trying to hold off booking the week long spring break my other half wanted to take for as long as possible. Under pressure I plumped for the 1st week in May thinking the show was always mid to late May and then finding it co-incided with the booking :-(. -- Victor Shears, Maidstone

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 2/9/03 5:12PM
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