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The cost of a RISC OS show

By Chris Williams. Published: 22nd Jan 2004, 10:15:35 | Permalink | Printable

Pitfalls and considerations

RISC OS shows are central, focused pillars in the platform's annual calendar. However, a lot of effort, time and money is required when organising a show. So, what's to consider? A lot, is the answer:

Hiring the venue
This really dictates the basis of the show budget. While a school hall can cost around 200UKP for a day, the Midlands show, held at the National Motorcyle Museum, will set you back around 1000UKP, according to the ARM Club. Having a show at the Epsom racecourse venue, which the RISC OS 2000 show used, will cost at least 3000UKP. Also make sure your venue size matches your expected show turnout - no one likes a crush, but splashing out on a large hall when only 50 people walk through the doors will be disappointing.

Stands and furniture
Prices for these vary considerably, depending on whether exhibitors are happy with table and chairs, or are expecting some form of stand enclosure.

Publicity
Get a website and update it lots. Get all your information on it and tell the magazines, news sites and usenet about it and often. Also, if you can swing a publicity stunt with an exhibitor, like say giving away a free computer that hopefully works, then great. Your first show will be hard work, but once a format is settled upon, subsequent events should come easier.

Insurance
Highly essential is public liability insurance, which isn't cheap.

Features
You could have a cafe on-site, or instead simply recommend a local town centre for food and refreshments. Also, exhibitors may wish to run a demonstration in a show theatre, which will require equipment and people to set that up.

Income
A safe plan would be to ensure exhibitor stand bookings are enough to cover the venue hiring costs and insurance. The ticket sales can make up the rest, like paying show helpers, printing costs and so on.

The balance
Exhibitors have to think of travel and accomodation costs, which increase if the show is a two day affair. They'll have to recoup these costs as well as your stand prices, so bear this in mind.

Show helpers
Running a big show can't be done alone - you'll need people to help exhibitors set up stands, push exhibitors to commit to the show and hand over cash prior to the event. They also must keep the event running smoothly. If you already have a day job, expect the pre-show organising to eat up a lot of your free time.

Links


WROCC - Wakefield 2004 organisers
Thanks to ARM Club Chairman Toby Smith and South West show organiser John Stonier for their help in this article. Update at 16:07 22/1/2004: The original article refered to the WROCC and this has been edited since.

Previous: Graphics artists wanted for games
Next: South West 2004 Show details

Discussion

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What's "an almost rare insight"?

 is a RISC OS Userdavehigton on 22/1/04 12:36PM
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As this article has been re-edited, the comments originally posted under it are now inappropriate and have been removed.

Chris.

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 25/1/04 1:49AM
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It's a pity that the financial results from the WROCC show had to be removed from public display. It's worth pointing out to people that RISC OS shows don't really need to be very expensive.

One example is evenings out laid on for helpers. Most RISC OS shows try to arrange a meal for those who help run the show, as a "thank you". But this has normally been on the understanding of "if there is money left over", not a guaranteed benefit of helping out. I'm sure the figure of nearly a thouand pounds for "anniversary dinner" must have been mixed up with something else.

Alongside that, some shows give money to the user groups whose members make the show happen. This recognises the user groups who put in so much effort year after year (Bottisham springs to mind, but there are many more!), with little recognition. But what's given out normally measures in tens of pounds, not hundreds.

Expenses weigh deeply on some. I should say that the "organiser expenses" for RISC OS 99 weighed in at a few tens of pounds, and even that was questioned by the committee.

Expenses in the mid hundreds of pounds might be questioned by a wider public. But we recognise that RISC OS shows appreciate the benefits gained by those organising them using phone calls, internet access and other facilities that may sometimes cost corporate entities some money.

On the other hand, many of these expenses *can* be avoided! (RISC OS 99 and RISC OS 2000 had plenty of phone bills and similar expenses met by miscellaneous third parties).

I think that WROCC are right to increase entry charges (and in an inflation-busting manner!), as us visitors *really* want the show to happen across two days, whereas many exhibitors have been worn down by the cost of the whose exercise, and are hardly enthusiastic. (Exhibitor views on preferriong a 2-day or 1-day show are repeatedly 50/50).

dgs

 is a RISC OS Userdgs on 1/2/04 1:29AM
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