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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received an e-mail from a certain LS website (that you have to pay for) basically posing the question about Large Scale shows for 2009 and listing each show with what is changing about each of them. I was struck by the lack of enthusiasm for certain shows until I saw a pattern: there are certain shows that the owners of the website are financially involved with and these are the ones that get good press! Now some of you will probably roll your eyes and say, "What rock have you been living under? This has been going on for years!" All true. However, this time mention was made of the SELSTS and how it was CANCELLED! They then make a reference to the Southeast Garden Railroad Show but do it in such a way as to "dismiss" it as a local show with "no manufacturers and only a few vendors"(!) NO mention is even made for the HAGRS show yet they posed the question, "Why did nobody attend the Midwest Large Scale Train Show?" (after having said that it has once again been CANCELLED!)

Mention was made of the Big Train Show now being open to many scales and I got the impression that they weren't too happy about that! The NGRC, Eaglewings Ironcraft Tour and St. Aubin's Open House were also mentioned. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be that there is some financial reason to do so? Is that all that matters??!! Get the money! Show me the money!!
I have no problem whatsoever with people making money from Large Scale shows! I just wish that, in the mad scramble to grab every dollar, people wouldn't try and tear down other's efforts thinking that it will help them line their pockets!! Of course, why should their attitude about "other shows" be any different than their attitude about "other websites?" As far as they are concerned we don't exist! Why should any show that isn't one of "their" shows be any different? (I don't really expect an answer as I know the reasons! I just am saddened that we can't seem to realize that what is good for the hobby is good for all and visa versa... Here endeth the rant.
 

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I simply delete anthing from the other site that is sent. The way he looks down on anyone else tring to do shows simply shows his agenda for what he can control is most important. I've been in this "game" long enough and know who some of the players are. And I am so turned off . enough said.

Matter of fact I should have thought of this before, but anyone who gets this anouncment should e-mail them and complain why HAGRS is not listed.
 

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Several years ago I made the mistake of being critical of their practices in a private message. My membership was cancelled and money refunded. At the time, I felt embarassed that I had been so critical. They have their own agenda and don't tolerate criticism. Dennis
 

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Getting our home built so maybe we can start playing with trains again!
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Steve, Excellent point!!!

In my humble personal opinion.........I believe there is more to this than just trains. I also believe what you are seeing is due to the currently high rate of attrition for not only this hobby but most others. The blood and guts enthusiasts are all finding it rather difficult to sustain the involvement. It's one of those things where if you can't afford it why try and then there goes the interest. Especially when folks are faced with the question....Do I pay bills and buy groceries or do I pay 4 bucks a foot for track? It takes close to or over 2 grand just to get a small foothold in this hobby and quite frankly, I don't think there are many that are willing to spend that kinda scratch for toys. I happen to be one of them.


Because of this high attrition rate, the folks that are remaining and or flourishing , at least a good portion of them, don't really care since they have gobs of disposable income. I would venture to say the majority of them have been "forefront beneficiaries" in the current mess we find ourselves in. These are the same folks that will buy one of those "Master Garden Railroader" certificates and then encase it in a solid gold frame for all to see mounted in the center of a railroad they paid someone to build. (Not because they can't due to a physical issue.)


Now I'm not saying all of the folks that remain are this way but there are far more of them than there were just 3 years ago. Although you could see the trend even then. There are those that are in it for the Hobby. The purist so to speak. Those that have figured out how to balance the needs with the wants. I may not be a purist but I am in it for the hobby. But I am still trying to figure out that balance and like most, we can't afford this so it becomes more a want than a need.I have also lost a good portion of my interest because there are things I want............. If it involves improving the yard then it will be budgeted for but I'm not going out and dropping "dime one" for something when there are higher priorities


When it comes to these shows it seems like it's a power struggle. One that exists between those that are trying to maybe make a buck while promoting something good and those that are like the spoiled little child and if they don't get all the attention, are not only going to take their ball and go home but pop everyone elses ball so they can't have fun either.


I say make your money, in fact make tons of it! Just not at the expense and suffering of others. Sharing the wealth is far too near the extreme for me. Yet, placing a respectable value in one's contributions and rewarding legitamate hard work, ethics and effort is more in line with what I am trying to say. In other words, "just because" is not a good enough reason.


I hope this isn't too "lame" a response for anyone out there.
 

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Posted By Steve Stockham on 03/17/2009 6:07 AM
I received an e-mail from a certain LS website (that you have to pay for) basically posing the question about Large Scale shows for 2009 and listing each show with what is changing about each of them. I was struck by the lack of enthusiasm for certain shows until I saw a pattern: there are certain shows that the owners of the website are financially involved with and these are the ones that get good press! Now some of you will probably roll your eyes and say, "What rock have you been living under? This has been going on for years!" All true. However, this time mention was made of the SELSTS and how it was CANCELLED! They then make a reference to the Southeast Garden Railroad Show but do it in such a way as to "dismiss" it as a local show with "no manufacturers and only a few vendors"(!) NO mention is even made for the HAGRS show yet they posed the question, "Why did nobody attend the Midwest Large Scale Train Show?" (after having said that it has once again been CANCELLED!)






I was put off by that also Steve. I know there are a lot of folks working hard on the South East show and they seemed to go out of their way to make light of it.



Posted By DennisB on 03/17/2009 7:20 AM
Several years ago I made the mistake of being critical of their practices in a private message. My membership was cancelled and money refunded. At the time, I felt embarassed that I had been so critical. They have their own agenda and don't tolerate criticism. Dennis



Yes, that's true. I learned that early on there. Of course, agendas and double standards are everywhere
. You just gotta take the good with the bad when you're playing in someone else's sand box.


-Brian
 

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One of the things that really turned me off about Outdoor Railroader when it came out was their "Gardens are for growing carrots" slogan, taking a swipe at GR and its emphasis on gardening. (At this point, I wasn't involved with GR, just a reader.) I never could figure out why they had to launch out of the gate being adversarial. Their intended audience was completely different, and with their off-month production complimented GR very nicely. But it was the implied "we're better than you" attitude that kept me from subscribing. To me, that was an unnecessary intrusion of the small-scale mentality into large scale.

I haven't seen the e-mail being discussed here, so I won't speak specifically to it. I don't think the hobby at this point needs any kind of divisive force touting one venue over another. Each and every show is of paramount importance to the growth of the hobby and needs to be supported to the fullest by everyone. We simply don't need the "us vs. them" mentality here. It was out of place 15 years ago, and it's still out of place today.

Later,

K
 

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Years ago there was this really cool company who ran "toy, train, and dollhouse" shows in a lot of venues in the Northeast. EVERY one we did (IF we could get a reservation) the place was mobbed, and people were buying. (and as a consumer, you never knew what treasure you might find there) Then changes came, a big company bought them out (to get another part of the company), and it was decided that they didn't want the dollhouse people any more. A bit later they decided, based on a very badly scewed poll process, that the collectible toy vendors weren't all that desirable, either... unless they could justify that all the toys the vendor was selling at the show were train related. They closed several venues where vendors did very well because of they had smaller gates, but kept those where the vendor did poorly, if they themselves made money. They raised table prices, and put in place rules that made it inconvenient for smaller local dealers in order to favor a few big dealers.... Finally after basically doing all they possibly could to kill the golden goose for just about everybody, and badly tarnishing the brand image, they fobbed it off on another sucker.

The last time I went to one, it was still a shadow of what it was 10 years ago, even though the new guys are trying. Empty tables, thin crowds, once big venues changed to smaller ones.... Some will try to say that these hobby are dying -- more like a pig headed short sighted corporation who's only interest was the almighty dollar kept shooting it. They only wanted to make a fast buck, not think (or work) long term.

I think most of you can figure out who the company is, but hopefully this rant was vague enough that Shad won't get slapped with a frivolous defamation suit
 

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Mik, I remember going to their shows in Monroville PA back in the early 80s. The place was so packed you had a hard time seeing what vendors had. Their shows in Tampa 20 years ago were also great. Now days the only good show in Florida is at the Volusia County Fairgrounds. The sad fact in life is that nothing stays the same. Everything changes and today, most of what is changing isn't for the better.

Randy
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
There are still people that want to do Large Scale shows! The ECLSTS is trying to expand to semi-annual shows (I wonder how well that will work!) and the people running the Big Train Show are expanding to other scales in order to keep the interest going. (I also wonder how well that will work!) But for real evidence that there are still people that want to see LS shows succeed one needs only look at the Southeast Garden Railroad Show and the Heart of America Garden Railroad Show! Train shows work and Large Scale shows, with proper marketing, can be just as successful as the smaller scales! My whole point was that the promoters of certain shows seem to dismiss anything that isn't financially connected to them. That is their right of course but considering that they also run a Large Scale website that is "in bed" with certain manufacturers as well as certain retailers, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth!
 

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"My whole point was that the promoters of certain shows seem to dismiss anything that isn't financially connected to them. That is their right of course but considering that they also run a Large Scale website that is "in bed" with certain manufacturers as well as certain retailers, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth!"

my simple minded thoughts on the above and more:

I was excited to see the SELSTS become a "sponser-less" show, takes the gloves off a bit!

We are planning to attend the newly titled SGRS, but it seems Bachmann isn't...which really strikes me as odd...
http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,8742.0.html

I'd venture to say that Aristo-Craft will pass too....which leads me to wonder (out-loud) who else is in the Bed?

Why in the World, as a Mfg of LS Trains, would you not attend (esp when you have all this "new" prod we are to anticipate)? Maybe you or your fellow UK partner really didn't want the show to succeed...

I'm under the impression Bachmann has attended all of the previous SELSTS shows (sponsored by AC).

Now I know, the "Economy" argument will be brought up, but hey...you want to stimulate your sales?...then go hock you wares!!!

done.

cale

edit: Very bad grammer
 

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My background in LS trians comes from workign for a hobby shop that sold them. I was not interested in trains at all. I went thru that "phase" in ym life as a child and well past it. i thought. I worked at a local shop in my home town briefly but when "real work" took me to Buffalo I stumbled upon Niagara Hobby & Craft and put an application in for extra work to help make ends meet. i worked there for over 12 years before my real job took me away adn real life took any avaialble time away that I had left to go work there. At one point before Iw as itnerested in LS trains the national LGB show was held in Buffalo and as a sponsoring store we ran shuttles and had a booth at the hotel. I was gone that weekend tied up with family commitments but it was enough to get me hooked setting up for the show. I also sold at several of the larger train and toy shows that ahd been held as well as several other "shows" that are pretty much gone. There are essentially two shows now in the Buffalo area and neither are what the old shows were. As the rules got promoter heavy the vendors stopped coming. The vendors stopped coming the customers stopped coming. I know Niagara stopped attending the shows as a vendor as most folks would stop at the store and spend what they did not spend at the show anyway.

As for the ECLSTS because of the promotoer "rules" on picking dates it's very likely that I'll never get to one. I've ranted on the Aristo site about an almost Friday only show. It was explained to me that the vendors did not want to travel on Mondays during the week. What? So they travel on Thursday to get to the show then? It's still travelling during the week? A Saturday Sunday show makes a LOT more sense in my mind but the vendors have the promoters sold on a Friday all day and partial Satruday show. So with a 6 to 7 hour one way drive for me I'd make it in time to watch vendors packing up remaining stock on Saturday afternoon? No thanks. I'd go to the show & spend Saturday night and return Sunday then come home Sunday evening but with no reason to stay for Sunday what's the point? At this point in my job I cannot afford the time off to take Friday off. Seems I'm in the minority though?

Oh well.

Rant off.

Chas
 

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Cale.
It is called the old boys club.
It rules life.
If you are in the club, you are in.
Period.
 

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Posted By c nelson on 03/18/2009 7:05 AM
"My whole point was that the promoters of certain shows seem to dismiss anything that isn't financially connected to them. That is their right of course but considering that they also run a Large Scale website that is "in bed" with certain manufacturers as well as certain retailers, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth!"

my simple minded thoughts on the above and more:

I was excited to see the SELSTS become a "sponser-less" show, takes the gloves off a bit!

We am planning to attend the newly titled SGRS, but it seems Bachmann isn't...which really strikes me as odd...
http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php/topic,8742.0.html

I'd venture to say that Aristo-Craft will pass too....which leads me to wonder (out-loud) who else is in the Bed?

Why in the World, as a Mfg of LS Trains, would you not attend (esp when you have all this "new" prod we are to anticipate)? Maybe you or your fellow UK partner really didn't want the show to succeed...

I'm under the impression Bachmann has attended all of the previous SELSTS shows (sponsored by AC).

Now I know, the "Economy" argument will be brought up, but hey...you want to stimulate your sales?...then go hock you wares!!!

done.

cale


Interesting point Herr Cale-

Having lived up north then moving to the south 15 years ago, the SE is a model railroad wasteland as far as dealers and shows as compared to Yankee Land. The claim is that the market is not here, which is a cop out. There are plenty of modellers here from those that I know, are published and even eBay sales. And the few shows we get are well attended. The Nashvegas, TN WGH show was so full of people I had to go (I don't do well in crowds) without seeing the entire show. And there was a lot of cash changing hands. Granted, a population of the modellers here that I know are like me and are transplants from up north or Europe, but there are a lot of "native sons" here too.

So the SE remains a red-headed stepchild.......and a GROWING untapped market?
 
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