Sydney (Liverpool) AMRA Model Railway Exhibition

 
  Poath Junction Chief Commissioner

Location: In front of a computer most of the time.
The annual Sydney Model Railway Exhibition is this being held this weekend at the Whitlam Leisure Centre in Memorial Avenue Liverpool:
Saturday 30th September 9:00am until 5:00pm
Sunday 1st October 9:00am until 5:00pm
Monday 2nd October 9:00am until 4:00pm

More details including prices, hall layout, etc at http://www.amransw.asn.au/exhibition/

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  marvin Assistant Commissioner

Location: Mars... "The Earth? Oh, the Earth will be gone in just a few seconds!"
Thanks for the reminder. I had forgotten about the early long weekend this October.

1 October is the Sunday.

Note also: daylight savings change on the same weekend (Sunday, early am).

marvin
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  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
looking forward to this, is the pre purchase still on ?


David
  meh Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
looking forward to this, is the pre purchase still on ?


David
dthead
Indeed it is David:

http://www.amransw.asn.au/tickets/

Cheers,
-Mitch
  ssaunders Train Controller

Whitlam Leisure Centre read as basketball court.
Such a poor offering considering all the venues in Sydney.

ss
  Hobbyking_Ian Station Master

Whitlam Leisure Centre read as basketball court.
Such a poor offering considering all the venues in Sydney.

ss

More fancy venues come with more fancy price tags. Would you really want to pay $35 (for example) just to walk on carpet for a few hours

I don't think the location takes away from the event in any way and it's a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. I'm Looking forward to smashing the door down at 9:00am

Ian
  kingfisher Chief Train Controller

For those like me who are entering Sydney from the south via the Hume, Liverpool is the ideal location.
  ssaunders Train Controller

For those like me who are entering Sydney from the south via the Hume, Liverpool is the ideal location.
kingfisher

And for those from anywhere else, it's a poor location.
  ssaunders Train Controller

Whitlam Leisure Centre read as basketball court.
Such a poor offering considering all the venues in Sydney.

ss

More fancy venues come with more fancy price tags. Would you really want to pay $35 (for example) just to walk on carpet for a few hours

I don't think the location takes away from the event in any way and it's a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. I'm Looking forward to smashing the door down at 9:00am

Ian
Hobbyking_Ian

More than happy to pay more. The venue is a basketball court, the food offerings are woeful, there are few to no seats and parking is rubbish.

I always like crapo corner in the little alcove to see who drew the short straw in the store room. What a joke.

Going there at least makes me laugh at what the AMRA think is good.
  M636C Minister for Railways


More than happy to pay more. The venue is a basketball court, the food offerings are woeful, there are few to no seats and parking is rubbish.

I always like crapo corner in the little alcove to see who drew the short straw in the store room. What a joke.

Going there at least makes me laugh at what the AMRA think is good.
ssaunders

It is better than the lower Town Hall which was used in the 1960s.

It is easier to get to than Hurstville, particularly by road and the facilities are no worse.

The lack of seats is a problem (for anybody who can remember the 1960s) but is common to most exhibitions I've attended, here or in the UK. Seating is even a problem at the Convention Centre (well, the old one and the temporary one - I'll find out about the current one on Tuesday....) Nobody forces you to eat the food.

Peter
  c3526blue Deputy Commissioner

Location: in the cuckoos nest
Whitlam Leisure Centre read as basketball court.
Such a poor offering considering all the venues in Sydney.

ss

More fancy venues come with more fancy price tags. Would you really want to pay $35 (for example) just to walk on carpet for a few hours

I don't think the location takes away from the event in any way and it's a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. I'm Looking forward to smashing the door down at 9:00am

Ian

More than happy to pay more. The venue is a basketball court, the food offerings are woeful, there are few to no seats and parking is rubbish.

I always like crapo corner in the little alcove to see who drew the short straw in the store room. What a joke.

Going there at least makes me laugh at what the AMRA think is good.
ssaunders
More than happy to suggest you take your bat and ball and stay home to play.  You don't have to go if you don't like it.  Model trains are, after all, a hobby and is known as a discretionary activity.

Another suggestion, why not join AMRA and put your ideas to the test.

AMRA have one of the most expensive exhibitions in Australia.  I am sure that some families who would like to attend do not do so because of the significant cost.  For example a family of five would cost $52, or $44 if one less adult goes.  That is without any costs for transport or food.  Being discretionary expenditure the AMRA have to try and set a balance between affordability and revenue.  Not an easy activity to plan (many businesses get this wrong!!).

Regarding food, why not bring your own.  You are not forced to buy the food being offered for sale.  It is offered as an (expensive) convenience.

Regarding chairs, yes this is a problem, but being a basketball court it is likely the venue discourage the use of portable chairs, and also, from a safety perspective, toddlers climbing on chairs is not a good safety matter.

Happy whining (H0, H0, H0),

John

PS; I am not an AMRA member but appreciate the extensive work put in by the volunteers to host one of the premier model railway events in Australia.
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
Geez, some first world problems in this joint.  Anyone got a positive note to add?

Dan Pickard
  TedFreeman Junior Train Controller

Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Geez, some first world problems in this joint.  Anyone got a positive note to add?

Dan Pickard
danpickard
As organiser, coordinator, trouble shooter, scape goat, I can sympathise with any exhibition organisers/groups, we are in a unique no-win situation, but despite constant negatives we continue to suffer to bring enjoyment to those that do appreciate the effort, not just by the organisers, but also the untiring exhibitors.

It's really simple, its a hobby and no one is compelling anyone to attend, if it don't suit ya! stay home!

Ted (Teditor) Freeman
Exhibition Coordinator
Toowoomba Model Railway Club Inc.
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
Agree with your there Ted!  Some people are just impossible to be please.  As a convention organiser, I know what my dream venue would be like, but there are some heavy compromises that have to be made to try and keep punters happy.  I'm sure the overwhelming majority would be happy to save a few dollars at the door, and put it towards hobby product inside (what gets seen inside doesn't change just bevause the carpet is different).  

With the convention I organise, sure, I could hold it in a big fancy function room of an expensive hotel, but the door price would double (even triple)...which then damages how well traders can do on the weekend.  Even a simple basketball court venue can vary hugely in price.  I've scouted venues on similar size that vary from $1600 for 3 whole days, then going up to $4000 per day ($1600 vs $12000 isn't hard to guess which venue has the better chance to make some profits).

I don't hear many people with really bad complaints bout venues, until you drop by here and see what's being discussed!

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
  ssaunders Train Controller

Geez, some first world problems in this joint.  Anyone got a positive note to add?

Dan Pickard
As organiser, coordinator, trouble shooter, scape goat, I can sympathise with any exhibition organisers/groups, we are in a unique no-win situation, but despite constant negatives we continue to suffer to bring enjoyment to those that do appreciate the effort, not just by the organisers, but also the untiring exhibitors.

It's really simple, its a hobby and no one is compelling anyone to attend, if it don't suit ya! stay home!

Ted (Teditor) Freeman
Exhibition Coordinator
Toowoomba Model Railway Club Inc.
TedFreeman

Ted, I don't think I would be disappointed with the exhibition in Toowoomba. But I would have though the 'if you don't like it stay' comment is not welcoming to change and suggestions by others.

I'm pointing out that in a city of more than 4m people it's time to raise the bar, the best AMRA venue was the Showground, large, bright, plenty of parking....

But, and I do say this graciously, ARMA should follow the culture of the industry it models, that is of continuous improvement.

All I would say to people is give the venue hard look over when you go tomorrow or over the weekend. This is the front line for new people coming to the hobby and parents who don't know anything about the hobby bring their enthusiastic kids who might carry it on.

This is the shop front where you hook new people and new blood. Look around and see what happens to a hobby which doesn't change which is as simple as joining a heritage rail group near you.

Of course no one like criticism but sometimes it needs to be pointed out because the gunzels don't always see the wood for the trees as everyone is in their little comfort zone with what makes them happy.

ss
  ssaunders Train Controller

Agree with your there Ted!  Some people are just impossible to be please.  As a convention organiser, I know what my dream venue would be like, but there are some heavy compromises that have to be made to try and keep punters happy.  I'm sure the overwhelming majority would be happy to save a few dollars at the door, and put it towards hobby product inside (what gets seen inside doesn't change just bevause the carpet is different).  

With the convention I organise, sure, I could hold it in a big fancy function room of an expensive hotel, but the door price would double (even triple)...which then damages how well traders can do on the weekend.  Even a simple basketball court venue can vary hugely in price.  I've scouted venues on similar size that vary from $1600 for 3 whole days, then going up to $4000 per day ($1600 vs $12000 isn't hard to guess which venue has the better chance to make some profits).

I don't hear many people with really bad complaints bout venues, until you drop by here and see what's being discussed!

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
danpickard

Hi Dan, you say compromises have to be made to try and keep the punters happy. Isn't that the name of the game with any convention?

Are you suggesting model railway enthusiasts only deserve the cheapest of places because that's the market AMRA sees as its audience?

ss
PS, please lets know what convention you do organise as maybe some of here have attended in a normal work roles.
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
"SS",
I'm one of the organisers for the Australian Narrow Gauge Convention.  For each of these events over the years (including the ones I've been directly involved with my in organising), we have used a school sports hall (aka basketball court) for our event.  As mentioned, we have looked at "upgrading" a venue to a more dedicated function centre (using the N Scale Convention as an example to compare with), however, our ticket price would literally double, from $100 to $200 (remembering this is a convention for around 200 people, not an exhibition for several thousand people, hence the high ticket price).  At the end of the day, the content of our event would remain exactly the same, with the only difference being a different floor space...that isn't enough to warrant the price hike, and I'd rather sink that extra $100 into the trader offerings rather than a fancy room.

Now I know my comparison is on Convention, not Exhibition, but not sure if you read the moans about ticket prices at the recent Victorian AMRA show (which was up by $5...apparently disappointing to a few readers here!).  Chances are that investing more in a venue, means investing less in layouts and displays, which is after all what the general public are meant to be paying their money to see (don't get me started on ratios of traders to layouts at some of these shows...most general public aren't paying money to come into a hobby shop, they want to see the model trains).  

If the quality of the displays is good enough to start with, that should be enough to distract from what sort of floor people are walking on.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
  qredge Deputy Commissioner

Location: Marsden Qld
Dan Pickard while I am sure your comments are welcomed you seem to have forgotten a small point. The show is put on by volunteers risking their own money to bring it to you. If they are lucky, they get enough to cover cost and a bit extra to make the hard work worthwhile.  Would you be willing to guarantee a bond ($30-40,000) for an upmarket venue and hope enough people would come so you might get your money back after the weekend
I am sure with the risk taken off their hands most Show organiser would jump at the opportunity.  The balls in your court!
I know my current club risk up to $60000 a year to put on the show and we know a bad year will be the end of future shows as we will no longer have the funding to risk
  danpickard Junior Train Controller

Location: Geelong
Um, I think you got the wrong direction with my previous comment?  When comparing the $1600 venue with the $12000 venue, I was implying that the cheaper venue had the better chance of turning a profit for the event organiser.  I'm kind of aware of who ends up out of pocket of the event isn't successful, and can safely say I wouldn't be putting that much investment into just a venue.

I do look at some of the different venues I have been to visit exhibitions at, which have varied from local halls, sports stadiums, race course function rooms, school halls and an old SES hall...regardless of venue, the range of layouts and traders doesn't change much.

Cheers,
Dan Pickard
  DJPeters Assistant Commissioner

Well to be impolite here I go to an exhibition to look at the models and layouts on display not walking around with my head down looking at the floor. So if it is marked out as a basketball court or finished off with a nice carpet do you really think most people complain about a floor. If the models, layouts and traders are there and stuff is running then I doubt most would even notice the floor at all.

I have done some exhibitions in so called basketball courts and I have never heard someone say I will not come next time as the floor was not up to my standard. A floor is a floor and as has been said the more mod cons you want the more expensive the place is to hire and so ticket prices rise to cover it and us Joe Average's cannot afford the the price rise so they simply do not go. Keep it reasonable cheap to get in and you would almost have to beat them back with sticks.

Also about seating while it might be an idea to provide some it also introduces a hazard as young children could stand on them and fall or something and the group putting on the exhibition then get's sued or something.  Seats can easily be moved around as well even pew type of seats and again that could make a hazard that someone could injure them selves on and so sue the organizers.

So in the end it is better to go without some luxuries and keep the price down for entry to the exhibition, we have not all won $1m on 'Who want's to be a Millionaire or something'! Keeping the entry price down also benefits the exhibition in leaving more money in the public's pocket that they can spend once inside the exhibition and it might just be the case of affording the model they want to get or missing out on it because the price at the entry was too great.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I spent about 5 hours at Liverpool, an enjoyed it immensely. Everyone has their own opinion, and that is all there is to that.

Said  hello to many, saw all the bargins, seen and photographed most of the layouts. Had a bus trip. Had a good time.  If you want an easier experience, go after 1pm and the crowds will have gone.

Driving back to Melbourne sunday - yes I drove all the way here for the show.

Regards,
David Head
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Driving back to Melbourne sunday - yes I drove all the way here for the show.
dthead

I did that last year and couldn't justify doing it again this year. At least the Streamliners were an additional reason.

Have a safe drive back.
  Iain Chief Commissioner

Location: Concord, NSW
I would imagine that if more seating was put in it would be at the expense of access for wheelchairs and walkers along the isles.

As for a return to the Showgrounds...well that bird has flown.

The coffee was good the food was a bit average. some of the layouts were good others I wasn't interested in. Overall fairly average from waht I recall of the 20 or so October shows I have been to.

The SMR locos were tempting...

Cheers,

Iain
  Lloyd1952 Locomotive Fireman

Location: Sydney, Australia
I went to Liverpool yesterday. I thought it was well organised. The entry at 9.00 was efficient. The hall was well laid out and there was a good range of layouts. Mainly  familiar but high quality ones, so I was happy. Maryborough was new for me. Some very nice VR scenes as well as the imposing station building. Rails In The Garden had a constant flow of 45mm and 32mm live steam locos running throughout the day and Arakoola was the flagship for NSW O Gauge.. The retail opportunities were very tempting but I resisted the specials. Austrains LHG packs for $65, Tom's 48's for $190, Auscision locos for $250. Non sound 40 Class, SMR 10 Class to name a few. John Eassie had two 30 Class tank engines running on a small layout with fairly tight curves.
I spent five hours and met a lot of friends. I did think the numbers were low or maybe I was able to get around easily enough. Yes, there are some venue frustrations. The little 'storeroom where the SETS Museum Station was located was very bare. The other out of spaces could have easily been overlooked by the general public. Waterfall was tucked away there. That layout was being run very well with passenger trains stopping nicely at the station. People complain about the food. Yes, it could be better and the seating is very limited, maybe 20 seats at three trestle tables. I stood and ate a chicken schnitzel roll at about 11. No venue is going to be perfect. It's a 2 1/2 hour drive or 3 1/2 public transport journey for me but there is parking, the toilets aren't too bad and the main stadium has air flow. Where else would be a better venue? The volunteers, the exhibitors and the retail operators have given up a long weekend and more to put this on. Thank you.
  dthead Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
http://dth.railpage.org.au/dpgal/liverpool2017/gallery.htm


A few  non-captioned photos from Saturday.

Regards,
David Head

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