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Author Topic: Smoggycon Report!  (Read 7724 times)
Leon
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« on: 25 November 2013, 12:15:00 AM »

After many months of preparation, the last few weeks flew by and suddenly Smoggycon was here!  The preparation that has to go into a show was a lot more than I expected.  Time spent emailing traders and gamers, designing flyers and magazine adverts, hours spent online getting the show up on all the various forums, there was somewhere around 50-60 hours of time put into it overall.

When we did the Birthday Bash in 2012, there were a lot of nerves on my part, wondering whether the day would go OK, whether people would come, whether the gamers would have a good day, etc.  Leading up to Smoggycon, there was so much more pressure, as you're not just worrying about yourselves, you've got a responsiblity to all the traders and gamers who have come along to make sure the day is successful.  As the organiser, the obvious main task is to get people along on the day.  I'd joined 20+ forums purely to advertise the show, along with magazine adverts and thousands of flyers, and all the work paid off in the end.

In total, we had 498 people through the door*, 73 up on last year.  With the 56 people on the trade stands, 39 people on the games and 13 guys playing a tournament at the end of the hall, we had at least 606 people in the event, which was an excellent turnout.  (We were quite lucky here, as I'd only had 600 wristbands printed up, so we weren't many short!)  For those interested, out of the 498 visitors, 378 paid for their entry, and 120 were freebies as a result of our 'Free Women and Under 14s' offer, and there certainly seemed to be more families in attendance.

There were a couple of negatives which cropped up though:

- Friday night setup:  We had been told we could get into the Sports Hall at around 8pm-ish, but we arrived to find that they had booked out the Sports Hall for an extra hour, meaning that quite a few traders had to sit waiting until 9pm before they could start setting up.  A big thank you goes to Graham, Alan, Shaun, Brian, Richard, Frazer and the guys from Warbases for helping us out with the tables in the Theatre Hall while they were waiting.

- *Side door unlocked:  We discovered at around 10:15am that one of the side doors into the venue had been left unlocked, and a load of people had got into the show without paying.  We're not sure how many got through unfortunately.  Credit must go to a couple of guys who came to the front desk later in the day, owned up to it and paid their entry.

- Food queue:  I'd mentioned the level of demand for food to the guys at the Southland's Centre, and they said they were fully prepared for it, but this didn't seem to be the case unfortunately.  The queue for the cafe was between 5-20 long for the better part of 2 hours, and one guy was stood there for about 30 minutes for a cup of tea!  

- Car parking:  I know some people had trouble getting parked outside, but the guys at the Southland's Centre were doing a great job of trying to get people in and parked quickly.  This one won't be a problem next year though.

On the plus side, the small changes we'd made seemed to be well received, like the signage on every games table and the pdf venue directions on the website.  The atmosphere was excellent as well, especially across the first 3 hours or so.  There were a lot of people about and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.  The weather had treated us nicely as well, with no rain or snow in sight!

Those who were at the show will have already seen the news for next year, but for everyone else, we're going to be changing both the name and the venue for the show in 2014.  The new venue is only a couple of minutes down the road, but is a more modern university sports hall, with enough space to fit everything into one room.  It's very accessible, being right next to two major roads, plus there's a train station only 0.5 miles away and bus routes stopping right outside on a regular basis.  Nearby are hotel, restaurant, shopping and leisure facilities, so something for everyone.  All of the details on the new show can be found here, on the new Battleground website: http://www.battlegroundshow.co.uk/

If anyone visited Smoggycon on Saturday, I would really like to hear your thoughts on the day, any positives or negatives you may have.  All feedback is taken on board and helps us to continue improving and growing the show.

Many thanks to everyone who came along, you really made it the event it was, and we hope to see you next year as well!

 Cool


PS - There are a couple of reports online, and we'll be getting our own pictures edited and uploaded very soon.

- http://blog.belisarius.org.uk/2013/11/smoggycon-2013.html
- http://herkybird-richardbradley.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/smoggycon-2013.html
- http://carryingsonupthedale.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/smoggycon-2013.html

« Last Edit: 01 December 2014, 12:35:10 AM by Leon » Logged

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skywalker
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« Reply #1 on: 25 November 2013, 12:25:20 PM »

Leon, as one of the Redcar Ironbeards team I can say we had a great day.
Pendraken did a fantastic job on improving an already good show. There was a good balance of games styles and a decent variety of traders.
The only downside was the queue at the cafe, but that was beyond your control.

We are already looking forward to and deciding what game to do next year.
Many thanks for a job WELL DONE  Cheesy
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Nellkyn
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« Reply #2 on: 25 November 2013, 12:41:11 PM »

Just a quick thank you from the Durham Pals. The show really felt busier this time.
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Leon
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« Reply #3 on: 25 November 2013, 06:49:13 PM »

Leon, as one of the Redcar Ironbeards team I can say we had a great day.
Pendraken did a fantastic job on improving an already good show. There was a good balance of games styles and a decent variety of traders.
The only downside was the queue at the cafe, but that was beyond your control.

We are already looking forward to and deciding what game to do next year.
Many thanks for a job WELL DONE  Cheesy

Just a quick thank you from the Durham Pals. The show really felt busier this time.

Thanks for the comments, good to hear you enjoyed the day.  The response has been very positive so far, so it looks like most people enjoyed it.  I'll get you both pencilled in for next year as well!

 Cool
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CV10man
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« Reply #4 on: 26 November 2013, 02:19:26 PM »

Congratulations on organising a good show. We read your show report with great understanding and interest. If you change the modern communication facilities (emails and forum) and replace them with older facilities (letters and telephone) then the report could have been referring to any of our Stockton shows. Unless they have done it we suspect that many people at the show on Saturday just do not realise how much effort it takes to organise a show.

The food issue is a worry and we hope that Southlands has learnt the lesson and we do not have the same problem next March at our show - A Call To Muster 2014 on Saturday 22nd March 2014, for more details of our show visit our website - www.teesshows.co.uk

David and Tom
« Last Edit: 26 November 2013, 02:22:36 PM by CV10man » Logged
Pilgrim
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« Reply #5 on: 07 January 2014, 09:00:05 AM »

Hi Leon

I organised the Impetus Competition and I am happy to report we were very pleased with the whole package, venue, organisation etc.

Our only concern is the idea that the show will be ending at 3pm next year, which will rule us out as we need to play 3 games in a day for our competition format.

Other than that excellent and well done
 
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Leon
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« Reply #6 on: 07 January 2014, 04:50:55 PM »

Hi Leon

I organised the Impetus Competition and I am happy to report we were very pleased with the whole package, venue, organisation etc.

Our only concern is the idea that the show will be ending at 3pm next year, which will rule us out as we need to play 3 games in a day for our competition format.

Other than that excellent and well done

Thanks for the message, glad you enjoyed the day.  The change to the times is a shame for the tournament, and it was a tricky decision to come to. 

The show has always quietened down at 2pm-ish, so for traders and gamers there's not a lot going on for those last 2 hours and it makes the day drag a bit.  Also, there are always traders who start packing away early while people are still browsing other stands.  With the time of year and the darker nights, we thought it best to finish up at 3pm, and let people get away and on the road back home, especially the guys coming from north of the border.  Hopefully it will make the day seem busier overall as well, having 5 hours of solid trading and then the traders can start packing away after the customers have gone.

Have you spoken to Dave Clemmet about putting a tournament on at the Call To Muster show as well?  And Waugh Games have mentioned holding some kind of tournament day possibly?
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