Battleground 2015 Show Report!

Started by Leon, 02 December 2015, 12:17:29 AM

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02 December 2015, 12:17:29 AM Last Edit: 14 December 2015, 06:38:02 PM by Leon
This year's Battleground went very well generally, with most of the feedback seen so far being very positive.  We'd been busy advertising the event again this year, with threads on 21 different forums, and constant updates to each of those with the latest news.  There seemed to be a lot more online discussion about the event as well, with a lot of new people saying they'd be coming along to the show.

The show started briskly again, with a queue forming in the reception area of the venue from around 9:30am and there were a good number of people standing waiting when we opened the doors at 10am.  The hall soon filled up and seemed a lot busier than last year.  Things remained that way until after 1pm, when things started to quieten down, which is a similar story to many of the medium level shows this year.  Sadly the total visitor numbers were around 10% down on last year, with 469 through the door this time around, compared to 517 at the 2014 show.  Again though, it certainly didn't feel any quieter and a chap on one forum said it felt like the footfall had doubled this year.  I think the bad weather in the afternoon had an affect on the totals in the end, as we didn't see as many people coming through after midday.

As with any event, there are always a few niggles and this year the catering was the main one.  Despite them having last year as a measuring stick, and me sending them estimated visitor numbers, it looks like there was some miscommunication somewhere and the cafe just wasn't prepared for the amount of bacon sarnies that were needed.  I believe they only had 40 bread buns in stock, which was never going to be enough and they'd run out completely by 10:04am.  This is something I'll be discussing with the venue on Thursday and we'll definitely get something sorted for next year.

One of the main issues we'd found last year was the access to the rear to the hall, and we'd managed to get access to some football courts at the rear of the venue, for the traders to park on.  Unfortunately we found that the gates into the courts were only of use to the smaller vans and cars, so we weren't able to get all of the traders in there.  The ideal fix for this is going to cost money though, so we'll have to see what we can work out with the Uni on that.  

Another negative from last year was the tabletop sale, which didn't get much interest at all.  This year we'd promoted it a lot more and we managed to sell 7 of the 10 tables before the doors even opened.  There was so much demand that the Middlesbrough Gamers Club had to give up their check-in table to a seller and ended up standing up themselves!  We'll be putting out some more tables for this next year to hopefully build on this year's success.

For those interested, of the 469 visitors we had, 358 of them paid and then we had 111 who qualified for the free entry.  I know the 'Free Women' policy can cause some controversy but there wasn't a single complaint from any of the female visitors on the day.  One lady complimented us on it, as several members of her family were gamers who were unable to attend the show themselves, so she'd been able to come along and get them all Christmas presents without it costing her too much.

Feedback so far has been very positive again, the gamers and visitors I've spoken with really enjoyed their day and many of the traders I spoke with had seen increased sales despite the drop in visitor numbers.  I'm waiting to hear back from some of the other traders, so it'll be interesting to see if that trend was across the board.

So in summary, despite the drop in visitor numbers, the event looks to have been a success.  People have enjoyed themselves, bought some goodies, sold some goodies and generally had a good time!

So thanks to everyone who came along, whether as a visitor, gamer or trader!  Next year's show will be taking place on Saturday 26th November at the same venue, so we hope to see you there.  


All of our 130+ photo's can be found on our Facebook page here:

And there are some visitors blog reports and photos on the following blogs:

And a trader's view on the event:
- - Now home to almost 6000 products, including over 4200 products in 10mm, plus MDF bases, Vallejo paints, I-94 decals, Red Vectors MDF buildings, Raiden Miniatures, Militia Miniatures and much, much more!


Great stuff, Leon.

(Though I would imagine the caterers would have been kicking themselves.  :()
Cheers - Phil

Lord Speedy of Leighton

School boy error from the caters there! Otherwise, well done all. 8)
You may refer to me as: Lord Speedy of Leighton.
2016 Pendraken Painting Competion Participation Prize  (Lucky Dip Catagory) Winner



A good honest blog Roy, I find it is hard to leave the table when running a game so I didn't help with many traders cash flow :(

This is something we have been discussing at our club but seeing as we only have 4 members, of which 3 are the main players it can be hard to keep the momentum for each show, as much as I love it. We make every effort to support the local shows with games, covering an area from Newcastle to Scarborough. The only show we don't try to perform is Vapnartak at York as some of us need to restock the toy cupboard sometimes ;D ;D ;D ;D


I like the sentiments, Roy.
Nice review. 8)
Cheers - Phil


Nice write up Roy.

Having taken part in devising and/or running a number of public participation games over the years I have to say I absolutely loved it.

One tip, from experience, would be aim to run a number of short games rather than one or two long ones. Advantages are that you let more people enjoy playing the game, you have natural breaks where you can grab a bite to eat/ go to the loo/ have a brief look at bits of the show/ give your voice a rest. People are also more likely to play if they are committed to 15 - 30 mins rather than half a day.

One of the highlights of my wargaming "career" has to be featuring in a recording on the 6am news on BBC Radio Scotland being interviewed about a Star Trek game I'd provided the models for, devised rules for (based on Battletech!) and helped run at Claymore back in the days it was still in Chambers Street.

Most fun has to be our Star Wars game with scratch built figures of Luke, Han, Chewie, Leia, Obi-wan and the droids trying to sneak or fight their way across a sculpted desert landscape past Darth Vader and some stormtroopers. The terrain features quickly acquired names like Obi-wan's Crater - so called because the character died there so often! The droids had no weapons, no protection and no skills and were included as window dressing. The 6 year-old daughter of a club member begged to be allowed to play and as given the droids as the only unallocated figures. Naturally, with the odds against survival being a-million-to-one, she had the high score all day :)
There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data


Cheers everyone

Quote from: Ithoriel on 02 December 2015, 03:34:16 PM
One tip, from experience, would be aim to run a number of short games ... People are also more likely to play if they are committed to 15 - 30 mins rather than half a day.

Thanks for the information. The above is along the line to what I'd planned to do with my own participation at the Shildon show next year, so I'm glad that it is a viable option.