Why '7 days in advance' for Show Pre-Orders?

Started by Leon, 13 January 2015, 03:56:14 AM

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This question comes up every now and then (usually a couple of days before a given show when someone as asking if we can bring something along for them!) so I thought it was worth putting something up on here just so the info is available for everyone else.  It's also useful to know in regards to why things slow down at Pendraken when we hit a run of shows!

Essentially, a wargames show is never a single day's work.  At the very least, in advance of the event, you've got one day for casting stock, one day for casting show orders and then one day to package it all up and get it packed into the van.  Then you've got one day after the show to get things back out of the van and stock takes done.  So for a small-to-medium local-ish show, the schedule would be something along the lines of:

Small/Medium show, local-ish
WED - Casting stock
THUR - Casting show orders
FRI - Packaging and packing the van
SUN or MON - Unpacking the van and stock taking
= 5 days

Now if the show is a bit further afield and we'll be staying in a hotel the night before, we have to factor in a day for the travelling, so the Friday in the above example becomes a travel day and all the prep shifts back a day to start on Tuesday instead.

Medium size shows require more stock and usually generate more show orders, so that adds an extra day to each of those jobs, taking the prep back to the Monday in the example.

Two-day shows like Derby or Warfare involve a hotel stay and also require more stock and show orders.  We always travel to them to setup the day before as well, so a two-day show would look like this:

Two-day show, staying overnight
SUN & MON - Casting stock
TUES & WED - Casting show orders
THUR - Packaging and packing the van
FRI - Travelling and setting up at the show
MON - Unpacking the van and stock taking
= 9 days

Finally, you've got Salute, the biggest show on the calendar.  This one requires a huge amount of stock and we usually have a load of show orders, so each of those jobs requires at least 3 days worth.  We also travel down to London to get setup the day before, so Salute's schedule looks like this:

FRI & SAT & SUN - Casting stock
MON & TUES & WED - Casting show orders
THUR - Packaging and packing the van
FRI - Travelling to the Excel and setting up
SUN - Relax a bit and travel home!
MON - Unpacking the van and stock taking
= 11 days minimum

As you can see, a single day of trade can be very heavy on the workload back at the unit, which impacts on the usual day-to-day jobs.  If we hit a run of several shows in a single month it's easy to see how everything falls behind, as you're working overtime to keep on top of the regular orders as well as getting all the prep done. This was one of the reasons we've dropped the Crisis show in Antwerp, as we're at the Fiasco show in Leeds on the preceding Sunday, giving us only Mon/Tues/Wed to unpack and stocktake the van, get all the orders and replacement stock cast up and then get everything back into the van to leave on the Thursday morning!

Of course this is very similar for a lot of the other companies in our industry, if anything we're helped by the fact that we've got 3 or 4 people casting and 2 people helping us to get it all packaged up. 

Hopefully the above is helpful in showing the amount of time and work that goes into attending a show, and you'll all have your pre-orders ready and placed well in advance of any future shows!  (There was one chap many years ago who phoned us up on the Friday before Salute to place his pre-order and didn't quite understand when we explained that the van had left and we were already in London setting up...)

As always, give me a shout if there's any questions on all that!

www.pendraken.co.uk - Now home to over 7000 products, including 4500 items for 10mm wargaming, plus MDF bases, Battlescale buildings, I-94 decals, Litko Gaming Aids, Militia Miniatures, Raiden Miniatures 1/285th aircraft, Red Vectors MDF products, Vallejo paints and much, much more!


I think thats very mean saying I cant phone up  at 17:53 on the Thursady before a show and order 2 figures each of 15 specified poses across 6 different periods and you not have them for me at the show on saturday!!! :D

Seriously, I am surprised you don't need more than 7 days notice.

The cynics are right nine times out of ten. -Mencken, H. L.

Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well. - Robert Louis Stevenson


Quote from: Just a few Orcs on 13 January 2015, 11:13:55 PM

Seriously, I am surprised you don't need more than 7 days notice.

I was just thinking the same
Sometimes I wonder - why is that frisbee geting bigger - and then it hits me!

Last Hussar

Strictly speaking this rule only applies to Orcs. For the rest of us Leon takes a portable casting set up, so he can cast on demand.
I have neither the time nor the crayons to explain why you are wrong.

GNU PTerry