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Old Nov 16, 2005, 01:56 PM
Electric Coolhunter
Thomas B's Avatar
United States, TX, Fort Worth
Joined Jun 2000
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SWAC 2006-How to make this event better than 2005

I have been in touch with Ron from Hobbygroups and he has endorsed having a thread dedicated to ideas about improving and growing make this show grow and thrive.

Being that I am an enthusiastic attendee, with no commercial interest in the event, either as a vendor or an event producer, I have volunteered to start and monitor a thread that will collect ideas on how to make this show really great.

I actually do a good bit of trade show work in the aerospace world, so I do know a little about how these things work.

Two must have things to make the show grow are:

More and better attractions: Vendors, events, any other reason that will make someone interested in our hobby feel they MUST see this event, if they are within a 1 day drive.

Better attendance: this will come from the growth of what is mentioned above and better communication/advertising about the above.

I have a list of related ideas, but will sit on them for now and invite interested parties to contribute. I promise to add them to this thread if others do not post them first.

If possible, try to keep the ideas for improvement clear and concise and lets keep this thread on track as much as possible:

It is a given that there must be more vendors and more attendees, so let's focus on ways to make that happen.

Bring them on!
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 02:13 PM
Monkey Do
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Plano, TX
Joined Apr 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrustmiester
...Personally I would like to see a good show in the South Central U.S....
Scott
I'd like to see a GREAT show in the South next year. I'm just an attendee so I don't know what I could do but attend next year. But where was the advertising? I heard of it WOM and looked it up here in RCG. And for the vendors, where were the show specials? I bought a few things but was prepared to buy lots more. And I didn't get to spend my money. Maybe I didn't have the right expectations. I dunno, that was my first R/C convention.

We have to look back on the event if we're going to improve it in the future. Let's be constructive about it though. They need more feedback from more people. So here's a little of mine;
1) bleachers for people to sit and watch the flying. Many times I couldn't see through the people standing at the barrier. And for those folks standing there... DOWN IN FRONT!!!
2) the swap area could have been in the main room (at least for this show). I would think that decision could have been made Thursday or Friday morning when the number of vender booths was known. I would have felt like a red headed step child if I were in the swap area.

I will be back for the next show. Looking forward to it.

And that's my .02 worth.
MS
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 02:15 PM
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USA, TX, Trophy Club
Joined May 2002
14,518 Posts
Thanks Thomas I really want to see this show take off, and not die. I fear if next year does not fly it will be gone.

#1 - don't conflict dates with any sanctioned event withing 150 miles (DEAF two years ago!)

#2 - bigger flying area, in fact two areas. One for 3d heli and the other for light/slow flyers.

#3 - we need anchor vendors like Castle, Astro, Great planes (Hobbico companies OS, Futaba etc), Sig, TP, Tanic, Mountain models, Stevens AeroModels, FlyRC, MAN, GWS, Horizon, JR just to name a few.

#4 - advertising, who even knew about this?

Just a few starters for you...

MIke
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 02:18 PM
Pro Bro #495
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Farmington NM
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I was too broke from the road trip to actually buy much from vendors, so low vendor turn out wasn't to big of a deal for me. Those who did show up had some cool stuff to look at while my packs were charging, and I saw some stuff that I may have to order later after my budget rebuilds . Flying was loads of fun and I only have a couple suggestions:

Bigger flying area, and maybe a freestyle and/or simple pattern cometition. I know most people don't want competitions cutting into open flying, so those aren't too realistic, and for the most part there was actually enough room this time, but it got a little cramped in the pylon races. I'll be back next year, if at all possible, even if its exactly the same.
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 02:47 PM
Real Men Fly Pink Planes...
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United States, TX, Rockwall
Joined Jun 2001
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-Bigger flying area with no columns.
-Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
-Easy loading and unloading for pilots with out a person with a bad attitude telling people to park and walk a mile to get thier stuff in
-Dont charge vendors for electricity
-More workshops on other subjects, by big names such as JR. Suggestions: Setting up a Pattern plane, setting up a 3d plane, trimming techniques, choosing the right power system
-Offer a prize for the best new product introduced at SWAC
-Couple it with an ETOC type competition. (invite big names, and the big vendors will follow) Possibly have one of the first indoor pattern competitions in the US.
-Prizes for planes besides scale such as pilots choice of the indoor planes, and best plane built and flown at the event, best color scheme
-Call the local boy scouts and let them provide food in the parking lot across the street (I would rather pay $3.50 per hot dog to the scouts.)
-Have a Raffle (must be present to win)
-Get Inside RC to cover the event

Kirby
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 02:59 PM
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Farmington NM
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Lots of good suggestions Kirby!!

The food situation did suck!! Really high prices for not so great food

A built and flown at the event cometition would be funny. I have lots of experience building planes at events
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 04:22 PM
Foam Floats Better
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 05:59 PM
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WHere Flight Was Born, North Carolina
Joined Apr 2005
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Making vendors pay for electricity was terrible!

Letting growing companines in with a chance to compete with the big boys (Tanic) was greatly apprciated. This gave me a chance to get the batteries out in the market. Many people bought Friday and came back saturday.

Wi-Fi acces. There are many companies that would have benifited from that. I am willing to pay the going rate of $10 a day, but not $1200 as advertised!

Raffle would be a good idea to promote products and let people feel they got the entrance fee back...however 4 mags were great!

Show specials..hmmm..not really Ron's responsibilty to make vendors slash prices. I know a few vendors that were paying the tax and making deals..so that is 8.25% plus. My background is in swap meets and the locals know that to get a deal you just have to ask! We want to talk to you!

Make announcements about when the lectures of forums will take place. I didn't even realize they were going on.

There is my Texas 2 cents!

2dogrc

PS. being my first show, I had a blast!
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 07:47 PM
Old age is not for sissies
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Dayton Intl, Ohio, United States
Joined Jan 2000
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I attended the first event. It was a long two day drive for me and an even longer 2 day drive back home. What I took away from the event was that it was poorly attended, run in a mediocre fashion compared to Toledo and the WRAMs show and that it wasn't worth attending again.

The biggest problem I see is that of attendance, from what I remember it had about as many attendees as a large swap meet in our area. I'm not sure if that was a result of poor advertising or just the reality of the number of modelers/square mile.

There are so many "shows" to attend now that it's become an expensive proposition to attend so a vendor really needs to pick and choose which to attend. The large shows like Toledo/WRAMS/AMA offer lots of media exposure which means free advertising for a vendor even if sales are not that great.

As far as "show specials", the margins in this hobby have been cut so short that their really isn't a lot of room to adjust prices down.

My 2cents,

Azarr
www.ecubedrc.com
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 08:24 PM
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Spring, Texas
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Being 4 1/2 hours away hear in Houston, I monitored the SWAC site vendor list and decided to stay home since it looked like it was going to be a low turn-out. If I'm going to spend $2.30 per gallon to drive my "Suburban Assault vehicle", stay overnight in a motel, 2 day admission to the show, and meals for 2 days the show needs to be something that's going to make me want to travel. By the way, I woul dhave brought 2 or 3 others with me.

I did attend one of the AMA shows in Ft.Worth several years ago but was turned off by all of the "official business" and the shortened auction they had Friday night. I mainly went to see the vendors and the swap meet / auction. Indoor Electrics were new to me and I thought they were great.

From most of the feedback I've seen, most people were from the FtWorth area. I agree that advertising could have been better. Maybe advertising through club newsletters? I'm sure our editor would have gladly plugged SWAC and tried to drum up some enthusiasm.

- Stuart
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 08:24 PM
I'm Earl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kepople
--Dont charge vendors for electricity
Kirby

2dogrc Making vendors pay for electricity was terrible

Kirby & Mark we did not charge anybody for electricity! it was paid to the electric company that was contracted by the decorator. If you have ordered it in advance it would have been $35.00. Next year we will include it in the booth price.
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 08:31 PM
I'm Earl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRush99
I agree that advertising could have been better. Maybe advertising through club newsletters? I'm sure our editor would have gladly plugged SWAC and tried to drum up some enthusiasm.- Stuart
If DEAF did not mention it in their newsletter and they had a club table at the show! (How can we ask other clubs to promote the show.
We have sent invitation letters to all District 8 AMA Club Presidents and newsletters editors).
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 08:38 PM
I'm Earl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2dogrc
Wi-Fi acces. There are many companies that would have benifited from that. I am willing to pay the going rate of $10 a day, but not $1200 as advertised!

2dogrc
Mark

We don't control Citywides IP rates but if you have read it the fee was $350.00 for up to 10 IP address. That means if we had ten exhibitors that needed WIFi it would have been $35.00 each. The $1200.00 rate was for a T1 line. Do what I did I got an EVDO data card from Sprint for $59.00/a month unlimited access
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 08:47 PM
I'm Earl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Azarr
There are so many "shows" to attend now that it's become an expensive proposition to attend so a vendor really needs to pick and choose which to attend. The large shows like Toledo/WRAMS/AMA offer lots of media exposure which means free advertising for a vendor even if sales are not that great.
My 2cents,

Azarr
www.ecubedrc.com
Azarr,

Don't Forget the NW Hobby Expo in Puyallup Washington is also a great show!

Toledo, WRAM, AMA (IMS), and Puyallup are all annual shows with more the 27 years under their belt (Toledo has 52 years) For a new show SWAC has some growing pains but it always had great media coverage in RCM, MAN (Written by Tom Atwood) Model Aviation and Quiet Flyer
and is now an annual event!
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Old Nov 16, 2005, 10:14 PM
Burner!!
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United States, AR, Little Rock
Joined Jun 2005
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The last one I went to was in Arlington about 3 years ago set up by Dr. Sandy Frank. That was well worth the drive.
I go there to see the vendors.
The more the merrier. I want to see the new and upcoming products and technologies If the list is not better next time I will not make the drive.
I also agree with the comment about the event being on Saturday and Sunday. You can leave off Friday.
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