2010 Exhibition

The 2010 MMACA Exhibition is now well and truly over.

It would be fair to say that it was probably one of the technically best we have had. Everything happened when it should, well almost. Boats sailed, lights on –lights off, cars raced instead of simply displays, planes / helicopters flew inside and out and trains steamed on schedule. And the pool developed only the smallest of leaks. Of course other activities Model Train Layouts and drift cars continued right throughout both days.

The trophy for the Model of The Exhibition was won by Kevin Sinclair with his interactive Normandy Landing. Congratulations must go to him and his colleagues The DAK Bunker Rats.

Now this all sounds terrific but there is one big downside. We didn’t get enough people through the door to raise any money for the Lions Club Charities. Much discussion has followed this happening and there are many aspects to be considered. Was the DEC too expensive? Yes but no more than 2007. Many aspects of their charges have been criticised for several Exhibitions now and there is no doubt that if we argued enough savings could be made. BUT this wouldn’t have made much difference in the overall scheme of things.

We simply didn’t get the people through the doors.

Was the advertising good enough? God knows it cost enough. The answer is an emphatic no! A late start with advertising completely beyond our control put us on the back foot and this was followed by a major upheaval and change of structure to our two primary TV channels which exacerbated this problem. I thought I had saved the day by finding a broker who could strategically place our ads so that we got good exposure and this he tried to do. BUT our ads were swamped with election ads to the extent that the public basically switched off. The quality of the ad has been questioned and while not as good as in the past wasn’t too bad. It was indeed unfortunate that our ad maker of the previous three exhibitions was not available to make this one as a better quality ad just might have pushed its way through the political garbage. I think it could have been worse if we had not been able to obtain the services of Phil Chugg (Marine Modellers) to do the voice over. This was probably the best part of the whole deal.

It goes without saying that we were very unlucky to have our Exhibition fall on the same day as one of the most controversial State Elections. Not that Election day was a problem but the 10 days leading up to it were for they were the days our ads went to air.

Fortunately we were graced with many entries from interstate which gave the Model Boat side of things a lot more depth and it really was a pity that more of our public didn’t get to see some of the wonderful interstate model boats and bridges. A big thank you must go to all of those visitors. We enjoyed your company immensely.

Now what do we do about future Exhibitions? Well at this point in time both the Show Ground and Princess Wharf No.1 Shed are looking pretty good. Basic rent is very comparable but the logistics of moving the equipment necessary from place to place poses considerable problems. As does the logistics of crowed control for ticketing purposes create even more problems.

The Lions Club wants to continue with the MMACA Exhibitions but only if we can be pretty sure of making a profit. A lot of thinking, analysing and consideration must be done about many things before any decisions are made and it is conceivable that we could still use the DEC.

Any carefully considered input would be welcomed.

Brian Johnson
Exhibition Director

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