Ive been managing model railway shows since 1986 with a short break over the last 4 years, and am now back managing the Rochdale show where I started 32 years ago! Getting the message out about the show is always difficult, particularly when working to a tight budget, and quite often buying an advert in a magazine doesn’t give you back the footfall to pay for it. Its also a bit hit and miss which magazine to put it in, although personally I’d always default to the Railway Modeller with its superior circulation if I was going to spend the Societies cash in that way.
However, one of the great services the model railway magazines give, especially for the small money strapped societies like ours is a free diary entry to let people know you have a show on. Its not an advert in the traditional sense, just a listing in the diary giving date, times, location and entry price. Many readers use this to suss out whats on that weekend worth a visit, and like I say when you really can’t afford a “proper” advert in the Model Railway Press, its invaluable to let folk know you have an event on.
I sent our entries off to the press by e mail this morning, receiving acknowledgements from Railway Modeller, Model Rail and Hornby Magazine. I also got one from British Railway Modelling but rather than an acknowledgement that we were in the diary it was to inform me they don’t do free entries any more, and if we wanted to be in their diary then that will be £30, plus VAT please. Kerching.
Now its their undeniable right to charge whatever they like for an entry, but given many Model Railway societies and clubs live hand to mouth and the competition still gives free entries, I can’t help feeling BRM are biting the hand that feeds them. Having dealt with them previously though, I suppose they are only acting to form. Dick Turpin rides again.
Ohh – and heres the text:
The 54th Rochdale MRG Model Railway Exhibition
Sat 7th April – Sun 8th April 2018
The Coach House, Lodge Street, Littleborough, Lancashire OL15 9AE
OPENING TIMES: SAT 10am-4.30pm, SUN 10am-4.30pm
ADMISSION: Adults £3.00; Accompanied Under 16s FREE