I agree that the NMRA is a great local source for realistic modeling ideas. We just had an NMRA regional convention here (actually hosted by the Dayton, OH division) last week. I hosted an operating session on Thursday, an open house on Friday, taught a clinic Friday night (part of an "Operation Boot Camp" class), hosted another operating session Saturday morning (for the Boot Camp participants) and another open house on Sunday. It was an absolute blast. I had help from some of my regular operating crew (one models in HO, one 2-rail O and one N) for all sessions.
Operators and visitors were very complimentary on the trains, the scenery, the trackwork, the operating scheme and how smooth everything ran. (One nice thing about our large flanges is that the stuff stays on the track REALLY well.) This is the fourth time my layout has been included (all other layouts were always HO or N) in convention activities: an NMRA regional based in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati NMRA National Convention in 2005 and a PRR Technical and Historical Society convention. It is a lot of fun to show these other model railroaders what can be done in 3-rail today.