The Much Anticipated First Day for Non-TCA Members to Attend York has Arrived

 Reducing the York Fairgrounds meet to a 2 day, once a year or non-dealer hall event or combination might incur the same fixed costs. 

Very unlikely. I doubt that the Eastern Division is paying flat rate for all those security guards. Even if the fair grounds rent was the same, the reduction in personnel costs would probably save enough to take the show out of the red.
Which is all the Eastern Division really needs to do. Contrary to some people's opinion, the Eastern Division's "business" is to provide services to Eastern Division members, and to the general TCA population. It needs to cover expenses. It really does not need to make a profit.

A return to the traditional E-Div. member only trading/swap meet would possibly require a change to a smaller venue.

Not quite what I suggested. I suggested a TCA members only show, not ED members only.

To be clear, I think the best course of action is to do a few more shows with just the dealer halls open to the public. My other suggestions are just alternatives. The Eastern Division needs to do better with their advertising and publicity. The dealers that are able need to do a better job of getting the word out. They are TCA members too, and they benefit from increased attendance. They can pitch in.  If they don't think so, they can stay home.

C.W. Burfle
Dennis LaGrua posted:

The meet once drew 15,000 now it is about 10,000, a 33% decline. What does that tell you?  Will the same declining audience that attends the meet year after year make the gate number grow or must the ED reach out a bit more.    You be the judge.

It tells me that:

Fewer and fewer people are collecting postwar Lionel and Flyer, due to the fact that those who played with these as kids are dying off.

That, like also affecting flea markets and "collectibles" shows, more and more sellers are using eBay.

I'm not sure WHO you want to "reach out to" might reverse this.

OGR Webmaster posted:
<SNIP>

Case in point...

The dealers and manufacturers set up in the Orange Hall during the day on Wednesday and on Thursday morning. However, on Thursday we are not allowed to take any boxes or containers OUT of the building once we take them inside! Everyone has various boxes and containers that are part of the booth setup, but cannot stay in the booth during the show. To make space to work in the booth, they have to go back to the trailer, truck or whatever for the duration of the show. However, we cannot remove anything from the building until the show officially opens on Thursday.

Because of this paranoia about someone stealing something, getting an unfair deal before the show starts or whatever, the opening of the show on Thursday is a mess. When the doors open, TCA members are trying to get into the hall while other people are trying to take empty boxes, parts containers, hand trucks and other materials OUT of the hall! It makes for an interesting traffic jam at the doors for several minutes.

This rule about not removing boxes from the hall before the show starts is paranoia at its finest. It is also another situation that is unique to York. This NEVER happens at other shows we do.

Rich,

In the center of the EDTCA Registration mailer there is 'A FEW REMINDERS' listing with a brief notion on containers:

"For SECURITY only empty boxes may be removed from the hall during set-up." (my  stressing of 'empty')

What's your problem with that?

Ron M

 

I love York and never miss it. I don't like Thursday as much as Friday because Thursday is too short to really take your time but Saturday is a bust pretty much. I think they should do full days Thursday and Friday then half on Saturday. I start the week of York on Monday at hotels searching for trains but it is a long week

C W Burfle posted:

 .......................

Or shrink the show....... shut down the dealer halls. return the show to its old hours on Friday and Saturday only.  If need be, reinstate the one table per member limit, and close another hall. Eliminate money wasters like ice cream socials. That should cut expenses. Not enough? ..... then the admission and table fees could go a bit higher.

I've always felt that had a significant impact on the TCA (National) membership roles.

While I would assume the change to dealers being able to purchase booth space for a price is more advantageous to the ED in terms of collecting money for the meet (possibly even necessitated for the new Orange hall - I'm guessing the York Fairgrounds charges a bit more to rent their "Cadillac" vs their "Yugo"), all of the previous family members of actual dealers who no longer needed to be TCA members in order to support a large table count for a business had to have a significant impact on the membership roles. 

If one keeps track of the membership thermometer that is published over the years, I would bet you see a significant drop back when booth space was first available for sale in the dealer halls.  All the spouses/brothers/sisters/parents/kids of dealers that dropped off was I'm sure not insignificant. 

At the time, there was still a higher interest (new people due to the explosion of new product being offered) and the death toll from natural aging of the demographic was not as big of a factor as it is today.

-Dave

Just had a thought regarding the "I'm in TCA just for York" line of thinking (which I find tiresome and disappointing)...

How is it that LCCA seems to be doing OK, despite the fact that it doesn't have a signature event like York?  And there's also LOTS and TTOS, but since I'm a member of LCCA, I'll focus on that.

I'll grant that LCCA's costs are lower, since it does not need to maintain a large physical location (TCA has the museum).  However, they do have an office and storage space, and people continue to pay dues, even though it doesn't grant them entry to York.  LCCA dues are a few bucks cheaper than TCA, but considering what most of us spend on trains, the difference in dues is pocket change.  Although both organizations have fine publications, I think TCA's magazine is more informative than LCCA's.  

Could it be that LCCA is more willing to innovate (electronic-only membership option, greater promotion of jointly-sponsored meets and meets that are open to the public, more public outreach)?  Is LCCA less bound by a "good old boys" mentality than TCA?  Something else?

I don't know what the reasons are, but LCCA seems to be hurting a lot less than TCA.

 

Could it be that LCCA is more willing to innovate (electronic-only membership option, greater promotion of jointly-sponsored meets and meets that are open to the public, more public outreach)?  Is LCCA less bound by a "good old boys" mentality than TCA?  Something else?

Since you asked: I think that a lot of LCCA people belong so they can buy the special offerings. Funny how people call for the TCA (Eastern Division) to open their signature event to the public, but nobody ever calls for the LCCA to offer their special items to the public.

As for LCCA meets: how many LCCA meets were actually created by the LCCA?

C.W. Burfle

It was the first York open to the public...maybe we should give it a few more meets before we write it off.  Maybe it's the negativism that keeps people away.  Jeez if I was a newcomer reading this thread I'm not sure I'd want to meet with some of us.

Your images maybe subject to Google Image Search.

C W Burfle posted:

Funny how people call for the TCA (Eastern Division) to open their signature event to the public, but nobody ever calls for the LCCA to offer their special items to the public.

That is probably because it is easy to get their items without being a member.  I have bought special club-only offerings for friends who were not in the particular club offering the item, and others buy multiples so they can sell on eBay or at shows (at inflated prices, but not nearly as much as the item and a membership would cost).  You can even buy "club-only" items directly from the LCCA at their booth at York (I don't know if they require membership in order to purchase from them at York).

Andy

TCA, LRRC, LCCA, Atlas Golden Spike (Charter Member), MTHRRC, LOTS, Pittsburgh Independent Hi-Railers - "Diesels represent the job, steam represents the adventure!"

Severn posted:

Thoughtful criticism is one thing... but why does this forum attract so many bomb throwers?   Actually I'm not particularly turned off by that myself... yet it is noticeable.

I do find the negativity somewhat off-putting, but I won't let that affect me in my enjoyment of the hobby in general, or York in particular.  I think the real question is: what is at the root of the "bomb-throwing?"  I suspect that the majority of it is that some people can't go to York for one reason or another (like geography, finances, work commitments, family commitments, etc.) and are envious or jealous of those that can, and some just want to benefit from the hard work done by the Eastern Division without having to give back to the organization (the TCA) in the form of membership dues.

Andy

TCA, LRRC, LCCA, Atlas Golden Spike (Charter Member), MTHRRC, LOTS, Pittsburgh Independent Hi-Railers - "Diesels represent the job, steam represents the adventure!"

C W Burfle posted:

Could it be that LCCA is more willing to innovate (electronic-only membership option, greater promotion of jointly-sponsored meets and meets that are open to the public, more public outreach)?  Is LCCA less bound by a "good old boys" mentality than TCA?  Something else?

Since you asked: I think that a lot of LCCA people belong so they can buy the special offerings. Funny how people call for the TCA (Eastern Division) to open their signature event to the public, but nobody ever calls for the LCCA to offer their special items to the public.

As for LCCA meets: how many LCCA meets were actually created by the LCCA?

Not sure how one can arrive at most of LCCA members joining to get LCCA items.  Same thing could/should apply to TCA, since there is no shortage of special items.  

Apples and oranges on the idea of opening York vs. people wanting LCCA items.

And for the origin of the LCCA meets, although it's irrelevant, for the ones that I've been to, ALL of them were originated by the LCCA.  

Andy Hummell posted:
C W Burfle posted:

Funny how people call for the TCA (Eastern Division) to open their signature event to the public, but nobody ever calls for the LCCA to offer their special items to the public.

That is probably because it is easy to get their items without being a member.  I have bought special club-only offerings for friends who were not in the particular club offering the item, and others buy multiples so they can sell on eBay or at shows (at inflated prices, but not nearly as much as the item and a membership would cost).  You can even buy "club-only" items directly from the LCCA at their booth at York (I don't know if they require membership in order to purchase from them at York).

Andy

To buy LCCA items from their booth at York, the only membership you need is to be in the Benjamin Franklin club.

That is probably because it is easy to get their items without being a member.

Is it? Please tell me how to get LCCA items without having to pay significant markups on the secondary market.

Same thing could/should apply to TCA, since there is no shortage of special items.  

I just looked at the email for the TCA sponsored limited edition museum boxcar. There was no mention of having to be a TCA member to get one. Then I checked the museum store. No mention of having to be a TCA member to purchase a car.
I even started the checkout process, maybe I didn't go far enough.

To clarify my positions:
I don't expect the LCCA to open up their special items to the public.
I would rather the Eastern Division not open any of the York show to the public.
But since they decided it was the right thing to do, I hope they will continue to limit public access to the dealer halls, and do a better job promoting the public part in the future. And I believe that those dealers who are able should pitch in and spread the word about the show. After all, isn't this a change they requested?

C.W. Burfle
Mallard4468 posted:

Just had a thought regarding the "I'm in TCA just for York" line of thinking (which I find tiresome and disappointing)...

"good old boys" mentality than TCA?  Something else?

 

 

I find the "good old boys" (along with "secret hand shake") descriptions of TCA/York tiresome.

I thought this past York was a dot in the rearview mirror, but here l find the bones of a dead horse being beaten down into the mud. I used to drive miles to a local TCA meet..now don't drive to end of state...Why? ...internet... Used to go to York to see what is new....not much from manufacturers... old stuff on internet...thought about skipping last three Yorks. All halls open to public equals all halls taxed.  See what happened to the Billy Budd? I go for trains, not a family reunion. No interesting trains; no reason to go.

??Another one of THOSE!!??  What you want to sell is not what I want to buy!

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