York Attendence, to me seemed, much more than in the recent past ?

OGR Webmaster posted:
eddie g posted:

Allan, the attendance was over 10,000 They don't have the total figures yet.

Not too long ago that number was well over 15,000. 

The formula for judging a successful York meet is the gate attendance as it relates to the expense of running the show. When the gate was 15,000 that was a solid number to keep the meet prosperous. They also had more dealers then. Now consider that dealer participation and attendance is down maybe by as much as 20-30% while the expense of running the meet has gone up. Only the ED can tell us if the meet made any money or not. While the ED is a non-profit association they still have to bear the huge expense of running the meet. Turning a profit is essential to maintaining the meet and I certainly hope that ED is achieving this goal. With the opening of the meet to the public maybe some former TCA members will come again. I am considering going next Oct as at this point all admissions count. No sense making it harder on the good folks.

Builder of the Hill Lines ( New Delta Lines). Recreating history for the model RR community.

Glad to hear that the numbers were up. Can't wait to see how April goes and that will help me to make my mind up rather I want to renew my membership or give it up and go on Saturday public show.. 

I hate to have to make that choice but I may have to..

David

MDOG'S 13

David,

Glad to hear that the numbers were up.

What makes you think that the attendance was increased at all? There haven't been any actual numbers published for the last few meets.

To me, it looked as if attendance was down a bit from last time.

Barry

 

DCS Ambassador & author of "The DCS Companion 3rd Edition"

Train-Ca-Teers - All For O and O For All!

 

Traindiesel posted:
Dr. Jack posted:

In the 90,s and before inside the racetrack was FULL of cars.

That was before the Orange Hall was built. Now all those cars from the infield track are parked on the paved Orange Hall lot. 

Both true.

One additional tidbit for this meet is that there was an area of the main lot near Orange that was blocked off with concrete barriers (the last "corner" of the lot, between Gold/Orange, up to the edge along Highland Ave - the road that comes in to that area from the front of the racetrack sort of defined the line of barriers, I think).  Some of the cars that ended up in the infield might have been over here if it was open.  I half worried that that corner of the fairgrounds was possibly being prepared to sell off, maybe putting a Wawa there or something.  Maybe it is just something more routine like re-paving.

Digging back in time, I remember my first York experience (April 1997, Saturday only for me - I had just started working the month before!), I ended up parked under a tree in an area that was probably somewhere in the area that became the rear of the Orange Hall (or maybe the grass area that is still back there where some dealers park now). 

Yes, it was busier back then, I remember for at least several years after that always strategically trying to park along the outer edge of the racetrack, as it was sort of central to everything (before Orange was built).  A bad location (if I arrived later) ended up being parked on the outer perimeter along Carlisle Ave once or twice.

-Dave

Well, wheather there were more folks, or whether there were less folks attending, I would have liked to have gone. I plan to attend in April 2017.... I also want to see the Legacy Group Meeting, and the MTH Group Meeting....I will be semi retired and want very much to master both programs in The Great Command Systems....Also see All the Venders and All the Trains...,It's a Great Hobby, The York Meet just Brings us Train A Holics Together....We visit old Friends, Make New Friends, see new trains and Ideas and old trains too. Its the Best of the Best, it's a Show well worth the Addmission, TCA Membership. It's Positively FUN...IMG_0837

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You got it Larry, one of the most important aspects of the meet is the social part, I always meet at least a couple of people I've never met in person before.

A important aspect of the York meet for attendees is the social aspect. The important aspect of the meet to the sellers is how much profit they can turn. Hobbyists having fun is great for us but it won't keep the meet going. Creative marketing of the meet will. One idea to build attendance may be to establish a woman's oasis area that caters to what the female species finds interesting.  A separate area or building where makeup, jewelry, candles, foods, clothing, and nick knack vendors can set up. If you attract  the ladies of the hobbyists that go to York the gate attendance increases along with the revenue to the ED. This may also bring in more males that do not attend because there is nothing there for their wives.  A new idea that the ED may wish to consider.

Builder of the Hill Lines ( New Delta Lines). Recreating history for the model RR community.

A separate area or building where makeup, jewelry, candles, foods, clothing, and nick knack vendors can set up. If you attract  the ladies of the hobbyists that go to York the gate attendance increases along with the revenue to the ED. This may also bring in more males that do not attend because there is nothing there for their wives.  A new idea that the ED may wish to consider.

Is that in addition to the carnival?
I was a regular at some train shows where they started inviting stuff like that, as well as doll houses and toys. It wasn't long before that other stuff took over the show.
But I guess it might be OK if that sort of stuff was contained in a very specific area, which would have to be a dealer hall.

There is plenty of stuff in the area to do for family that isn't interested in trains. Lots of outlet stores and factory tours. Gettysburg isn't that far away. On the occasions that my wife and kids could attend York with me, that's what they did for most of the time, along with a brief visit to a few halls because my kids did like trains.

It's my impression that until recently, the Eastern Division ran busses to some of the outlet malls, but dropped them due to lack of interest.

One thing along the lines of this idea that I think the Eastern Division might do is to promote these things in their advertising for the show, especially when its opened to the public. Maybe the York Tourist Bureau could provide some assistance.

C.W. Burfle

Maybe they could put on a concert or a Broadway show too.  The grandstand doesn't get used anymore.  Is Boxcar Willie still alive?

Then maybe for the opening they could get sky divers to jump out of airplanes with all the fallen flags and American flag while the National Anthem is played.   I can never locate a flag while it's playing.  Now all I have to do is look up!  Fireworks in the evening after the "open Bar Social". 

They should have Antique dealers in the middle of the racetrack...no on second thought that's where the carnival is going.  Maybe on the back 40 with the petting zoo.  If they could get a circus to stop for a day or 2 that would get the kiddies in. 

A Santa spectacular in the fall and an Easter parade in the spring.  Oh I can picture it now.  The crafts oasis could have nick knacks for both seasons!

All of this for $50 too!

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Dennis LaGrua posted:

A important aspect of the York meet for attendees is the social aspect. The important aspect of the meet to the sellers is how much profit they can turn. Hobbyists having fun is great for us but it won't keep the meet going.

I think that many vendors don't expect to turn a profit at York, but rather view it as a vehicle to gain wider exposure.  I've been told that by a number of them.  Obviously, making a profit for the trip would be icing on the cake...

Dennis LaGrua posted:

A One idea to build attendance may be to establish a woman's oasis area that caters to what the female species finds interesting.  A separate area or building where makeup, jewelry, candles, foods, clothing, and nick knack vendors can set up.

Back in the "old days", the Greenberg shows were called "The Greenberg Train and Doll Shows". Dolls (many of them antique), dollhouses and furniture, and miniatures were sold in a section that made up about a third of the show (at the old Philadelphia civic center). 

That may increase the "gate" income, but how will that help the train dealers?

 

BTW, at our gun club, we do not have a "women's section". They are shooting right along side of us. In fact, the best shot on my skeet team was a woman.

Just my personal observation/prediction: Change the TCA Eastern Div. York Train Meet into anything other that what it was originally intended to be--a special and somewhat unique event for the membership--and you will rather quickly see it (and possibly even the parent organization) fade into oblivion. Seems to me that step number one in that direction has already been taken.

I hope you're wrong Allan, but I get a nasty feeling that you may be right.

gunrunnerjohn posted:
Dennis LaGrua posted:

A important aspect of the York meet for attendees is the social aspect. The important aspect of the meet to the sellers is how much profit they can turn. Hobbyists having fun is great for us but it won't keep the meet going.

I think that many vendors don't expect to turn a profit at York, but rather view it as a vehicle to gain wider exposure.  I've been told that by a number of them.  Obviously, making a profit for the trip would be icing on the cake...

That makes sense to me. For vendors that are not solely selling trains but train related products there were many times I saw their product at York and purchased it later. Millhouse River and Ross are just two of them that immediately come to mind.

Pretty much every year I go to Chryslers at Carlisle in Carlisle, PA. It's one of the biggest MoPar only shows on the east coast. They have what they call a "Women's Oasis". It is one building that contains all sorts of stuff for women. They sell jewelry, beauty products, and they have massages and seminars for women. I don't have any information on how this impacts the show. I guess the ED could contact the Carlisle Fairgrounds if they are interested on what the bottom line is. I have no idea if something like this would increase attendance at York.

I don't know if the ED rents out the entire fairgrounds for one price or has to rent out each building separately. If they pay one price for the entire fairgrounds then maybe they could consolidate some of the vendors and make room for such a thing if they feel it is a good idea.

Every year Carlisle also has celebrities at Chryslers at Carlisle. I have gotten many autographs at the show although to get an autograph it does cost a little extra. I believe the cost was usually $15. These are usually TV stars who were in shows that are car related. I have met Catherine Bach, James Best, and Ben Jones from the Dukes of Hazzard, and Alexandra Paul from the movie Christine. They had Richard Petty there twice but the line was a mile long. If the ED was able to get Neil Young or Micheal Gross or some other celebrity to do this than I do think that would increase attendance but it would also increase costs so I can't say for sure it is worth it. Only the ED can decide. It's too bad we lost Tom Snyder I bet he would have loved to do it and he probably would have done it for a reasonable price too.

Phil

TCA Member

NYCHS Member

MTH RR Club

Yes the attendance was up this past meet but a suggestion of a woman's area and a flea market or the like on the grounds is asinine.  

If it can not stay viable with trains then it may be time to fold the tent. 

Beings the TCA promotes all scales how about inviting more vendors of the other gauges like N, Ho, G or what ever.

Just a thought,

Dave

 

Beings the TCA promotes all scales how about inviting more vendors of the other gauges like N, Ho, G or what ever.

That brings a question to mind: Do the vendors and any helpers in attendance in the dealer halls have to belong to the TCA? I thought they did, but now I am not so certain.

C.W. Burfle
C W Burfle posted:

That brings a question to mind: Do the vendors and any helpers in attendance in the dealer halls have to belong to the TCA? I thought they did, but now I am not so certain.

Unless that has changed or is in the process of being changed...yes, vendors and helpers all had to be TCA members.

Allan Miller posted:
david1 posted:

Yes the attendance was up this past meet but a suggestion of a woman's area and a flea market or the like on the grounds is asinine.  

If it can not stay viable with trains then it may be time to fold the tent.

Yep!

Or maybe it goes back to what it was.  A members only meet without all the manufacturers and vendors.

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david1 posted:

Yes the attendance was up this past meet but a suggestion of a woman's area and a flea market or the like on the grounds is asinine.  

Just to be clear I was not suggesting a women's area but merely stating that there are other events that have one. My wife doesn't attend Carlisle and she doesn't attend York. If York added a women's area she still would not attend York. It is my opinion that a women's area at York would not increase attendance significantly enough to justify its cost or use of space.

I agree that any additional attractions MUST be train related.

Phil

TCA Member

NYCHS Member

MTH RR Club

MartyE posted:
Allan Miller posted:
david1 posted:

Yes the attendance was up this past meet but a suggestion of a woman's area and a flea market or the like on the grounds is asinine.  

If it can not stay viable with trains then it may be time to fold the tent.

Yep!

Or maybe it goes back to what it was.  A members only meet without all the manufacturers and vendors.

I have no problem with that. I would still go at least once a year.

Phil

TCA Member

NYCHS Member

MTH RR Club

MartyE posted:

Or maybe it goes back to what it was.  A members only meet without all the manufacturers and vendors.

That would be a bit more problematic due to the fact that such a significant percentage of today's active O gauge community is involved with products produced since the late 1980s or so AND tends to be involved with doing something with these products (such as building layouts, operating the trains, etc...a good thing). These folks want hands-on exposure to what is available, and by and large are not terribly interested in what was made decades ago.

Allan Miller posted:

That would be a bit more problematic due to the fact that such a significant percentage of today's active O gauge community is involved with products produced since the late 1980s or so AND tends to be involved with doing something with these products (such as building layouts, operating the trains, etc...a good thing). These folks want hands-on exposure to what is available, and by and large are not terribly interested in what was made decades ago.

I'm getting old, but the late 80's is approximatley 3 decades ago.  (though I realize you probably meant Post-War and Pre-War)

People look for items of that vintage in the member halls as well.  It's not all "the rust bucket" material as I have heard some who never leave Orange refer to it. 

Agreed on the operational parts, but not all members are only selling trains made before 1969.

-Dave

That would be a bit more problematic due to the fact that such a significant percentage of today's active O gauge community is involved with products produced since the late 1980s or so AND tends to be involved with doing something with these products (such as building layouts, operating the trains, etc...a good thing). These folks want hands-on exposure to what is available, and by and large are not terribly interested in what was made decades ago.

So I keep reading. Does anybody have any real figures to back that up?


 

C.W. Burfle
Allan Miller posted:
MartyE posted:

Or maybe it goes back to what it was.  A members only meet without all the manufacturers and vendors.

That would be a bit more problematic due to the fact that such a significant percentage of today's active O gauge community is involved with products produced since the late 1980s or so AND tends to be involved with doing something with these products (such as building layouts, operating the trains, etc...a good thing). These folks want hands-on exposure to what is available, and by and large are not terribly interested in what was made decades ago.

I don't think you understand what I am saying.  Let it go back to being a regional meet.  Maybe that's where it wants to be and not some grand show.  The local Fort Pitt TCA show doesn't have Lionel and MTH there.  Maybe it wants to become that again.

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My wife usually travels with me to York.  Until we get to Tennessee where she loses interest and stays behind with her family. 

This subject has no easy or right answer in the quest to be everything to everybody.  I think there are two different interests involved: 1-the original collectors or operators of the pre-electronic trains; and 2- the more modern electronic operators/collectors who value being able to see the latest from the manufacturers.  I think both groups desperately need each other in order to survive for a few more years.  (And also if you see it at York for anywhere near a competitive price on the internet, you should buy it at York just to support and encourage those dealers to continue in business and keep them coming).

I don't think the York show can survive on collectors/members alone and I don't think the dealers/manufacturers could maintain an economic show out of the orange and purple halls.  It is in the best interest of both groups to find every possible way to support and promote each other as well as the TCA and EDTCA. 

Regarding the TCA, I visited the TCA headquarters last York for the first time in 25 years, and man that's a lot of overhead.  With a robust, growing TCA population in the 80's maybe that was sustainable.  And before the internet or smart phones the publications and library maybe served a bigger purpose.  But with today's membership numbers and obvious decline, I don't think that overhead is sustainable.  Getting the TCA membership costs down to $25 or so per year could do a lot to getting the numbers back up or maintaining them.  And with the internet having a treasure trove of information available on your phone day and night, I am not sure that the publications and library are that relevant any more.  Yes they are nice but are they needed?   Okay and while I am on it, the conventions; better take a look at who bears the cost versus who gets the benefit in that area as well.  Try and tailor the costs of the TCA, to suit the absolute core of the membership.  This involves some new thinking, some finding out what the membership really needs/whats and at what costs.  Again clear your head of what it used to be and focus on what it must be as a bare minimum.

Yes, I know that's the way the TCA was for my daddy and my grand daddy and his daddy before him, and oh yeah grandma is buried in the back yard.  Well, dig her up and move her.  We're either going to change or we are going to die.

Better read fast, cause this post won't stay up very long.

MIKATT1 posted:

I forgot to mention that I can get my wife to go to the Allentown shows because of the Farmer's Market across the street.

I went to a vintage toy show at the Allentown fairgrounds 3 days ago. Wife did the farmer's market, I bought cap guns at the show. She bought $150. worth of meat, I spent $95. Both of us went home happy.

The York Meet, and any model train show anywhere, is a product of interest in the hobby.  People attend them because they've discovered the model train hobby and go there to see and buy trains and get to know the vendors and manufacturers.

If vendors and manufacturers of model trains want to increase interest and sales they need to start advertising.  Advertise to the public through television and radio commercials, mainstream magazines as well as hobby publications.  And not just at Christmas time, but throughout the year.  Put the product out there and tell the story of how wonderful and fun the model train hobby is.

This will generate interest, this will drive potential hobbyists to the hobby shops, to the shows and also to model train organizations like the TCA and increase their membership.

And if they don't, it's funny that they'll then advertise their business for sale.

Brian

President, Chief Executive Officer

Penn American Railroad

"Serving the Basement"

 

Northern Central High Railers

Tri-State HiRailers

 

Eat, Sleep, Run Trains, Repeat !

C W Burfle posted:

A separate area or building where makeup, jewelry, candles, foods, clothing, and nick knack vendors can set up. If you attract  the ladies of the hobbyists that go to York the gate attendance increases along with the revenue to the ED. This may also bring in more males that do not attend because there is nothing there for their wives.  A new idea that the ED may wish to consider.

Is that in addition to the carnival?
I was a regular at some train shows where they started inviting stuff like that, as well as doll houses and toys. It wasn't long before that other stuff took over the show.
But I guess it might be OK if that sort of stuff was contained in a very specific area, which would have to be a dealer hall.

There is plenty of stuff in the area to do for family that isn't interested in trains. Lots of outlet stores and factory tours. Gettysburg isn't that far away. On the occasions that my wife and kids could attend York with me, that's what they did for most of the time, along with a brief visit to a few halls because my kids did like trains.

It's my impression that until recently, the Eastern Division ran busses to some of the outlet malls, but dropped them due to lack of interest.

One thing along the lines of this idea that I think the Eastern Division might do is to promote these things in their advertising for the show, especially when its opened to the public. Maybe the York Tourist Bureau could provide some assistance.

All things change and you must be ready accommodate the change to capture new opportunity. Those who refuse to change are preparing themselves for failure. Opening an unused building and renting spots for ladies merchandise is not a unique idea.  It has been done at the AACA Das Awksfcht show at MacCungie, at Carlisle auto shows and at Hershey Auto Shows.  At the large auto shows you will find, Bingo, Fireworks, Arts & Crafts tents, Woman's accessories, Live Music, Kids Shows and Activities (jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists, clowns) and other entertainment. These shows are very successful and the attendance blows away what ED York draws.  The philosophy that "we've been doing it this way for years" is a sure ticket out of business.  If you are so close minded, so opposed to thinking outside the box, then ask yourself what is so terrible about a broader York event that will draw families and possibly double the attendance?

Builder of the Hill Lines ( New Delta Lines). Recreating history for the model RR community.

I don't know. I'd bet the members, vendors and manufacturers who are trying to sell trains would be thrilled that people were in other areas watching jugglers, magicians, ventriloquists and clowns during the Meet.  You think the vendors pack up early on Saturday now? But at least the kids could get a dog shaped balloon. 

Advertising needs to be done to promote the benefits and fun the hobby offers. 

Brian

President, Chief Executive Officer

Penn American Railroad

"Serving the Basement"

 

Northern Central High Railers

Tri-State HiRailers

 

Eat, Sleep, Run Trains, Repeat !

Greetings Everyone,

 

I've been following this thread since the beginning and I feel like I must comment so here goes.   There has been an overabundance of suggestions on how to "Save York" and a lot of the ideas have merit, however, as was stated in more than a few of the posts York CANNOT be everything for everybody!  I re-visited York in April 2015 after a long hiatus from model railroading and more recently during the October, 2016 event.   To tell you the truth, I do not have any suggestion on how to save York but I certainly hope it is saved none the less!  The York Experience is "The Best Of The Best" for each one of us individually and collectively but for many different reasons.  But I believe the biggest reason of all is, The Love of Model Railroading!   That being said, I agree that there shouldn't be clowns, ponies, carnivals or any such shenanigans.  Just Trains.  And if you truly believe in your heart of hearts that it is worth saving no matter what configuration it becomes, by all means, SUPPORT IT!  I will too!  Like the saying goes, "you don't know how good you have it until it's gone!"

 

Chief Bob (Retired)

In another thread, several folks offered the opinion that only folks that actually owned an item should comment on it.  I don't think there were many dissenting opinions. Maybe the same thought should apply when it comes to the TCA, Eastern Division, or the Eastern Division's York train show.

I like Chief Bob's idea: And if you truly believe in your heart of hearts that it is worth saving no matter what configuration it becomes, by all means, SUPPORT IT!  

If you want to comment about TCA related issues, join the TCA.

C.W. Burfle

It's very simple.  York must change or better yet evolve if it wants to remain as is.  While I think carnivals and a "ladies section" is a bit off base there are things to make it a better meet.  The EDTCA is working at some of these changes already.  I suspect they're looking for other ways to attract folks to York.

But one has to ask, isn't a bigger concern attracting people to the TCA?  The TCA leadership has improved their communication in the last year or so and have done a much better job of being noticed.  I say a lot of this now lays squarely on the shoulders of the membership and the vendors who want York to be what it was a few years ago.  Someone only needs to look at the LCCA and the enthusiasm and drive they have at recruiting and keeping members.

We could go on and on about carnivals, concerts, flea markets and, dolls but if the core train interest isn't there then York will go away as we know it.  That isn't York's problem...that's our problem.

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