48OE Blog  
Sep 23

Written by: 48OE Admin
23/09/2011 10:13  RssIcon

I have left it a little while before writing any thoughts about the LRO Peterborough Show. The reason for this was just to reflect more and to be certain not to get carried away with the moment.

Shows need a rethink in my view. We have a tired audience and very tired group of traders. We all pay more and more to attend and stage a show but get less and less in return. Show organisers are in it for profit and, in a very tough economy, something must give. I have been attending Land Rover shows for around twenty five years - nothing much has changed and there has been little innovation. All shows are roughly the same. During this period more and more shows have come into fruition and not just Land Rover ones but many in associated industries and interests.

So my view on Peterborough is that the Show is just not good enough. Let’s start with the toilets! as something that we all need. They were not open on Thursday and, from Friday mid morning onwards, nearly every block was without toilet paper. Now, as a hardened camper and trader ,I know to take my own but not everyone does. How day visitors coped I do not know. The toilets nearest our stand were disgusting throughout most of the show. The showers were far too few for the numbers and those that were half decent were nowhere near the campers and caravaners.  How do show organisers get this so wrong? THESE ARE FAMILY EVENTS!!!!!

If we are to reinvigorate shows and make them a must for enthusiasts we have to come up with something better. At Peterborough there was no Fair and no Saturday night entertainment. Why can’t organisers realise it is a one way street? If they can’t keep the traders and public attending their venue the show will eventually disappear. Now I don’t want them to rush out and book a Fair and a Band but I do want them to think long and hard about their objectives. Perhaps it has not dawned on LRO that their excellent reputation will suffer as it is their name on the show. Perhaps magazines are not best placed to get involved unless they work with the Public and the Traders and set an agenda.

We need the Public and we need Traders of good quality, showing new things in new ways. Admission prices for all should be fair and take notice of prevailing economic conditions. A charter of fair and reasonable for all would not go a miss.

In practical terms. how about a curfew on generators and loud music at 12 midnight? Those people who have to work next day or with families and small children do not always appreciate the antics of a few drunken people through until the wee small hours. How about full time attendants at all the shower and toilet blocks? (this seemed to work well at Billing this year). How about toilet paper? Why not think of things people can do and how about making the evenings more special? - the arena definitely needs better planning and more interest. Do organisers ever see which things get the biggest crowds around the arena?  - if they do they don’t seem to understand or develop this.

Yes! - I am a grumpy old man but the magic of discovery really has gone from the shows. What can we all do to bring it back? - simple! - write to LRO and let them know your views.

With more thought, surely we can have better, more considered Shows than those we have been served up with in 2011. Peterborough was just the end of a very uninspiring year. The trouble is we are all British and would rather form an orderly queue than complain.