48OE Blog  
Oct 12

Written by: 48OE Admin
12/10/2011 17:57  RssIcon

What would be the perfect Land Rover Show? Do we need shows as we enter the internet age? Today there are more Traders, Forums and Chat Rooms in cyber space than have ever attended shows. 

The Perfect Show is such a difficult question as the audience base is wide with very differing ideas. Should we move towards a car rally style? Should have a stronger family focus? I do not believe any organiser has tried any research on today’s attendees. The difficulty with all consumer research is that it is rarely objective. Depending on the questions you ask and how they are phrased you can tilt everything to your own subjective opinion. In short, get the result you want!

The audience can clearly be split into campers and day visitors. It would then be worth looking at how these two groups compare. How many of each are families and what age are the children? Why do they come to the shows? To say they love Land Rovers is too easy.

These and many other questions urgently need to be addressed as we are witnessing a slow drift to oblivion. Ask any trader?

Show organisers have put up costs for trade stands and public entry steadily over the years. Cost of staff, transport, and disruption to business plus general subsistence have all risen sharply. Many of the big traders of ten to fifteen years ago no longer coming to shows. The costs give them no return.

There are some straightforward home truths.

Traders must be able to clearly identify a commercial opportunity. Once profitability becomes marginal no one wants to spend 2-3 days in a field come rain or shine

The Public (in sufficient numbers) must find the show attractive and it must be affordable. Currently a family of four could easily spend £100 to £150 solely on fuel, entrance fee and food and drink. This is before they buy anything at the show.

The revenue gained from the above two groups must be sufficient to pay the location fee, security, all administration for ticketing, any main ring or evening entertainment, adequate and clean showers and toilets plus many other things I have forgotten. Plus, if all of this is carried out by a third party organisation, they want their slice of profit as well.

It is clear that the above makes this a numbers game. Hundreds of traders and thousands of visitors keep things running along just fine. Once the numbers start to drop away and costs rise, shows become financially untenable.  I think we are just getting to the tipping point.

The format of shows must change to give new life for a new generation. The only way that will ever happen is if enough people make their voices heard to magazines to forums and to friends. The world can change but only if you make it. Doing nothing is not an option as this very act may consign some shows to history.