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"Sheffield Triples Review" Topic


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Rhysius Cambrensis20 Mar 2016 4:08 a.m. PST

My first time attending Sheffield Triples Wargames show yesterday at English Institute of Sport.

First of all, what a great venue! Modern, spacious, excellent facilities, excellent staff and reasonable food and drink prices (less than £2.00 GBP for a large Moccha! Lovely). A great start.

Parking was easy although I arrived 45 mins before the doors opened and most people seemed to arrive later in the morning and lunchtime. Access from the roads was easy for me as well.

The show appeared well organised with helpful friendly event staff who seemed to be happy to be doing a show like this. Believe it or not, this does not always appear to be the case.

Very minimal queue to get in once opening time came around after my large Moccha but I was early and one of the first 20 or so people in.

It keeps getting better with two rooms the show was organised across were generously spacious, light, airy, and pleasant all round. I personally don't like several Wargames shows because they try to pack too much in in too small a space, I find it claustrophobic and difficult to relax with lots of people shoving and pushing their war round traders and gaming tables. Especially dislike those who insist on wearing their backpacks at all times in a crowded show. You are going to the same hell reserved for those people whom rustle sweet wrappers in cinemas!

Any who, I digress. Because it didn't matter how many inconsiderate people attended this show. I only noticed one or two and was able to easily circumnavigate their offensive presence.

What I also really liked about this show was that the pervasive smell of BO and presence of greasy hair seemed to be very minimal but again, maybe I subconsciously was able to circumnavigate their foul presence thanks to the excellence of the venue choice and organisation.

Onto the traders, and again, only positives, there was a great and venerable mix of Peddlers, dealing in all sorts of wonderful wares. An absolutely fantastic mix of figure scales, periods and conflicts as well as terrain, accessories and tools. Anyone attending this show would have found at least one thing to satisfy the whispering tender sat in their pockets, no matter the physical lightness, the heavy weight of available funds and endless possibilities firing the imaginations of our inner children. Or, at least, something like that.

This show was an entirely positive experience for me and will become an annual pilgrimage for as long as it continues, and may its reign be long and prosperous.

shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2016 7:51 a.m. PST

it can't be a gamning show without
BO, large rucksacks and metalica T shirts!
well not in the uk anyway.

miniaturemen Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Mar 2016 8:04 a.m. PST

We're we at the same show?
We were trading at this year's show and it suprised me to read your review.
There was lots of space because lots of traders didn't attend this year's and the visitor numbers were considerably lower than previous years.
We packed up our stall early today, partly in protest and partly because there was nobody there.
It's a shame for all the visitors who had to pay £6.00 GBP just to get in after paying £3.50 GBP to park their vehicle for what….the privilege to buy from the trade stalls and play the few participation games.
Even more of a shame for the traders who had to pay for hotels, fuel etc.
Poor/no organisation from people who don't/won't listen
Sorry to say we won't be attending next year and I'm sure many other traders will say the same.

Rhysius Cambrensis20 Mar 2016 8:41 a.m. PST

ERM, I didn't pay to park. I was let straight in by the parking attendant for no fee and saw no pay and display signs and received no parking ticket. If I should have paid for parking I was never made aware of this at any point.

Obviously as a one day attendee my experience would be very different from yours.

Maybe I enjoyed it due to the lack of crowding that resulted from, unbeknownst to me, poor attendance. I thought maybe that there were a couple of traders missing and one or two games but aside from briefly admiring the various demo and participation games, I don't get involved.

Sounds like Triples may well be dying. A shame as my first experience as an attendee was very positive.

Perhaps it should just be a one day show.

The flying buffalo20 Mar 2016 8:50 a.m. PST

I'm glad you enjoyed Triples, at least somebody did. But you'r experience seems to be in the minority, which is a shame. I've posted elsewhere on here about how I felt about this year, so won't repeat myself here.
But maybe the lack of jostling rucksacks, That unmistakable smell of unwashed gamer and greasy hair tells a tale of a show that is missing its customers rather than attracting a better class of punter.

The flying buffalo20 Mar 2016 8:54 a.m. PST

And I also think you might have the cure for Triples decline in your last line.
I honestly believe Triples would benefit from being a one day show. Traders would have one days rent and two days custom, encouraging their return & getting everyone through the door in one day might bring some of the buzz back that was missing this year.

miniaturemen Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Mar 2016 9:14 a.m. PST

Everyone I think would agree with a one day show but the organisers just won't listen. Many, many people have offered advice and help but they just don't want to listen because they don't think it is a problem.
There were 21 traders that didn't attend this year's show and I'm sure there will be many others who wished they hadn't bothered this year.
Many of us are small businesses and just can't afford to pay such high costs for a show that isn't advertised or promoted or organised.
We know you can't guarantee people through the door, but if those people don't know because the show was poorly advertised and when you then question why this wasn't done to the show organiser and his response is, and I quote " that wasn't his job and he doesn't believe in all that social media crap", I think there is no hope for the future of Triples.

The flying buffalo20 Mar 2016 9:26 a.m. PST

You have my sympathy, I spoke to a good number of traders who I've come to know over the years. Most seemed to be of an opinion that they will lose money on this years show.
I appreciate that traders give up their weekends to attend shows, have the cost of transport, table rent, sometimes staff and other variables to content with. I think the very least a show should do is give you a fighting chance of making a profit for all the hard work that goes into attending.
I tip my hat to you and the other traders for giving me the opportunity to see your goods

Yesthatphil20 Mar 2016 9:38 a.m. PST

I enjoyed the show on Saturday … played DBA all day … but managed to get out and spend 3 times as much myself as at WMMS, then passed over a fair sum in sponsorship money (which will also go to the trade) … I thanked the organisers at the end for what had been a very worthwhile day out for me.

It's a pity I missed some of the traders but there is always Salute next month. In addition to my spending at the show, what I saw will fuel more ideas to come ..

Phil

For Triples, though, I'm a Saturday visitor and have been for a couple of years now …

Volleyfire20 Mar 2016 9:48 a.m. PST

My pics of Saturday finally uploaded on the previous Shefield Triples post if anyone wants to see the wide open spaces and tumbleweed.
I knew there were some big names not attending but didn't realise it ran to 21, which is a massive number, and it clearly showed. You could have probably taken the traders and games out of the smaller room and squeezed them into the main hall without too much trouble.
Two years ago I attended and had to park in the overflow car park way out the back. Last year I arrived late about 1pm but still had to park round the back albeit nowhere near as far away as the year before. This year I arrived at 11.30 and found several empty spaces right at the front of the building from which to choose. I thought that was an ominous sign before I'd even got in the door.
The B&B looked tired and full of a lot of tat to my eyes. If it was me I'd have a tabletop sale a la Hammerhead/Vapnartak and move it into the main hall seeing as there is now plenty of room. The quality of items on sale at Hammerhead tabletop was very high and I think tabletop sales introduce more buzz to the place especially as traders change every hour or so. Punters were 3 deep round the tables at Hammerhead. Making the show a day instead of two day event would also seem a logical move.If Salute can't afford to go to 2 days how can a show like this manage to continue at 2 days with the decreasing footfall see keep seeing? The people on the door on Saturday always say every year "You can come back tomorrow without paying to get in" but to be honest there was nothing,this year or any year, I'd want to venture back on a 4 hour round trip to see all over again.

Crann Tara Minis20 Mar 2016 10:23 a.m. PST

After last years decline I decided not to attend as a trader this year as has been said as a small trader I can't afford to take a hit at what is now an expensive show without the punters.
I don't expect to make loads of money but as has been said the organisers refuse to,listen to any comments and have stuck with the same letters, organisation for years and even if I'm not busy it's nice if there's a buzz or someone to talk to.
I attended Prestonpans in February, 7 traders, 7 good games, lots of buzz, talking and enthusiasm and I made a small profit. The organisers wanted to know how to improve next year and were genuinely great full for the traders and gamers who attended

Ben Avery20 Mar 2016 11:56 a.m. PST

I don't know the personalities involved, but apparently the EIS charge the same for two days as one. It does make me wonder how they can charge so much when I know that sports events seem to be much more affordable. I know a lot of local schools use it, not just for sports days, but actual lessons. It was very empty when it opened (I actually had a desk there for a time) and it would be a shame if organisers of hobby events are subsidising other users.

We ran a participation game, trying out a new system and scenario (The Chosin Reservoir) and got enough players for a couple of run throughs, plus quite a few people registered interest in our events, so worth going. It seemed much quieter than previous times I've attended and I do think one day (wherever it's held) would help, as would a tabletop sale (I had stuff taken from the B&B last time I used it, so perhaps a little biased).

It's a lovely big venue, but ultimately it's a sports hall and I know a lot of Sheffield schools have had re-builds with nice facilities too. Perhaps the cost of hiring them would be more reasonable.

Moonraker Miniatures Sponsoring Member of TMP20 Mar 2016 12:14 p.m. PST

Most traders, in my experience, prefer 1 day shows to 2 day events. I'm very glad Colours has gone one day and it would be good if others followed suit.

I haven't done Triples (as em4miniatures) for several years and from what I'm reading here, I'm not tempted to return.

Doug
Moonraker Miniatures.em4Miniatures

freewargamesrules20 Mar 2016 1:39 p.m. PST

It was the first time in over 25 years I didn't attend. The last couple of years it had really gone downhill. Lots of poor feedback on other forums aswell this year. The organisers don't want to put any effort into the show and won't listen to advice.

… a real shame.

deephorse20 Mar 2016 2:53 p.m. PST

It'll be a shame for me if Triples dies a death. This is as far south as I will travel for a show now that I have given up on Derby. I like the venue but the organisers need to get their act together. On Saturday I was told that concession age was 65. According to a friend it was 60 by Sunday.

10mm Wargaming21 Mar 2016 3:17 a.m. PST

Here is a few pictures of triples

Triples Sheffield Wargames Show 2016

Take care

Andy

Chris Abbey Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Mar 2016 3:54 a.m. PST

Last year was dire so we decided then and there not to attend as a trader this year unless they changed it to a one day show, which is all the attendance numbers justify. Lot's of other traders I spoke to last year felt the same, raised the issue with the organisers, nothing changed so voted with there feet. A real shame as it used to be a good show.

atommmm21 Mar 2016 7:12 a.m. PST

I'm sorry to read all this,
Problems that i would love to have in here :)
…in the mean time in a far far away country: (miniaturally)
This week-end My kids and i went to the "Journée de la figurines et jeux" (Days of the miniatures and games near Paris, France) link few local traders (2 from germany) link because they are not cool and sell your products a lot more expensively than the price we pay it with delivery from UK.
Maybe next year some of you may come and show for few euro (if euro still next year;) get a free room from a member of my club (or other) and get 1 nice week end with us?

but i'm a dreamer, still playing miniatures….

sorry, i did'nt want to disturb just make you laugh a second.

agtfos21 Mar 2016 8:03 a.m. PST

As a regular display gamer at the show (on and off for the last 25 years) you might have thought that I would have been informed of the change of date. No dice. I have had the same email address and phone number for the last 14 years at least and the same physical address for the last 6. so no contact details is not an excuse – simply shoddy organisation.
We were planning to go as usual in May with a new game and it came as a total surprise when one of our crew found out last week via a friend that it had been moved to march. Naturally this was too short notice to organise anything – especially with some members coming from Wales.
Very bad form.

olicana21 Mar 2016 8:30 a.m. PST

Given my experience with the organisers of this show, I'm not surprised to hear that they will not listen to reason. Because of their 'holier than thou' posture, I'm not surprised that a once great show is going down hill.

Tarleton21 Mar 2016 8:50 a.m. PST

I've never been to the "new" Triples in its better site. I certainly wouldn't pay £6.00 GBP to just go through the doors of any show. The last (and second time) I went to Salute it was still in its original? site in the old hall in mid London.

I have many fond memories of the "old" Triples at the Octagon, it could be pain to find a parking speck but we always managed to find a free one. Plenty of trade stands, games and plenty of people. Its date was more or less the same for years and a definite on the calendar (along with Northern Militaire at Oldham [another sad and missed "Northern" show). Lunch could be had in the bar or by nipping down the road into town past the Victorian TA barracks (would have loved a look around inside…). It was a damned good day out with a chance to see old friends and what the "top" traders of the time had out (it must be remembered that in those days there was no t'internet and pictures of figures in magazine adverts were usually limited or non-existent).

It would appear from the reports ad reviews of this year and last year that its days are numbered. I know some traders who did not go this year and also "visitors" who went this year but won't be going next year. Plans are afoot to go to Vapnartak instead.

A damned shame!

Tarleton21 Mar 2016 9:02 a.m. PST

atommmm,

"Maybe next year some of you may come and show for few euro (if euro still next year;) get a free room from a member of my club (or other) and get 1 nice week end with us?"

That's not as crazy as it sounds, I made a similar offer to a new trader a few years ago for the Phalanx show at St Helens, now he comes every year, does well at the show, shows us his new items and we have a very convivial evening the night before.

I hope you get someone to take up your generous offer. Bon chance, mes amis!

bruntonboy21 Mar 2016 12:56 p.m. PST

Take it back to the Octagon for a start. The new venue is better in every respect- space, lighting, parking but it is soulless, bland and makes the show look smaller than it is. The old venue was an adventure, was more pleasant to sit, chat and eat and drink in. I actually enjoy the two day show format as we stay over and have a lads weekend away so I would like to see that remain but I appreciate that it probably just doubles the cost for traders with no more sales.

LeonAdler Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Mar 2016 2:08 p.m. PST

The simple option is a two day show for those that want it ( competition gamers for instance) then divide the Traders up into those staying for both days ( the locals with much lower costs, coming from Brighton I have hotel and food costs x2 for 2 nights plus a lot of petrol) and those who are there for the Saturday only. Put all the 2 dayer stands in one area. When Saturday done the tables for the Saturday only type Traders can be packed away and the place look tidy for the Sunday.
Most Traders would pay pretty much the same for one day as two and people would know if they want to get there stash they need to be there on the Saturday which would make it much busier. Sunday usually a much quieter day anyhow ( called 'gossip day' here lol)

Club needs to organise B&B for choice clubs so they can afford to bring a good game.
And before anyone asks yes I did put this to the organisers, it was made quite clear I was being unreasonable.
As for the date of the show, the years of it being later have meant other shows have moved into the gap.
Adler Miniatures
L

marmont1814 Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Mar 2016 4:26 p.m. PST

Im for two day shows as most traders who rent vans have them for a weekend, the halls are generally rented out on a weekend basis due to the work setting up etc so there would only be a minimum of saving.
The issue with the Triples is the lack of energy put into the show by the organisers, there is no advertising, no information on the websites etc, no promotion through fb and TMP etc, they are not actively getting clubs to turn up and put games on and as each game represents a club or organisation it brings more people to the show, the completion is a dire wreck with this year probably no more than 30 gamers all weekend, less players and competitions than last year – well done the guy in charge of competition organisation, I was also told that Warlord where putting on a competition but didn't as they got no response from the club and as Warlord here organising it, putting up prizes there would have been minimum needed by the club organisers to do they still didn't bother replying so warlord gave up. Sheffield has rested on the laurels of a successful how, have traded at the show for 30years and the club have done nothing to keep t going to face up to the competition shows face, in attracting punters through the door, from the Internet. Shows need to be different to attract people who want to wargame in demos, participations, competitions, to have activities or spectacles like the re enactors like the Vikings/medieval guys bashing the hell out of each other, the club needs to re write the show and create what will draw people away from the pleasure of there hearth and home after a long week of work when a trip to internet land will supply the lead craving. Its a numbers game and to get the numbers to make the show a success for the trade for themselves on the door hey need to give the people a reason to go besides a half empty trade hall with a handful of games – nice as they where. I was lucky at the show and did ok, alot didn't but we where all down financially as traders and as fulltime businesses we cannot support the number of shows provide new product etc. with these returns. Its a shame to see a show I loved like this, I played in the competitions, socialised during and after the show with traders and gamers alike, played in and organised demos and traded there and was my favourite show to look so disorganised with all the empty tables and vast spaces trying to hide the missing participants and the lack of support from numbers of people putting games on attending, the overall atmosphere was more akin to a club night or a bad church hall cub scout sale, alas mismanagement complacency and denial have brought the show to its knees. My advise would be after talking to people who attended this year, move back to the Octagon and get the competition back up to early octagon levels and invite at least 5 x as many participation games and displays and advertise advertise advertise, if not, well Im waiting to see before I book for 2017 – and Leon you can always stay at my house Saturday night,lol

LeonAdler Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Mar 2016 10:43 p.m. PST

Alan,
Thanks for the very kind offer………….just now Im trying to figure out if its a threat or not ………………lol
L

TimeCast23 Mar 2016 2:10 a.m. PST

Move back to the Octagon?

You must be joking.

The main hall is a badly lit cramped mess.

Access for vans etc for unloading and loading is a nightmare. Access is even more tricky for the poor traders who are consigned to the upper levels and have to use lifts – try wheeling a trolley carrying 150+ Kg of lead 100 yards and up ramps and then try and get it in a lift. The novelty wears off VERY quickly.

City centre traffic and roads make access for traders even more difficult.

No parking on site for large vans etc – traders will remember the nightmare of trying to park anywhere within a reasonable distance of the venue.

The Octagon was NOT designed with these sort of events in mind.

It's time to remove the nostalgic rose tinted glasses and move on.

Move back to the old venue and watch the traders abandon a sinking ship even faster.

The flying buffalo23 Mar 2016 6:03 a.m. PST

As a customer I loved the Octagon, it had an eclectic charm. The main hall had the feel of a souk bustling with trade. The differing levels and wandering corridors were an expedition with rare prizes to be discovered. From a visitors standpoint it had something special.
But I'm with you on all its bad points too, parking was lousy. We did a display game and discovered how hard to was to get anything where you wanted it, I seem to remember giving up on lifts and just carrying everything up flights of stairs. No, better to leave the Octagon to fond memories.
That doesn't mean that Triples should stay put where it is either, if they have to book a full weekend then why not look elsewhere. I'm sure the EIS isn't the only venue in Sheffield.

Volleyfire23 Mar 2016 7:00 a.m. PST

I attended Triples once when it was at the Octagon, and that put me off going for years. Finding it and then parking was a nightmare, and once inside it was such a crush you couldn't see anything or even get near to a stand to purchase what you wanted. The crowds were 3 deep in places, plus the room all those dreaded rucksacks take up as well, and we got fed up with being crushed, stood on, shoved aside, and moved around like cattle.
I don't go to a show to admire the building, I go to look at the contents and wares for sale, so nicely lit with plenty of space and room to move freely are better from my point of view. A show doesn't need to be in some building with character to make it a good show, it needs somewhere that is full of punters enjoying themselves and that creates the buzz which makes the atmosphere and a great day out, witness Hammerhead for instance. Hammerhead show was in a large nicely lit venue and was a great success. It was far easier for the traders to get in and out of, compared with somewhere characterful like Kelham Hall for instance.Some Traders told me that out of that show, WMMS and Triples they would take more money at Hammerhead than the other two shows, so it can't be down to the venue or lack of character in the building that stops people from spending.
I think Triples suffered from being at the end of the month, rather than the beginning when a lot of people have just been paid. It also suffered from following hard on the heels of Hammerhead and WMMS, and with Salute just around the corner. If it goes anywhere in the calendar surely the only gap left before Summer is the start of May, or you are left with June where there are no other shows in that part of the country it can clash with?

Volleyfire23 Mar 2016 7:03 a.m. PST

picture

Saturday in the main hall at 12.30. Just in case you haven't looked at the other post re triples.

sjwalker3823 Mar 2016 9:05 a.m. PST

Hey, that's me – fame at last!

Volleyfire23 Mar 2016 9:29 a.m. PST

This was a selfie. I'm cunningly disguised as a black bin.

Ben Avery23 Mar 2016 9:56 a.m. PST

I definitely think the venue needs looking at – there's not so much setting up that needs doing for the EIS staff and the building has been designed for quick turnarounds. They've had gala dinners on the Friday evening and athletes in the following morning. In one sense it would be a shame though – our group was discussing how to use one of those spaces to run one of our larger games for a whole day.

Black Scorpion23 Mar 2016 11:27 a.m. PST

We've been trading at Triples for over 10 years, many at the old venue. Over the years they've changed the date to before or after Salute, some years have been busier than others but all within a normal range of what you'd expect.

Except this year. Something has gone seriously wrong as this Saturday barely anyone showed up. Sundays are generally quiet anyway. There were also less traders/games but it was customers that failed to show.

I don't see how moving venue, 1 day show..etc etc.. would help that. The new venue is far better, actually one of the best on the show circuit.

I can only assume the date change/event in general simply hasn't been advertised. It's probably a show mainly attended by people from the North, midlands who around April/Salute think 'ah must be Triples soon I'll probably go'. i.e people simply didn't know it was on.

Many years ago Triples was talked about being the second show to Salute (Crisis holds that title and catching fast). Now they have to stop the snowball effect of traders and customers not attending on the back of this.
I hope next year it will be back to normal. I think some promotion would go a long way.

Ben Avery23 Mar 2016 2:06 p.m. PST

Other than trader costs (money and time), 1 day would definitely help ease the pressure on those putting on games. We thought we'd got it covered by putting on two games, but the person bringing Sunday's unfortunately had family issues (we did inform the organisers before leaving on Saturday). As we'd run a game at Hammerhead just two weeks before, with most of our games running at weekends too, giving up two days for relatively few participants is a hard sell.

As for the venue, the price I heard from someone in the club was an awful lot. If they are indeed justifying it by saying it's the same regardless of one or two days, then I think other venues should be considered. Space was being paid for that was not needed, it was cold out in the competition area and if the venue cost could come down, then perhaps it might be possible to encourage more traders.

I also think table top sales tend to be far more interesting than seeing a lot of the same stuff on the bring and buy.

marmont1814 Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Mar 2016 4:33 a.m. PST

The issue isn't how difficult to get in the octagon for trade, it was an interesting venue, different levels and places, it meant to see it all you had to wander around, in the clinical sterile venue now 15 min after being there you are bored, the octagon was in the town centre people stayed two days and socialised, a far superior venue for the type of customer base we have in war gamers -if you sell to other customer bases say womens clothes a huge hall is probably the best, wargamers like to mooch and search, sit in the bar and chat, then realise someone saw those new 28mm figures and you have to go look etc etc etc, you made a morning/afternoon or a day of it-modern shows people make an hour of it

Volleyfire24 Mar 2016 7:25 a.m. PST

Perhaps we need a TMP poll then marmont1814, those who like nicely lit open airy venues where they can actually see what they are trying to buy, admire or photograph for their magazine or blog, freedom to move around without being sideswiped by rucksacks or constantly having to say 'Excuse me' or apologise for bumping into someone else, and then those others who apparently like tripping up and down steps, wandering vaguely around in Stygian gloom like some parts of Kelham Hall,bumping into others (fragrant or otherwise)and having to elbow your way past some ignorant muppet if you wish to see anything of interest?? If you need a miner's lamp and a map when you arrive what's the point? :-)

The flying buffalo24 Mar 2016 9:33 a.m. PST

I think we're getting off the point, it's a shame someone from the Sheffield club / Organisers hasn't been on here to explain there thinking behind what happened at Triples this year.
I'm not reading angry posts, so they should'nt fear entering a chat that's offensive. But they might learn something from their customers / visitors and have a chance to explain their standpoint at the same time.

Volleyfire01 Apr 2016 1:21 a.m. PST

It would appear that either the organisers are taking time to weigh up what happened, or they aren't interested in taking up your offer Flying Buffalo. I don't think people are angry, well not so much the punters anyway, traders possibly, but no one has been getting irate it seems,more like puzzled as to what has happened and what is going to be done to rectify it.
Some acknowledgement of peoples' concerns would be nice though.None of us want to see what was a thriving show slowly wither away to nothing.

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