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Gavin Syme GBS Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Oct 2017 8:50 a.m. PST


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Gods Own scale 6mm09 Oct 2017 8:50 a.m. PST

So what are people's thoughts on the Derby Worlds show?

Changing venue is always risky, particularly to a smaller venue. I'm hearing a lot if discontent from traders and punters but they may be a vocal minority. I didn't enjoy the event as much as previous years. I've been a punter since the Assembly Room days back in the early 90's.

But I also don't organise a large 2 day show attracting competitors from all over the world. No mean task.

Comments, ideas and suggestions below. And let's keep it nice.

Gods Own scale 6mm09 Oct 2017 8:51 a.m. PST

So what are people's thoughts on the Derby Worlds show?

Changing venue is always risky, particularly to a smaller venue. I'm hearing a lot if discontent from traders and punters but they may be a vocal minority. I didn't enjoy the event as much as previous years. I've been a punter since the Assembly Room days back in the early 90's.

But I also don't organise a large 2 day show attracting competitors from all over the world. No mean task.

Comments, ideas and suggestions below. And let's keep it nice.

foxweasel09 Oct 2017 9:30 a.m. PST

I didn't go so don't have an opinion, the last time I went it was a really good show. However, I've just got off the phone with someone who said it was awful, no room to move, he only stayed for 2 hours and had driven a fair distance to get there. He also said the traders were angry.

firebase201209 Oct 2017 9:31 a.m. PST

Hi Sean have been going to the Derby show for a while now when it was at Castle Donnington which I always enjoyed, however, this year was a disaster.
1 The venue was in the back end of nowhere. Expensive to get to £30.00 GBP taxi fare from the closest hotel return

2 Smaller venue very cramped punters bumping into each other bumping into traders and tables horrible. very warm and stuffy, always a long queue at the food counter.

3 At least 6 traders I know who attend every year not there.

4 Traders complaining about the cost of a pitch.

I fly from Ireland to attend which is normally very affordable for me when at castle Donnington, however, having to travel a fair distance from the airport to the venue cost me considerably more in bus and taxis fares hence I spent considerably less with the hard-pressed traders.
In short, it was the worst show I ever attended and WONT be back.
Think Ill go to Claymore next year. Pity Derby Worlds used to be great. Total disaster.

firebase201209 Oct 2017 9:34 a.m. PST

Foxweasel I was the same flew from Ireland and only stayed 4 hours I normally stay full 2 days. Couldn't wait to get out of it. You're lucky you didn't go.

foxweasel09 Oct 2017 9:57 a.m. PST

I won't be going next year either, unless the organisers change the venue. The trouble is that it's so easy to criticise, I've no doubt that the guys in charge put in a lot of hard work to put on what they thought would be a good show. It's hard to visualise what a building will look like when the crowds are in.

Redcurrant09 Oct 2017 10:19 a.m. PST

I too have been going to the Worlds since they were in the Assembly Rooms, a venue that I enjoyed. Indeed I also liked the University, and Castle Donnington venues.

I was not impressed by the new venue, it took ages to find, going through villages that are at the a**e end of civilisation, and I only had to get there from Peterborough.
My route planner gave up so I had to resort to the old fashioned expedient of reading a map.

Prices for food was a bit steep at £3.00 GBP for a sausage roll and £1.00 GBP for a packet of crisps. I accept that the show organisers have no say in prices.

Traders seemed cramped, with very little space between the isles. Did not ask whether the traders were enjoying it or not.

I only stayed for about 2 hours, usually I would stay double that and spend time chatting to the traders and the organisers of the demo games.

Will have to think long and hard before going again.


Lord Sunderland09 Oct 2017 10:22 a.m. PST

I was there from 11.00am on the Saturday up to about 3.30pm. I didn't think it was that crowded- certainly been at more crowded shows eg Reading. Yes it does appear to be in the middle of nowhere, but no worse than previous years venue.
I too missed a few traders, but then they have either ceased trading, or had explained on their websites they wouldn't be able to make it ( Kallistra eg). I certainly spent enough!

Overall I thought it was OK. The burger and bacon was certainly nice!

olicana09 Oct 2017 10:38 a.m. PST

The organisers, from what I hear, had no choice but to find a new venue for the show after Donnington Park ceased to be an option I heard this was down to the old venue only wanting to host automotive shows.

The new venue is quite a lot smaller than the old one and felt very crowded as a consequence.

Our biggest problem with the venue was the distance from home. South of Leicester might just be a little too far south for us to travel to put on a demo game (we had to load the car at 6 a.m. to get to the show with time to set up, and we only just made it, arriving at 9.40 a.m). This made Saturday a very long day.

Also, and I don't know why, they didn't have prizes for best demo and participation games this year.

However, we still had a good time putting on a renaissance game (Cerignola 1503) and got to speak to a lot of gamers the usual suspects plus a lot of new faces too. I'd like to thank everyone who stopped by.

Lee John Ayre09 Oct 2017 10:51 a.m. PST

I was disappointed with the new venue too finding it crowded and missing a few traders who have been at previous shows including one who was listed in the program and on the website. Although it was closer to where I live I don't think I'd return to this venue.

Mike Target09 Oct 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

Didnt go when I realised it was further to travel.

I presume theyre gonna have to rename it now its nowhere near Derby?

HappyHiker09 Oct 2017 1:50 p.m. PST

I thought it was poor too, I've only been to a few of events, but this was the worst so far. Last years in castle donnington was much better. The venue was awful, in the middle of nowhere, how can it be derby worlds but not in derby ?

The demo/participation games area was small, but there were loads of tournament games, which I wasn't interested in, I guess the people n them were. I won't go again if it's not nearer derby/nottingham.

Vigilant09 Oct 2017 2:19 p.m. PST

Like the above this will probably be my last "Derby", which is a shame because it has been a favourite since the Assembly room days. I was there both days helping with the Jutland demo game, which was next to the food area. Not sure that I agree with the comment that the queue was always long, and for this type of venue not over priced for many things. The big problems seem to be that the trade area and demo/participation lost space to the tournament games, and that the traders in particular suffered financially from subsidising the tournaments and the game that the show organisers had developed for sale. Many told me that this was the 2nd most expensive show to get space at after Salute. There was too little space between the trade stands, which was possibly in defiance of safety regulations and many had to leave stock in their vans because there was not space at the venue. From a personal point of view, apart from being in the middle of nowhere, the venue is now closer to London than it is to home. Without traffic problems the journey down took nearly 2 and half hours, with road closures on the way back it took over 3. I know that finding venues is difficult from personal experience, but this was a poor substitute for Donnington.

Fire at Will09 Oct 2017 10:12 p.m. PST

Agree it was cramped and too far to travel. Couldn't they move back to the university in Derby?

Swampster09 Oct 2017 11:50 p.m. PST

I thought it was okay. I was there for competition more than for shopping or looking at games. It was pretty crowded but no more so than, say, Warfare at Reading.

I know at least one trader was put off by the price of a pitch.

Fighting 15s10 Oct 2017 2:35 a.m. PST

I was there for two days helping on Colonel Bill's and the biggest issue was lack of space. If, before customers have come in, and the aisles are deserted, you feel as if your personal space is being invaded when no one is next to you, then there is an issue. I can't say anything about cost.

What I will observe, because for my own sanity I went for a walk outside, is that there was lots of parking the 400-space car park for Hangar 42 has plenty of overflow parking and yes it is "on a field", but that's hardly unusual for events.

The catering bar and hot food were all powered by a commercial generator, which was chucking out its own fumes outside the venue. Hangar 42 has no catering facilities of its own, and event organisers have to arrange them. The catering tent had heating as well. I never had a problem with queues throughout the day, though I saw them build up during the peak lunch period. And yes the smell of fried onions in the main venue was maddening. I almost blinked at the cost of a quarter-pounder burger at £5.00 GBP and chips at £2.50 GBP, but it really isn't that different from the cost at cafes in many leisure facilities.

The toilets (there were others at the back of the hall) were clean and kept clean during the show. They were decidedly posh in comparisons with other venues' facilities. Again, I never had an issue with queuing. Better signage might have helped so it was clear that there were more toilets than just in the foyer.

There was a mobile cashpoint outside in a van, so the organisers had clearly thought about that aspect. However, even the catering side of things took contactless card payments.

Derby World venues all seem to have had problems. When the show moved to Donington Park there were complaints about the lack of atmosphere of the venue, about the cost of the food and drink, and about the poor state of the toilets. Previous venues have suffered from a warren-like layout that meant trade stands were lost to their public a key reason why I didn't go as a trader until the show moved to Donington.

For some of us, Bruntingthorpe (twinned with Loughville) is actually nearer. Rally driving skills are helpful, but the roads aren't as bad as mine locally. And if, as an organiser, you are faced with the issue of a lack of alternative venues at comparatively short notice when one has given you the boot (didn't the university also give the show the boot?), then I appreciate that you have to make do with what is available.

It's not perfect. There were indeed lots of unhappy traders, lost in a narrow maze of their own gridwall. Some, I'm sure, won't be back, which will solve the space issue. Hopefully the new organisers will listen and learn. Hopefully they'll take the trouble to have a word with previous organiser Nigel Nicholson, who was doing the rounds on the Saturday, and get his views: Nigel is the most organised show co-ordinator I've come across.

TimeCast10 Oct 2017 2:39 a.m. PST

Trade space was very expensive.

I have just done a quick calculation and for the size of stand we had it worked out at £4.07 GBP per square foot of space.

By comparison out trade space at Salute costs £3.78 GBP per square foot.

Fighting 15s10 Oct 2017 2:46 a.m. PST

I have just done a quick calculation and for the size of stand we had it worked out at £4.07 GBP GBP per square foot of space.

Sucks in breath… whistles.

garethe12110 Oct 2017 11:26 a.m. PST

I was there as a competitor. And while it was a little cramped I thought it was quite good as a venue but I can see that there were some problems. Yes getting there if you have no car is difficult. Moving around the trade stands was congested but in my opinion no worse than Reading or Castle Donnington or Salute in the old days. I didn't use the food stands but from what people are saying it sounds like prices were similar to those at the Castle Donnington venue.

olicana10 Oct 2017 11:03 p.m. PST

I didn't use the food stands but from what people are saying it sounds like prices were similar to those at the Castle Donnington venue.

One thing that didn't compare were the food prices. At the old venue you got a full English breakfast deal, with a plate piled like Everest, and a cup of coffee or tea for £3.50 GBP – I haven't seen prices like that elsewhere for years. At the new venue, a sausage sandwich was £4.00 GBP – about average, these days.

However, from what I hear, the food was much better quality at the new venue.

Bad Squiddo Games11 Oct 2017 5:45 a.m. PST

I've wasted enough of my time on the show already so I won't type too much, I'll paste what I put on the Wargames Illustrated FB feedback thread though.

Since posting that, the health and safety implications really hit at what on earth would happen if the place had to be evacuated.

Still no post from Derby Worlds on any of their pages or emails to the traders. It's going to take a LOT to get the majority of the traders and punters back next year.


Big price increase for traders yet smaller stands, stand in a position it was hard to get people into it – if I stood in my stand it blocked it, if I stood in the "corridor" it blocked that, I mostly stood in the opposite stand where people then assumed my stand was empty so walked past. Terrible takings, took all weekend what I did on Sunday last year, this was echoed by other traders I spoke to. Lack of footfall and they just couldn't get in my stand very well. Stands crushed together so much I both didn't really have space for my display cabinet but mainly didn't put it up because the tables were all buckling up and wobbling due to being so Close, so wasn't going to risk that. Many traders had to leave stock in the van due to no room, so there's a loss of earnings issue there too.

Embarrassingly bad for anyone with mobility issues, especially wheelchairs, and a number of customers complained of panic issues due to the cram.

Only one door for all the traders setting up and taking down, leading to mega tense van crush and people really struggling. Atmosphere setting up was horrible due to this. Every other show has a load of people on arrival to help you find the stand or even unload the van. I saw nobody until the get out now guy.

The show wasn't advertised on any of the forums I could see, which is especially important due to the venue change. I was staffless as they rely on public transport so couldn't get there, as well as many others it seems. On the plus, I wouldn't have been able to fit two people in my stand anyway. Just to reiterate , the most expensive stands other than Salute.

I always put a leaflet in the bag which is a great service and sometimes even get Derby specific ones printed… this year if I wanted to do that it would cost me £100.00 GBP for the honour, so of course did not.

Confused as to the Aeon One game which appears to be funded from these price rises to traders, it was on everything from the t shirts to wrist bands. A lot of effort into promoting their game, which.. we paid for yet see nothing back from. Surely the couple thousand pounds or whatever they spent producing that would have been better invested into the show?

I'll be sending this feedback to the show of course, I wanted to at the weekend but over the whole thing did not see anybody I could talk to. It was literally just the "get out now" guy on each day, and I didn't want to lump it all on him (and we had to get out… now!)

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Oct 2017 7:11 a.m. PST

These posts could all be about the HMGS East shows here in the U.S -- lol -- it's an international situation now!!

Russ Dunawsy

madaxeman13 Oct 2017 7:32 a.m. PST

The previous Donington venue is now well and truly gone:


holien13 Oct 2017 7:35 a.m. PST

Russ not even close…

No mould, no hotel issues, no refighting the civil war!


Gennorm16 Oct 2017 8:48 a.m. PST

I thought it was ok. Warmer, cleaner and quieter than Donnington. Food far better with quick service albeit more expensive although not excessive (best take bottled water next time). The trade area was very crowded and the 15mm vendors appeared to have stayed away en masse. Found the venue with satnav no problem. A mate who hired a sales table was very happy with the money he made.

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