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Started a new thread for this as it moves away from just the weather thread.

I went to Billing Sunday and walked round. I did not trade for the first time in 10years but left this to others who sell my stuff.

I organised a national 4x4 show for 5 years.

I have been a LR fan for the best part of 35 years now...

What do people want??

Nice wether would have transformed the whole atmosphere. Even if the central arena ran a full program it would still be carp - we all know what colour Camels are. We all know of you drive up a ramp you will eventually come cross axled. We all know whoever sponsors / pays the most for adverts will get the endlessly annoying plugs over the tannoy.

The show is the same as last time! That's because nothing new has appeared on the market :D We are approaching stagnant, gone beyond stale. This could be improved a little by moving the stands to new locations so you don't feel as though you already know the show you have to dig out the things you want to see.

Nothing was cheap. That's because it is so bloody expensive to have stands at the shows these days that you ( as a trader ) can't afford to give stuff away especially when margins are as tight as the market forces have made them anyway.

The food was carp - agreed, took sandwiches. Show food is always dear / carp but this Billing pushed the limits.

The organistaion was poor - agreed ut the logistics of such a vast number of public in suach an unsuitable venue is to be fair unmanageable.

Where next??

Don't know - something has to be done but what?

A new venue.

A new format - what about a social event for LR owners with a dotting of stands just for the hell of ot and a nice little offroad course just to waste an hour on before a drink and a bite to eat? Either in your own caravan or in the sit down food marquee?

What abour paying the going rate instead of milking the show dry - organisers and public all do this to the trade who get Mildly miffed off, don't come back and leave gaps for the public and orgabisers to moan about :lol:

Billing was brilliant in the old days, now it is phusically just as good BUT we are all bored of it!

I am released from the "won't organise another show" contract I had to sign when I sold up now so watch this space but unless a new format can be found to creat an interest all the shows are the same, old boring stuff

David

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Hi,

it may help/give ideas or else...

Look at the French way of doing LR shows...

The largest LR community in France (and French speaking countries) is around the Landmania.com internet forum.

For the last 8 years an annual gathering is organised in the South of France...

Format:

- 2 days event in May

- 300 acres off-road site in south of France (near Aix en Provence)

- a specific trialing area close to the trade area good to show off and to watch

- no more than 40 traders

- 850 vehicles limit

- lots of drinks and partying

- VERY friendly, everyone help everyone

- marshals and helpers at every corner and all volunteers

- 50Euros registration per vehicle for the whole WE (driving and camping)

the organisers are not making money - just breaking even.

But the event is loved by all in France...

This year the Brits were represented by LR Gear, Allisport, Innovation4x4/GPC and Devon4x4 with Outback Import for the traders and I saw about 5-6 UK registered/driven visitors.

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I don't think the venue is a great problem, the facilities seemed to stand up pretty well and it's a large site. Could do with being further south though ;)

As ever, the organisation sucked. There was lots of tough talk about wrist-bands, camping passes, vehicle passes etc. that only served to give Nay a brain-ache over organising the club stand as they sent less passes than promised and hardly enough camping passes for those driving vehicles, never mind anyone who may be getting a lift to help with the stand. As it is, half of us got in without even showing our passes and wandered round all weekend without being challenged over our lack of wrist-bands.

Then, when we wanted to get Geoff in with the Range Rover on Sunday we were told "no more vehicles allowed in" even with all the requisite passes and bands :angry: and a space on the stand for him - well how did they manage to over-fill the site if everyone has to have a pass? <_<

The handling of the weather was carp too - although it was wet and muddy it was nowhere near Glastonbury standards and yet many trade stands were almost impossible to get to - if I was a trader I'd be p*ssed off, the rain seemed to completely overwhelm the organisation even though it's surely something you would plan for at such an event. <_<

Without degenerating into a discussion on the general state of innovation in the industry, I agree that Billing is not worth going to as a show as there's nothing new or even of massive interest there. Sure, it's a good place to meet up with people (EG far flung forumers) and socialise and maybe trawl the autojumble (but there's Sodbury for that).

Expat's event sounds good but I would not want to limit the number of traders or vehicles. A venue like Seven Sisters could swallow Billing and the off-road course would be a bit better too :D

For me the event that ticks all the Billing boxes without the hassle and with a better atmosphere is the London To Brighton. It's £25 and you get a plaque and a t-shirt. You get camping in a field with 1000 other landy nutters, you get a fun drive down to the coast and then everyone parks up and crawls over each other's vehicles. If you're a club you can park your whole membership on your stand with no hassle. There are a few trade stands and the odd bit of autojumble, there's a raffle with some decent prizes and there's a few fun things like the tug-a-101 competition which makes for some light-hearted inter-club rivalry and amusing spectating.

The atmosphere is great, the location is different and when it pees it down you don't need wellies on tarmac. If you don't like the facilities then wander off to the nearest fish'n'chip shop or the pier arcades. Also gives the kids and other halfs a non-landy distraction.

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Expat's event sounds good but I would not want to limit the number of traders or vehicles. A venue like Seven Sisters could swallow Billing and the off-road course would be a bit better too :D

Landmania is limited for 2 reasons:

- too many traders would mean less revenues for each of them.... The organiser wants the traders to make money and have a good time too... so they limit the numbers and the fees are not too dear.

- too many vehicles on site would mean people queuing on the course... The only time there are "traffic jam" (5-10min waiting max) are at 2 bottle necks between zones. 300acres is big enough but not too big.

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I actually think the location of Billing is pretty good in the grand scheme of things - it's fairly accessible from most of England. Sure it's a long haul from the far South West and North, most of Wales and Scotland. But that's going to go for any compromise location - not much you can do about that other than have more than one show. Even allowing for population distribution, Billing is arguably more towards the South East than it should ideally be already.

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Well, I enjoyed it. I only went for the social.

Its the third time I've been and each time something interesting happens. 1st it was the air ambulance landing in the camp field, then the tornado and storm last year, and this year the biblical rain. Great Show!

Next year its a plague of locusts!

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I personally don't think the show should be any further south than it is. I only live 50 miles up the road but I feel for the ones that travel down from Scotland etc and across from wales. Any further south and it gets even longer for them, lets be sensible Northamptonshire is about as fair as it can get. I suppose Somewhere near the NEC is that bit more central but does anyone fancy getting there on a Friday I don't think so!

As for the weather its been awfull for a long time, surely they should have seen problems arising and laid down more temporary roadways on the main exhibitors area yes its expensive but so will be the reinstatement of all that ground thats a mess now. As for layout yep I agree move a few folk around, i know the Heras fencing is around stands for security but it needs moving during show hours to make access between stands easier.

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I quite enjoyed it - despite it being rather hard work!

Takings were down 30% on last year - which must be down to the monsoon. We noticed that there were very few 'casual' shoppers - most of our customers came up knowing exactly what they wanted rather than making impulse purchases of shiny things.

I thought the security was friendly and relaxed - although I agree that the entry was disorganised. The rules about vehicle / people movements should have been drummed into all the gate and security staff. It seemed hit and miss whether you would even be stopped. Some were able to drive straight in (possibly without passes) while others with passes were turned away?

It was LRM's first big show so I think we should cut them some slack. Were it not for the weather, I think it would have been very good.

Like the tornado year, this one may be remembered for the flooding - but at least it is one you will remember.

For a different format, someone above suggested something that sounded rather like the Belgium National. There have been a few whispers from people who would like to organise something similar in the UK - but I guess it has just not come together.

Walters Arena (Seven Sisters) would be a good venue. What I would like to see are three events in one - with different tickets/pricing according to the mix you opt for.

The site would consist of a sodbury style auto-jumble area, a trade stand area, a camping area and a number of different off-road activities (trial, maxi-trial, winch challenge, treasure hunt, follow-my-leader convoy for shinys). The off road activities would be spread throughout the site with a mini-bus shuttle to take spectators to the action.

Four Classes of ticket:

Iron: Trade stands / Autojumble shopping only. Got to be low cost - say £10 per day with the option of camping

Steel: As per Iron but allowing trading in the Autojumble area - say £15 per day

Aluminium: Trade Stands plus access to off road activities - say £25 per day including camping

Titanium: Fully catered with access to everything. BN style breakfast / evening meal plus packed lunches - say £40 per day with camping or a free shuttle to local hotels.

Allow people, via the web, to book any days with any mix of classes. Different wrist band for each class / day sent out in advance.

This would keep it open to everyone, but would provide facilities for companies / main dealers to use it for corporate hospitality.

There should be no main event sponsor (other than possibly Land Rover). It makes it less likely to fold if they pull-out one year.

Si

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Four Classes of ticket:

Iron: Trade stands / Autojumble shopping only. Got to be low cost - say £10 per day with the option of camping

Steel: As per Iron but allowing trading in the Autojumble area - say £15 per day

Aluminium: Trade Stands plus access to off road activities - say £25 per day including camping

Titanium: Fully catered with access to everything. BN style breakfast / evening meal plus packed lunches - say £40 per day with camping or a free shuttle to local hotels.

Really liking this idea... top ticket should surely be 'birmabrite' though? ;);)

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I enjoyed it - weather wasn't ideal but then you can't blame the organisers for that.

I camped with the ORRP lot on an 'island' just up-stream of the weir and we stayed pretty dry all weekend - no real mud under foot and although some tents got wet the Oztent stayed bone dry.

The show ground was a mess with the mud but my 10 year old had great fun in his wellies and although I have a high centre of gravity I managed to not slip over completely.

I saw most of what I wanted to, met a few new faces and bought a dog / luggage guard and a fridge. Nearly bought one of the new Mantec snorkles (might have been a good idea with all these floods) but decided I'd spent enough.

I found the loos nice and clean and the showers hot.

Downsides - well, I think the entrance could have been better organised without the bottleneck after the gate. When I got back to the site Sat morning after collecting my son the queue for the wristbands etc stretched out of the site back to the dual carriageway and a mile or so back towards the M1.........

I went up to the next junction and then straight on at the petrol station and back in via the off-road course.

Finally - the catering was pants. One company had obviously won the tender for the show and the choice was poor, overpriced, slow and served by surly staff. I know they had the mud to contend with but even so they could and should have been more customer focused.

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It seemed hit and miss whether you would even be stopped. Some were able to drive straight in (possibly without passes) while others with passes were turned away?

We did both - drove in without having to use our passes, and then when we tried to get a vehicle in with a pass it was turned away! <_<

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IDownsides - well, I think the entrance could have been better organised without the bottleneck after the gate. When I got back to the site Sat morning after collecting my son the queue for the wristbands etc stretched out of the site back to the dual carriageway and a mile or so back towards the M1.........

Yeah i'd agree with that one - took us nigh on 2 hours to do the last 5 miles to the site on the saturday! More or less drove straight in on the sunday. However the gripe on sunday was getting out - there was some plank down by the min roundabout handing out fliers which was slowing everyone down getting out of the show!

never did get a map on the saturday, but got handed one on the sunday.

Didnt sample the catering so cant comment, but the toilets were minging! Muddy floor I can accept but it wasnt that bit i'm talking about! We stayed in comfort in the travelodge a few miles away thankfully!

Overall I was pleased not to see too many stalls selling the usual tat (clothing, shoes etc etc) although I found little to interest me as I dont run a coiler on the trade stands!

Jon

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