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Ultimate Land rover Show


pugwash
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I've been mulling people's reactions to billing over in my head as i have been interested in off roading shows for a while.

What struck m, is that no one really knows what the ultimate 4x4 show would be- but i do have some ideas as to the basis for one, and would appreciate other peoples thoughts.

1. Social gathering- first and foremost these shows thrive on being a huge social event- so you need space (and lots of it), meeting points (be it marquees, firepits or corals of vehicles), security (after all Billing is spoiled evry year by theiving little oiks- you need to control access, physical security and provide CCTV and the like) and lots and lots of facilities. You would also need to cater for both familie and rowdy ORRPers :D

2. Traders- a well organised site that gives traders all the room they need to show and sell all their products- ideally some would be outside and those smaler traders who don't have huge sites might like to be inside. the show should cater for both customers and traders- ie life shoudl be good for both. Whilst i think i know what customers would like to see, i have no idea what makes a good show from a trade point of view (so if any of the traders on here would like to chip in i would like to hear about it)

3. Activities- this is where i think all the 4x4 shows in the Uk fall down. As a punter i want both hands on and spectator sporst. I want to be able to see stuff that i can't do (which really shouldn't be hard in my case :D) and experience it too. This would mean that there are passenger drive rounds in comp safaris say, maybe trials etc etc. I think having a winch challenge setup wouldn't be impossible- they do it in the outback extreme with dugout pits and huge sewer pipes quite effictely. You coudl have a comp safari event and a trials event which were spectator friendly. on top of this you could also have a good off road course whcih was safe but interesting, and not too short either for the customer to drive around in their own vehicles. You could have a twist off, and any other thing you could think of. This sort of show should should also attract the outdoors type things of quad biking, clay shooting etc etc Oh yeah, and autojumble might be interesting as well as a historic bit etc etc. For me it is the activites which we really really miss out on- there must be something that can be done in this respect.

4. Pricing -read SiRs post on pricing for what would be the perfect pricing model.

5. Custom base- i wouldn't have a "LR" show- mainly because the show would be more interesting if all marques were involved- chuck it all in together and see what happens i reckon.

6. Facilities- getting good food in isn't impossible but has to be done right- i don't know how i would work it but their are enough vans for events that anything is possible.

7. Organisation- i would want the event to be run to a military schedule- everything would be organised well in advance, with contingency plans, traders would know where they are based and in which orientation they should set out their tents etc etc.

For me the real thing that should change would be the activities- billing was just another shop, but which had a good social side to it!

any thoughts welcomed.

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Apart from the "after hours" bit this used to exist!

International 4x4 used to have an all marques show in High Wycombe.

Comp Safari on the Hill

Good off road course

Arena with dug out pits

Manufacturer stands / off road course(s) etc

Exhibitor stands

and better still, in the South of England where most of the population (and money) lives!

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Good post Jim. Some idle thoughts..

Social side aside to my mind the shows are too focused on leisure offroading, expedition and competition market. I'd like to see things that would appeal and draw in the other LR users both professional and amateur and not just the hardcore enthusiasts of the vehicles themselves. For example the fieldsports & outdoorsy types, current military, emergency and utility services, I'm loathe to say agricultural too as Land Rover are not as strong in that sector as was once the case.

Ok Land Rover focussed shows were fine for the first few years but for me it's in the main very much the same old, same old now (obviously there are exceptions as far as traders go). Nowadays if I want to obtain something new and standard I can do it from the comfort of my desk either from a supplier or by networking on the various forums etc with just a mouse click or two and the same goes for much of the s/h stuff too. I rarely have the need to physically to sift through piles of stuff as was the case before or in the early days of the internet ...maybe old age has made me lazy ..or just jaded ;)

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Apart from the "after hours" bit this used to exist!

International 4x4 used to have an all marques show in High Wycombe.

Comp Safari on the Hill

Good off road course

Arena with dug out pits

Manufacturer stands / off road course(s) etc

Exhibitor stands

and better still, in the South of England where most of the population (and money) lives!

There use to be one like that at Tatten Park I think, was a good site. Its was more north than most shows.

Paul

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Hi Jim,

Just a thought, but if anyone has ever been to the Goodwood Festival Of Speed, there is always a small comp style course offerring rides to paying punters. As I recall, the guys who run the burgundy bowlers in the British offroad championship have been the ones on course - HGH is it ? The course is short enough to get lots of people through in a reasonable time, and appears to be a crowd pleaser.

Perhaps a drying out tent would also be useful for that Sunday morning feeling !! - we are not talking wet socks here :)

Good to meet you on Saturday by the way. Sorry about Mark trying to sell the dog, he'll do anything to try to fund the 90 !

Adrian.

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Thoughts in no particular order:

- Space means less worries about entry, I really like the idea of doing a show at a huge site like 7S as it has plenty of space for everything.

- Organisation needs to be good but not over-zealous, you want to stop wrong 'uns getting in but this year all the palarva of camping passes, vehicle passes, club stand passes etc. did people's heads in and caused unnecessary hassle. Some decent security who are patrolling 24h is what's needed. Hell, a "one-ticket" weekend could even work, cut out all the admin carp and just sell a single ticket for a reasonable price that gets you in and camped if you want. Since no-one seemed to have the correct pass for the weekend at Bling anyway you're not likely to lose money.

- For marshaling etc. follow the festival model with local club members - they get one day of working on a gate etc. and one day of free entry for their troubles.

- Social side: you need to let clubs in, there has always been a reluctance for some shows to let clubs come along and have stands (Nay had to fight for our Bling stand), but the clubs are at the core of the scene, they create the community spirit and organise the majority of events. They are the best point of contact a newbie can have as they can find a local club, and get help & advice that isn't from a trader or magazine with a vested interest. They also bring some of the most interesting vehicles along. Having a prize for best club stand can encourage some really good stuff too, just make sure you automatically disqualify the camel club to make it fair on everyone else :P

Defining a "family area" and a "groups" area of the campsite, at opposite ends, would be a good move. Then people can camp nearer to whichever end they are drawn to.

- Activities are a tough area, what interests one person bores the other. A good off-road course with spectating would be a start, perhaps run a trials section and a mini punch-challenge section so that people can see the different disciplines at work. Giving rides round in vehicles with an instructor is a good thing, LR do this with their Terrapod thing but it's a bit tame and you can't take your own vehicle round (I did ask them :D)

A hill-climb (a-la the bike one at Rachau) could be fun if a suitable venue can be found, although I'd guess a cage would be essential :ph34r:

Twist-offs are fun if organised well and everyone can have a go, the Gaydon one where anyone could roll up to the ring and have a go was cool. Others I've seen seem to be a show-off opportunity for a few "extreme" trucks and traders, which is boring to watch as none of the trucks are "real world" and there's no point of comparison.

Technical demos are good, but when they are run by traders "demonstrating" how wonderful their product is, or by the likes of Mr Cobley showing what a driving god he is, they just suck so badly. Hire someone, enlist a local club, anything but corporate bull!

A few leaves from the London 2 Brighton book that work very well - they run a raffle with prizes donated by sponsors / traders which is nice - prizes don't have to be expensive, going home with a free set of foglights or a hi-lift will make most punters happy enough.

They also give out awards for best vehicle in each type (best RR, best Series, best off-roader, etc.) on the club stands and of course the much coveted Duck Tape And String award :D All this costs very little (judging by the trophy :ph34r: ) but makes people's day. They also do the inter-club "tug a 101" run which is a bit of light hearted rivalry.

The Scrapheap Challenge at Eastnor is another good fun event.

Something I'd like to see done is a rollover ramp - so people can drive their trucks on and see how far it can tilt before it rolls. Obviously you'd need to engineer it so they don't just fall over, but they exist for trucks and buses and it would give a useful demonstration and comparison to people with different mods on their trucks.

As for arena events, giving each club a slot to come in and have a quick word and show off a couple of vehicles could fill a day pretty well. Never mind dog display teams and all that rubbish.

- Food should not be tendered out to one company, invite a few different ones along to give people choice and keep prices relatively sane. Hell, send out invites to anyone and see who turns up and pays for a pitch. I don't know who they are but the cream and green food vans that go to every single festival are utter rubbish, avoid them. Best food I've had outdoors has been from some of the smaller niche traders - the organic spud company at Glasto do a roaring trade in reasonably priced, edible, and filling food.

- Trade stands I don't really know much about the setup, but it would be good to keep fees low so that you get a good spectrum of traders and not just those with the biggest budgets. Also lowering the trade stand costs mean that they might actually be able to offer genuine "show prices" that are cheaper than you can buy normally.

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As I recall, the guys who run the burgundy bowlers in the British offroad championship have been the ones on course - HGH is it ? The course is short enough to get lots of people through in a reasonable time, and appears to be a crowd pleaser.

That would be Hugh Haines of HBH Landrovers

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Ultimate Land Rover Show - If you could change the name to 'Extreme Land Rover Show' I might be able to get you a sponsor ;);)

I too Like Si R's and Fridge's ideas. Presonally I like the Belgium National format that had trialling, laning and some more challenging off-roading/winch challenge. I think if guided off roading was added too and some of Fridge's ideas it would be very good all round package. With trade stands and catered food. Catered food in this way can be simple and good quality. I don't see the point in the Autojumble as Sodbury does that well.

As for security and paying - as per Si's but you pay for the vehicle. That way anyone not taking part gets in for free and you only have to monitor vehicles getting on and off the site not people. With the car ticket you get meal tickets for each person paid for and then you just need these for the catered meals. I don't understand with shows like Billing etc why you have to pay to shop?

7Sisters sounds a good option, but is access/security a problem as there are byways on the site? Also isn't there already problems with local louts tresspassing theiving already?? Is there large flat areas for camping and trade stands there?

What's Kirton like for this type of event??

Cheers

Steve

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7Sisters sounds a good option, but is access/security a problem as there are byways on the site? Also isn't there already problems with local louts tresspassing theiving already?? Is there large flat areas for camping and trade stands there?

What's Kirton like for this type of event??

7S would be a tricky one to police, but then any large site is difficult to make secure. It does have several large flat areas ideal for traders. To back to the Glasto model, unless you have a large fence and decent security patrols you are never going to keep it 100% locked down.

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7S would be a tricky one to police, but then any large site is difficult to make secure. It does have several large flat areas ideal for traders. To back to the Glasto model, unless you have a large fence and decent security patrols you are never going to keep it 100% locked down.

That's why I think the Belgium National model works. You only police the vehicles. Each has to display their vehicle ticket plus it's compulsory put event and sponsor stickers on. Pretty easy to spot anybody that shouldn't be there.

Have a non participant car park and everyone not participating in a vehicle gets in free.

Cheers

Steve

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Looked at this last year with a friend of mine,

venue is the main issue really , we were looking to create something like Belgium National/Landmania with more particpation events and to include other outdoor adventure activities - microlights / powered hang gliders / mountain & BMX bikes hovercraft ( grass roots racing is mad :P ) / wilderness camping / decent music at night etc

The whole show scene does need a new approach in this country I feel....

Step uno is venue tho.

my tuppence worth

cheers

Steveb

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and better still, in the South of England where most of the population (and money) lives!

if thats true you southerners must be tight gits, or your trucks won`t get you north of the thames without falling apart!! :ph34r:

Time to emigrate byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Keith (on his way to the airport)

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Why is it that those that live in the South of England are frightened to travel North of the Thames ?

mike

Mike,

I have no idea! It infuriates me that attitude that anywhere north of the M4 is too far north stinks! How about the poor so and so's from the lakes/scotland that spend a small fortune in fuel to get to billing or eastnor. If another show does come on the scene and its in the south west then count me out on a point of principal! It just seems the general attitude of anyone living in the south that the world revolves around them. the national stadium being in the most inaccessible place possible is another southern idea!

I think the best show was the National 4x4 show at Trentham Gardens, ok Trentham has now closed but the Middle of england is a far distance between futhest south of England and southern scotland. Too be honest I'd happily travel 100miles north for a good show as I think everything is too far south.

Right time to climb off my soap box and hide behind the sofa ducking low flying objects from the south!

Matt

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I would prefer it if there was a show closer to Newcastle.

20 hours on a ferry is long enough, never mind hours of driving afterwards. :rolleyes:

But I agree with the general thoughts put forward at the moment.

To be honest I think it would also be good to get away from the single marque

show and have a 4x4/ outddor lifestyle type show as this would attract a wider

audience.

Not everyone that owns a 4x4 is interested in comp safari´s or winch challenges.

Some just have them for winter driving andthe odd bit of greenlaning or holidays

to Iceland... :D

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Mike,

I think the best show was the National 4x4 show at Trentham Gardens, ok Trentham has now closed but the Middle of england is a far distance between futhest south of England and southern scotland. Too be honest I'd happily travel 100miles north for a good show as I think everything is too far south.

Thats the one I was thinking bout.

Paul

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Sure, everyone would like to have a show on their doorstep - but for most it's not going to happen.

Finding a venue which can accommodate all this is the highest priority. Finding somewhere central is secondary.

The journey is all part of the fun. The Belgium National was probably 200m each way for us but the event was so good that the journey seemed an absolute bargain. I enjoyed meeting other Brits at the garage at the boarder crossing, the ferry and the number you saw on the way home with BN stickers.

I suggested 7S before because it's the only site I've seen which is both big and varied enough to accommodate everything.

If the payment for a ticket were to do stuff rather than just to be there or to shop then the policing of who has appropriate tickets becomes much easier. Obviously the trade and camping areas would need some security but at least then you are not trying to secure the whole site.

What makes a show good from a traders perspective? Good organisation with clear rules and easy lines of communication to the organisers. Even after specifically asking last year, this year the 'emergancy' phone number for Eastnor went through to an answering machine in London!

All the information, tickets & stuff should be sent through in good time for the show - not in the couple of days before. We have enough to plan and worry about without wondering if tickets will arrive and how many people/vehicles we'll get in.

The pricing of stands is important. I think there is a certain amount of tiddle being taken by some shows at the moment both of the traders and punters. It doesn't have to be free, just fair. The fee at Billing took 11% off the margin on everything I sold. The fee at Donnington only took 5% - which I think was about right. The weather wasn't billings fault but even without it, it is one of the less good value shows.

I think David Llama should get together with Bruno from the BN (because he has the experience of pulling together the kind of show we seem to be discussing and David has the experience and contacts in the UK) and put something together. Don't involve the Mags. They are generally better at publishing than show running IME.

Si

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