I am glad that this post has prompted responses and that some people disagree with me! I am pleased that Graeme Vickery raised this topic in the Newsletter and even more so that he is participating on this forum.
Now a confession. Paul Willis raised a significant point in his last post. I checked our constitution at Companies House (why is the constitution not on a an EMGS web-page?) and it seems I am wrong! The objectives of the EMGS are
“(b) to popularise the use of track gauges between 18 and 18.83 mm for railway models and to encourage more accurate modelling;
(c) to establish standards and to provide technical assistance for modellers;”
amongst many others, including the ability to hold balls and lotteries!
Interestingly the constitution allows us to own or lease and run our own premises. We do not have enough reserves on our balance sheet to do that but it would raise the possibility of running exhibitions all year under our control. Location would be a major issue of course.
Which brings me to expoEM again. Location is an issue. With an age profile biased towards the elderly, members like me are reluctant to travel far so it is not surprising that members at shows form a low percentage of attendees. It seems that we are beholden to the general public to make expoEM pay. If this is the case and the objective is to showcase/popularise 18-18.83mm layouts then to maximise attendance by the public requires expoEM to be held in major centres of population: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow and Cardiff. The expenses will be at least treble our current spend but the ticket income will be greater (I suggest ticket prices could be much higher). Risks could be minimised by co-hosting such shows with local clubs; the MRC comes to mind. Note that this is not to my personal liking; I prefer the finescale shows at Wells and Warminster.