As someone who has twelve shows under my belt with a OO exhibition layout, none of the shows I attended did the exhibition manager report a significant loss, majority were profitable. Therefore it must be that ExpoEM has no interest for the general public, indeed I can’t see why they’d want to attend a rivet counters ball. (Although there is a P4 Thomas on Western Thunder) In which case it will always lose money, so maybe it’s always going to be a loss leader and you’ll have to accept it.
As for RTR, why is this a threat? Converting RTR saves me time I do not have and anyway, I couldn’t build it that good. Please don’t knock RTR converts. As to the point about RTR not encouraging skills, converting RTR doesn’t build the baseboard, do the wiring, lay the track and make the scenery.