Sheffield Triples Wargames Show was held a week and a half ago at the English Institute for Sport and for the fourth year in a row, I was there for the weekend. Some of you may have seen the chat on TMP about the failings of this show, in particular the lack of attendees and a handful of traders. Well, I have been pontificating on the matter and to coincide with Andy's take on the matter, here are my thoughts.
Previously held in May, this year saw the move to the original timeslot for the show. This was given as one of the reasons for the perceived failure of the show, a change in date combined with a lack of advertising. If you don't tell people, how will they know? Well, sorry if this is a tad blunt, but GOOGLE IT!!! Seriously, it's a five second search and there you have it. It's not rocket science. Do people have to be spoon fed everything? Is it beyond a person's ability to discover information for themselves? Or has wargaming dumbed down to the point where if it's not delivered with the force of a four by two across the back of the head, it doesn't register? As I said, a tad blunt. It is true the event should have been advertised more, but the information was out there. Lack of communication from the organisers has also been blamed and, regardless of whether it is 100 percent factually accurate, that needs to be addressed by the organisers.
Some have blamed the venue, too large, too soulless, not the Octagon. Well, sorry, but if you like your venues with space, decent lighting, easy access for traders and public and decent grub, the EIS has it. What is the obsession with atmosphere at venues? OK, so as a punter, funky venues are a nice touch, but spare a thought for the traders, the lads and lasses who have to cart their gear around these places. And if that doesn't make you consider your view, what about this: Shows only happen because traders table fees pay for the venue. From personal experience, I'd take a sports hall over somewhere like Kelham Hall any day of the week.
Others have questioned the need for a two day show and one that falls close to two other reasonably sized shows in the calendar. If you made it a one day show, which day? Saturday, and risk clashing with sporting/public events (during the weekend of the show, there was the derby soccer game, Six Nations and a beer festival in the building opposite the venue); or Sunday and have the usual busy at 11, dead by 1 syndrome. What if the venue will only hire out for the weekend so you have to take the block booking? Weekend shows also give more time for competition games, greater scope for demo and participation games, and give a more relaxed vibe to the show. So, for me, they have their place.
So, mini rant over with, where does that leave me on Triples 2016? The show was not as well attended as last year, at least it seemed that way. There were fewer games on display and fewer traders, so the move to just having one hall next year may help. At the very least, it would fill the place up. Having said that, it may be in the interests of the organisers to publicly answer some of the criticisms/observations of those who attended the show. Not a mea culpa though. As Andy points out in his post, if traders or demo gamers decide not to attend, that's not the fault of the organisers. If they didn't know about the show, then better communication possibly, but bear in mind the second paragraph above.
I'll end on a question for you. I mentioned Kelham Hall above, and Partizan has moved venue to the same location as Hammerhead. In addition, 2nd Partizan is now in August. Since the shows have moved both venue and date, what would you expect the effect to be for this year?