View Full Version : NAMES Recap

04-21-2008, 10:32 AM
Sorry, no pictures, but Glen was cruising the entire time with camera in hand, and I am sure he will be posting the results here shortly.

I do not have numbers, but attendance was down, and sales for most of the vendors were off from previous years. Some of this is due to it's being one of the first nice weekends of Spring here, and more, I am sure due to the cost of travel.

I did have the opportunity to meet some new contributors to the site and renew old aquaintances.

Among the new, snowman, Alguy and rockrat stopped by the table for a meet & greet, no secret handshakes though. The old include Rich Carlstedt, Jan Michaels of TallGrass Tools, Wes1, George Britnell, Mike Panchula and of course, PT Sideshow. Apologies to any I may have missed.

Edited to add Jim Dunmeyer and Jeff Kranz, as well as the fact that I again had the pleasure of being set up next to Andy Loftquist. I may have missed some others, but it is not intentional I assure you.

George Bullis stopped by and introduced himself, and I think we will see some very positive changes in the magazines and website as he begins to take over the reins. I had a chat with Craig also, but did not get a chance to hookup with Neil. I was fortunate enough though to meet Neil's wife who is a lovely lady who gave me a free Live Steam mag.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend. Thanks to all who made it possible.

04-21-2008, 10:48 AM
I'll hopefully be contacting you about that head, if it's still around. gotta get some stuff posted on Ebay first though.

Alistair Hosie
04-21-2008, 01:49 PM
Jim it might be that sales are down as people find money and mortgages a bit tight at the moment I think spending is down generally throughout the western world at the moment.Alistair

John Stevenson
04-21-2008, 02:23 PM
PT Sideshow posted that Saturdays figures were 1,600 thru the door.
I feel that this must have more to do with the price of traveling maybe added to the distance that makes some stay away.

One good thing about low figures is that it makes a cosy meeting.

We have to wait until the night time and take over a local pub :D


04-21-2008, 03:01 PM
I have little doubt that the lower than normal attendance figures are primarily due to the economy. There are a couple of other factors as well, last weekend was only four days after income tax filing too, and disposable cash was not as free. It all has an effect. The number of displayers was also markedly lower too.

My sales, while lower than previous, were about what I had anticipated. My sales are a function of what I bring to the show, selling used tooling as I do. Other vendors, who are selling new merchandise seemed to feel their totals were lower.

Sunday's attendance was very sparse, with many being return visitors from Saturday.

04-21-2008, 06:33 PM
I can tell you that I will likely not be attending at that venue again next year. What exactly was wrong with Southgate? Free parking, reasonably cozy, still seemed like there was plenty of room.

$5 parking plus $8 admission plus $30 gas was just a bit much for me. I was going to take my wife, but once I found out it was $8 to get in the door, I lost interest in that.

John Stevenson
04-21-2008, 06:41 PM
$8.00 is about 4.00 UKp here and it's impossible to get in anywhere for that price.

Our shows at anywhere from 7 to 9.00 admission, [ $14 to $18 ] and although they whinge they still come back every year.

Usually though parking is free.


04-21-2008, 07:14 PM
Well the guesstamate figure for the total two days was in the neighbor hood of 2300 or so paid admins. Break even is around 2500 paid admins. As Jim said some vendors had biz down a bit. Some had it down more. Prices going up on product(new) was another problem.

There were a number of dealers that didn't show this year because of poor sales the last couple years. Or transport costs for the pallets of product and catalogs, Travers didn't come this year. along with a number of others. Some due to advancing age, along with no family members to carry on. And low sales.

As to the change of venue, that was a couple of things. Hockey is king around here all the has beens and never was is. and the Dorthy Hamil wannbes the old ladies not the kids. And all the old farts that play hockey and figure skate have pitching a load since the first time we were there.

Another part was that the last time we had to be out at 6:30pm from the rink with the ice under the insulboards. And a number of dealers. Flapped their mouths more than load their scrap up. And to that the people that rented the insulboard to the rink sold it to a minor league hockey team.
It takes about 4 days for them to prep the rink to have a hockey game on it. IT was a pain walking and standing on the ice for 5 days 8 to 12 hours at a time my knees didn't thaww out for a week. the other old farts that just sat for the weekend complained a lot to.

Believe me I wish we had stayed as that was the year we finished hard piping the air lines to both arena rinks.
We were supposed to be moving to a permanent home in Bowling Green Ohio.

The two partners took the money for the rent for the first years show let us start piping the hard lines.
They sold the property to a developer, when the group asked for the money back. Being a lawyer he said sue us.
There are few venues that meet the requirements. At a reasonable price.

We start, to layout and set up on the Monday before the show.I come in and hook up the jump line drops and any hose runs, starting on Wednesday. We have to be out by Sunday night at midnight. Because they had something using all three halls today and tonight then a concert and WWF was coming in this week.

To give you an idea,swapping lies with the convention centers building engineer. He said they charge $25.00 each electrical cord that is hooked up. To the floor drops,that is in addition to the rent for the convention center. This year there was close to 70 cords in the drops and then split from there for use.

They had worked out a deal with the county so we could put air line, and Chicago fittings in the utility conduit runs in the floor. We also hard piped the manifold to run from one end of the centers 3 bays to the other. With the understanding that they could use them if they supplied their own regulators. There also a 5" cored hole in the loading dock well wall for the 3" air hose to come in from the compressor out side suppling the air.

I don't think there will be a change of location again.Unless it is necessary.

As with every thing some costs have to be passed on, And I'm sure the cost for exhibitors and admissions will go up again. Beer and cig's will be going up not to mention gas!
I'm working on the pic's and vids will get them up soonest.

04-21-2008, 07:17 PM
John it is located in city center. One place is $3.00 all day. Problem is they had a ballgames in the afternoon the park is located across the street.
No if we could just get them to stay like they do at your shows.
They exhibitors start bailing out Saturday afternoon. Vendors stay to 4 on Sunday.:D

04-21-2008, 08:09 PM
I parked in the garage across the street, last year and this year. It cost $5.00 this year, but I'm sure there was no one collecting any money last year. Something must have changed.

It sure LOOKED like a good crowd on Saturday, things were pretty packed, or so it seemed.

Personally, I like the venue, but then, it's only about 10 miles from home. :-)

04-21-2008, 08:34 PM
[quote=snowman]I can tell you that I will likely not be attending at that venue again next year. What exactly was wrong with Southgate? Free parking, reasonably cozy, still seemed like there was plenty of room.

$5 parking

Who the hell got that 5 dollar parking fee.....I parked there Friday afternoon for FREE...If it had been the Names group I wouldn't have mined so much.... But I think some ahole just wanted to cash in from show goers.


04-21-2008, 09:25 PM
Yeah, a lot of my response is probably the "I'm taking my ball and going home" whiner kid response.

I can say that I really liked how the venue was set up inside. I always get lost at those things, but the table setup directed me to the right location. So don't change table layout!

I'm glad that you make vendors stay til the show ends, I wish that the exhibitors would do the same. Again, had I known that a bunch of them pull out on Saturday, I likely wouldn't have went on Sunday.

The show was top notch, and the admission fee alone didn't really bother me, the parking fee is what pissed me off, but there's nothing you can really do about that....I just hate, absolutely hate, paying for parking. Normally I'll find a spot and walk, but my hip was giving me problems.

I think the gas is what has me crabby. I'm starting to actually figure out what some of my random trips cost me and starting to stay home a bit more.

04-21-2008, 09:36 PM
NAMES is not for profit, Cabin Fever and the others are money making venues. There were alot of factors entering into ending up at the Seagate center, not the least of which is finding a central location that will be available for years to come. The early shows moved several times and were finally done dirt by the guys in Bowling Green. Barring any unforseen events, this will be the home of NAMES, it is more than adequate, and can expand to accomodate any future growth.

As for parking, it is not controlled by NAMES and they receive nothing from it. There are two parking garages in the immediate area, and several surface lots. I parked in the street Saturday & Sunday for free. The Mudhens game brings spectators and parking becomes a problem. Prices are increased for the games, not NAMES. If you arrive in the AM either day, it is no problem. I probably burned several gallons finding parking spots when the show was at the Yack Arena and Southgate, so $4.00 was probably a bargain.

Weston Bye
04-21-2008, 09:37 PM
I was happy to park right across the street from the back door - right next to the ball field for $6 - all day. Made it easy coming and going, and for the extra trips to take out my loot. If I exhibit next year I will be happy to pay the price and not have to walk so far with my stuff.

Although I didn't do it this year, I try to enter something in Sherline's Machinist Challenge. The two years that I entered, the prize money paid for the gas, parking, admission, food and some loot. Many (most) of you could have done as well or better than my feeble entries. Work up something for next year. Details here:

04-22-2008, 12:43 AM
It was a good show the 8$ for admission for both days and parking was 4$ each day seemed reasonable if you consider fuel & lodging costs. I would like to compliment those involved for a job well done.

04-27-2008, 06:36 PM
I have to agree with Alguy. A big thanks to the NAMES people and everyone who helped out. I think the setup for the exhibitors is top notch, $8.00 for 2 days admission certainly isn't out of line. I know the last time I went to the theater it was $10.00 for 2 hours entertainment. I had a very enjoyable time talking with the other exhibitors and all the people that stopped by my display.

John Stevenson
04-27-2008, 06:52 PM
Didn't realise the $8 was for the two days, that's a bargain.
Over here it's a daily charge but many not associated with the show stop over, they just do the one day.

Our 4 or 5 big shows are for profit, usually run by some connection with the trade.
Alexandra Palace and the Warwick show are run by TEE publishing who also print Engineering in Miniature and they have an exhibition arm that runs some boat, woodworking, rail and engineering shows.
Ascot is run by Magicalia Publishing who do Model Engineer and MEW.
Harrogate and Pickering are run by Lew Rex who is also part of John Rex models.

Some of the smaller shows like Bristol and Taunton are run by the clubs concerned to boost club funds.

Two weeks to go to Harrogate.....................

That's our biggest show of the year, last years attendance was 26,000.


04-27-2008, 07:01 PM
Hope it is worth all the work loading up the 17 tonners and the 3 and 1/2 tonner John. Just bring back money:D
Picked up over 150 issues of ME from 1957 to early 90's just going thru them. Great stuff!

John Stevenson
04-27-2008, 07:15 PM
You have about the best years produced there.
Previous to 57 it was still gearing up from the war, mainland Britain took a real hammering in terms of shortages and damage and the late 50 saw us getting back on our feet and supplies being available and affordable.

In 95 they spun all the workshop articles out into Model Engineers Workshop and it left ME a shadow of it's former self.

My set runs from 1940 up to 2000 and oddments after that as I come across them but it really needs a name change to Model Loco's.
I don't have a lot of interest in steam so it's really lost it's appeal to me.

We normally take a rented 17 tonner and the works 3-1/2 tonner to the shows. This year with the new CNC's we are leaving the 3-1/2 tonner and renting two 17 tonners as we need the extra space.
I hope we do bring back some money to make it worth while but it won't be mine :mad:

I actually get paid to go to these shows :) From leaving our house on the Thursday morning to getting back Sunday night I don't spent a bean, all food, drinks, hotel etc, pub etc is paid for.

Now that can't be bad....


04-27-2008, 07:20 PM
Well I had a fine time. Last year I saw the show for the first time driving down and back in the same day.

This year my uncle didn't want to go so I drove down after work and stayed at a motel. Picked up a Harbor Freight Cutter grinder (need advice on truing it up) on the way the the show and sat in on two seminars between viewing projects.

Towards 4:00PM was the best time for taking photo's, got to meet Errol and consider the trip worthwhile. Parked on a parking space out back for 5 bucks iirc. Car parked next to attendant so not really worried about theft issues.

Didn't get as many pictures as last year since I spent time sitting and learning. The DIY cnc conversion and G/M code seminars were really nice.

Most of the other ones would have been too but I can't be in 2 or more places at once.


Hypnotic to me :)

First thing as you entered the venue.


PS freeshell.org is is limited to 100MB per day. Garage-machinist.com has higher limits.

Errol Groff
04-27-2008, 07:34 PM
We stay at the Park Inn attached to the Seagate Center for a couple of reasons. First, the wife likes to go off on shopping expeditions for Christmas stuff and by staying at the Park I can just go up the elevator to the room when I am ready and she does not have to be back at some special time. Also, we try to get a room overlooking the ball park since the boys like to watch the game from the room.


There are cheaper rooms around but the convenience works for us.

We left the show at about 3:00PM on Sunday. We have a 730 mile trip home and can't stay much later than that. We drove to Clarion PA and stayed overnight at a hotel we like and had supper at a steak place that has become the traditional supper on the way home from NAMES. Got home on Monday afternoon andcollapsed. Oh yea, called in sick Sunday night for Monday.

My students had to get along without me for a day. They probably didn't even notice I was not there!

We figure that folks can choose what to spend their $$$ on and this is what we do. Don't drink, don't smoke or have other expensive vices so we do what we do.

Errol Groff

04-27-2008, 09:08 PM
It was indeed a good show. We paid $5.00 to park and after most of the events I have been to recently, that aint bad.

The wife loved the classes that were offered with the show on Saturday. She told me about about them all the way home. I CANT remember a time that we had gone to something that we both could go and do something we both had an interest in.

And for those who may not know, Toledo has an exceptional art museum. The wife and I had gotten our dates mixed up (don't ask) and made the trip up there the week before NAMES. With the show a week off, we decided to head over to the museum. I have been around the country a bit and this is a very nice place, and free. Fantastic collections, easy to move about, and there is a glass exhibit across the street. They have demonstrations 2-3 time a day on the weekend. So, add it to your list next year to keep the family interested.

Thanks to Jim Hannum for the hospitality at his table. It was nice to chat with someone from the board in person.

And, I think that the wife had talked a bit with Errol's wife. I remember her telling me about a couple that came down here every year from CT. Hope you both had fun. Sounds like you did.

04-28-2008, 06:04 AM
Along with the museum, the zoo is pretty good too. Toledo is famous as glass city the art glass and just plain glass works.
About an hour away north is the Henry Ford/and Village. Not like it used to be. Sort of a yuppie low rent amusement park now with Imax and traveling exhibits of chocolate:confused:
I will pass the word to the board of directors on the classes for the other halfs attendees.
There was a lot of grousing about those classes by some people! You think that they made one of the model makers give them instead of a class on model making of some aspect of machine work.
I think they are scared of the women taking over:D

04-28-2008, 12:15 PM
If they put the model engineers in charge of the cake decorating I can just hear the complaints now about how they looked after taking the cake out of the vise.

Or you'd have some wiseass showing how to decorate really fast by putting it on the faceplate and applying the decoration with a fast carriage feed.

It sounds to me like the planners did exactly the right thing. Give them my thanks too.


04-28-2008, 01:12 PM
While some others seem to have numbers that suggest that number of attendees and exhibitors were down, it seemed to me that there was more stuff to look at this year that the past 2. THere were a number of new things to see and when I arrived on saturday the place was busy and hard to get at stuff through the crowd. I helped encourage the vendors to return, spent twice as much as last year.

$5 parking and $8 admission - parking was right across the street, enclosed walkways (could of used a little less heat... and the weather was fine so it wasn't critical) - didn't think that was a bad proce for parking all day. (try getting off that cheap at the airport...) I though I heard wrong when she said $8 for admission - i would have thought it should have been $10 considerring the facilities we had access to.

Probably won't be back next year, but I am hoping to be living in south Texas in stead of northern Indiana, so the drive would be a bit long...