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Clubs, Groups and Societies For discussions about various clubs, groups and societies relating to our hobbies, such as the BVWS (incl NVCF), BATC, RSGB, APTS, CLPGS, THG, TCC etc. This is NOT an official forum for any of these organisations.

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Old 15th Dec 2019, 1:04 pm   #1
slidertogrid
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Default Getting the word out...

There have been discussions in the past about publicising and modernising the BVWS, NVCF / Retrotech meetings and events.
The recent thread concerning Wooton Basset unsold radios brought this back into my thinking...
Can we come up with some ideas for direct action to publicise events to a wider audience to bring in some new blood?
What I am suggesting is for ideas that members of this forum and BVWS members can do rather than putting more work on the already busy folk that run the events?
I was completely unaware of the BVWS until I bought a Radiogram on ebay from a member and he brought the society to my attention. I then attended the Harpenden event and was like a kid in a sweetshop filling my car with lovely radio sets! I had been looking for an Ekco A22 for some time, going to that event I returned with two!
I have since attended many events, buying and selling duplicates and equipment that I have no interest in but 'found' me.
I have also introduced a few friends and associates to the BVWS over the years at least two of I know attend events. That said I also feel that I could have done more if I had thought about it.
Had I not bought that radiogram it may have been years before I discovered the BVWS if at all.
How about coming up with a publicity leaflet for the BVWS, BVWS events. The Audio jumble. Retrotech and this forum? Something members can print off themselves and pass on to others they come into contact with ?
For instance if you sell something related to lets say 'old Technology' On line a copy of the leaflet could be included with the item.
If not being done already a leaflet publicising other events could be handed out at the entrance of events, for instance say the Retrotech event publicises the other events and vice versa.
There is a huge following for vinyl records at the moment so why not make the record event organisers and the Brighton Jukebox fair aware of 'our' events?
Working on the principle that we have little to lose surely it's worth a try ?
What do you think? What ideas can you come up with? What are you prepared to do? Or am I wrong? Or do some members prefer the events to be a 'secret society' with everyone known to each other in little cliques?

I mentioned in the W.B thread that I find from visitors to my home that there is an interest in old tech in many cases, but not many are aware of the society, events or online forums where they can ask questions ask for help and share their interest.
Just my thoughts but I feel that we are missing a trick here? How about a car sticker ? Interested in Old Technology ? Vinyl records? Vintage radio sets? Why not join the BVWS? www. etc...
Rich.

Last edited by slidertogrid; 15th Dec 2019 at 1:19 pm. Reason: added a bit...
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 2:28 pm   #2
Radio Wrangler
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Default Re: Getting the word out...

Quote:
Originally Posted by slidertogrid View Post
Why not join the BVWS?
Why not indeed. My reason for not joining is simple. The BVWS doesn't live up to the B part of its name. I see lots and lots happening in the south-east corner of the country with an annual foray near Manchester. The rest of the country feels ignored. Yes, I could join and get a nice magazine, but I'd just feel left out even more.

Maybe a hard commercial decision says that the south east offers the density of people to make auctions worthwhile, and so activities are concentrated there, but the obverse side of that coin is that it also shapes where active members will come from. Cause? Effect? Chicken? Egg?

If equipment is being left unsold, maybe the preferred area has reached saturation?

I do try to get to things South of the border, but I really prefer to combine a trip with other purposes. I made it down to Rob's auction near Preston this year and thoroughly enjoyed myself (Met Boater Sam as well as Rob Rusbridge and a supporting cast of authentic pasties). I went down to Telford for the G-QRP and Telford rally. Good to meet some of the QRP gang again, but noticed the lack of the new equipment dealers. Harper Adams agricultural uni is a fine venue.

David
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 3:22 pm   #3
slidertogrid
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Default Re: Getting the word out...

I suppose the only answer to that if to see if there are enough members further North that would patronise a Northern event and then see if anyone would volunteer to organise and run it.
I don't know where the majority of the auction lots come from, are they entries by members or mainly collections being disposed of by the family of a deceased member / equipment bequeathed to the BVWS ? That would make a difference as to the supply of equipment to such an event as presumably if the BVWS are holding such in a store in the South it presents logistical problems getting a van full to the North without putting more work on those currently doing it all which would not be fair at all IMHO...
Would there be enough interest to run a Retrotech type event in say November so as to be six months away from the current one? That way although it would need running the stock could come from the stallholders rather than the society..
I don't have the answers here I'm sorry to say. My thoughts were on helping the currently running events more than starting more I must admit but it is interesting to hear if some members are feeling left out.
Certainly what I don't want to do is to seem ungrateful or taking for granted what is already being done that is not the case at all the point of asking these questions is to come up with ideas to help improve events without putting more work on those that do it all at the moment.
Thinking positive to keep interest alive for us and future members ….
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 7:22 pm   #4
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Default Re: Getting the word out...

I don't know the exact proportions, and it probably varies between auctions, but a large proportion of the items in the RWB auction are from the estates of deceased members.

These are collected by Mike and stored in secure storage units adjacent to his home until they are lotted up in the week or so before the auction. The rest are booked with Mike in advance and bought along on the day. Occasionally a few items are added onto the end of the auction on the day, but that is rare now to avoid people entering junk and stop the auction becoming too big.

The BVWS are fortunate in that we get the storage a lot cheaper than normal commercial rates, and also hire of the van is much cheaper than a normal vehicle rental company. Without this it is unlikely that the auctions would be financially viable for estate sales.

The RWB auction is set up the evening before. This obviously costs more for the hall hire and security, but it means the setting up is less rushed. Also Mike can make a second trip with the van for larger items if necessary, or various cars can be used. This is why the better quality lots tend to go to RWB.

I know less about Harpenden, but I believe it is set up on the morning due to the greater distance and higher cost of the hall. It therefore probably has more items that are bought along on the day, because it can only be one van load of items that are not so delicate.

The BVWS clearance tables at other events such as Punnetts Town and Golborne are also items from the BVWS storage that are bought along on the day. Because they are not being auctioned and there is less of them, setting up is quicker.

This is really why the auctions are where they are - distance from Mike's home and the storage facilities in Devizes. Greater distances would incur higher costs in terms of fuel and overnight accommodation etc, and would also take up more time.

If auctions were to take place in other areas it would need someone else to volunteer to organise and run them, including collecting, recording, storing and lotting the items etc, then sorting out the admin and payments etc afterwards. It would need access to secure dry low cost storage and a van, and a lot of time!

Mike certainly does not want to do any more, and indeed already gives a huge amount of his time to running the existing RWB and Harpenden auctions.

The BVWS committee and other helpers are all volunteers, and we all have busy lives. Likewise with most of the running and setting up etc for the NVCF/RetrotechUK. So the events tend to happen in areas near to where we live or can reasonably get to.

If anyone (whether individual or group) wanted to help with getting an event set up in another part of the UK, whether swapmeet only or swapmeet and auction, I know the BVWS committee would be happy to assist in whatever way we can. But it is a lot of work!

There are various ways of handling it financially, which would be agreed on a case-by-case basis. At some events for example, it is my understanding that the organiser pays for the hall hire and handles table bookings etc, and receives the income from the table bookings, door entry and catering profit, while the BVWS have their stalls for free and retain all commission on the auction and other sales. The BVWS also cover public liability insurance and publicity in the bulletin and online.

Nobody gets rich doing this!

From a BVWS membership point of view, the membership fee pays for the bulletins and postage. The events are, or at least should be, paid for by the entry fees and table fees etc. The auction commission covers the costs involved with running the auctions. It doesn't always quite work out like that, but that is always the intention and it normally comes close.

So although it may feel that you are not getting your membership money's worth if you just receive the bulletins and cannot get to the events, in reality you are actually getting what you are paying for. Overseas members are paying more for membership due to the higher postage costs and are even less likely to attend the events.

I will finish by saying that if anyone wants to volunteer to help in any way, please contact the Chairman.
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 7:26 pm   #5
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Getting the word out...

From a publicity perspective, I wonder if BVWS could take a table/stand at some of the various amateur-radio rallies, alongside the likes of RSGB, VMARS, RSARS, BYLARA etc?

Not necessarily to sell gear, more to raise awareness of their existence!
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 7:52 pm   #6
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Default Re: Getting the word out...

I fully understand how the logistics of available storage space and transportation range focus events. It just feels frustrating for those of us out of range.

David
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 8:31 pm   #7
slidertogrid
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Default Re: Getting the word out...

I understand and agree with all that Paul has said.
I would like to go back to my original question - how can we increase awareness of existing events and websites? What ideas can members think of to do this without adding to the workload of the people who already do it.

I really don't want to drift into the logistics of adding more events! I can see that this would not be easy or simple in any way. Also there is little point if the existing events are not that viable.. (Thinking here of how the NVCF attendance has fallen off these last couple of years.)

What I am asking for is ideas on how we can make more people aware of the existence of the society, the various websites and forums concerned. To promote events and hopefully increase attendance ?

The idea of promoting the BVWS at Ham events for instance is a very good one . I for one would be happy to print and distribute leaflets (that were approved by the society and website owners concerned) to any events that I attend. I am sure the organisers of the Ham swap-meets and sales would not object as it does not compete with what they are doing.

I offered 'collection from Harpenden' on a Television set I sold online, the chap met me in the car park and was interested in the event, So I signed him in and he ended up joining. I then saw him at the Museum on a tabletop sale day. he was loving it! He was hugely impressed by the Museum which he previously had no idea about.
This is what we need ! People with big wallets and empty houses!

Rich.
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 9:15 pm   #8
MickMcmichael
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Default Re: Getting the word out...

It would definitely be a good idea to have a pre-approved and downloadable flyer for us to print off and distribute as necessary for events such as NVCF etc. A reference to the society could be included in the flyer. Two for one, so to speak.

Any of us that do ebay sales can send one out with items bought online. Let's face it, we all frequent our local antique and junk stalls and it only takes a few seconds to ask the vendor if a flyer could be displayed.

Little cost to the society and it will be our ink.

What's to lose? Only ink!
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Old 15th Dec 2019, 9:26 pm   #9
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Default Re: Getting the word out...

If we want something in the north, how about "piggy backing" onto say the Kelso rally. This will cover a wide part of England and Scotland, but roads are no too good there, so anyone have a better venue?
It would also mean a much longer trip for Mike Barker and his crew.

Ed
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