Keeping up the Momentum

It should have been the IPMS (UK) AGM this weekend but like so many other events, it’s been postponed until such time as public health guidance allows us to stage it anywhere. With gatherings of more than two people outside immediate family currently out of the question, holding an event in a relatively small room with several dozen Members clearly won’t happen either.

Thankfully the membership has overwhelmingly allowed us to extend the terms of office for all the Executive Committee members who were due to stand for re-election this year. A couple of the EC were standing down or moving to new roles but we can accommodate the practicalities of that in the short term and it gives us stability at a time when we need to focus on maintaining the Society in a healthy condition.

Our membership numbers vary from month to month as the monthly renewal milestones come and go but follow a pattern through the year. As you might expect, we have a lot more renewals and new members in the three months leading up to Scale ModelWorld but this time of year is a little quieter. A quick look at the membership income for the past month shows a small decline compared to this time last year but nothing that gives us any cause for concern at this stage.

The current coronavirus restrictions have had an obvious impact on the regular activities of IPMS (UK) since so much of what we on the Committee and the many Branches and SIGs do through the year is based around shows and meetings. Because we can’t do those things that normally keep our profile and support in people’s minds, we are having to look at other ways of ensuring we still remain relevant to our existing members and still attractive as an organisation worth joining for new recruits.

The age demographic of IPMS (UK) is strongly skewed towards the upper end of our population and that also creates a worry for many of us because we are by default, considered more vulnerable to illness and perhaps more likely to have pre-existing health issues already. Even when restrictions start to ease and indoor events become a viable proposition, how much appetite will there be to attend them in the short term?

There are so many unanswered questions at the moment that it is very difficult to determine what the future holds for us in the short to medium term. Tonight’s broadcast from the Prime Minister at least starts to provide some shape to how the future may unfold but it is unlikely to lead to any rapid changes in what we can do and provides no real indication of how long we might continue to live with restrictions on our daily lives. So much depends on multiple variables that it is almost impossible to make any clear predicitions . Hopefully the trend will continue downwards but much of the immediate future of the model show circuit will be driven less by what the restrictions might permit us to do over the coming months and more by the confidence that modellers have in attending such events.

John Tapsell

IPMS (UK) Publicity Officer