I mentioned last week that although there seems to have been new guidance issued on indoor events and specifically conferences and exhibitions, it doesn’t really change our planning for Scale ModelWorld at the moment – there are simply too many variables still in play. However, it’s probably worth spending some time to manage expectations with regards to what a Scale ModelWorld might look like in November 2020.
The one thing I can guarantee is that SMW will be a very different show to what might normally be expected. It should be self-evident that there will be fewer visitors, fewer traders and fewer clubs in attendance. In particular, there are likely to be few if any overseas traders and international visitors.
Then we have to consider how to plan out a show that takes into account any social distancing requirements, traffic flow around the halls, refreshments and any limitations on the numbers of visitors who can be in the hall at any one time – and those requirements could change several times between now and November.
It’s fair to say that we are very much looking at a ‘Scaled-down ModelWorld’ in 2020 in terms of content if not in terms of any less space. Is it worth the effort, I hear you ask? Unequivocally ‘yes’, I would respond to that question. The effort may come to naught if the practical restrictions defeat us but until we have no other choices left we intend to do our level best to run an event in November.
I said way back at the start of the lock-down, some four months ago, that we see it as a point of principle, an article of faith, to continue to work as normally as possible in these strange times and that includes planning for Scale ModelWorld. We could give up but it seems much more constructive to push forward in the belief that a show is possible. We all need something positive to look forward to, something that demonstrates that life has the potential to return to something resembling normality.
It seems unlikely that Covid-19 will disappear anytime soon and we will therefore need to adapt our lifestyles and hobbies to accommodate it. We’re in this for the long haul and part of our planning has to be around finding new ways of doing things rather than abandoning them as too difficult to resolve. We are not blind to the difficulties that face us, or the practical implications of having an age demographic within the hobby that puts many of our potential visitors into vulnerable categories. That extends to some of the organising committee too so those concerns have a direct impact on our thinking.
Conversely, other events are starting to take shape and their organisers clearly believe that it should be possible present an event that can operate safely within the public and practical restrictions that face all event organisers at the moment. There is also a clear appetite for another major model show to take place before the end of the year and for every message we receive saying it’s not possible to run the show, we get another expressing hope that the show can go ahead. Our priority is to find a safe and sensible way to make Scale ModelWorld happen in some form, probably smaller, most likely with a lot more space and perhaps not with all the usual features.
As always, we’ll keep you updated on progress.
IPMS (UK) Publicity Officer