Re: Collinsville (St. Louis) RPM

hubert mask

John, just a few words to say thanks for the outstanding organization for the RPM Show.  This vendor totally appreciates what you and your staff did to accommodate all those attended.  Although it was not my first time to attend I will say that it keeps getting bigger and better each year.  There is something there for all the modelers for each era.

Thanks again John and to all my customers new and old that I visited there that subscribe to this yahoogroups.

Hubert Mask

Mask Island Decals Inc.

From: STMFC@... on behalf of John Golden golden1014@... [STMFC]
Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2016 2:39 PM
To: STMFC@...; golden1014@...; Tim O'Connor
Subject: [STMFC] Re: Collinsville (St. Louis) RPM

Tim, I can't believe you were there and I wasn't! I hope you had a great time for me and spent freely.

Yes, we already have a policy of "14 and under with paid adult admission gets in free". Generally when I am there, if I see young kids I let them in for free and then find a nice door prize and just hand it to them, no questions asked. A few years back Bachmann send us a whole DCC train set and Dan Kohlberg spied a young kid and his Dad and said I should give the train set to him. And when I did--man, that was a great moment. We are just passing on the generosity of our vendors and manufacturers, who are wonderful. We really do take part in a wonderful hobby society.

On the note about tables--I have always run this meet using the "Savannah Model" as I call it, which is using Bob Harpe's example at the Sav'h RPM. Take no profit, keep it inexpensive so everybody can attend, give it all back, one clinic at a time, and know/meet every attendee. Also keep the tables cheap so your vendors can make a profit. So I keep those vendor tables cheap ($25 ea.) but I horde them and only release them to top vendors. Bottom Line: I am cheap AND a hoarder. Even you can't beat that.

To all...Thanks to every one for an awesome meet. 476+ attendees, 60 full tables of models, and a lot of happy customers. Yes we will expand again next year, so come and give us a try.


John Golden
Albersbach, DE

On Tue, 8/16/16, Tim O'Connor wrote:

Subject: Re: Collinsville (St. Louis) RPM
To: STMFC@..., golden1014@...
Date: Tuesday, August 16, 2016, 4:12 PM

I will only make one suggestion - let anyone under the age
of 18

for free as long as they attend with a paying
'adult'. (I know, we're

kids at heart.)

A great, great meet. I took over 300 model photos and it was
just a

of what was there to see on display. Lighting is always a
problem in

places, but I appreciated the light colored table cloths!
Andy Harman

the best lighting for his models, off in that far corner.

Tim O'Connor

P.S. I stayed at Motel 6 ten miles north. Perfectly good

the budget (cheapskate) traveler.

P.P.S. I heard the tables were cheap, for vendors. I think
this really

especially with the vendors who come a LONG WAY to the meet,
from both

I've heard tables at the Springfield MA show are wicked

Below is a recap by Lonnie
Bathurst, one of the meet organizers.

Clark Propst

Mason City Iowa


beginning to
recover from all that wonderful chaos and thought I would
jump in before
I head back into the reality called work.  Dave Dan and
I will meet
next week to summarize what just happened in Collinsville,
but as I look
through my notes, refer to some contracts and just count in
general, here
is what I say in general:

- Attendance in general came in at just under 500 ( counting
door prize
tickets provided with every name badge ) which would include
12 to 15
spouses and children that came along with the modeler. 
By Saturday
afternoon when "Dad" came in with his son who he
cultivating an interest in modeling, we simply suggested
that the boy go
in for free, find a vendor, and spend that money on train
stuff for the
young man.  "Dad" liked that, the son liked
that, and the
vendor HAD to like that. 

-  The Badger " Live Fire" was a hit and all
48 seats were
taken.  In fact, every learning station seamed to be
busy each time
I passed them.

-  I'm sure we do not get 100% participation in the
hotel room
survey, but 120 rooms were counted.  That is a good
number for
representing those who stayed over night and in hotels,
which gives us a
figure of how many might have traveled a long
distance.  Not
accurate by any means, but a start.  As an example of
that being a
low figure, 19 people who stayed at the Double Tree
completed the
survey.  In working with the DT business office, I know
the filled
all 50 rooms they set aside.  So in that example less
than 50 % who
stayed there, filled out the survey..... My guess is that
there were
about 160 + rooms used, which falls in line with kind of
representing the turnout on the front end on opening
morning.  We
have noted that STL/RPM started with significantly fewer
spending two
days, morphing into a culture that far more show up from a
distance, staying two days, and the one day attendance has
become the
smaller number.  More of a national event, with less
emphasis on
locals.  As a example, attendance is up about 65% since
I stopped
placing press releases in newspaper from St.Louis to

-  I think Dan counted models this year and I never
have, as
normally John does that.  I don't know IF John
counts models sitting
on vendor tables, such as Dave Hussey's fine collection,
but this year
Dan counted around 1800 at some point, and last year John
counted about
2000.  We added more table space this year, and to me
it seemed like
more, just spread out - but unlike JohnnyBoy (Golden),
I'm not there late
at night all alone counting freight cars.

- The total table count on the pre- meet spread sheet was
over 150, and
then as the chaos started we seemed to add a dozen tables
for models and
other things. All that is to suggest is that the number of
exhibitors is
up a bit.  The vendor number came in at about 40 - not
counting the
20 societies, learning stations, NMRA, etc.

- The social events, most of which were new, seemed popular,
according to Dave, north of 70 folks looking for BBQ on
Thursday night
and and average of north of 50 visiting the saloon at the DT
on Thursday
and Friday nights.  The  Director of Catering at
the DT was
pleased with participation and seemed happy to provide free
food on
Friday night.  I think that activity will be
repeated.  And
thanks to all who make it to the Bandanas, as those
waitresses feed their
families on RPM generosity.  They are quick to point
that out. 
Makes you stop and think about the fact that we all spend
hundreds of
dollars that weekend, and they are grateful for the tips to
use for
grocery money.

- The home layout tour was huge - thanks to the locations
being on the
Illinois side, or as was locals say, " on the East
Great models as always and an easy drive.  Dave said
one home had
visitors until about midnight, and we're thrilled to do
so.  I think
there was alcohol related operations taking place.

- The Friday night " slide shows"  we're
full and the
Center's catering tells us that the Depot Cafe' and
Pizza Party sales
were good, so next year I'm holding their feet to the
fire for more
selections, and to bring in the best cooks....

- Vendors didn't chase us out of the building nor
threaten my wife, so I
think most would come back. 

- On a less than positive note, IF I have to re- wire that
one corner
where The Weathering Shop is located I am GOING to get them
lighting. Dave, Dan and John are " Can-do" kinda
guys, and I
found the Center's circuit breaker boxes...... Clark
bring your tool kit,
AS there are always things to make ANY RPM better.

Sorry I took so much space here.

Lonnie Bathurst

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