Organizing a show the size of Scale Model Challenge is a genuine challenge in itself. Admittedly, I asked for it, as I’m constantly looking for ways to improve the show. The easiest thing to do would be sitting back and see the same thing run over and over again, like an old TV show. But after you have heard the same joke for the umpteenth time, it just isn’t funny anymore. Get it?
SMC started out as an event to boost military modelling and figure painting in the Netherlands, but from the first edition on, it exceeded our own expectations. I said “our” indeed because although the ideas to keep the interest going comes from a small group of people within the club (Scale Model Factory) we could not put down an event like SMC without the help of all members. Even better, we see an annual growth of the number of spouses, girlfriends (most members are male) or other family members. In fact these volunteers actually look forward to the event too and that’s one of the reasons that make me very proud of the show and what we have achieved with it so far.
This year we will introduce our contest application MONARCH. This application will ease our contest from the pre-registration to the awards ceremony showing slides of the wining models and results, all in one application. Even registration at the show itself will change from filling out cards to entering all your entries yourself. There will be four working stations to register your entries. So at least we will see no more misspelled names or wrong titles of your models or figures. Unless you mess them up yourself, of course 🙂
I often get the question how I see SMC in the future and to be honest, I had to adjust my ambitions for the event once or twice along the way. We have achieved a very international attendance with visitors, clubs and traders from all over Europe, which is a good thing. We ask people from all over the world to come to the show, and I strongly believe that you have to give them their money’s worth, meaning that we have to offer plenty of entertainment to make coming over worthwhile. I truly believe that we have achieved that with SMC.
But there are still steps to make.
The scale modelling landscape is very busy with good shows all over the world and even when I look at the European scale model calendar, modellers have plenty of choice. Not every show is a large as SMC, with actually only very few being larger, but size really doesn’t matter in this case. There is a strong sense amongst the modelling community that shows are also a very good opportunity to actually meet fellow modellers and painters, face to face rather than just on Facebook or on the forums. That is one of the reason that I am convinced that (good) shows have a future in this hobby.
It is also one of the reasons that we have concluded that SMC should make the transition to a two-day show. We will start with a in-between-concept in 2015 and our 10th anniversary show in 2016 will definitely be a full two day show. We have already managed to attract top notch special guests for both these shows.
We hope that you appreciate the effort that we have put into SMC 2014 and hope to see you there.
Be there and make the difference!
Perhaps a small update on Scale Model Challenge 2014 would be nice.
We launched the SMC pages on the SMF website in January. Just a week or two before we have send out the invites to a selection of vendors, and the response has been overwhelming to tell you the truth. At this point we already “sold” 70% of the available vendor space.
This year’s SMC will roughly the same size as last year’s show, but now without the addition of a simultaneous event. It basically means that we will occupy all the available halls with SMC only this year.
We have anticipated a slight increase of the competition area and at the same time more space for clubs as we noticed the increased international interest.
With Claude Joachim’s huge Clervaux as a centre point, we will introduce some new concepts and stunning displays and exhibits in the central show area.
Another addition to the show will be that, besides the demos and presentations by our exciting line up of special guests (Alex “Iguazzu” Varela, Ivan Cocker and Radek Pituch) we will give visitors the possibility to practice various skills on their own models under guidance of some of the best; a program of interactive workshops of 45-60 minutes with Jay Laverty, Kamil Feliks Sztarbala and José Brito. More names will follow, especially for the figure painters.
Behind the scenes we have been working on a revolutionary contest application that will enable us to smooth the whole contest process from pre-registration to the awards and medal presentation. I say revolutionary as this is promising to be something ultra cool. Especially for ourselves as most of the process always happens backstage, so to speak. But visitors will be able to see some of it during the day as well, especially during the registration process, in case you haven’t pre-registered. That part will be pretty revolutionary for sure and will dismiss all the paperwork that contestants always meet during shows.
This application, we baptized it MONARCH, is being tested the hard way now and we are confident about its introduction on SMC 2014….or actually from the moment pre-registration opens.
For those coming from galaxies far away, or from around the corner for that matter, we organize a day trip on Saturday 11th October to Amsterdam with different options. We did this in 2013 for the first time and the ones attending had a great time visiting the Dutch capital.
SMF member Marcel du Long has produced the artwork again, and he did a great job as always. He managed to add a WWI theme, in a subtle way. Although we are not necessarily a military modelling show (anymore), military subjects play a large role in scale modelling and we cannot let this commemorative year pass without paying attention to the fact that WWI broke out 100 years ago. We also dedicate an award to the best model or figure from that period.
I leave you with this years’ poster:
Preparations for SMC 2013 are on the roll. Traders registrations are rolling in and we already have some very interesting and long awaited new ones adding to the fun.
One type of table is already sold out, although we had managed to find more of them than last time. We did find an alternative for those larger tables so we put in that option too.
We have some exiting guests too this year, and we are looking at a new set up for the demonstrations.
Something else, and really major is cooking also, and we hope to annouce that in about two weeks time.