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Focus on Imaging Show axed after 24 years

Discussion in 'News - Discussion' started by CSBC, May 31, 2013.

  1. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Yes Harrogate is still quite a good conference centre but sadly the Majestic and Cairn Hydro got turned into apartments. It's the sort of place where one expects to see Alan Bennett partaking of tea in the Old Swan or Betty's tearoom.
  2. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Yeah, Londoners got a day out! ;) :)

    I recall there is a fair amount of anti-London feeling here from another Thread earlier this year but there are some hard, inescapable facts that organisers of anything that expect people to travel from all around the country have to face:
    1. Travel routes radiate out from London, and
    2. London offers post-show (and/or bolt-on) attractions such as theatre, museums, galleries, etc..
  3. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    You make an indisputable point that "wealth creators" are those who, um, actually make things or perform services that people want, rather than fiddling with money: I use 'fiddling' in the most unpleasant sense. Even so, I'm still not comfortable with lumping together "variable indirect, stealth & hidden taxes". Perhaps we can agree that insufficiently progressive taxes are the problem.

    Taxation (and indeed production) in an affluent society (cf JK Galbraith) are very different from the 'same' things in a society of scarcity. Today, 'scarcity' is all too often a fig-leaf for economists in affluent countries who are attempting to defend the status quo -- because those who have done well out of the status quo are the people who effectively pay their salaries.


  4. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Harrogate offers a gateway to the Yorkshire dales. If you are into landscape photography then you might as well make a long week of it. (A long week is nine days.)
  5. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    Roger Hicks pretty well hit the nail on the head with his comment ... 'I suggest, part of the 'race to the bottom' that was triggered by the abolition of retain price maintenance in 1964. Yes, it gave us lower prices; but it also destroyed jobs by greatly favouring big discounters.' .... There were the mail-order companies back in the 70s offering buyers substantial discounts, which many small retailers found it very hard to compete against; It was definitely the case then that some MO companies were buying film at such low prices (and these were NOT from Grey importers!) that the smaller dealers were buying their stock off them for less than the manufacturer's own reps could sell product to dealers at! By the mid 70s I think importers and manufacturers realised they were killing off retailers, and also their own profit margins, so things changed. Maybe, this cycle has resurfaced again?

    I doubt whether many of the online dealers are making much profit from each unit sold, which may well mean we get really good prices, but many people also want to see, hold and try the product before we buy. ... Will we soon be getting 'shops' which just display products, and when you order through them the goods, the 'online only' retailers, pay them a commission based on the items they place orders for? ... No, I'm not hoping that's what is going to happen, but it certainly could ...

    As for the annual shows like FOI, these might in turn eventually be funded mainly by the internet only dealers. I suppose if a large group of small independent retailers all banded together and sourced their stock via a single account, they might stand a chance of competing against the 'box-shifters', but I suspect the fear of one or more of their group, abusing the system and not 'coughing up' the cash for goods, has put the mockers on that ever happening.
  6. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Yeah, well, the "race to the bottom" might or might not have been a Good Thing, but the fact of the matter is that "destroying jobs" has been going on for a very long time in all areas of the economy. Fortunately the economy usually supplies a large number of alternative jobs to compensate for those that get lost. It's up to you to decide whether a soulless career in a telemarketing bureau as opposed to a soulless career in shopfloor marketing is an advance or a retreat.

    The issue of supply of consumer goods has long since gone away, most of us (including the poorer sections of the society) probably have far too much gadgety junk ... the issue here is that we now get whatever some marketing bozos decide is going to be fashionable rather than what we really want. I'm not sure whether the collapse of trade shows has much to do with this unwelcome development, but my experience of trade shows was that the exhibitors never took consumer comments too seriously anyway, they were there to sell their own products to the retail trade ... with the retail market being stripped out in favour of direct sales from manufacturers & importers to consumers, something needs to change ... how to do this without exhibiters or consumers being charged at the obvious level (on the price tag) is a problem which is apparently still remaining to be solved.
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yes, but the NEC has much better access to road, rail and air transport than any London venue - and certainly not all travel routes radiate out from London, several radiate pretty much from the NEC or close by, and combined with being just about the centre of population for the UK means that people can get there as a day trip much more readily. And there actually are shows, museums and galleries outside London, you know...

    I like London (although wouldn't want to live there), but it's a silly venue for national shows.
  8. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Aye lad, that's Yorkshire for yer. In Lancashire, a long week's fourteen days and extra cups of tea w'sticky buns! ;):D
  9. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    A bit of me is very pro Midlands but you cannot escape the facts of the regular surveys that are done (unless there has been a radical turnaround among the business population) that they would rather be sent to London than anywhere else for the ease of straightforward travel and the other attractions it offers. {IIRC, in another FOCUS Thread on AP Forums, posters have pointed the various difficulties& hazards of getting to the NEC using anything other than a car.}

    You also have to work out who your show is really for and what suits them. Elsewhere on the Thread, mention was made of the amateur invasion of FOCUS.

    If you are a pro and the late offer of a days work comes up for the day you are due to go to FOCUS (or similar) do you really want to turn the work down? Especially when the cost of getting there is borne in mind.

    If you are a camera manufacturer and want to attend, taking people based at your HQ, would you rather travel from Southend, Reigate, Kingston and Finchley Road(!) to a London venue or the NEC? ;)

    I think the NEC was a great choice for getting the most (amateur) punters from around the UK, except from the furthest reaches of the Kingdom unless they were 1. wealthy, and 2. had other reasons or options for longer stay once there.

    Which neatly takes me back to just one economic point I would make: we (ie government) have (unwisely, in my view) inflated the cost of travel in the UK over fifty years to the point where its impact on everything we do is severely detrimental.

    If we do not make a substantial change in the opposite direction now, or in the very near future, the consequences for the country as a whole may be extremely serious.
  10. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Birmingham and by iimplication the NEC is certainly in rail terms a hub, given that it has easy or direct access from most areas of the country, since it is the centre point of Cross Country Trains operations and is also heavily served by Virgin Trains and other operators. Similarly the road network allows relatively easy trips from most areas. Mind the geographical centre of the country is reckoned to be Haltwhistle, which is none of these things!
  11. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    All this is true as Nick says. London is an absolute no no for people who still drive cars i.e. people who don't live in London and can still drive cars.

    The NEC is easy to get to by car from almost anywhere and easy to park at. Although I went only to Focus 2013 it seemed not to suffer from lack of visitors - it seemed to have less exhibitors than people said were there in earlier years.

    If there is to be a photography/photography equipment show that will rise like a phoenix then it needs to be some form of show that will appeal to the exhibitors.
  12. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Not really. What's wrong with going into London by train? Well, apart from the UK's ridiculously high train fares? I have lived for about half my life so far in the UK, and about half of that in the West Country (for a given value of West Country: Cornwall, Devon, Bristol). Except when I was actually at university in Birmingham, or except when I was living in Scotland, London was a lot easier to get to. For people from outside the UK (as I now am) London is normally easiest too: I can leave the car outside and go in by train. Of course, as a Cornishman, I'm somewhat handicapped by the fact that the air north of Bristol is too thin to breathe.

    I've been in contact with Mary and she says that everything she wanted to say about closing down Focus is in her press release, so let's all wish her the very best in whatever she decides to do in future, and thank her very much for 24 years of Focus.


  13. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    No they didn't.

    Seriously, what is happening to this place? I've never seen so much uninformed nonsense posted!
  14. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    With respect you were leading with your chin - Harrogate is the centre of your world - but it is not the centre of the world. For most of the population it is somewhere made known by the All Creatures Great and Small books - but for the purposes of an exhibition like Focus it is just a lot of hours travelling away.
  15. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Got it in one .... well, almost, the fact of the matter is that London is expensive & uncomfortable to move around in, between railway station & final destination.

    Personally I'd far rather attend an event held at a motorway service station. (Which at least gives a reasonably wide choice of geographic locations, mostly within reasonable travelling distance of major population centres but without so much obvious overcrowding.)
  16. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Elegant! As long as it's not on the M25. Then again... Not Watford Gap either... Or... Or...

    Are there ANY motorway service stations with mainline stations and handy airports? Hmmm... comes down to the NEC again, I fear.

    Bristol sounds pretty good to me. Or... well... maybe Weston Super Mare?


  17. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    I live in Monmouth which is 8 miles south of Ross on Wye. The NEC by car is one hour door to door.

    By contrast going to London by train means :-

    a) Drive to Gloucester and park at the station - one hour.

    b) Catch the train to the London Terminus - two and a quarter hours

    d) Tube from the London Terminus to the exhibition hall - half an hour.

    Probably 5 hours door to door including waiting times. It is so improbable that we don't do it now and I cannot thus even remember if our London Terminus is Euston or Paddington.

    London vs NEC is the difference between going and not going. I went to three major exhibitions at the NEC in the last six months. I have not been to London since 1975.

    Black and White.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  18. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    I never suggested that it was, nor has that any relevance to the point that people are posting uninformed nonsense and incorrect statements to a degree previously unseen.

    The fact that you seem to think that you are in a position to state what is the centre of my world when you know nothing about me just proves my point.
  19. thornrider

    thornrider In the Stop Bath

    Not so. Barney - View Profile - Location : Harrogate, North Yorkshire. :)
  20. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Q.E.D. I've moved since my profile was set.

    Yet more uninformed twaddle to add to the list ...

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