I’m going to rant, if you’re of a nervous disposition, please look away now. Thank you.
Back in April, there was an excellent classic and vintage vehicle event at Chasewater. I, like many others I spoke to there, happened upon it by chance. Most seemed surprised and delighted to come upon a large, well organised and marshalled event that was, by any reckoning, a success. The weather was good, there were a huge number of exhibitors, and apart from a lack of publicity, everything was spot on.
Fast forward to last week. I note, again largely by chance, another classic car event scheduled for the park – this time, I know in advance because the excellent Chasewaterstuff posted it on his blog. As soon as I could, I posted details of the same event. I know it wasn’t organised by the same people as the one in April, but the publicity material online looked good. I plug it on twatter and Facebook this morning as a reminder before I leave.
What did I find when I got there? Lunchtime, and exhibitors were leaving in droves because there was a really poor attendance by the public. Car owners I spoke to, and stallholders, all cursed the complete lack of publicity the event received. There were some really great motors on show, but at lunchtime the dejected petrolheads were outnumbering punters by about 3 to 1. This was a disgrace – nothing more and nothing less. Good people, dedicated to their hobbies had turned out to show off their pride and joy, and when they got on site found that no adverts had been placed in papers, no signage on the A5, nothing.
I don’t blame the management at Chasewater – it’s up to the organisers to advertise their own functions – but after encouraging readers to attend what was frankly a miserable failure, the next such show will be twice as hard to attract attendees too. Well done, chaps. Publicity is everything, especially on chilly autumnal days. That was a really disappointing experience, and I feel bitterly sorry for the poor folks who made the effort to display some fantastic vehicles.