It's virtual show time in Margate, and the rest of the world, tomorrow.
You'll be pleased to know that I'm taking part, sometime between 10 and 10:30 I'm told. No idea who I'm sharing the stage with, but I'm sure it's going to be an interesting day.
It will be fascinating to see how this goes. We ran four virtual shows under the World of Railways banner during the peak Covid years, and while an enormous amount of work, they were also good fun. At the time, I wondered if they would survive lockdown and the return of physical events.
While we have no plans for more in the future, I can still see the concept having legs. After all, once you understand that real and virtual events are really different things, there's a lot you can do online that can't be replicated in a hall, and vice versa. Online, you get a one-to-one experience with the modeller, a bit like a demo in real life, but with better production values and less waffling. No-one runs ballasting demos, for example, because it's not something you want to do 20 times a day, but you can for a virtual show as the demo only has to be carried out once.
I'm less convinced by layout watching. The films shown can involve the builder providing a comentry, but it's not the same as leaning on a barrier, watching an open-ended operating session.
The problem is, freed of lockdown, will people want to give up a Saturday watching a virtual show? It will be interesting to find out.
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