Lotus Elan

Club Lotus Show April 2013 -Anyone going

PostPost by: AlanM » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:20 am

Thanks for all the comments and observations. Let me say first of all ? and those who know me will bear this out ? that I don?t have a problem with criticism. Of course the show?s not perfect and there are always things Id like to do or change the following year. I always appreciate constructive feedback but reading some of the posts I?d just like the courtesy of a right to reply.

Notwithstanding everything that?s been said here, we?ve had more positive comments and "thank you's" about this show than I can ever remember and many more people have called the club office this week to say how much they enjoyed the weekend. We did not get one single complaint from any of the traders and I believe they all did very acceptable business. The show may not be perfect but equally it's not that bad and we've obviously delivered to many people.

The show exists to bring the Lotus community together both on a social and business footing ? and I think that overall it manages to achieve this. I?m aware that we need to engage more with the Elise guys and I?ve already had some discussions with certain parties on how we can achieve this next time. Organising the show takes much hard work and you may be surprised to learn that we already have a useful list of possible improvements and suggestions for next year. Thanks again to those who have contributed here.

Moving on ? forget all about Malvern. When Donington became unavailable in 2010 I spent much time and effort looking for an alternative venue. Malvern stood head and shoulders above all other options and I thought we had a good show weekend there. However too many traders said they wouldn?t support another show there so it?s dead and buried.

The show costs a lot of money up front and it?s always a challenge to balance the books. Donington does not come cheap!

However, of course we could offer Paul Matty and QED free stands to encourage them to attend. Mind you the other traders who pay for their stands would protest with their feet and quite rightly walk out ? suddenly we?d have no show - nice one. Come on, let?s have some joined-up thinking please. A whole host of reliable and good companies believe attending the show represents good value for money on many levels so please let?s have no more ?free stand? talk.

QED dropped out at a late stage - but CTM sold at least 3 new twin-cams and did excellent business overall. No PM but Sue Miller was busy all weekend. We had no complaints from the trade who attended and I?ve no doubt that both QED and Paul Matty would have had a successful show. Perhaps we?ll see them next time. There were always a group pf people round the 25?s of Classic team Lotus wistfully dreaming of driving them at Monaco, Spa, and Monza................ Then there was Jimmy?s Elan

Can we also have a bit more 'glass half full' than ?glass half empty' thinking please. To those who said there?s not much to see then how about organising a LotusElanNet stand? We?ll combine it with our Club Lotus Elan Section which needs some fresh input anyway. A show such as this is what the enthusiasts and industry make of it so how about you sharing the input and the rewards?

We always offer a free autojumble table(s) to Club Lotus members and we?re happy to provide as many of these for genuine private individuals as we?re asked for. Why not organise a member?s auto jumble stand that?s permanently manned so you can clear unwanted parts and members can also go round the show?

Changing the subject, I personally felt very let down by a number of individuals and companies this year. I?m not going to mention names but they included some whom I wouldn?t have expected to behave as they did. Worse still was that much of this ?letting down? was at the last minute, causing us much extra hard work just when we were at our busiest. It was unfortunate not to have any factory support but all marketing budgets are currently frozen at Hethel. I can tell you organising the show wasn?t much fun at times.

I was also less than impressed ? no, that?s wrong, I was absolutely furious - with the problems needlessly caused to us by Donington, especially the absolute mess they made of the Lotus-only car parking on Saturday. The catering was poor in terms of variety, high prices and availability, signs that I?d paid for were not displayed and they changed their traffic management plan the week before the show which confused all of us. All of this was contrary to what was promised and agreed - in writing - with the circuit before the show. Of course regardless of where the fault lies it?s always the organiser who gets the blame which only rubs salt into the wounds.

The show needs 5 components to thrive ? enthusiastic visitors, positive and professional traders, a wide variety of exhibits, solid club support and a willing organiser. If come the autumn I believe we have sufficient of all 5 elements to make an improvement on this year we?ll run another show in 2014.

That?s it for now. I?ll look forward to discussing these points on this forum and also chatting to everyone at Castle Combe on May 25th. Hope to see many of you there. We?ve still got some track driving places available so do come down and join in the fun.

Best.

Alan
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:39 pm

Hi Alan

I just thought I'd say thanks for the detailed and considered response. I guess nobody envies your job of trying to organise such an event, and its always a pain if people let you down.

From my experience the Lotus Shows in days gone by would go through phases of getting established .......building up steam....and then an unexpected event (Usually associated with availablility of venue) would require them to be built up again, virtually from scratch.

However, I think its important that you try as hard as possible to generate momentum on the back of 2013 through to continuing into 2014. It's good that you've established the criteria by which you judge the feasibility of such an event. You have a good opportunity now to re-iterate those criteria in the forthcoming issues of Lotus World, to get maximum buy-in from the Lotus community.

Regards,
Richard
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PostPost by: AHM » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:04 pm

.
AlanM wrote:how about organising a LotusElanNet stand?

Alan,
Watch out you will get killed in the rush of volunteers.
We would take the next 12 months working out who was in charge and what to do.... and then disagreeing with them!

I was there all day on Saturday I had a good day and I bought lots of stuff.
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PostPost by: cliveyboy » Fri Apr 26, 2013 1:38 pm

As all the feedback so far is from visitors to the show. I should give my opinion as someone who was a seller.
I enjoyed the show catching up with friends/customers and I sold enough to make it worth while.
I always have an autojumble stand (trade stands are out of my budget) and the cost I pay is perfectly reasonable.
However what I don?t think is reasonable is the poor guys next to me having a garage clear out selling second hand parts who paid for a stand and did not sell much having to compete against ? free autojumble table(s) to Club Lotus members?. Not really fair on them.
Paul Matty and QED might not have been there but new companies such as Cooling experts were.
Any other negatives I have are not aimed at Club Lotus but Donington circuit who have a lot to answer for.
Arriving an hour late on my stand on the Sunday because I had been queuing from the motorway because of BTCC traffic, closing the usual exit routes and not putting new direction signs up so people are driving around confused. Not putting up signs to tell people to park their Lotus outside the hall etc. I think Donington focused on the BTCC at the expense of our show
I totally agree with Alan about the catering I have to be there all day before it starts to after it closes so buying two medicore hot drinks and two bacon rolls at ?12 a time really hurts.
Apart from the BTCC issue I don?t think the show was any better or worse than usual and I will be there again next year.
One final point regarding location. I thought the Malvern show was brilliant as a location with different halls, much better stands with more room and spaced out better. Lovely surroundings with people picnicing on the grass outside. Gets my vote over Donington
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PostPost by: adigra » Fri Apr 26, 2013 3:08 pm

It was obvious that a lot of the issues were due to the venue, especially with the parking and access.

No matter what, as long as there is a Lotus show on I will be there and in my Elan (unless it's off the road). I am only worried about it disappearing due to the afforementioned issues.

I can only guess at what goes on behind the scenes, but it is disappointing when the usual popular specialists don't show up/support the event.

Anyhow, long may it last. The ladies at the club stand were supperb!

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PostPost by: AHM » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:31 pm

Malvern was a nice venue but I seem to remember no one spent any money and just about everyone said they preferred Donnington.

I?m not interested if Paul Matty turns up or not ?it is surely about the customer service of being there - I?m happy to spend my money with someone else. It is after all the Lotus show, and as billed that is what we got.


Clive,

I seem to recall the stand next to yours had a bit more than garage clearance and very high expectations of values. Or were you saying that you are a trader rather than an autojumbler?
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PostPost by: Spyder fan » Fri Apr 26, 2013 6:54 pm

[quote="Spyder fan"]Club Lotus / Alan Morgan, Things To Do List for Donington 2014:

Snip

5) Arrange to prostate oneself to QED, Paul Matty and other traders who were a no show this year and persuade them to come back for free if necessary.
11) Arrange to pick a weekend that doesn't clash with another major event P L E A S E !

feedback is needed to make the show better.[/quote]

Alan,
Point 5) Sorry, I was forgetting myself with regards to the financial side of things, thanks for reminding me that Club Lotus is a business and not a charity or non profit making organisation.

Point 11) probably the most valid. I drove home Sunday morning and felt very sorry for those caught in the at least 30 minute traffic queue from the motorway junction, some were caught out for a lot longer.

As with all car orientated meetings the enjoyment for the visitors is enhanced by a well organised car park. Donington did the dirty on Club Lotus, that's plain to see, but I'm reminded of the Brands Hatch parking shambles last year where we were not allowed into the main gate so that we couldn't join the supposed Elan only parking area and join in the supposed Elan only 50th Birthday track parade which ended up being composed of all types of Lotus from all eras.

Castle Combe was excellent last year and I'm looking forward to this year, the 2011 fiasco is gone and forgotten, but it's a familiar theme this parking thing!

I'm pleased the traders did good business, my pals at Spyder had a better than expected weekend, so they were very happy. Hopefully word will go out to those that gave it a miss for whatever reason, that it might be in their interest to make it a priority to attend next time.

This is really meant as feedback and not criticism, I am a Club Lotus member and will remain so for the foreseeable. The cost of the membership is more than made up for by the excellent quarterly magazine, the help in providing recognised valuations for insurance and the events that are organised, even though I think they could be better at times.
Kindest regards

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PostPost by: SimonE » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:31 pm

Alan

You ignore Lotus newcomers at you peril :wink: - CL needs to embrace Elise and Evora owners - the younger element (incidentally of which I am not part :D )

Why did all the oldie Lotus clubs have the prime location spots at Donington??
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PostPost by: AHM » Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:17 pm

SimonE

Have you been before? What you suggest has been done before.... By Alan! Did you speak to him at the show?

SimonE wrote:You ignore Lotus newcomers at you peril

Have you been to any of the other Club Lotus Events?

You confuse the younger element with newer cars - People who buy newer cars don't often join owners clubs.

I noticed quite a lot of younger people driving older cars.
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PostPost by: SimonE » Sat Apr 27, 2013 5:01 pm

AHM

Firstly my credentilals :D

I am a CL member of many years standing - I have owned 16 Lotus cars, inc 3 Elans, 5 Europas, etc,etc, etc - currently down to just 3 Lotii (Europa Special, S3 Turbo Esprit, S1 Exige) - had one of my Lotus cars on display at Donnington for both days - I am absolutely passionate about the marque as a number of members on here will testify :roll: but CL has been totally rubbish at enrolling the 'new' members whilst sucking up to the old guard - they ignore them at their peril - my opinion :)

Don't confuse feedback with critiscism :wink:
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PostPost by: AHM » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:53 pm

SimonE wrote: ......etc,etc, etc

Yes, yes - etc, etc, etc,

SimonE wrote:Don't confuse feedback with critiscism :wink:


If you read my post I haven't. But since you comment.
Having spent 2 days at the show I'm surprised you didn't speak to Alan, but after the show chose a public forum to describe part of the organisation of the show as lamentable. Feedback?!

SimonE wrote: but CL has been totally rubbish at enrolling the 'new' members

More feedback?

Did you miss the discussion in the CL magazine then?

Just my opinion:
It was a good show that could have been great.
As a single marque club I think that CL punches well above it's weight. We are lucky that we have this show and it is just one of several events.
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PostPost by: SimonE » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:27 pm

:D - no problem you have your opinion, I have mine - I fully supported the show over both days - did you??? :D

CL is a business not a charity - I am sure CL will take all feedback on board as any good business does in order to survive in these trying times :wink:
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