I agree with Drew on both counts.
Timing: The late May/June time slot and the August/September slot are a problem with middle age folks. School is a factor in both, you have graduations, moving in/out of dorms. Some high schools even start in August and get out in May. Plus in both periods the are a major holiday.
Location: Kimberton had a good location. The show in Timonium, MD is excellent, a hop-skip off the interstates, and even had commuter rail service. Nate Preston tried to have a show near Reading, PA. But IMHO Reading difficult to get to for out of towners and its timing in August conflicted with my personal schedule.
MANGG had another "problem", 'narrow gauge' labeled the event to a specific venue thus dissuading some attendance. Many folks aren't aware of narrow gauge or have no interest. That's not to say we can't limit participation to narrow gauge.
As popular as On30 is, many folks do not realize it is narrow gauge. They see a large train like Lionel, but cheaper and sized to match those ceramic villiages at Christmas.
As for event content, maybe we need to expand our field and include small standard gauge layouts. Kimberton was limited to narrow gauge and it seemed there was always the same layouts there, with few changes on the layouts.
Allowing small standard gauge layouts would entice more participation and attendance thus promoting the hobby.
There is a sub-culture out there for
micro layouts. Carl Arendt (deceased) promoted layouts of less that four
square feet (That's not 4'x4') in any gauge/scale. This type of layout in popular in Great
Britain with several gatherings a year. This would draw in more
attendance and participation.
The invite is appreciated; but there are some of us in the Philly area who are strongly considering taking up the torch and replacing the Kimberton show locally.
The Midwest meet is jut a bit too far west; and the decision to do your meet as a Friday-Saturday meet instead of a Saturday-Sunday one is not helpful to those of us who aren't retirees (and need to be at work on friday).
For those who regularly came to the Kimberton meets, would you want the new meet to be in the same approximate monthly time slot as the old one?