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Debriefing after the North of England Woodworking Show

Yorkshire folks

When it comes to bluntness Yorkshire folk take first place. Brutally honest with a twist of humour no other race on earth has. It was nice to be with people I relate to who without reserve tell you the way it is, even though pride can get in the way. That’s what the show was about. In terms of volume of people, this show has it. Wall to wall people for most of the time and not enough room to swing a cat round. But I thought the show was very convivial and the craftsmen and women very entertaining throughout, even at the last hour of the end of the last day. The show was well organised too and for picking things up and finding things out and discovering suppliers I think it’s a good venue to go to and you should go there once a year.

Scheduled demonstrations at a central point

Scheduled seminars with a designated central point would be a great addition if the show had the space, but that takes experience to pull together and an interest in the craft itself and some promoters don’t have that in mind. It might be good if some of the vendors assumed some of that responsibility to help work it out, but the problem with that is you get Big Boy sponsors then telling the craftsmen what to push (usually their products) and you lose what really interests people at the show after people have done their shopping.

Booth staff – engaged or not

Some of the sales staff lose interest in a short while and end up disengaging from the the details to sit chatting on low chairs at the back of the booth. This is often money linked and should be avoided at all cost. When sales or on, the eyes are sparkling and bright. When they slow down and the “punters” aren’t buying, they lose interest and the sparkle and even disappear from the booth. It may be a show standard to have at least one member of staff there the whole time but I don’t know. Some of the vendors really put their whole heart into the show the whole way through and as far as I could see all of the demonstrators absolutely did.Well done!

Entrance to the show was slow

Entry to the show was slow at times and people formed long lines to get through the very narrow opening. That could have had a relwif staff to speed up operations really. We want them inside and not out.

Dining In

Food in this Harrogate Venue was top notch, filling and varied. It was served hot and at a fair price for the quality. probably the best convention centre food that I have ever had bar none. It’s consistent too. Over the years I have eaten to the same level every year. The staff were extremely courteous, helpful, smartly dressed and CLEAN!

Enjoying the Woodworking Pilgrimage

Talking to the visitors as I did all of the time, I found them to be quite content with the shows overall presentation and they generally found what they were looking for there. That was important. Sometimes they don’t know what to look for and sometimes a show like that can be a little overwhelming, but I didn’t see any of that.



For the main part woodturning and woodworking clubs came to discover what they  couldn’t find locally, two or three buddies struck out on their own for a day and some isolated souls took a break from the humdrum of their day to day life to immerse themselves in an environment from which they could enjoy themselves. It was lighthearted and warming. It was people, not “punters”. these were the ones that made the show.



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