Before putting finger to keyboard to write an after show report on Hammerhead 2015, I decided to wait a few days in order to collect and receive more feedback form those in attendance. At the WMMS show on the following weekend Sally, the organiser, received lots of really positive comments, suggestions and reviews from many of the attending traders and gamers about the show, some of which I have included in this report.
With 51 participation games being set-up by intrepid groups of gamers along with 37 trade stands, the hall was already a buzz of activity before the first visitors entered the hall at 10am. With such a wide selection of games covering all, or most, of the genres and scales representative of the hobby today, the aim was to have ‘something for everyone’. The policy of making all games at Hammerhead public participation meant that the visitors felt welcome at each and every wargame table in the show. This encouraged instant communication with those running the games and created a very friendly welcoming atmosphere. And by making the games the central focus, in prime position in the central area of the hall, the overall ‘feel’ of the show was vibrant with hundreds of wargamers doing what they enjoy doing – playing table-top games!
The total number attending Hammerhead 2015 was approximately 1000, in fact 983 by the wrist band count, plus a few traders and gamers who missed collecting their wrist bands during the pre-opening set-up period. This was an increase of about 400 more attendees than at Hammerhead 2014 and with 3000 square metres of space available there was plenty of room for everyone. Incidentally, I noticed that the stated maximum capacity on the wall of the exhibition hall is 4500, but with large wargame tables and trade stands brimmed with wargame goodies to accommodate, about half that number would be an absolute maximum for our type of event.
The table top sales proved very popular and it is a format which I feel has begun to supersede the traditional bring and buy at a number of shows around the UK.
It was pleasing to see so many young gamers in attendance – they were very keen to participate in the painting clinics and seemed just as motivated by the historical games as they were by the Sci-fi and fantasy examples. We need to get these young ones engaged and motivated, after all, they are the future of the hobby! It is my sincerely held belief that the young fantasy and sci-fi gamer of today is the historical gamer of tomorrow.
Many commentated on how good the lighting was both for gaming and also taking photos. Although it was an overcast day there was still plenty of natural light from the numerous skylights and the glass wall along the front of the building.
The show stayed pretty busy throughout the day with hundreds of gamers settling down to play involving and entertaining games throughout the afternoon after the hustle and bustle of the first three hours or so. Again, because there were plenty of games to play, people tended to stay all day. The game ticket prize draw at 3.30pm also gave the visitors added incentive to stay and proved to be a very welcome bonus for one particular trader!
The feedback from the traders and manufacturers has been very positive with a good number taking the opportunity to drive their vans into the venue and unload on the Friday, then drive- in and reload after the event on the Saturday. Sally made a point of trying to get around and chat to all the traders and gamers during the course of the day. She is looking forward to next years show being held in the same venue - it will make the planning and layout so much easier, with most of the traders wanting to stay in the same location within the hall.
The Hammerhead 2015 prize winning games were:
1) Best Visually Appealing Game: Oldhammer/Where's Wally? by Bingham & District Wargamers
2) Best Constructed Game: WWI Air War by Wings of Glory Aerodrome Forum
3) Overall Best Game: Mad Max - Stop the Truck by Mad Max v Humongous
‘Mad Max v Humungous’ will have their name added to the Hammerhead Shield.
There were so many splendid participation games that it almost seems unfair to single out just three, especially at Hammerhead where the most important feature of the show is the participation games. A very big and sincere thank you to every wargames club, society, group and individual that put so much time, effort, thought and creativity into these games. They have made their miniatures and terrain available, not simply for others to look at and admire, but have the opportunity to play with and enjoy.
Hammerhead’s move from Kelham Hall to the Cedric Ford Pavilion in 2014 was in effect only the first stage of a three year plan; in year one, move the show away from Kelham Hall to Newark showground; in year two, move the show a few hundred metres to the biggest and best indoor venue for a wargames show on the showground site – the massive George Stevenson Exhibition Hall; in year three, use the experience gained in year one and two to further develop and improve the show for the benefit of visitors, gamers and traders.
The feedback we have received from Hammerhead 2015 has helped us to identify a number of areas that we can improve upon next year. The free and extensive car parking directly outside the venue was singled out as ‘brilliant’ by a number of traders and visitors, presumably because they have experienced parking problems at other shows. However, next year we must have more than the designated four spaces available for disabled visitors. These are clearly marked and directly outside the main entrance, but there needs to be more allocated relative to the number of disabled visitors in attendance.
A number of people said that there needs to be a few more litter bins inside the venue. This made me smile because I positioned six red wheelie bins and two black bins at strategic points when setting things out in the hall on Friday. We are so psychologically conditioned through experience to expect our wheelie bins to be brown, green or black, that bright red ones are invisible to us. When I collected the bins after the show the black bins were brimmed and the bright red ones were barely half full!
Lastly, on behalf of the team, I would like to thank everyone who came and supported Hammerhead 2015. We will make every effort to make Hammerhead 2016 even better!Hammerhead 2016 is on Saturday 5th March; put the date in your diary!Report written by Paul K.
Several online reports and blogs have been written;http://throughthewormhole.com/2015-week ... ow-report/http://whippedraw.blogspot.co.uk/2015/0 ... -2015.htmlhttp://gamingfromthecupboard.blogspot.c ... -show.htmlhttp://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=376627http://napoleonicwargamingadventures.bl ... -2015.htmlhttp://troubleatthemill.blogspot.co.uk/ ... mment-formhttp://kevswargamescabin.blogspot.co.uk ... ot-so.htmlhttp://dusttears.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03 ... -2015.htmlhttp://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/showth ... rhead+2015