FoF - Raising the (UKaps) bar even higher next year

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Egmel, 12 Oct 2008.

  1. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Split from the FoF thread in events this is a place to suggest ideas to make next year's stand even better than this year's.

    Comments welcome from all whether you were there or not, what would you expect/like to see on the UKaps stand.

    So the starter for ten...

    • Aquascaping hands on zone - Trays of substrate and hardscape so that people can get a feel for how a 'scape comes together.
    • Low Tech Display - Tank(s) which showcase(s) what you can do without adding carbon and extra lights. (A number of people were asking about this).
    • UKaps business cards - something small and cheap to produce that can be handed out to anyone who shows interest, all they need to say is who we are and where we are.
    • Talking to the organisers about layout - It would have been great if the Snail shop had been next to us. Also they had a stand selling plants but because some of them were for ponds they were also hidden (literally) away in the pond section. While they may not have been the best plants we've ever seen it would have made more sense to have had them closer by.
    • Bring our own livestock (and mature media) for display tanks - Having 'scaped some amazing tanks the lads were then running round to find fish/shrimps to go in them. While they did an amazing job on acquiring absolutely everything (large filters, heaters, fish, shrimp) we were limited by what was there and who was liberal enough to loan their fish to our cause.

    So what do others think about these or any other ideas.
     
  2. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Expert

    Messages:
    6,492
    Location:
    newark notts.
    Re: FoF - Raising the bar even higher next year

    great idea. even for at home
     
  3. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    Re: FoF - Raising the bar even higher next year

    Ok guys, here's my thoughts on the UKAPS stand and the show in general.

    Unfortunately, the 1 hour trip form just outside Brighton turned into 3 hour nightmare as they'd shut the main A27 at Arundal so i was tired and pretty p****d off when i got there.

    As for the show in general, well i was a bit disappointed to say the least. The venue is completely wrong for a start...it should really be in the NRC in Birmingham.

    By changing the venue, bigger and better trade and public stands can be generated. I didn't see PFK there and there was very few marine stands (i appreciate the hastle with setting up marine tanks at shows). I enjoyed the koi and the discus but that was about it.

    It would've been nice if there were more lfs being represented...STM, Maidenhead aquatics, The Goldfish bowl, The green machine etc etc should all be at these major events and probably could be if the venue was bigger and more central.

    I would also like to have seen more plants and fish for sale plus some of the nice rocks and bogwood that green machine sell.

    As for the UKAPS stand....good show chaps,the stand certainly drew a lot of visitors and was very popular. Obviously you were a bit restricted for space but a couple of lovely larger planted set ups would've been nice and maybe a few handouts of good plant varieties etc etc.

    So on the whole, a bit disappointed. If i'd travelled from the other side of the country for that, i would've been a bit p'd off....i had walked round the show in under an hour. Glad i went though but probably wont go again unless it gets a lot bigger.

    Andy

    Oh ps...bought 6 lovely baby angelfish from the bloke selling home bred stuff....they did have some lovely stuff.
     
  4. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Wish I could take the credit but that was someone else's (though for the life of me I can't remember if it was Dan or Graeme I was talking to when that came up!)
    I think we had on the stand what we were donated by the sponsors who are already amazingly generous. It was also about as much as the guys could set up, there were 6 of them doing the stand up until the wee hours of Saturday morning, so while you're right it would be lovely to have more big display tanks they'd also need more people to help set them up (hint! hint!) ;)
    I was thinking that, maybe a list of common species to use or to avoid (dracena or spathyphillum anyone ;) )
    I agree but you have to realise that at the moment this is just an overgrown get together of local societies, they don't have the money or support to take it to a big central venue yet. If you have suggestions about the show in general then FBAS are probably the best people to contact, They organise the whole thing. If you do contact them please remember that they are most probably volunteers giving up their time to help out.
    This is the main selling point of the show and the reason it was started up, to allow different societies to get together and show what they'd been doing over the year. If it's the guy I'm thinking of then the chap selling the home bred stuff was the front end for a lot of home breeders who were busy elsewhere in the show.
     
  5. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

    Messages:
    1,127
    Re: FoF - Raising the bar even higher next year

    I oally aree RE he venue. I don' know exacly where it was, but it was some random place too far away for me to go.

    If it was in London or something, I think a lot more people would be able to make it, both from this forum and from other organisaions. A lot more of the eneral public would join the event too, because there is more people passin by etc in london, which would raise the awareness as ukaps aims to do. It's closer to a lot more people and more accessable to others because there's more public transport etc and there are more facilities. It would also encourae a lo more LFS to come along. UKAPS miht also be able to get livestock from somewhere like aquatic desin centre which wouldn't be too far if this event was in london somewhere.

    I've never been to one of these, bu from what I've heard it would be much better to sell a lot more hardscape and plans than what's there at the moment. This would also attract a lot more people.

    Also, if TGM etc. went that would be well amazing, maybe bring alon some of their own hardscape and plants o sell.
     
  6. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Ok, dragging us back onto topic....
    Please feel free to start another thread on how you intend to make the whole show super next year, you organise it and I'll be there :p
     
  7. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
  8. andy

    andy Member

    Messages:
    261
    Location:
    Lewes, East Sussex
    Just to add to my comments above....please see them as constructive critisism rather than just slagging the show off. Im sure this can go from strength to strength and good luck. Maybe one day i could get involved in one way or another.
     
  9. LondonDragon

    LondonDragon Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,281
    Location:
    London
    Also was looking forward to the high number of registrations in the forum after yesterday, which didn't really happen :(
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    4,428
    Location:
    Leamington Spa, UK.
    It was when I was talking about buying that 80cm Fluval someone had for sale on another stand cheap, seeing as we had lots of harscape left over I figured it would be a good idea! :)

    There was the UKAPS Nano setup brochure available on the stand along with lots of other brochures for TGM and other sponsors. Also, Dan had a lot of info printed on the stand display too, like the FAQs and some of the featured scapes. Maybe a little more paper info to take away would of been good, but don't forget, all of this is funded by our donations. Sponsors, from what I understand, provide a lot of the equipement and their own printed materials. Everything else Dan has to sort out being printed.

    I'd love to see some more member's tanks on display if it were possible. I thought maybe 6 months before hand we could run a competition on the forum, and say, the top 5 scapes could go on to display them at the show. I'm sure there are some logistical issues with this, but I'm sure something could be worked out.

    We had some lovely pics on a slideshow on Dan's laptop but I don't think anyone really noticed them. Maybe if we can scrounge/borrow a projector next year it might make a good part of the stand.

    More name badges for people helping on the stand, or at least UKAPs badges to identify them as being part of the society would be cool :)

    Chairs! My god, did my feet hurt at the end of the day ;)

    I think the stand this year was stunning. A real credit to the guys and to the society, and by far the best stand in the show.
     
  11. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    I can see that they are constructive and I agree with the vision of much of what you say, it's just that we're not the ones you should be telling and changes like you suggest don't happen overnight. As I say you just have to bear in mind that currently (AFAIK) this is all done by volunteers, I think they do an amazing job and the fact that the show keeps on growing is great. It's a shame that Hagen decided to pull their sponsorship and that PFK didn't go this year but fingers crossed things will be better next year.
    :oops: Sorry Steve, had completely forgotten, by the end of they day I'd talked to so many people about so many ideas that it was only the ideas that survived! :?
    If I'm still here and active next year prod me about this, I can usually lay my hands on a projector without too much difficulty. The best way to do it would be back projection as then you don't get people walking in front of it and blocking the projector, you also don't need to set the projector in the area where people walk.
    While I agree that it's hard work on the feet I'm not sure chairs are a good idea, at least not 'front of house' they make the place look more sloppy. The only way you could do it nicely would be to get settee like setup with a coffee table for all the literature so you can sit people down and talk to them about setting up tanks etc. Not sure we had the space or the transport for that though and it would remind me of a bank and make us look even more like we're trying to sell something.
     
  12. Right, firstly as Steve said we neeeeed chairs, sofas, stools or something!!! I think we could do it in a nice way, so that it allows people to view the tanks when sitting down. Maybe with leaflets and information on a table in the middle as well, so people can sit down for a chat if they like.

    Then I agree with the hands-on aquascaping bit. There's nothing hands on at the festival, so it could really draw in the crowds if people can play with rocks, wood and sand and create their own hardscapes.

    More nano's and tank setups would be good, but it's a lot of hassle taking them down and making them look mint again by the Saturday (as Graeme knows!!). But they did look very impressive and worth the trouble. I'd love to have one next year.

    It was good to meet you Andy, although only breifly! The NEC would be nice, but if it was there I doubt many societies and clubs could afford a spot. It would turn into just another commercial event.

    Tom
     
  13. amy4342

    amy4342 Member

    Messages:
    336
    I agree with the chairs/sofas thing, although I think it would probably be too impractical - maybe large bean bags or something :D . It would have been good for the people watching the large 'scape come together (which was amazing by the way!!! Can't wait to see pictures!).

    I think if companies like AE, TGM, MA, JBL, The Goldfish Bowl, Aquajardin, Dennerle etc had stands around the UKAPS area, with their own hardware and other stuff which people could experiment with, a lot of people would buy stuff, especially using the tanks from UKAPS as inspiration. I can see how this would be difficult for some companies, dealing with staff issues etc, but I think it would generate a lot of business for them on the day, and also further down the line because it generates more interest from the public and makes people more aware of different retailers.

    Going along with what seems to be popular opinion also, I thought the venue wasn't as great as it could have been. I know a lot of people in my area wanted to go, but just weren't prepared to travel that far. It took us about 5 hours to get there, and then only an hour to look around the whole show. I think if it was in a more central area in the UK like Bristol or Birmingham etc, then it would have a much higher turnout which would boost the show more.

    I really liked the UKAPS area though - the background display was great, without taking too much attention away from the main focal points. I'm not sure if a projector would do this? I think it was the most professional looking area there, and I think that reflected just how much hard work had gone into it. Although I think you need to think more about the livestock next year :lol: . Some Microrasboras (galaxy or mosquito) or Ember tetras would have looked great in the competition tank.

    Was great to meet people off the forum though, good to put names to faces.
     
  14. Egmel

    Egmel Member

    Messages:
    724
    Location:
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Ohhh, inflatables... that way you don't have the transport issues!
     
  15. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    did you take any aquascaping tool kits with you?

    perhaps do some demonstartions too, like get some plants, show how each of the different species are planted, how to cut them etc, and use a tool kit do promote it.

    you could also set up a CO2 system to show how it is done
     
  16. We had a tiny tank set up this year with a diffuser and drop checker running. Looked pretty smart ;)
     
  17. aaronnorth

    aaronnorth Member

    Messages:
    3,955
    Location:
    worksop, nottinghamshire
    oh yeah saw that, i think Clark got a pic.
     
  18. Superman

    Superman Member

    Messages:
    1,804
    Location:
    Cheltenham
    Wow, just taking a break after returning from the FoF.
    Whilst we'll have a long period of time to reflect and add for next year's event, I would be happy to provide a nano tank next year of my own style and would also be willing to help out on the organisation.
     
  19. amy4342

    amy4342 Member

    Messages:
    336
    The UKAPS members that were there did set up a fantastic tank! Everything was just right about it, the hardware was gorgeous, the plants were varied and mostly appropriate for a fairly easy low tech setup, and they even showed things like how to set up filters with an inline heater, what order to set up the tank, how to fill the tank without disturbing it, planting methods (using a UKAPS tool kit obviously :D ), keeping the plants moist with a sprayer etc. It was great! My only problem was, blink and you missed it! But I guess there's not much you can do about that. I was just extremely grateful that I didn't stop for yet another coffee on the way, or I probably wouldn't have got there in time lol. Maybe for next year it would be possible to shoot it step by step, maybe have the camera on a timer for say every 20 seconds, and then post the pictures on a slide show on a projector, so that people who didn't make it in time saw it anyway? Expanding on the whole 'people getting involved thing', maybe it would be cool if there was a small tank set up with gravel, and people could be shown how to plant and trim using that, which would probably sell some UKAPS tool kits.

    Yea, I know there was a FE CO2 setup on the nano's because I heard someone mention it, but I didn't see it, and its possibly that some people weren't aware of it at all. On the other hand, the nano's looked so awesome that it would be a shame to have a FE spoiling the view. The ADA style cabinets with the opti-white aquascapes looked lush.

    Yup, it looked really cool. For next year, it might be cool to print out some of the guides from the tutorials section and place them next to the relevant section, like the 'co2 measurement using a drop checker' article would have been particularly appropriate next to this display.
     
  20. Thomas McMillan

    Thomas McMillan Member

    Messages:
    1,127
    I think it's a great idea to print out a load of our stuff, leaflets, articles, everything and just let the public have at 'em. They would love that.

    I know UKAPS tries to stay away from selling blah blah but maybe we could sell a few tool kits and other exclusive merchandise that we have to raise further donations.
     

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