Warlords do a very good job of putting on an event which has a very short set-up time and cannot really afford to put in many of the creature comforts of "proper" events held in a space like ExCeL - for example, carpet would be nice, but would probably add more than 50% to the cost of hall rental, and hence admissions, and a second day of opening would double the costs and also the costs to exhibitors of staying down at the show.
A few people on TMP have whinged about ExCeL, however it is the only place in London with space and availability to host a show of that size, and those who complain about the catering are missing the point - the range and selection of catering is far better than any other equivalent venue, as long as you are prepared to walk along the central boulevard at ExCeL to find the outlet that suits you. Salute also benefits from the presence of the Marathon alongside in this respect, as all the catering outlets are open - this might not be the case if Salute were the only event in the venue that weekend.
- Historical, and especially 28mm historical skirmish gaming seems to be having a bit of a renaissance at the moment,
- Vendors are selling, and gamers are keener to give a try to "one box" solution games where you can get everything you need (rules, figures etc) from one supplier for sub £100 - of course you end up buying more!
- The market for resin-cast buildings and scenery is shrinking rapidly as the number of laser-cut pre-painted MDF ones explodes. I felt quite sorry for some of the resin scenery exhibitors as their stands looked deserted.
- Osprey will soon publish every rulebook in the market,
- Plastics are a now given, to the point of almost a default for some new ranges, and the debats has moved onto whether pre-paint is now starting to be a serious option,
- Figure design is really moving onwards and upwards - again like the resin/MDF split some of the companies I once considered "old stalwarts" like Essex Miniatures looked out of place and their stand wasn;t that busy - they may end up being the Hinchcliffe of 15mm without more pzazz injected into the lines and display cases,
- I have no idea what Foundry are up to right now - for all the talk of a new era of product, branding and marketing they had a rather confusing and low key presence,
- Traders take note - having a banner to advertise your stand location is a must - there is almost no other directional signage at the show other than the catalogue, and with no reference points it was sometimes hard to see where you were even with the plan in front of you,
- The Bring and Buy was such a scrum that I didn't even consider going near it. I know the B&B is a staple of wargamiong shows, and makes money, but whether a show like Salute still really benefits from having a downmarket melee in one the corner it is something I'd question - using the space for more traders might now be the sensible option,
- Turn up at 11am, not 10am - the show is still open for another 6 hours, and it avoids the queues !