2013 Silicon Valley Show
Kickoff Classic 2013I recently attended the annual Kickoff Classic show put on by the Silicon Valley Scale Modelers IPMS club. The show has, for the past few years, been held at the Santa Clara Convention Center which is a very upscale venue and one you would expect to see a national event take place at.
The show was complete with vendors, a make and take for the kids, a raffle, and a model contest. There were even a few groups on-hand like the MVTF (Military Vehicle Technology Foundation), which owns and operates the former Jacques Littlefield "Pony Tracks" collection. The organization is branching out to offer their facilities to companies doing things like leadership training and team building events. You can learn more about them via their site: www.mvtf.org
There was also an interesting company/collector of Opel cars, Opel GT Source. They had quite the collection of kit and other memorabilia on-hand including a full-sized Opel GT (see pics on right). I was surprised at the popularity of a car that obviously was not long on the scene here in the United States, but is obviously still very popular in Europe.
Editorial FeedbackAfter not attending the show for the past two years I was a little surprised by what seemed to be low turnout for the show all around. I heard a few rumors that the event may be held at a new location starting next year due to the turnout numbers of past shows and the cost of the facility, etc. I can certainly sympathize with the club and their efforts to organize this annual event in a large metro area like San Jose, California.
As a California resident I wish there was a way for the northern CA clubs like Santa Rosa, Silicon Valley and others to work together and produce a single, larger event. I know clubs have worked together in the past on national meets and it has worked out well doing this. Perhaps rotating the overall control of the show to the different chapters each year might make it work from a political stand-point. In any case I do wish the SVSM club more success in their future shows.
Overall I would have to say I found nothing seriously wrong with the way this years show was run. I did feel like there might have been a lack of signs directing visitors to the venue. There were several other big events going on at the convention center and they had a LOT of signs up directing folks. Also I am not sure if trying to charge spectators $5 entry per person is a good tactic. There were quite a few people at the center who might have entered and looked around, but would have been put off paying the entry fee. I know they are just trying to cover part of the cost of the show however, but it still seems wrong to charge spectators for IPMS event entry. Based on the number of people at the show I would seriously doubt this practice yielded that much return anyways.
The PhotosThere are 6 more pages of photos for the show that include most of the model contest entries. While many of these models I had already seen at the earlier Hobby Expo show in Petaluma, there were still some new ones to be enjoyed.