if we were in charge?

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pbeardmore
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if we were in charge?

Post by pbeardmore »

Leaving the display to one side and assuming we all want better traffic management, what ideas could we bring to next year?

Money off tickets to compensate for rain has been mentioned and its a great idea IMHO

I would also want the awards handed over to the public rather than decided by a faceless committee. Voting via txt with say five pence going to charity with results announced at the end of each day
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capercaillie
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by capercaillie »

pbeardmore wrote:
I would also want the awards handed over to the public rather than decided by a faceless committee. Voting via txt with say five pence going to charity with results announced at the end of each day


X-factor groupies voting for the Reds and RAF Typhoon - no thanks. :hide: It didn't work out too badly this year. :dunno:
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JJC
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by JJC »

capercaillie wrote:
pbeardmore wrote:
I would also want the awards handed over to the public rather than decided by a faceless committee. Voting via txt with say five pence going to charity with results announced at the end of each day


X-factor groupies voting for the Reds and RAF Typhoon - no thanks. :hide: It didn't work out too badly this year. :dunno:


Yep, the ‘jelly and carrots’ :sick: brigade would be out in full force.
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G-CVIX
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by G-CVIX »

Tree lined static area in green back for more special items.

Scrap the pit lane altogether.

Red zone shopping mall to contain the non-aviation related trade stands, with the essential ones located within the service stations (I'm talking suncream, chairs, etc). Vintage village stays in red. Activity zone moved to red, adjacent to vintage village.

Yellow for techno zone and UK forces areas. Minimal static in these areas. Corporate and VIP in this area leaving blue and green as aeroplane heaven.

Main static line down the middle of blue with aviation related trade stands only. All static rarities in green zone with the air force "tat" stands where they are now, on the border of green and blue.

Some flying display aircraft parked at the green end as they did a couple of years ago.

A return to the Thursday update system with actual information included (previously this has set RIAT apart from other shows in a positive way). Tone down the marketing. There's no need to pump out four poorly written updates a week.

Pick themes that might actually attract some participation. Important anniversaries eg C-130 anniversary, or operational types eg, AWACS, Heavy lift.

Fix the disparity between the days, and I think that Friday is the root issue.

The "preview day" could still take place at the park and view price with those areas open but the airfield operating for arrivals, not a display. The conference can take place and the red and yellow areas open for the STEM activities.

I remember reading that validations can't take place with the public on the airfield, if this is the case then Wednesday should remain, but if not, Wednesday's arrivals can be compressed into Thursday's and Friday's.

IF a flying display has to happen on the Friday, can't it be run as a separate event with its own small display? It would be arrivals as normal, with a short 3 hour display which would in no way detract from the weekend's flying. Nothing should be taken away from the weekend in order for Friday's display.

Friday could be built around something in particular that could be supplied mostly by civilian operated aircraft, that can become a static area on the weekend: eg, Vietnam war, Berlin Airlift, D-Day, etc etc, meaning that you don't have to rely on air arms to participate. Yes, it would have some unique items, but the overall disparity of the event as we saw this year would not be an issue.

Most important to me is to fix the disparity between days, especially Saturday and Sunday. I still believe asking air crews for three days of displays is the main cause of this.

If a day has to suffer in terms of commitment, and prior commitments on Sunday, for example, is not the problem, it should be Friday, and this should be reflected in much cheaper Friday tickets.

I would love for enthusiasts to be shown a few of those small touches which made RIAT so special. The tree lined static area, considerate static parking, and in general less garbage around the show ground.

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jasonT1981
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by jasonT1981 »

capercaillie wrote:
pbeardmore wrote:
I would also want the awards handed over to the public rather than decided by a faceless committee. Voting via txt with say five pence going to charity with results announced at the end of each day


X-factor groupies voting for the Reds and RAF Typhoon - no thanks. :hide: It didn't work out too badly this year. :dunno:


How about both a public and the normal RIAT award system?

IATthenRIAT
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by IATthenRIAT »

Move the traders back from the static on to the grass but on matting for weather reasons, this would leave more space for the static aircraft to be better spaced.

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pbeardmore
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by pbeardmore »

I'm thinking out of the box now (perfect curve jargon), how about DBH paying for the various camp sites and standardising with genuine , high quality camping around the whole site? then also offering evening entertainment such as open air movies or a live band. I think they need to consider a more "inclusive" experience to offer some punters (more jargon, sorry), sometimes it feels that they just want you off the site as soon as possible.

Events like cafest or blue dot show there is serious cash to be made by offereing a whole weekend of entertainment rather than "OK, flying's over, pack up and go" which is how it feels sometimes.

Another thing I would look at is the sponsors. Looking at this, its more like Farnborough than a public airshow . These sponsors have no direct connection with the consumers. No ticket holder is going to buy anything directy from BAe or Northrop and their corp marquees do create a feeling of "them and us". Sponsorship more focussed directly on consumers would mean they had a vested interest in providing a great experience for the vistors as it reflects on their brand and also offers opportunities for joint offers/vouchers/promotions. Look at the sponsors of RIAT and compare this to the sponsors of carfest:

https://www.airtattoo.com/airshow/comme ... t-sponsors

http://www.carfest.org/carfest-south-supporters
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LittleRedTrain
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by LittleRedTrain »

From a personal POV (and impacting the traffic management side), I'd like to see the experience made much more pleasant for people like myself who want, or have no choice but, to arrive by public transport:

RIAT should really be trying to encourage as many people as possible to use public transport rather than drive, as that reduces the pressure on the roads and car parks, so it should be made as easy and convenient as possible.

- Make the shuttle buses free, people should be encouraged to use public transport, driving should not be more convenient *and* cheaper! Would also reduce delays due to bus ticket checking.
- Move the bus/coach/pedestrian entrance nearer the middle of the show ground, rather than sticking it right at the far eastern end like an afterthought, meaning anyone arriving by bus has a long walk to get anywhere near the main crowd line, let alone the enclosures/interesting static.
- Add a park/train & ride option from the North/East to make it easier for people travelling down from the north, rather than having to change trains at Didcot/Reading/Bristol to reach Swindon.
Oxford might be a good option. (Banbury would be even better for me because I live there :)).
- Arrange with GWR to run some earlier trains to Swindon for the Sunday, the first train gets there so late you'll usually miss the first part of the display (another incentive for people to come Saturday rather than Sun).
- Reinstate buses for Arrivals/Departures. I get the impression they weren't well used last year, but it always takes a few years for people to realise that they're an option and use them regularly.
- Better management of buses/queues. On the way home on Saturday there was a massive queue for the Swindon buses. Buses were being loaded up one at a time, even when there were 2/3 stacked up empty ready to go.
If they boarded all the buses at the same time, they could send them all off to Swindon more quickly and get them back more quickly for the next load, rather than sitting there unproductive.

One other option could be to do the admission ticket/security checks as people board the buses at Swindon (given they have to queue there anyway), then drop them at a bus stop within the 'secure' area at Fairford and allow them to walk straight into the show without further delays.

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mavvymoo
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by mavvymoo »

pbeardmore wrote:

Events like cafest or blue dot show there is serious cash to be made by offereing a whole weekend of entertainment rather than "OK, flying's over, pack up and go" which is how it feels sometimes.


The official camp site had a quiz on Saturday night and music played from the bar area afterwards and on the other nights we stopped over.

What could do with happening is the costs of staying on the sites to be standardised. On the official site it varied from £10 pppn through to £30 pppn depending when you stayed. Campsites generally charge by the tent not per person, so our pitch effectively cost us £210 for four nights - almost as much as a Mach 2 ticket - and almost three times what we'd expect on a normal site.

Another thing - the official camp site made a charge for car parking (not much) but it seems a bit odd given that day parking on the main car parks was free.
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Sabrina
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by Sabrina »

I would have a slightly different approach for the Friday show which would be fully family orientated, sympathetically priced (eg £10 for adults and free for under 18's). The STEM, techno-zone, Pit Crew and other attractions would be balanced-off against a limited flying display centered around the Reds and the RAF (eg the Typhoon and perhaps an F35) but very much aiming at families rather than airshow enthusiasts. I would also add the RAF Falcons and the Apache pyrotechnic ground show and maybe even the RAF police dogs demonstrating their talents.

For the Saturday and Sunday I would dial back a little on the family stuff, with the focus being on ensuring that the flying and static content is in line with military airshow enthusiasts expectations and to balance the books for the Friday I would charge over 12's £5 entrance fee.

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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by CJS »

Hmmm...aim Friday more at families but then charge for over 12s when they go free Saturday and Sunday?

Not sure about that unless Friday's show is super cheap for adults as you suggest, but then what kind of show will you end up with? Charging significantly less for Friday has to be a given though, if they run the Friday show again next year.

Also you'd be encouraging families to pull kids out of school, which mightn't go down too well in some quarters... :whistle:
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IATthenRIAT
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by IATthenRIAT »

Make the friday the same as the monday with park and view from enclosure only with just a small fee say £10-£15 each, keep the showdays to just the Sat and Sun as it always was.

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mavvymoo
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by mavvymoo »

CJS wrote:Hmmm...aim Friday more at families but then charge for over 12s when they go free Saturday and Sunday?

Not sure about that unless Friday's show is super cheap for adults as you suggest, but then what kind of show will you end up with? Charging significantly less for Friday has to be a given though, if they run the Friday show again next year.

Also you'd be encouraging families to pull kids out of school, which mightn't go down too well in some quarters... :whistle:


The media coverage this attracts is something of a red herring. I used to run an ATC squadron and I had no trouble with getting cadets out of school for trips or activities. I supplied a letter outlining the learning outcomes of the activity which the parents sent in with their request. In over ten years of doing that I never had a single cadet refused permission for time out of school.
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CJS
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by CJS »

mavvymoo wrote:
CJS wrote:Hmmm...aim Friday more at families but then charge for over 12s when they go free Saturday and Sunday?

Not sure about that unless Friday's show is super cheap for adults as you suggest, but then what kind of show will you end up with? Charging significantly less for Friday has to be a given though, if they run the Friday show again next year.

Also you'd be encouraging families to pull kids out of school, which mightn't go down too well in some quarters... :whistle:


The media coverage this attracts is something of a red herring. I used to run an ATC squadron and I had no trouble with getting cadets out of school for trips or activities. I supplied a letter outlining the learning outcomes of the activity which the parents sent in with their request. In over ten years of doing that I never had a single cadet refused permission for time out of school.


That's because you were getting them out of school for a properly organised trip with the ATC. What I mean is taking your kids out of school just for a day out isn't exactly encouraged. Heads are pretty much bound to not authorise it these days, and whilst that doesn't necessarily have a impact on the child or the family, it would be unpopular to say the least.

Organised trips, music exams, long planned family holidays are one thing, a nice day out at an airshow is another. My point is only that RIAT couldn't really market Friday's show as a family day out when it falls on a school day (for most anyway).
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Brevet Cable
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by Brevet Cable »

CJS wrote:What I mean is taking your kids out of school just for a day out isn't exactly encouraged. Heads are pretty much bound to not authorise it these days, and whilst that doesn't necessarily have a impact on the child or the family, it would be unpopular to say the least.


Given the time of year, how much actual school-work is still being done in class?
'A' & 'O'-Levels ( or whatever they are these days ) have all finished by then, haven't they?

Maybe Wales does it differently, but here they allow you to take your kids out of school for a number of days each year without being sanctioned as long as you give the school prior notification.
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pbeardmore
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by pbeardmore »

Friday does offer opportunities to "re-position" the show to have a different focus. I know from experience (and from friends within the profession) that taking kids out of shool at any tme is a hot topic (too hot IMHO), any kid could learn 100 times more from a day at RIAT to a day at school in July (any parent knows the school winds down and little or no learning is going on). But for RIAT (part of the establishment) to actively promote the idea of parents taking kids from school sadly won't work (I would have zero hessitation re taking my kids out but its more a political issue than anything else)

I'm not sure what they do re encouraging school trips on the Friday?

Alternatively, they could focus on us guys and offer addtional features not available over the weekend (guided tours round specific aircraft, a proper "pit zone", (meaningful content), the morning of non flying and lower attendance could offer some opportunities? use a corp marquee venue for a briefing from some of the pilots?
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mavvymoo
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by mavvymoo »

pbeardmore wrote:Alternatively, they could focus on us guys and offer addtional features not available over the weekend (guided tours round specific aircraft, a proper "pit zone", (meaningful content), the morning of non flying and lower attendance could offer some opportunities? use a corp marquee venue for a briefing from some of the pilots?

Webcasting the pilots' brief might be interesting.
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by FarnboroJohn »

I'm not so sure RIAT couldn't market Friday for kids. STEM is supposed to be a big thing at the moment (rightly, there's been too much emphasis on being what you want to be as opposed to what the country needs for too long) - big it up and get some political backing. Not much point having VIPs involved otherwise. Give the Education Secretary a ride with the Reds and get them to declare RIAT is practically STEM course material...

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pbeardmore
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by pbeardmore »

Trouble is, where is the cash? If the kids come in via the schools, then you have the infrastructure issues without the revenue. If the kids come being brought by their family, then you have the sale of adult tickets plus the "double glazing, scented candle" style tat . Hard to justify a fee for a Friday trader pitch when it's mostly kids attending (with no buyer power).

Perhaps they could seek a sponsor just for the Friday show that connects better with kids ? Red Bull Friday? X-Box Friday? Marvel Friday?

By looking to charge a full fee for the Friday, they have got themsleves into a tough position. Half the show for half the price and half the crowding/traffic did make some kind of sense but they blew that.
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by boff180 »

Friday already sees 1000's of kids from both Schools and Scouts/Guides attending the airshow…… who interact directly with visiting Ministers and Celebrities that present prizes for STEM competitions.etc plus give them talks.

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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by capercaillie »

Stuff all this crap, can we have some aircraft. :dunno: :dizzy: :whistle:
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austinp
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by austinp »

Great comments everyone.

I bused in from Swindon on Saturday. I concur it was a nightmare queuing to escape. But it was last year also. And I would agree on including the bus fare in with the ticket price, it may encourage more people to use the service - in which case they’d have to put on more buses.

Sunday I drove. Despite the shorter display, and earlier escape at 6pm, I was surprised how quickly we exited the Blue Car Park.

It’s a shame the display on Sunday was considerably shorter than Saturday. And all the special displays were on the Saturday. They need to balance it out better next year.

I suggested, in the survey, moving all the stalls into one zone. But I do like the idea someone suggested of grouping them up, that makes sense.

Also for the survey, I suggested making use of the bloody big airfield. Photos with bogs or rubbish bins in th background is not good.

Finally, there was some inconsistencies with the static lineup display. I think, if it’s possible, more thought should go into the placement of aircraft, such as grouping each type up.

Think that’s it.

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Brevet Cable
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by Brevet Cable »

Bin the 'Under 18s get in free' and restrict it to '16 and under' ( same as pretty much most other event does )
If they want to give them a discount, introduce a half-price option for them.
If they really want to be generous, keep the Friday as 'Under 18s get in free'

And invest in some fencing with regulated crossing-points to stop the lemmings from wandering aimlessly - and oblivious to everything - in the roadways near the car park exits
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pbeardmore
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by pbeardmore »

There may be 1001 reasons why it can't happen but.....if RIAT was put back one week, it would be within the school holidays. This would open Friday up to the "something to do with the bored kids during the summer hols" market plus many more adults are around due to having taken time off to look after the kids.

Obviously, this would mean an end to the school trips but what revenue do they bring in? Promoted in the correct way/time, the Friday could be as big as the weekend days in terms of admissions IMHO
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mavvymoo
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Re: if we were in charge?

Post by mavvymoo »

pbeardmore wrote:There may be 1001 reasons why it can't happen but.....if RIAT was put back one week, it would be within the school holidays. This would open Friday up to the "something to do with the bored kids during the summer hols" market plus many more adults are around due to having taken time off to look after the kids.

Kids aren't normally bored that early into the summer holidays, and if it isn't a school trip the number of youngsters attending would drop like a stone, particularly where money is a problem at home - it's not just about the tickets for a family, there is the travel component too. August also sees the start of the football season - easily the most popular (by numbers) leisure pastime in the country.

pbeardmore wrote:Obviously, this would mean an end to the school trips but what revenue do they bring in? Promoted in the correct way/time, the Friday could be as big as the weekend days in terms of admissions IMHO

All businesses have a component of corporate social responsibility and that is perhaps where the Friday event stems from (pun intended). Originally, the RIAT Youth Day - as it was known at the beginning - had very little flying (generally a few arrivals and some practices), but was mostly concerned with exposing young people to the careers aspect which has since been developed along the STEM themes to what we have now.
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