When we took our annual bus trip down to the Toledo Weak Signals Expo this year, I was pretty critical of the show overall, and said I would detail my thoughts on how the show's organizers could best revamp the experience and return the show to its days of former glory. What follows are those thoughts.Read More
With last year's disappointing trip attendance, Roger and I felt we needed to be transparent about how many people we required to make the trip break even this year. We usually price the trip with an attendance of thirty people in mind; any more than that, the trip turns a profit. Less, and we can't afford the bus rental. With that in mind, we alerted potential attendees we needed thirty people to green light the trip, fully expecting a marked uptick in registrations.Read More
When I walked into the SeaGate Center in downtown Toledo, the first thing I noticed was the lack of elbows in my ribs. The entire convention center had fewer people than I’ve ever seen at a Toledo show. A few people commented to us that the aisles were wider, but that turned out to be false; the aisles appeared wider because there weren’t enough people to fill them.Read More
Sometimes our Toledo bus trip is largely uninteresting for me. Sometimes it’s fascinating. One thing this Weak Signals Toledo Trip was not, however, is uneventful.
Our group of R/C enthusiasts dwindled before we left the parking lot. A full four people were forced to bow out, either due to illness or tardiness. That attrition set the tone for the trip, as a number of strange occurrences would become the defining moments of this Toledo Bus Trip.
At about 11:30am, while Roger, Joe and I were about one-quarter through our initial trip through the convention center, the lights flickered, came back, flickered once more, and then the entire place went pitch black.Read More
It’s been a year since I last travelled the rows of vendors at the SeaGate Center in Toledo, OH. Though I’ve come to the Weak Signals show for the majority of the last 20 years, for some reason it’s as if I am walking through the doors for the first time, every time. I don’t know why I forget what it feels like, but in a way, I’m glad that I do. It feels like discovering something for the first time, again.
This year’s Toledo Show Bus Trip started off great. Every one of our 47 passengers was at their pickup locations early, which set the tone for the day. Almost 1/3 of the attendees were first time passengers on the bus, and their enthusiasm was infectious. It was truly a great group of people, and I thank them for their participation in our trip.
But enough about the bus trip. Let’s talk about the show.Read More
Every year in April, Roger and I take a bus full of our customers down to Toledo, Ohio for the annual Weak Signals Club’s Toledo Expo. It’s a gathering of consumers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, all in one place, to promote radio control aircraft products. I’ve been going to the show now for about 15 years. Every year there’s something new and unexpected. Sometimes I leave bored. Sometimes I leave excited. I don’t honestly know what to expect this year, but these are the things I’d like to see.Read More
Every year, Roger and I take a busload of our customers down to Toledo, Ohio, for the annual Weak Signals Toledo Show. It is a show dedicated to radio control aircraft and accessories, populated by some of the biggest manufacturers in the industry. In recent years, I’ve been a critic of the show, lamenting the arrival of numerous Asian vendors selling their cheap wares. This year, however, the show floor was dominated by legitimate hobby vendors selling mostly decent products. Better yet, from my perspective, was that Horizon Hobby kept back almost all of their recently announced products, and showed them off at the Toledo Show before they arrive on store shelves. It’s these products I’m going to talk about in this year’s Toledo Trip Wrap Up.Read More
In Part 1 of my Toledo Trip 2011 Wrap-Up, I was pretty down on how much unadulterated junk there was at the show this year. But there were a few good things there this year as well. I'm not talking about product specific stuff; that strikes me as pointless at this point (I'm really late getting Part 2 up). But there are still a couple of points I want to hit.Read More
This year's Toledo Bus Trip was destined to be epic from the start. A new webpage was launched, dedicated to the trip, with more information than had ever been available online before. It was the first year we were to accept online payments for the trip. It was the first year we included a stop in Clio for our friends to the south of us. It was the first year that selling out the trip was a legitimate concern. But as with all "firsts", there were many opportunities for road bumps and headaches along the way.
But we didn't hit a single snag. Not one.
I can't put into words just how pleased I am at how smoothly the entire process went. Everyone was either on time or early. We were ahead of schedule at almost every turn. Even with an unprecedented fifty-two passengers on the trip this year, everyone was where they were supposed to be, when they were supposed to be there. I can't thank our passengers enough - you guys make all the hard work that is put into this trip every year completely worth it. Thank you!
But you didn't click on the link to hear me gush about the trip. You want to read about the show. So let's get to it.Read More