ike many people who live in the more northern climates, I absolutely love this time of the year. Spring means the beginning of another few months of outdoor activity and this always brings a smile to my face.
Thank goodness, too. Statistically it was an exceptionally mild winter in the Chicagoland region this year, but a series of late season storms began to plague the area. For the vast majority of people this was not an issue, but for those of us who seem to have a bit of seasonal dysfunction the weather really began to take its toll. It seemed like just about the time winter should begin to break ,we’d be stuck in the house reading the same magazines over and over again, getting outdoors only long enough to clear the driveway of what continued to be an endless snowfall.
This scenario doesn’t help business either. Although there are many indoor hobby activities such as railroading and the topic of this month’s cover, slot car racing, many of the hobby products dealers sell are more acclimated to outdoor activities. And taking the thought one step further, even those customers of yours who participate in activities like radio control aviation, flying indoors during inclement weather, by now want to get outdoors to breathe a little fresh air and feel the warmth of the sunshine.
Because many of our hobby activities are outdoor oriented, for most dealers springtime is the second largest selling season of the year. Even though the pre-recession days of plentiful jobs, unlimited overtime, and easy credit are behind us, people still spend a little of their available disposable income on luxury items such as hobbies. Parents, even grandparents, are always looking for family activities they can enjoy with their offspring, and smart dealers will adjust their store inventories to reflect the seasonal change.
Although I’m not necessarily a big Cubs baseball fan (I’m already waiting until next year), for years I always considered opening day at Wrigley Field the start of the spring season. Now opening day is just a teaser, the real signal that spring is upon us is the NRHSA Convention and Table-Top Exposition in Las Vegas.
There might be a misconception about the show and Vegas, like what does one do if he doesn’t gamble (I don’t), or want to participate in the evening’s extravaganzas. Rest assured, not everyone gambles, and just about the last thing I’m interested in doing is walking “the strip” during the wee-morning hours, but I absolutely love attending the show, there is always plenty to do.
Between the seminars and demonstrations there is simply more offered than the average dealer can absorb. Honestly, the best thing one can do is to grab a show schedule and make a list: seminars I must attend, seminars I’d like to attend, and those I’m not interested in.
The show organizers realize not everyone is interested in every event. As an example, other than casual interest, there’s really no need for a train specific store, or perhaps even a store located in Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend a seminar on starting and organizing a radio control boat section. This is understood completely, it’s why there is such a variety of seminars offered.
If a dealer’s store is located in the more northern climate, getting outside for events like the railroad tour and boat pond simply re-invigorates a person. For me, I find the NRHSA show more fun than work, and it definitely signals the kick-off of the spring season. HM
Until next month,