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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2024 11:24 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1612
choodude wrote:
I lovingly suggest you meditate on how important it is to get New folks through the gate that leads to your life's work.

If they have never heard of you or have no clue how cool it is to stand next to a fire breathing dragon - they will never hear of the scrapping of your collection.

Brian Helfrich


I’m all for attracting new guests to a museum - but I do believe there are better ways to do it than a beer festival. To me, it’s not the best use of time and resources.

But, I don’t drink Beer so I’m definitely not in the market. Now if it was a Coffee and Train festival!!!! Haha


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 12:17 am 

Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:33 pm
Posts: 130
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
I’m all for attracting new guests to a museum - but I do believe there are better ways to do it than a beer festival. To me, it’s not the best use of time and resources.


Alright Elliot Ness, now that you've raided the brews and blues event at your local railroad museum and keg remains are scattered about, let's hear some of your ideas to attract new guests to your museum.


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 6:07 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:43 am
Posts: 758
If these events are some of the more profitable events run, and get a lot of people in the front door....what does it have to do to be a good use of time and resources?


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 12:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1612
msrlha_archivist wrote:
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
I’m all for attracting new guests to a museum - but I do believe there are better ways to do it than a beer festival. To me, it’s not the best use of time and resources.


Alright Elliot Ness, now that you've raided the brews and blues event at your local railroad museum and keg remains are scattered about, let's hear some of your ideas to attract new guests to your museum.


Well, it depends on the museum and operation in question, Some great examples would be the Old Car Festival at the Henry Ford, Steam to Victory at Age of Steam, and the Vintage Transport Extravaganza at the Illinois Railway Museum.

Now specifically to the RR Museum of PA, if they wanted to do an event targeting a similar demographic - I would pick a similar era and have period music and entertainment, and lots of photo ops with re-enactors. I would then add food and drink service that was "themed" to the railroad dining and lounge car services of that era (whatever era was being represented).

I help plan themed corporate events and city festivals for a living so I have plenty of ideas :) haha


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 2:31 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 11602
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
Well, it depends on the museum and operation in question, Some great examples would be the Old Car Festival at the Henry Ford, Steam to Victory at Age of Steam, and the Vintage Transport Extravaganza at the Illinois Railway Museum.


All three are "preaching to the converted." It's the "what's happening this weekend" at the museum category.

We are specifically looking for something DIFFERENT to attract newcomers.

Quote:
Now specifically to the RR Museum of PA, if they wanted to do an event targeting a similar demographic - I would pick a similar era and have period music and entertainment, and lots of photo ops with re-enactors. I would then add food and drink service that was "themed" to the railroad dining and lounge car services of that era (whatever era was being represented).


You have just both made the event far more complicated and difficult to do, and reduced the potential audience. Re-enactors' clothing is expensive. You can't just get volunteers. Specialized menu demands make for expensive caterers rather than just a couple food trucks or the like. And how many people come for "photo ops"? This isn't a Pete Lerro or Carl Franz photo charter you're putting on.

I've volunteered at, or covered, myriad music/cultural festivals and beer fests. The former involve stage and sound set-ups, maybe lighting, tents, tables, etc. Even when you hire in the pros to erect the tents for you, it's often days of sweat before and after.
The beer fests, by comparison, are a breeze, for the most part, when it's done the way British lines, the RR Museum of Pa., etc. do. The breweries (or the distributors, depending on your model) do the set-up and break-down, bring their own pop-up tents, kegs, and jockey boxes (the thing with the taps on them)or even the beer truck. They can be up in a couple hours and down even faster. Anything else, such as musicians, etc., are just an easy addition. A place like the RR Museum of Pa. has to provide folding tables and some chairs--the same ones they need and use for other special (and rail-themed) events. The biggest worry is a truckload of ice bags, taking out the trash, and mopping the floors the next day at best. As I pointed out already, admission of $50 or so tends to keep the drunken idiots away.

One other thing: I haven't asked precisely how the RR Museum of Pa. handles things, but at many fundraising beer festivals, the beer itself is DONATED by the breweries, or provided at cost. They mark it off as a charitable contribution or PR promotion. So, charge people $40-60 for the beer that was GIVEN to you............... Hmmmmmmm.

Again, I point out: The Rails on Ales has become THE MOST SUCCESSFUL annual event at the RR Museum of Pa., fundraising-wise AND attendance-wise (at least for the short time) It outdoes PRR Weekend, Reading Weekend, model railroad events, Christmas events, Halloween events, Trains & Troops, an annual Swing Dance, you name it. Similar stories abound at British venues like the Barrow Hill Roundhouse Museum. Why are you being such a Nattering Nabob of Negativity® to success?


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 2:46 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1612
Lol. I’m pretty sure I could say I recommend a museum should be open 9-5 and Alexander would explain how that is impossible, impractical, or simply a ridiculous thing to do.


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 3:10 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 11602
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Crescent-Zephyr wrote:
Lol. I’m pretty sure I could say I recommend a museum should be open 9-5 and Alexander would explain how that is impossible, impractical, or simply a ridiculous thing to do.


The opposite:
You suggested a museum NOT do something; I tell you why it's a good idea instead.


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Sun Jun 23, 2024 8:28 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2015 5:55 pm
Posts: 2368
J3a-614 wrote:
I don't know what to think of this special train operated by the Aberdeen, Carolina & Western. It's a special for the US Open Golf Tournament, and so one does expect a "party train," but some of the equipment in this consist looks more like some of the crazier fantasy-humor ideas from Model Railroader back in the 1950s.

They should create a standard gauge version of this fanciful Walthers Jailbox car from the 1970s: "Next Time, Any Crime". If a patron or golfer is under detention this car would allow them to attend the event. If nothing else it would allow some of our formerly incarcerated members here to do community service if necessary at the museum they defrauded. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MhpIxcswWg


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2024 10:08 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:04 pm
Posts: 68
Many of the "beer festivals" are actually tastings where no more than two ounces are poured at any time. The attendees know this and rarely is there ever an issue with someone being too tipsy. Most of these events usually have a commemorative plastic cup used for the pours.

Depending on the State and insurance policies, a tasting has lower premiums than an all out festival. Brewers also carry insurance for these events or are added as a rider to the promoter's insurance.

Agreed that there are many rail museum Boards and Officers who have a neo-prohibitionist attitude. One rather large museum refused to consider outreach from a large Pacific Northwest craft brewer who was coming into their State and contributing to regional not for profits. Opportunity lost.


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2024 11:14 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2894
choodude wrote:

A professional Booze Server is more than qualified to cut off the folks who have reached their limits.

Brian Helfrich


Correct, and at least in our state, anyone serving alcohol is required to go through training on how to recognize an over-served patron and how to handle things.

Also, many of these are "tastings" and you're limited to how many samples you get. The atmosphere is far more "wine tasting" than sports bar during the playoffs.

Also, booze on passenger trains has been making money for railrods for a very long time. Probably since the start of food service, or shortly thereafter.


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2024 11:21 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2894
Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
Re-enactors' clothing is expensive. You can't just get volunteers.


Glances at the local Ren Faire's cast and crew page. 1K+ members.

Glances at the NW Colonial Festival page. A couple hundred of them will be gathering on July 5th for a 3 day weekend of re-enactment, including a full encampment.

Glances at photos from the recent Steampunk Event in Port Angeles.

Sorry, but it's been my experience that you certainly can get volunteers, they love being able to show off what they've made, and if you build it, they will come.

Now, I'm not saying "Don't do a booze cruize" since many of the other points you raised are valid. But finding re-enactors isn't that difficult, even out here in the Pacific NW, which isn't as involved in that hobby as the Northeast is.


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2024 11:22 am 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 1612
East of Eden wrote:

Agreed that there are many rail museum Boards and Officers who have a neo-prohibitionist attitude. One rather large museum refused to consider outreach from a large Pacific Northwest craft brewer who was coming into their State and contributing to regional not for profits. Opportunity lost.


Or maybe opportunity gained - if the board knew that a regular donor would be unhappy if they had a beer-themed event - it may have been in the best interest of the museum to say no.

That's why it's important to have a diverse board that looks at the bigger picture. Just like in politics there are 2 sides and each side can argue a point and make it sound like there is no other choice.


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2024 11:24 am 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2894
East of Eden wrote:
Many of the "beer festivals" are actually tastings where no more than two ounces are poured at any time. The attendees know this and rarely is there ever an issue with someone being too tipsy. Most of these events usually have a commemorative plastic cup used for the pours.


Hadn't noticed your post before adding mine, but exactly. I think the last one I went to allowed you 3 samples that were roughly a shot glass and then you picked one and got a beer? But that was it.

Also, the local railroad one solved the problem of walking and drinking on a train by doing the tasting at a destination. You show up, do a tasting, enjoy some music, then after an hour or so, back on board for the trip home. Nobody's walking through the train trying to balance a glass.


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2024 2:30 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2022 11:23 am
Posts: 61
LOL Some of the posts here remind me of back in the 90s when I was a member of a local model railroad club. At some point a bar opened up across the street, and a few of us adults liked to stop in there occasionally after the club closed for the night to hoist a few drinks. Club management was not happy about that at all and they would stay late after hours to make sure we didn't drunkenly stagger back into the club and start smashing stuff (I suppose we'd have to start by smashing the lock, but that's besides the point). We all had to park on the street, and it was funny to come out of the bar at 1AM to see the club treasurer sitting in his car, just keeping an eye on the place and protecting it from the drunken horde that went into the bar. Obviously the devil's drink will corrupt model railroad clubs, museums, and tourist lines, and scare off potential donors.


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 Post subject: Re: What the ------??
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2024 2:38 pm 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
Posts: 654
Location: Ipswich, UK
The preserved line nearest to me has a grounded passenger car body that functions as a bar on their open days, and, as there is no longer a pub in the vicinity, it opens up for use by local residents on Friday evenings during the Summer......
https://www.mslr.org.uk/kitchener-arms-bar-coach/

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My Flikr page https://www.flickr.com/photos/72399068@N08/sets


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