Tilburg 2004 - what's the story?

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By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

14-12-2003, 18:45

About a month ago we announced the annual MSX fair in Tilburg will be held on April 24th, 2004. We had posted this news after calling both Frank Pison and Ad Mutsaerts, the two men behind this MSX fair, about it.

However, during those phone calls both Frank and Ad had promised they would send the stand holders a letter within a week, replying to a letter we had sent on behalf of all but one stand holders and giving the possibility to register a booth. That was one month ago, the stand holders still have not received anything.

To understand the situation, lets take a step back first. Tilburg has always been the most important international MSX fair in the world. This was underlined by the high amount of visitors and the special happenings like Mr. Kazuhiko Nishi's lecture in 2001. Every year the MSX fairs in Tilburg were very special meetings that showed the power of the international MSX Community. Until last year. Despite the increase of stand holders (due to the increase of activity of MSX users in general) the biggest hall of the fair remained closed during the entire day. On the first floor there was the usual CGV computer meeting and the MSX-NBNO and HCC-MSX-GG stand. Since there were no maps available, many people didn't have a look at the 2nd and 3rd floor where the real action was going on. Or at least, where people were trying to make it happen.

Despite the request by phone, fax and email to get a large room where a beamer could be set up to do some lectures we got crammed in one of the smallest rooms together with the openMSX team and TNI. Not that it's a bad thing to spend the day with TNI and openMSX-developers, we had great fun, but it was impossible to continue the lectures. I can go on with this, but I think the photo shoot and fair report speak for themselves now.

To make sure things would get better the next year MRC teamed up with Sunrise and wrote a letter to the CGV. Before sending it they asked all stand holders of Tilburg 2003 if they agreed with the contents. All but one did. Here is a translation of the letter we sent:

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Groningen, July 4th, 2003

To the board of directors of CGV,

Since the early nineties we enjoy visiting the annual CGV computer meeting in Tilburg. In the year 2001 we had a very special year, thanks to the lecture of Mr. Nishi. In 2002 the fair showed a clear growth of activity of the MSX Community. In general we were always very pleased with the fair organization. The lecture of Kazuhiko Nishi and the meeting the day after this lecture were unforgettable. Unfortunately we did not have such a good experience this year.

We are writing this letter because we are worried about the future of the fair. We would appreciate it if you could send us a reply, addressing the things mentioned below. We hope that several things will be clarified this way.

For starters the announcement of the 2003 meeting was sent a lot later than usual. The CGV did less to promote the fair, compared to earlier years. For this reason both the stand holders and the visitors were not sure whether or not the fair would be held in 2003. Because of this it was sometimes hard to get a day off to attend the fair, especially for international visitors. The visitors, stand holders and editors of several magazines and websites would appreciate it if new meetings were announced at least 4 months in advance.

The division of the fair-location was different compared to previous years as well. The main hall on the first floor was out of use. For several stand holders this was an unpleasant surprise. We understand that the availability of several rooms is mainly decided by the owner of the building. However, the stand holders would appreciate it to receive a letter or e-mail a few weeks before the fair, containing the division of the stands, e.g. as a map. That way people will not be surprised on the fair itself. Also most visitors would appreciate it if such a map would be available during the meeting.

Furthermore we would like to know if it is possible to put up the road signs once again, like previous years. Many visitors would appreciate these signs.

We are prepared to help the CGV with the organization and promotion of future fairs. If the CGV no longer feels motivated or interested in organizing a fair in 2004, we would like to hear this as well, so that we can try and continue with an alternative. However, we hope that this is not the case.

We are looking forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Sander Zuidema (Stichting MSX Resource Center)
Rob Hiep (Stichting Sunrise)

On behalf of the Tilbeurs 2003 stand holders:

Bitwise
Compjoetania TNG
HCC MSX-GG
MSX Info
MSX NBNO
MSX Xpress (Fixato)
Sargon
Team Bomba
TNI

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Although both Frank and Ad told us several things by phone, we have not received an answer to this letter as of yet, despite the fact both Frank and Ad promised us to send it within a week after November 18th.

It goes without saying that I am worried about the future of the Tilburg fair. As things are right now, I have no reason to believe things will be better compared to the 2003 fair. I would like to know how you feel about this situation, the 2003 fair and the future of Tilburg fairs organized by CGV Tilburg.

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By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9727)

wolf_'s picture

14-12-2003, 19:06

To me it sounds a bit like 'lack of interest '. If they aren't interested anymore in organising, then simply let them say that.

By Sander

Ambassador (1836)

Sander's picture

14-12-2003, 20:19

problem is: they only pay a small fee for the fair, so it's only a moneybox for them. I really don't have the feeling they care much about the msx system.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

14-12-2003, 20:29

With the fair in Bussum not making any profit (even close to costing additional money) and probably the same counting for Oss, I think it's outrageous that Tilburg is making money out of it, while the quality is so much lower than the other mentioned fairs.

I'd be happy to pay for a quality fair, like it used to be, but as it stands now I probably won't get a stand at all.

By Sander

Ambassador (1836)

Sander's picture

14-12-2003, 20:46

Basically, looking at the last time this fair was held, we -the community- pushed them to organize this fair, and we -the community did our best to notify as much as people as we could, to make sure there were enough people hiring a booth.

There was really no initiative from the organizers with their take it or leave it attitude.

We asked months ago to reply to our letter, published here before, with no results. Probably just some big laughs at their last PC meeting, while drinking beer.

Really, so much people who went to this fair, only say the ground floor and left again without knowing there where more floors. ARGHH!

We are to small to be divided around different floors. I like Oss, because everything is in the same hall/room. Let's organize our own fair in April, all booths on the same floor and forget Tilburg. It's a gooner anyway.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

14-12-2003, 21:18

It is indeed hard to believe that any of the members of CGV are still actively using their MSX computer, nor that they are following recent developments in the MSX Community. I remember entering the fair last year together with Laurens Holst (TNI/Bussum Fair). The man behind the counter literally said "MSX Resource Center?? TNI??? Never heard of it!!" (We both had a stand for god's sake!).

I forgot to mention in the opening post: This topic, in which many points of dissatisfaction were discussed.

With Oss and Bussum getting better each year, with the activity of MSX users increasing all the time, the MSX Community deserves more and better than being put away on the 3rd floor of a Personal Computer club meeting, imho.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9727)

wolf_'s picture

14-12-2003, 21:57

Well, how realistic is another location with new organisers? (which was also discussed already Smile )

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

14-12-2003, 22:20

I would first like to know the opinions of our visitors on the Tilburg fair, then talk about an alternative in a different thread. MRC have got some ideas indeed. And motivation. But lets focus on that later. In my opinion both the Bussum and Oss fairs have become more important (and more enjoyable) than the Tilburg fair. It clearly shows that the organization of Bussum and Oss is in hands of people who are part of the MSX Community, unlike the Tilburg fair. It's not like of Tilburg stops there will not be MSX fairs in the Netherlands anymore. We have confronted the CGV with our feelings in July this year and so far they did not even have the decency to respond to our letter. The MSX Community deserves a whole lot more than the CGV is giving them.

By Bart

Paragon (1423)

Bart's picture

15-12-2003, 23:23

Until now only 4 people participated in this thread representing only 2 standholders. I expected a bit more participation of the standholders who also agreed to the letter that was sent. Things will not be better without effort. So please share your thoughts on this issue. It's important that the community makes its voice heard towards the organisers, being it disappointment or satisfactory doesn't matter. Silencing it won't help in my opinion.

By hap

Paragon (2016)

hap's picture

15-12-2003, 23:34

kind of off-topic, but have you warned them about making this situation public before doing so ?

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

15-12-2003, 23:42

it was already public, all problems with the last tilburg fair were discussed in a previous forum thread.

I'm kinda disappointed almost noone is participating in this discussion. Noone is saying "I agree", noone is saying "Give the Tilburg guys a break", noone says anything!

It seems it's not just the CGV that "doesn't care anymore" :/

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