Postcard from the
- Part Two
proudly supported by Squadron.com
Nationals 2005 - Setup|
show started early for me today. As soon as I walked into the hotel
restaurant for breakfast, I saw a number of old friends. As much as
it is a remarkable competition and the largest hobby retail venue
under one roof for these days in July, the Nats is equally an
opportunity to catch up with people of like interests but who are
otherwise spread wide across this country and across the globe.
These friendships are often only revisited in person once a year at
Humidity squeezed my body as I started the short walk from the hotel
to the Convention Centre. It was going to be a very sticky day.
At 9am, when I opened the glass door to the sanctuary of air
conditioning, the Nats were not due to open to the public for
another six hours. The wide, cool, modern atrium was quiet. Up the
escalator, the registration booth was manned and a few officials
milled around. A prominent sign announced the times, dates and
presenters of seminars and breakout sessions over the coming days.
Three large halls are dedicated to the Nationals this year - one for
competition entries, one for vendors and one for the inaugural
Dragon Expo, run in parallel to the Nats. Anyone registered for the
IPMS Nationals may visit the Dragon Expo too.
The calm of the foyer belied the hum of activity when I opened the
door to the vendor's room. Roller doors were open, trucks were
backing in, stock unloaded by the pallet, and hundreds of vendors
were preparing their displays. The process was smooth, quiet and
efficient - very impressive considering the short time available for