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Meets

Official Meets

Official meets have traditionally been arranged three times a year, roughly mid-March, mid-July, and mid-November, each on a Saturday. The venues for these are usually pub function rooms, with those pubs being in places with easy transportation links. When we started, the July meets were in London, the November ones were in Derby and the March meet "floated" around the country - we've had Birmingham, Bristol, York, Newcastle, Peterborough, Sheffield and Wakefield so far for the "floating" venue. Following a gap in the programme in 2014 - 2015, in more recent years the March meetings have been at a "floating" venue, while the London and Derby meetings have been reversed, meeting in Derby in July and London in November. Depending on the venue, a buffet lunch is provided or you order a la carte. There may be a small charge (see below). A list of past and future meets is shown further down this page.

As the global reach of SimSig expands, meets outside the UK are now being arranged as well. Again details of past and future meets are shown further down the page.

The timings of the meet is usually noon until 6pm but depends on the venue.

After the meet there is often a meal - usually curry - and then we gather again at another pub for more drinks. You are responsible for your own food and drink costs, and it's entirely optional whether you attend. However, you may be asked to indicate whether you will be attending this meal on the sign-up form so we can book tables appropriately.

As many people arrive the day before the event and travel back the day after, we often have get-togethers - just a social gathering in a pub on the Friday night, and occasionally an event on the Sunday morning like a visit to a signal box or steam railway. Again, you are responsible for your own costs.

Unofficial Meets

Unofficial meets can be arranged on an ad-hoc basis but it would be polite to let us know if you are planning a public event. You cannot call it a "SimSig meet", for example, if it hasn't been sanctioned by us. Please discuss in the forum section for meets if you would like to arrange one and then we can take the discussions from there.

What Happens

Meets involve numerous laptops networked together around the room and usually a satisfactory amount of beer drunk. Guests who are willing to share their use bring their own laptops so there are enough laptops for everybody to use. If you are not able to bring a laptop then you are welcome to use other people's laptops who have kindly allowed this to happen. In fact most meets have a rotation system to ensure everybody who wants to play is able to, with workstation/desk allocation assigned by random to prevent hogging of the more popular workstations/desks.

Participation in the multiplayer games is not at all mandatory and indeed many of those attending a typical meet turn up just for the company.

Age Limits

The age for drinking in the UK is 18 years old, and those under 25 (or look under 25) are likely to need to show proof of age. People between the ages of 16 and 18 are allowed on licensed premises but may not purchase or consume alcoholic drink. Venues may have a Childrens' Certificate which allows people younger than 16 to enter the premises but SimSig does not check whether such a certificate is in place for the venue used for the meet. As a general rule SimSig applies a policy that only people at the age of 16 or over may attend meets (those between the ages of 16 and 18 needing to be accompanied by a responsible adult). We cannot chaperone or otherwise take care of minors; those wishing to attend a meet who are in the 16 to 18 age range should make their own arrangements with a responsible adult before signing up to attend the meet.

Before the Meet

Sign up to the event using the links which will be advertised on the SimSig site. This gives us a rough idea of how many people to expect and plan accordingly. There are some options you need to answer which again help in planning.

Costs

Some events require a modest entrance fee. This covers a range of items depending on the venue. If a buffet lunch is provided then it will include the cost of the buffet (so you will not need to pay separately). We've had problems in the past where not everyone has paid for the buffet yet eaten some anyway, so the only fair way is to make everybody pay. Other costs SimSig may incur at the venue include room hire, use of equipment such as projectors, printing media, and suchlike. SimSig only intend to break even with these charges, not to make a profit.

Entrance fees are collected from you when you collect your namebadge, or can sometimes be made (or even required) in advance. See the meet details linked below.

Sometimes people are generous enough to make a donation at a meet. We would prefer these to be done online, through the shop though, as this lets us keep a record in a single place. Occasionally gifts/rewards have been given to those donating through the shop.

How To Get There

Maps and written instructions will be provided for each meet. See the listings below for each event.

Where To Stay

Some recommendations or suggestions may be provided for a meet. See the listings below for each event. SimSig cannot guarantee the quality of such establishments, and you are responsible for your own costs.

What To Bring

Yourself, money (for drinks and/or food if appropriate), and ID (if you look young enough to need it).

If you offered to bring additional equipment when you signed up then please endeavour to do so:

  • Laptop
  • Laptop power cord
  • Mouse
  • Mousemat
  • Multi-way power strip and/or extension lead

Laptop Security and Privacy

It will normally be safe to leave your laptop while you go for a drink or go to the toilet. However, you may wish to take steps to protect private or personal information which may be stored on your computer. If you have Administrator privileges on the machine, it is suggested that you create a new User Account for use at the meet with only the basic privileges. You can then use that account to install any programs or sims to be used at the meet. Normally temporary licences are granted on the day for any sim to be used on your machine and for which you do not have a licence. While the machine is logged into this new User Account the user cannot access the information held in other areas of the hard drive, preserving the security of your personal information.

Health, Safety, and Security

Neither SimSig nor the venue can take responsibility for your personal effects. Respect other people's belongings. Keep liquids away from laptops. Keep cables tidy and make sure fire exits and fire routes are not blocked. The rule of thumb for fire routes is to ensure a one metre pathway, clear of any chairs, bags, coats, cables, or any other obstacles.

Although in a large group meet it is fairly safe to leave your laptop while you go for a drink or go to the toilet, always take your wallet and phone with you, or indeed anything else which is easy to steal.

While it is great to have a laugh and enjoy a social occasion, do not get so drunk as to cause an embarrassment to yourself or to SimSig, or forget your way home, or worse. You are responsible for your own actions. Anybody seen to be, or reasonably suspected of, doing anything illegal at a meet will be asked to leave.

As events tend to be indoors, and the law in the UK is no smoking indoors, smoking is not permitted inside the venues. It is rarely a problem to go outside for a smoke if you must. The situation with e-cigarettes is rather less well defined so, barring any new laws coming into effect after this was written, you should check with the venue as to whether e-cigarettes will be allowed indoors.

Signalbox Visits

Occasionally we are lucky enough to visit a real life, working signalbox. The nature of these events mean that pre-registration is usually required and visitors need to be aware of the Signalbox Visit Rules to ensure a trouble-free visit.

Next UK Meet

Date Place
23/03/19 Birmingham
The Soloman Cutler

Next Overseas Meet

Year Date Place
2019 1st June TOKYO 東京 - JAPAN 日本
Trader Vic's, Hotel New Otani,4-1 Kioi-Cho, Chiyoda-Ku - Link to Trader Vic's

Details of Tokyo 2019

(ex James Bond film location)

Future UK Meets

These will usually be showing as provisional until close to the time of the meet. Please check the forum for the latest plans.

Year Date Place
2019 27/07/19 Derby,
Brunswick Inn
2019 16/11/19 London,
The Walrus and The Carpenter

Future Overseas Meets

These will usually be showing as provisional until close to the time of the meet. Please check the forum for the latest plans.

Year Date Place
TBC

Previous UK Meets

Year
2006 Bristol,
Knights Templar
London,
Artillery Arms
Derby,
Station Inn
2007 Bristol,
Railway Club
London,
Artillery Arms
Derby,
Station Inn
2008 08/03/08
Peterborough,
Brewery Tap
19/07/08
London,
Artillery Arms
29/11/08
Derby,
Station Inn
2009 14/03/09
York,
Brewery Visitors Cen
18/07/09
London,
Artillery Arms
14/11/09
Derby,
Station Inn
2010 20/03/10
Peterborough,
Brewery Tap
24/07/10
London,
Railway Tavern
29/08/10
Crewe,
Exeter West Signalbox
13/11/10
Derby,
Station Inn
2011 26/03/11
Wakefield,
Henry Boons
23/07/11
London,
Railway Tavern
26/11/11
Derby,
Brunswick Inn
2012 24/03/12
London,
Railway Tavern
14/07/12
Newcastle,
Bridge Hotel
10 & 17/11/12
Derby x 2
Brunswick Inn
2013 16/03/13
Bristol,
Stag & Hounds
13/07/13
London,
Railway Tavern
16/11/13
Derby,
Brunswick Inn
2014 29/03/14
Birmingham,
Old Contemptibles
19/07/14
London,
Railway Tavern
2015 14/11/15
Derby,
Brunswick Inn
2016 12/03/16
Birmingham,
Soloman Cutler
30/07/16
Derby (unofficial meet),
Brunswick Inn
15/10/16
London,
The Plough
2017 18/03/17
Sheffield,
The Bankers Draft
01/07/17
Derby,
Brunswick Inn
11/11/17
London,
The Plough
2018 04/03/18
Birmingham,
Soloman Cutler
16/06/18
Preston,
Ribble Steam Railway
08/09/18
Glasgow,
The Crystal Palace
17/11/18
London,
The Walrus and The Carpenter

Previous Overseas Meets

Year Date
2018 14/07/18 Sydney, Australia
City of Sydney RSL Club

Other Venues

Each year we rotate the venues slightly, usually in March. Sometimes we're in need of a bigger venue if the previous venue closes, changes, or is unable to cope with the ever-increasing numbers of SimSig visitors. With that in mind, there is a research page noting suitable and unsuitable locations. See also venue requirements to see what a venue should offer.

Although people sometimes suggest locations away from the normal pattern where it might be good to have a meet, experience has shown that meets outside the core area bounded by roughly London - Birmingham - Derby - York - London do not attract the numbers of people that will attend a meet within that core. Within the core meets will usually attract 25 to 35 people while outside that core 20 people would be a good attendance. A greater attendance may be encouraged if there is some sort of visit or activity arranged around the meet (maybe on the Sunday morning) so please try and take that into account if you wish to propose a venue away from the normal routine.


Last edited by postal on 02/12/2018 at 20:54