Just a quick refresh - last year's advice updated to the suit the latest news on the 2016 show.
The key change for 2016 is the addition of a park and ride facility. You must park in Melton Mowbray and use one of the free park and ride coaches to the venue. Details at www.thehifishow.com and here. This is a great improvement on previous years - there just isn't enough parking space at the venue and parking on grass verges and walking over a mile to the venue was one of the downers for the show. Now you can park in a proper hard surfaced car park and be chauffeured to the even. All included in your ticket price.
Tickets - order in advance on the website and you'll save a bit of cash on the entrance fee.
The room list has been published here: http://thehifishow.com/guide do your research now and you can prioritise the rooms you want to visit based on the types of equipment in use.
A few tips:
In the rooms you're interested in, try a few different seats in the room as the set up won't be perfect and you might find yourself in a room null / peak and not get a good impression so move about a bit. Also try a minimum of 2 tracks before deciding to stay a bit or move on. Mark up your guide before and during so you know which rooms to go back to.
Don't stick your head in a room door and make a judgement - it takes a long time to get the kit positioned correctly in a room and its not going to sound good at the door. Go into the room as above and sit down for a few minutes before you decide.
It a bit of a warren - treat the building as 2 halves - the old building which has most of the larger rooms - ground and first floor, with the stairs to the first floor being just a little way into the building on the right. When upstairs don't miss the less obvious rooms such as the Syndicates and Simpson which are down a small corridor off the main landing area. There's also the Fernie room which is on the second floor up a small staircase along the same corridor as Simpson and the Syndicates.
The new building is best accessed through one of 2 less than obvious doors - see the guide linked above. One is just to the right of the Private Dining Room and involves crossing the courtyard to the door diagonally to the right. The other is to the left of the stairs at the left of the Private Dining Room you go straight through 3 doors and then turn right along a covered walkway and through another door into the new section.
Once in the new section its essentially a 2 floor L shape so you can work along one floor, change floors and work back along the other floor. The only anomalies to this are the Quorn Room / Gun Room / Rutland Room on the ground floor and Syndicates 23 and 24 on the first floor, so watch out for those.
If you want to maximise your time, take some sarnies as its a fair schlep back to the "restaurant" which will be selling burgers and sarnies.
May be start and the far end and work back, if you're there first thing as many just wander into the rooms nearest the doors and they get crowded.
Another new addition is the use of the marquee on the rear lawn of the hotel - I understand this will have the record and accessory stalls in there.
Don't forget your raffle tickets to support the MIND charity and there will be a bring and buy stall in aid of Cancer Research in the Somerby Room too - pick up a bargain!
Be polite enough to smile / nod / acknowledge the room hosts. You might like what you hear, it might by OK or you might think its awful - that doesn't matter, the room hosts deserve a thank you for spending their own time and cash to be there.