World’s Greatest Hobby Online, a new type of virtual model train show, was a huge success

The first virtual model train show to replicate the in-person train show experience took place on April 17th with stellar results. The event was sponsored by the World’s Greatest Hobby, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and had over 10,000 people attend the show virtually. Over fifty companies and organizations participated in the show.

World’s Greatest Hobby Online differed from previous virtual train shows in that content was user-selected and interactive with exhibitors via live streaming video and chat rooms. The technical infrastructure developed for the show worked flawlessly and was extremely easy for show attendees to use.

Attendees were registered from six different continents. An attendee from Buenos Aires, Argentina, commented, “Thanks for the online web show!!! Very interesting! Enjoyed it thoroughly and got some ideas to put in practice. Looking forward to similar shows in the future.”

Industry leaders also hailed the show’s success. Stacey Walthers Naffah, President of Wm. K. Walthers Inc., said, “I’m proud of the industry for coming together in anew way to connect with people to help them enjoy their hobby.” 

The virtual booths featuring live stream video averaged between 1,000 and 2,000 visitors who each stayed between 5 and 15 minutes in the booth. The keynote addresses by model railroad industry leaders were seen by more than 7,500 people. Almost 10,000 hours of video content was consumed during the one-day show. 

The World’s Greatest Hobby organization is now evaluating how to leverage this concept and technology to bring about even better shows to more people in the future. 

Much of the show content will be available for review at the World’s Greatest Hobby Website, in May, 2021. For more information, contact